Adam Smith Institute (ASI)
The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) is a UK-based nonprofit think tank founded in 1977 by Madsen Pirie, Eamonn Butler and Stuart Butler, with the help of Antony Fisher of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). , , 
The ASI has published articles casting doubt on climate science and indirectly opposed green energy, describing solar power in Britain as an “impossible dream.” , 
- Requiring local authorities to allow private contractors to perform city services.
- Building public infrastructure using private finance.
- Deregulating urban bus services.
- Cutting income tax to a maximum of 40%.
- Using private firms to build and operate prisons.
- Liberalizing laws relating to sale and consumption of alcohol.
- Keeping down duties on alcohol and tobacco.
Stance on Climate Change
While the Adam Smith Institute does not appear to have published an official view on climate change, it regularly posts articles that suggest climate change will not be as serious a problem as mainstream science has suggested. Some examples include:
ASI author Tim Worstall suggested new evidence has arisen “which should stop people worrying so much about climate change. Of course, it’s not going to but it should. That news being that the worst estimates of emissions and thus temperature changes just are never going to take place.” 
“Anything beyond a mild warming is predicated upon the idea of ever more fossil fuel use. If that’s not true because of what we’ve already done then anything beyond a mild warming is not true either,” Worstall concludes.
“The truth about the catastrophic part of climate change is that we’ve already done what we needed to do to avoid it even if the direst original predictions were true.”
September 11, 2013
A blog by the ASI‘s Research Director, Alex Singleton, entitled “Parliament goes hostile on climate change,” said:
“Parliament’s cushy consensus over climate change is dead. In 2008, when the Climate Change Bill had its third reading in the Commons, only five MPs voted against. But with doomsday predictions failing to materialize, and the planet failing to warm, MPs are starting to get more skeptical.” 
The following is from an article posted on the Adam Smith Institute blog by author Brandon Patty.
“[A]s we have seen over the past billions of years, our climate will change; whether humans are making an impact or not. Indeed, this is what climates do.” 
The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) does not disclose its funding sources. The think tank Transparify ranked ASI as one of the four least transparent think tanks in the U.K. regarding their funding in a 2016 report (PDF). 
In an archived version of their website, they declare that “the Adam Smith Institute accepts no government funding. Most of our funding comes from private individuals who believe in liberty and want to see a freer world; the rest comes from various foundations, businesses and the sales of our books.” 
The following is combined data from publicly available 990 forms and data collected by the Conservative Transparency project.
View the attached spreadsheet for details on the Adam Smith Institute’s funding by year (.xlsx).
|John Templeton Foundation||$1,439,853|
|Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation||$40,000|
|Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking||$20,000|
|The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation||$5,500|
|Center for Independent Thought||$5,000|
|Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation||$1,000|
Tobacco Industry Funding
A September 1992 document from The Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers (CECCM) mentioned a recommendation for a “two-phased Adam Smith Institute project on a counter-defence of the traditional values of European individual freedom – within a special project budget of £30,000.” 
According to an 1992 internal Philip Morris memo, ASI also met with PM to discuss preliminary plans for an International Journalism Center to train journalists to be “ideologically consistent with PM‘s issues and interests.” 
