R. Timothy Patterson

R. Timothy Patterson


  • Ph.D., Geology, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), 1986. [1]
  • B.A.,  Geology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., 1983. [1]
  • B.Sc., Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, 1980. [1]


Timothy Patterson is a professor of geology at Carleton University.

Timothy Patterson appears on a list compiled by Senator James Inhofe of those who are supposedly “prominent climate scientists.”  Patterson is one of 84 scientists listed who have also taken industry money.

In the past, Senator Inhofe has received more in donations from the oil and gas sector than any other Senator.  In 2002 elections Inhofe received just over $3.4 million in donations from 20 industry sectors - almost $1 million (29%) is from the Energy/Natural Resources Sector and their respective PACS.

R. Timothy Patterson is a past chairman of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). The mission of the ICSC is to “move the debate away from implementation of costly and ineffectual 'climate control' measures.” [2]

The ICSC describes itself as “an apolitical association of independent scientists, economists and energy and policy experts who have joined together to promote better public understanding of climate science and policy worldwide.”

The organization, directed by the prominent climate change skeptic and ex- energy industry PR man Tom Harris, describes itself as “an apolitical association of independent scientists, economists and energy and policy experts who have joined together to promote better public understanding of climate science and policy worldwide.”

Stance on Climate Change

“… changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.” [3]

Key Quotes

“I am a Quaternary geologist by profession. That is to say that my research interests are focused primarily on about the last 2 million years of Earth's history. An important aspect of my research is assessing past climate conditions. Thus I am also a paleoclimatologist.”

“I teach a general climate change course. To get the significance of this correlation over to the students I use the following analogy. I tell the students that based on these records if you believe that climate is being driven by CO2 then they probably would have no difficulty in accepting the idea that Winston Churchill was instrumental in the defeat of King Herold by Duke William of Orange at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. If you can believe that this historical temporal incongruity could be feasible then you can have no problem believing that CO2 is what's driving Earth's climate system.” [4]

Key Deeds

March, 2009

Patterson was a featured speaker at the at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. [5]

DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors of the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, which included the ICSC, have received over $47 million USD from organizations connected to the oil and gas industry. 

The Heartland Institute itself has received over $670,000 from the oil giant ExxonMobil, while having received at least $240,000 from Philip Morris between 1993 and 1998.  The Institute no longer disclose its funding sources.

March 4, 2008

Patterson signed the ICSC's 2008 Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change which was first presented for consideration at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. [6]

He is listed by the ICSC as one of the signatories who are also “climate experts,” and who were also present at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change when they signed.

Those who sign the declaration must agree that “attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change.”

More importantly, they must agree that “'global warming' is not a global crisis.”

December 13, 2007

Patterson signed a 2007 open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that questioned man-made climate change. [7]

The letter states that “it is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity throughout the ages.”

The letter contends that the UN's focus on fighting climate change “is distracting governments from adapting to the threat of inevitable natural climate changes,” and suggests that the IPCC's findings and recommendations regarding climate change be disregarded.

April, 2006

Patterson was one of 60 “accredited experts” to sign a 2006 open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper that denied the existence of man-made climate change while urging the government avoid implementing climate policy. 

The letter states that “climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural 'noise.'”


Tim Patterson was featured in a 2005 video by the Friends of Science (FoS) titled Climate Catastrophe Cancelled. Ross McKitrick is featured on the video as well as other prominent climate change including Tim Ball, Sallie L. Baliunas and Tim Patterson.

The FoS video is describes that climate science is “quickly diverging away from the hypothesis that the human release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, is having a significant impact on global climate.”

The video features the infamous Dr. Tim Ball, who states in the video that “There is absolutely no convincing scientific evidence that human-produced greenhouse gases are driving global climate change,” and that “Carbon dioxide is a staff of life, plain and simple. It makes up less than 4% of greenhouse gases and it is not a toxic [sic].”

According to SourceWatch, the recovered costs by FoS from the University of Calgary for “video production” in 2005 amounted to $80,731.

