Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

Credentials

  • Doctorate in “International Relations researching into environmental issues in international and also national politics.” [1]
  • Ph.D. in “marine pollution control in the Law of the Sea negotiations.” [1]
  • Master's Degree, physical geography. [1]
  • Master's Degree, social science. [1]

Background

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen is an emeritus reader in geography at the University of Hull and the former editor of Energy and Environment, a journal known for publishing the papers written by climate change skeptics. [2]

She stepped down from the role of E&E editor after Multi-Science sold the journal to SAGE and adopted a new double-blind peer review policy, DeSmog UK reported. She told DeSmog UK her decision to leave the journal was due to “a combination of factors” including the new “impersonal” editorial process, and reduced editorial input. [18]

In a 1995 article (PDF) written by Paul Thacker, Energy and Environment was described as being a journal skeptics can go to when they are rejected by the mainstream peer-reviewed science publications. [3]

She has described herself as “an 'expert' on the science and politics of global warming since the late 1980s.” [4]

Boehmer-Christiansen explained at the time that “it's only we climate skeptics who have to look for little journals and little publishers like mine to even get published.” According to a search of WorldCat, a database of libraries, the journal is carried in only 25 libraries worldwide. And the journal is not included in Journal Citation Reports, which lists the impact factors for the top 6000 peer-reviewed journals.

After a great deal of controversy involving a research paper published by two well-known climate change “skeptics,” Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon in the journal Climate Change,  Boehmer-Christiansen's proceeded to run a more extensive version of the article in Energy and Environment.

Stance on Climate Change

FC: Do you think humans are causing global warming?

SC: To be very honest I'm agnostic on this. I don’t have the evidence. I mean I have lots of contradictory evidence but I do think, from my experience on ocean pollution and all the other pollution hypes, that when it goes to the political phase there are huge exaggerations. Once bureaucracies get regulatory and taxation powers, the exaggerations decline, scares may even be forgotten. So I honestly believe that there may be a problem but that this problem also has beneficial sides. We know how positive carbon dioxide is to life. So I do think there’s much exaggeration (of the man-made warming threat), of the negative aspects, for political reasons. So that’s why I’m here (at this Conference). I do think the skeptical scientists are more honest and more truthful than those funded by governments to support the IPCC.” [1]

Key Quotes

“As editor of a journal which remained open to scientists who challenged the orthodoxy, I became the target of a number of CRU manoeuvres. The hacked emails revealed attempts to manipulate peer review to E&E’s disadvantage, and showed that libel threats were considered against its editorial team […]” [5]

Key Deeds

February 4, 2018

In January 2018, more than 200 scientists endorsed an open letter calling on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to remove climate change denier Rebekah Mercer from its board and to “end ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.” The New York Times reported that those among the AMNH letter calling for Mercer to step down were Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. [15]

Boehmer-Christiansen was among a group of climate change deniers who responded with their own open letter, calling for the AMNH “not to cave in to this pressure.” The letter was signed by numerous individuals with ties to groups funded by the Mercer Family Foundation such as Will Happer of the CO2 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato Institute; and Craig Idso, the chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. There are a number of signatories affiliated with the Heartland Institute, which has received over $5.78 million from the Mercer Family Foundation since 2008. [16]

The letter reads: [17]

The Earth has supported abundant life many times in the geological past when there were much higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is quite likely that future generations will benefit from the enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere with more carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, the agitators are not defending science from quackery — quite the contrary!”

February 23, 2017

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen was a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [9]

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” Lindzen wrote in the letter. [9]

DeSmog investigated the list, and found that only a small handful of the signatories could be considered “even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’ — but not in the field of climate science.” The list included individuals “interested in climate,” and one signatory who only identified as an “emailer who wished to sign the petition” while some signers provided no affiliation or address whatsoever. [10]

July, 2010

Boehmer-Christiansen was one of a group of climate change skeptics who claimed that Phil Jones had manipulated climate data in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Five separate inquiries were conducted to investigate these claims but the conclusion reached was that there had been no scientific dishonesty or misconduct by the IPCC scientists.

The last review, done by the Independent Climate Change Email Review (ICCER), responded to Boehmer-Christiansen's allegations by concluding that she had provided no evidence in support of her claims. [6]

May 16 - 18th, 2010

Boehmer-Christiansen attended the 4th International Climate Change Conference hosted by the Heartland Institute. [1]

Affiliations

Publications

According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Boehmer-Christiansen has published four research articles in peer-reviewed journals mainly on the subject of environmental policy.

She has written numerous articles on environmental politics and policy, some in Energy & Environment:

Resources

  1. Conversations from the Frontier,” Frontier Center for Public Policy.

  2. Geography Department: Academic Staff,” University of Hull, Department of Geography. Accessed March 1, 2012.

  3. Paul D. Thacker. “Skeptics get a journal” (PDF), Environmental Science & Technology, August 31, 2005. Retrieved from RealClimate.

  4. The unspeakable BBC: biased even when trying to be unbiased?,” The SPPI Blog, December 22, 2009.

  5. How government cash created the Climategate scandal,” Herald Sun, March 22, 2010.

  6. Brian Angliss. “Final CRU email review considers, overwhelmingly rejects critics' accusations of misconduct,” Scholars & Rogues, July 29, 2010.

  7. Scientific Advisory Forum,” The Scientific Alliance. Accessed November 29, 2011.

  8. Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christainsen,” Profile at Oil, Gas & Energy Law.

  9. PETITION” (PDF), February 23, 2017. Richard Lindzen. PDF Archived at DeSmog.

  10. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Denier Richard Lindzen's List of 300 “Scientists” Sent to Trump Is the Usual Parade of Non-Experts,” DeSmog, February 27, 2017.

  11. Robert Nilsson. “Environmental Tobacco Smoke Revisited: The reliability of the evidence for risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular desease,” The European Science and Environment Forum, March 1998. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents library. Bates Number : 518988738-518988770.

  12. amnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF - Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.

  13. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4

  14. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.

  15. Robin Pogrebin and Somini Sengupta. “A Science Denier at the Natural History Museum? Scientists Rebel,” The New York Times, January 25, 2018. Archived February 13, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tAIv4

  16. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.

  17. mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF - Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.

  18. Mat Hope. “Climate Science Deniers’ Favourite Journal Just got ‘Overhauled’ — And it Could Lead to a Skeptic Shutout,” DeSmog UK, February 23, 2018.

Other Resources

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