|Annabel Denham||Y||Y||Programmes Director, The Entrepreneurs Network|
|Ben Southwood||Y||Y||Y||Y||Head of Research|
|Charlotte Bowyer||Y||Y||Head of Digital Policy Research|
|Ellie Weston||Y||Programmes Officer|
|Flora Laven-Morris||Y||Y||Head of Communications|
|JP Floru||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Kate Andrews||Y||Communications Manager|
|Philip Salter||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Director, The Entrepreneurs Network|
|Sally Thompson||Y||Communications Director|
|Sam Bowman||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Executive Director|
|Sam Dumitriu||Y||Head of Projects|
|Steve Bettison||Y||Operations Director|
|Tim Evans||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Tom Clougherty||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
Fellows & Senior Fellows
|Patrick Crozier||Y||Fellow, Transport|
|Anthony J. Evans||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Cecile Philippe||Y||Y||Y||International Fellow|
|Deepak Lal||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Dominique Lazanski||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Eben Wilson||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Gabriel Stein||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Gavin Kennedy||Y||Y||Fellow, Adam Smith|
|Ian Senior||Y||Y||Y||Fellow, Industry|
|James B. Stanfield||Y||Y||Y||Fellow, Education|
|Jamie Whyte||Y||Senior Fellow|
|John Hibbs||Y||Y||Y||Fellow, Transport|
|JP Floru||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Keith Boyfield||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Kevin Dowd||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Lars Christensen||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Michael Goldsmith||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow, Healthcare|
|Miles Saltiel||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Nigel Hawkins||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Patrick Crozier||Y||Fellow, Transport|
|Richard Teather||Y||Y||Y||Fellow, Taxation|
|Ruth Lea||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow, Economy|
|Terence Kealey||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow, Education|
|Tim Ambler||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Tim Evans||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Tim Worstall||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Tom Clougherty||Y||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Tom Papworth||Y||Y||Senior Fellow|
|Vaclav Klaus||Y||Y||Y||International Fellow|
Board Members (2000)
|Bill Marvin||Comprehensive Medical Review|
|Darrell Issa||Directed Electronics|
|David Duncan||Loranda Corporation|
|H. Rick Otis||RPM Clarklift|
|Hon. Jim Gibson||Nova Voice & Data Systems|
|Joel Anderson||Politically Direct|
|Samuel A. Hardage||Woodfin Suite Hotels|
- Alister Mcfarquhar — Author. 
- Tim Worstall
- Eamonn Butler
- Sam Bowman
- Madsen Pirie
- Tom Clougherty
- Tim Worstall
- Philip Salter
- Steve Bettison
- Ben Southwood
- Tim Ambler
- Nigel Hawkins
- Jan Boucek
- Charlotte Bowyer
- Anton Howes
- Andrew Hutson
- Tom Bowman
- Dr Fred Hansen
- James Lawson
- Kate Andrews
- Eamonn Butler
- Jason Jones
- Vishal Wilde
- Gabriel Stein
- Henry Oliver
- Tom Papworth
- Vuk Vukovic
- Alexander Ulrich
- Preston Byrne
- Ben Southwood
- David Rawcliffe
- Sally Thompson
- JP Floru
- Madsen Pirie
- Sam Dumitriu
- Miles Saltiel
- Carly Zubrzycki
- Nikhil Arora
- Terry Arthur
- Adam Scavette
- Spencer Aland
- Andrew Ian Dodge
- Anna Moore
- Chris Snowdon
- Pete Spence
- Cate Schafer
- Harriet Blackburn
- Matthew Triggs
- Alex Singleton
October 16, 2020
The government announced that the ASI’s Deputy Director Matthew Kilcoyne was one of 21 members appointed to the Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG), described as a “forum for high-level strategic discussions between government, and stakeholders representing a cross-section of interests from all parts of the UK on trade policy matters.” 
October 6, 2020
The ASI’s Head of Research, Matthew Lesh, wrote an article in The Telegraph disputing the cost implications of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to power every home in Britain with wind energy by 2030. Lesh stated: “Sadly, however, Old Boris was right. The capital and operating costs of wind remain extremely high. Wind cannot provide reliable energy, causes substantial broader grid costs and risks blackouts.” 
He added: “When the sun stops shining and the wind stops blowing, we need backup coal, gas or nuclear. This means funding the cost of maintaining equivalent backup capacity. (Despite improvements, batteries remain far too low capacity and expensive to make up for the intermittency of solar and wind.)”
