Benny Peiser

Please note, this page has been archived since 2011 and will not be updated. 

Dr Benny Peiser is director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and has been quoted extensively in the press in this capacity. He writes regularly for the National Post in Canada. Dr Peiser was until recently a part-time senior lecturer in sports science at Liverpool John Moores University.

Dr Peiser is the co-editor of the journal Energy and Environment, which has been described as a "journal for climate sceptics." The journal is not listed by the ISI Web of Knowledge as a peer-reviewed title. Dr Peiser's peer-reviewed publications include an article on on the frequency and consequences of 'cosmic impacts', one on the effects of environmental factors on the Olympic games, and one on how human activity levels vary with the seasons. Peiser is not a climate scientist and does not claim to be. He is described by the libertarian US based Heartland Institute as a "global warming expert."

Dr Peiser was quoted in the Times on December 1, 2009 in relation to Nasa forecasts concerning climate change saying: "The predictions come thick and fast, but we take them all with a pinch of salt. We look out of the window and it's very cold, it doesn't seem to be warming. We're very concerned that 100-year policies are being made on the basis of these predictions." During a debate at the Oxford Union in 2005 he stated: "While magnifying the possible risks to health and mortality as a result of warmer temperatures, many underrate or simply discount the possible health benefits of moderate warming."

Dr Peiser produced a critique of a peer reviewed paper titled Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change authored by Dr Naomi Oreskes, professor of history and science studies at the University of California, and published in Science in December 2004.

Dr Oreskes looked at 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 and found that 75 percent supported the consensus scientific view of climate change, as expressed by the IPCC, with none challenging it. However, Dr Peiser attacked the finding in robust terms. He started by pointing out that that Oreskes had used the search term "global climate change" rather than "climate change" when assessing the ISI database of peer review papers. Conducting his own study of articles - including those that were not peer reviewed - he claimed 34 papers challenged the consensus.

However in a letter to the Australian organisation Media Watch on 12 October 2006 he retracted this claim, saying that "I no longer maintain this particular criticism. In addition, some of the abstracts that I included in the 34 "reject or doubt" category are very ambiguous and should not have been included." He later admitted he had found only one study explicitly rejecting the consensus. This paper was not peer reviewed and was published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

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