Patterson is also listed as a “advisory board member” of the “Friends of Science” (FOS). [8]

In an August, 2006 Globe and Mail feature, the FOS was exposed as being funded in part by the oil and gas sector and hiding the fact that they were. According to the Globe and Mail, the oil industry money was funneled through the Calgary Foundation charity, to the University of Calgary and then put into an education trust for the FOS. [9]

In a January 28, 2007 article in the Toronto Star, the President of the FOS admitted that about one-third of the funding for the FoS is provided by the oil industry. [10]

November, 2004

Patterson signed a 2004 open letter to John McCain that attempted to refute the findings by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).  The letter was signed by numerous prominent climate change skeptics including Richard Lindzen, Tim Ball, David Legates, Pat Michaels, Gary D. Sharp, Roy W. Spencer, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas

The letter concludes that any past warming that occurred in the arctic cannot be attributed to greenhouse gas concentrations: [11]

“Arctic climate has and will continue to exhibit intricate patterns not reliably reproduced by global climate simulations, thus underscoring their scientific incompleteness and need for advances in Arctic climate science, in measurements, theory and models.”

October 7, 2004

Patterson spoke at a conference co-hosted by Tech Central Station titled “Risk: Regulation and Reality.”

He describes himself as a quaternary geologist by profession, but goes on to say “I am also a paleoclimatologist” because of his research “assessing past climate conditions.”

In his conclusion, Patterson states that “the geologic record clearly shows us that there really is little correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. Although CO2 can have a minor influence on global temperature the effect is minimal and short lived as this cycle sits on top of the much larger water cycle, which is what truly controls global temperatures. The water cycle is in turn primarily influenced by natural celestial cycles and trends.” [4]

November 12, 2002

Patterson was a speaker at press conference organized by Tom Harris of APCO Worldwide titled “Kyoto's Fatal Flaws Revealed.”

The conference, held in Ottawa, attracted fellow skeptics Fred Singer, Tim Ball, Madhav L. Khandekar, Patrick Michaels, and Fred Michel. They also listed numerous skeptics available for interview such as Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, John Christy, Chris Essex, William M. Gray, Fred Seitz, George Taylor, Sherwood Idso, David Wojick, Art Robinson, Robert Balling, Ross McKitrick, and others. [12]



According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Patterson over 80 research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

A list of his publications is available at Carleton University.


  1. Dr. R. Timothy Patterson: Biography,” Profile at Carleton University. Accessed February, 2012.

  2. ICSC Mission Statement,” International Climate Science Coalition. Archived June 4, 2011. 

  3. R. Timothy Patterson. “Read the sunspots,” The National Post, June 20, 2007.

  4. The Geologic Record and Climate Change,” Tech Central Station, January 1, 2005. Archived February 18, 2007.

  5. 2009 International Conference on Climate Change,” The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2009. Republished by Instituto Liberdade.

  6. New York Global Warming Conference Considers 'Manhattan Declaration',” The Heartland Institute, March 4, 2008.

  7. Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” Archived December 16, 2007. Reprinted by the Science and Public Policy Institute.

  8. SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD,” Friends of Science. Accessed February, 2012. Archived August 3, 2007.

  9. Charles Montgomery. “Mr. Cool,” Globe and Mail, August 12, 2006. Republished at charlesmontgomery.ca.

  10. Peter Gorrie. “Who's still cool on global warming?”, The Star, January 28, 2007.

  11. Climate Experts Respond to Arctic Climate Impact Assessment” (Press Release), PRNewswire, November 16, 2004. Republished by the Frontier Center for Public Policy, November 20, 2004. Archived June 12, 2010

  12. Smoking out the fellow travelers……”, Rabett Run, February 25, 2006.

  13. NRSP People,” Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived July 2, 2007.

  14. Heartland Experts: R. Timothy Patterson,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed February 4, 2012.

  15. Who We Are,” International Climate Science Coalition. Archived June 26, 2008.

  16. Tim Patterson,” Profile at Tech Central Station. Archived October 16, 2007.

  17. Tim Patterson,” Wikipedia entry.

  18. Tim Patterson,” SourceWatch Profile.

  19. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Tim Patterson, PhD.

  20. Deniers:Scientists:Tim Patterson,” ExxonSecrets Wiki.