October 10, 2019
The ASI‘s Head of Research, Matthew Lesh, wrote an article in The Telegraph criticising ongoing protests by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion. He called the movement a “doomsday cult, devoid of any association with reality” and finished by saying: 
“Climate change is a serious problem…But broadly speaking, the market system is perfectly capable of responding to these issues — without the need for apocalyptic predictions or the immiserating solutions demanded by Extinction Rebellion.” 
October 14, 2016
The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) released a report describing solar power in Britian as an “Impossible Dream.” The paper (PDF), authored by Dr. Capell Aris, is co-sponsored by the ASI and The Scientific Alliance. 
The paper, which attempts to refute the idea that a combination of wind power generation and solar power can provide a secure, affordable, and low carbon energy supply for the UK and EU, concludes that “no combination of wind and solar energy with backup storage would be suitable to supply a significant proportion of grid electricity without full conventional backup being available.” 
October 24, 2014
The Adam Smith Institute co-released a report with the Scientific Alliance titled “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation” (PDF). 
According to the report summary, “The UK wind debate assumes that wind farms operate at roughly their average output most of the time. According to Dr. Capell Aris’ new paper produced in concert with the Scientific Alliance this is not true.” 
September 11, 2013
The ASI published a blog by the ASI‘s Research Director, Alex Singleton, entitled “Parliament goes hostile on climate change,” in which Singleton claims that “doomsday predictions” about climate change were “failing to materialize” and that the planet was “failing to warm.” 
The blog quotes numerous MPs with a record of climate science denial and opposition to climate policy, including David Davies, Graham Stringer, Sammy Wilson, Peter Lilley and Philip Davies, speaking in a House of Commons Westminster Hall debate on the topic. 
December 12, 2011
ASI co-published the report with the Scientific Alliance, an organization originally set up by the director of the British Aggregates Association, Roburt Durward, who has called himself a “businessman who is totally fed up with all this environmental stuff […] much of which is unjustified, such as the climate change levy.” 
Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute, was listed on the National Center for Policy Analysis “Environmental Task Force” that contributed to the NCPA report “Progressive Environmentalism: A Pro-Human, Pro-Science, Pro-Free Enterprise Agenda for Change” (PDF). 
The report refers to a group of “reactionary environmentalists” who “do not believe in human progress,” who “idealiz[e] the life of the American Indian or life in medieval communities.” According to the authors, this group is “united by a distaste for modern industrial society and what borders on worship of the peasant way of life.”
The NCPA report classifies this group as “Anti-Human,” “Anti-Technology,” “Anti-Science,” “Anti-Growth,” “Anti-Free Enterprise,” and as “The Disaster Lobby” by “thriv[ing]” on crisis.
The report includes a section on climate change, that implies global warming would be beneficial. See excerpts below:
“[E]vidence suggests that warmth is life-enhancing and life-sustaining, whereas cold is life-threatening […]”
“[A]tmospheric CO2 levels have varied radically as life on earth has evolved. Moreover, just as warmth has always been unambiguously good for life, so has CO2 […]”
“Although CO2 levels in the atmosphere have fluctuated over time, a secular decline in CO2 has been going on throughout the 4.5 billion-year history of the Earth. If this trend continues, and there is no scientific reason to think it willn ot, eventually our planet will become as lifeless as Mars.”
- Bruce N. Ames — Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
- University of California at Berkeley.
- Terry L. Anderson — Senior Associate, Political Economy Research Center.
- Larry P. Arnn — President, Claremont Institute.
- Barry Asmus — Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis.
- John A. Baden — Chairman, Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment.
- Mikhail S. Bernstam — Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institute.
- Walter Block — Senior Research Fellow, Fraser Institute.
- James Bovard — Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.
- Sam Brunelli — Executive Director, American Legislative Exchange Council.
- Eamonn Butler — Director, Adam Smith Institute, London, England.
- Alston Chase — Author: Playing God in Yellowstone.
- Lucy Clark — Associate Director of the Judicial Studies Program, Manhattan Institute.
- Kenneth Clarkson — Director, Law and Economics Center, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
- William J. Dennis, Jr. — Senior Research Fellow, The NFIB Foundation.
- Tom DiLorenzo — Director, Center for Economic Education University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
- Becky Norton Dunlop — Former Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
- Stephen Gold — Executive Director, Citizens for the Environment.
- John C. Goodman — President, National Center for Policy Analysis.
- Robert E. Gordon, Jr. — Director, National Wilderness Institute.
- William M. H. Hammett — President, Manhattan Institute.
- Stephen H. Hanke — Professor of Applied Economics, The Johns Hopkins University.
- Robert Hawkins — President, Institute for Contemporary Studies.
- Edward L. Hudgins — Deputy Director, Economic Policy Studies, Heritage Foundation.
- Sherwood Idso — Adjunct Professor of Botany & Geography, Arizona State University.
- Kent Jeffreys — Environmental Policy Analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute.
- Bruce Johnson — Research Director, The Independent Institute.
- Jo Kwong — Director of Public Affairs, Atlas Economic Research Foundation.
- Kathy Kushner — Research Fellow, Hudson Institute.
- Donald Leal — Research Associate, Political Economy Research Center.
- Dwight Lee — Adjunct Professor, Center for the Study of American Business.
- Greg Lindsay — Executive Director, Centre for Independent Studies, St. Leonards, ustralia.
- Madsen Pirie — President, Adam Smith Institute, London, England.
- Virginia Postrel — Editor of Reason, Reason Foundation.
- Lynn Scarlett — Vice President of Research, Reason Foundation.
- Jane S. Shaw — Senior Associate, Political Economy Research Center.
- Randy T. Simmons — Director, Institute of Political Economy, Utah State University.
- Julian L. Simon — Professor of Business Administration, University of Maryland.
- S. Fred Singer — Director, Project on Science and Environmental Policy.
- Fred L. Smith — President, Competitive Enterprise Institute.
- Robert J. Smith — Director of Environmental Studies, Cato Institute.
- Richard L. Stroup — Senior Associate, Political Economy Research Center.
- Norman Ture — President, Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation.
- Jerry Taylor — Legislative Director, American Legislative Exchange Council.
- Ronald Utt — Vice President, National Chamber Foundation.
- Elizabeth Whelan — President, American Council of Science and Health.
- Aaron Wildavsky — Professor of Political Science & Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley.
- C. Edwin Baker — Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy, Independence Institute, Golden, Colorado.
- Joseph L. Bast — President, Heartland Institute, Chicago, Illinois.
- Clint Bolick — Director, Landmark Center for Civil Rights, Washington, D.C.
- John Carlson — President, Washington Institute for Policy Studies, Bellevue, Washington.
- Robert Allan Cooke — Director, Institute for Business Ethics, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.
- John W. Cooper — Executive Director, James Madison Institute, Tallahassee, Florida.
- D. Allen Dalton — Director, Center for the Study of Market Alternatives, Caldwell, Idaho.
- Mark Greenfield — Executive Director, Heartland Institute, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Michael S. Greve — Executive Director, Center for Individual Rights, Washington, D.C.
- Steve Hayward — Director, Golden State Center for Policy Studies, Claremont Institute, Sacramento, California.
- John M. Hood — Publications and Research Director, John Locke Foundation, Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Barbara Keating-Edh — President, Consumer Alert, Modesto, California.
- Tex Lezar — President, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Dallas, Texas.
- James H. Miller — President, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Joseph A. Morris — President & General Counsel, Lincoln Legal Foundation
- Chicago, Illinois.
- William C. Myers — Executive Vice President, South Carolina Policy Council,
- Columbia, South Carolina
- Lawrence W. Reed — President, Mackinac Center, Midland, Michigan.
- Scott J. Relan — President, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Oxford, Mississippi.
- Michael Sanera — President Barry, Goldwater Institute for Public Policy Research
- Flagstaff, Arizona.
- Thomas R. Saving — Director, Center for Education and Research in Free Enterprise, College Station, Texas.
- William C. Schilling — Executive Director, Wyoming Heritage Society,
- Casper, Wyoming
- Timothy Seibel — Director for Land Use and Environmental Studies, Claremont Institute Montclair, California.
- Joe M. Sloan, Jr. — President, California Conservation Coalition, Whittier, California.
- Fritz S. Steiger — Executive Vice President & CEO, Texas Public Policy Foundation, San Antonio, Texas.
- Martin J. Summers — Research Associate, Institute of Economic Affairs, London, England.
- Judy Swafford — Director, Southwest Policy Institute, Edmond, Oklahoma.
- Robert Taylor — Fellow, Institute for Humane Studies, Fairfax, Virginia.
- David J. Theroux — President, The Independent Institute, Oakland, California.
- Michael Warder — Executive Vice President, Rockford Institute, Rockford, Illinois.
- William W. Weston — President, Foundation Francisco Marroquin, Stuart, Florida.
Adam Smith Institute Contact & Location
Adam Smith Institute,
23 Great Smith Street,
London SW1P 3BL,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7222 4995
Email: [email protected]
- Adam Smith International
The Adam Smith Institute had past affiliation with Adam Smith International: “Adam Smith International was set up in 1991 by a former Adam Smith Institute staff member. Since its initial work was on privatisation, two of the founders of the Institute served on its board. Even then, however, the two organisations (International and Institute) were financially and operationally independent. All formal ties were severed around five years ago. Since then there has been no overlap of staff or ownership at all.” 
- Scientific Alliance
ASI has co-authored reports with the Scientific Alliance, a group that SourceWatch notes is populated by Britain’s most prominent biotechnology enthusiasts and climate change sceptics including Sallie Baliunas. 
“Think Tank – the Story of the Adam Smith Institute,” Adam Smith Institute, February 14, 2012. Archived January 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KaYQI
Denham, Andrew; Garnett, Mark (January 1999). “Influence without responsibility? Think-tanks in Britain,” Parliamentary Affairs 51 (1): 46–57.
Philip Morris, “The Influence of the Adam Smith Institute,” Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, Bates No 2065244208, December 1994 (estimated). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
“How Transparent are Think Tanks about Who Funds Them 2016?” (PDF), Transparify, June 29, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers Limited, “Board Meeting to be held at 1000am on Tuesday, 8 September 1992,” page 2. Bates number:500002882-500002883. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Craig Fuller “January Monthly Report”, Memo, February 4, 1992, Bates Number 2024671858/1861. Retrieved from Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Alister McFarquehar. “Planning Rape: Land Use Policy and Local Government Finance in the UK” (PDF), Adam Smith Institute, 1999. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Dr. Capell Aris. “Solar Power in Britain The impossible dream” (PDF), Adam Smith Institute and The Scientific Alliance, October 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Dr. Capell Aris. “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation” (PDF), The Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute, October, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Ben Southward. “Wind Power Reassessed: A review of the UK wind resource for electricity generation,” Adam Smith Institute, October 27, 2014. Archived January 10, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/PfN6y
“Progressive Environmentalism: A Pro-Human, Pro-Science, Pro-Free Enterprise Agenda for Change” (PDF), National Center for Policy Analysis, April 1991. Retrieved from Greenpeace USA. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Alex Singleton. “Parliament goes hostile on climate change,” Adam Smith Institute, September 11, 2013. Archived April 30, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
Matthew Lesh. “Extinction Rebellion’s clueless doom-mongering is finally getting the scrutiny it deserves,” The Telegraph, October 10, 2019. Archived October 10, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/nT8iB
“Health groups dismayed by news ‘big tobacco’ funded rightwing thinktanks.” The Observer, June 1, 2013. Archived September 29, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/TRdJz
Matthew Lesh. “Old Boris was right: wind power is expensive, statist and won’t deliver the reliable energy we need,” The Telegraph, October 6, 2020. Archived December 14, 2020. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/3zKbZ