Gerrit Cornelis van Kooten

Gerrit Cornelis van Kooten

Credentials

Background

G. Cornelis van Kooten teaches climate change economics at the Department of Economics at the University of Victoria, Canada.7Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten,” University of Victoria. Archived January 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/BCku7

Cornelis van Kooten has previously held positions at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, School of Management at Groningen University in the Netherlands, Departments of Agricultural Economics and Forest Resources Management and Agricultural Economics at the University of British Columbia and at the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics at the University of Nevada.8“Curriculum Vitae: G. Cornelis van Kooten” (PDF), retrieved from the University of Victoria website. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

As Canada Research Chair in Environmental studies, Cornelis van Kooten claims that “Climate science often ignores economic considerations, and climate models do not usually include interactive economic sectors, making it difficult to explore cost-effective policy responses to climate change and its consequences.” He is described as a leader in “devising effective economic measures for analyzing various aspects of the environment.”9G. Cornelis van Kooten,” Canada Research Chairs (chairs-chaires.gc.ca). Archived January 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/m9TBa

According to his CV, van Kooten’s professional experience is in the field of natural resource economics including non-market valuation, bio-economic modeling of wildlife populations, economics of carbon sequestration, managing lands for multiple trade-offs, and the economics of renewable energy.10Curriculum Vitae,” G Cornelis van Kooten. Archived January 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6CC0w

Van Kooten is a climate change skeptic affiliated with a number of groups that actively dispute the existence of man-made climate change. He has been an “Expert” at the Heartland Institute and is currently a senior fellow of both the Fraser Institute11Cornelis ‘Kees’ van Kooten,” Fraser Institute. Archived January 17, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/n1e3t and the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.12Who We Are,” Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. Archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/JY9nt

The Cornwall Alliance is an evangelical Christian group founded in 2006 by Calvin Beisner that claims environmentalism is “one of the greatest threats to society and the church today.”13“Cornwall Alliance Background information for reporters” (PDF), DeSmog UK. The group’s “Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” states “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”14An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” Cornwall Alliance, May 1, 2009. Archived July 22, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/8u6AZ

Van Kooten has reportedly described himself as a “right-leaning environmentalist.”15Dirk Meissner. “Thousands of B.C. forest workers jobless as sawmills shut down,” The Globe and Mail, June 21, 2008. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/vcWW3

Stance on Climate Change

April 21, 2020

An author listed as Cornelis Van Kooten wrote the following in a post at a University of Victoria “Online Academic Community” WordPress blog titled Resource Economics & Policy Analysis:16G. Cornelis van Kooten. “UNPREPARED: Covid-19, Locusts, Refugees, Floods and Climate Change,” Resource Economics & Policy Analysis (UVic Online Academic Community site), April 21, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/I9zzI

“The climate emergency is not an emergency at all. Why? Because the problem is easy to solve. There are two simple solutions if we are only willing to consider them rationally. First, engineers have shown that it is possible to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by direct air capture, and then store it. Initially, the cost will be expensive, but nothing even close to what the coronavirus will cost. Further, while the technology develops, we can wait to see how fast temperatures are rising, and what sorts of damages we might expect.

“Second is an option that would need to be implemented sooner, but would benefit society nonetheless. Working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a group of nuclear engineers at TerraPower has developed a Traveling Wave nuclear Reactor (TWR) that is absolutely safe to use. If significant numbers of TWRs could be built, costs would be competitive with other sources of power generation. Indeed, as my own research (and that of others) has shown, any serious effort to reduce CO2 emissions from the generation of electricity will require a shift toward nuclear energy. If environmentalists oppose nuclear energy, they will have no other way to retain an economic standard of living that is even close to what we enjoy now and, at the same time, reduce CO2 emissions by even half.

Unfortunately, the main obstacle to the avoidance of catastrophes, such as COVID-19, occurs when (1) our focus shifts from immediate, real threats to future questionable ones; and, (2) all current problems are blamed on the questionable future threat. By putting all of our preparedness eggs in the climate-change basket, we are left not only to weather the storms associated with those threats for which we are unprepared. By attributing all our problems to climate change, we also assume there is one single solution to all our problems and that is to stop burning fossil fuels. How naïve have we become?”

February 2020

“The correlation between CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 is taken to constitute evidence that human activities are responsible for climate change. However, there is no straightforward causal link between human fossil fuel use and temperatures, although this remains an area of contention,” van Kooten wrote in a working paper titled “Climate Change and Agriculture” via the Resource Economics & Policy Analysis Research Group at the University of Victoria.17G. Cornelis van Kooten. “Climate Change and Agriculture,” Resource Economics & Policy Analysis Research Group (Department of Economics, University of Victoria), February 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

He cited his own 2013 book, Climate Change, Climate Science and Economics: Prospects for an
Alternative Energy Future
, as well as a piece co-authored by Ross McKitrick to support this point.

December 10, 2012

Van Kooten wrote at his website in a post titled “Climate Confusion“:

“I am more convinced that changes in solar activities (whether sunspots, various types of cycles, etc.) are a better explanation of changing temperatures and possible global warming than CO2.”18Climate Confusion,” G Cornelis van Kooten, December 10, 2012. Archived January 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Do2jI

[…]

“In my view, the only real threat to humanity comes from sea level rise, and it is miniscule. The threats to polar bears, ecosystems, agriculture, etc., are vastly overstated and, in many cases, non-existent. I have yet to see convincing evidence that the threats are going to be catastrophic. From my perspective, I would welcome 5 to 8 degrees of warming, or even more. Warm weather is much better for one’s health than cold weather (as shown in peer-reviewed research),” van Kooten wrote.

September 20, 2011

Van Kooten wrote the following in an article at his website titled “Climate Change and Poverty“:

“It might come as a surprise to many, but there is no consensus regarding global warming. The science underpinning the view that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 are leading to runaway global warming is unsettled. There never was a consensus. Nor does science operate on the basis of consensus. If anything, the scientific evidence has sharply turned against the idea that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is underway.”19Climate Change and Poverty,” G Cornelis van Kooten, September 20, 2011. Archived January 6, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/xMICx

Key Quotes

October 21, 2021

“Despite what advocates claim, renewable power—including wind and solar—isn’t free and comes with only modest benefits to the environment,” van Kooten said in a Fraser Institute press release announcing his report for the think tank. 20(Press Release). “Replacing Canada’s coal-fired power plants with wind and solar would cost between $16.8 and $33.7 billion annually” (PDF), Fraser Institute, October 21, 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by replacing coal-fired power with wind and solar would prove extremely costly, and still wouldn’t meet the federal government’s climate targets,” he added.

June 2021

The following is from a working paper co-authored by van Kooten as part of his work with the Resource Economics & Policy Analysis (REPA) group at the University of Victoria.21G. Cornelis van Kooten, Mark E. Eiswerth, Jonathan Izett and Alyssa R. Russell. “Climate Change and the Social Cost of Carbon: DICE Explained and Expanded” (PDF), Resource Economics & Policy Analysis Research Group (Department of Economics, University of Victoria), June 2021.

“Climate change is a contentious policy issue (Tol 2014; Nordhaus 2013). There is a great deal of uncertainty concerning climate change, especially regarding (1) the projected increase in average global temperatures (McKitrick & Christy 2019a; Lewis & Curry 2018; Hourdin et al. 2017; Millar et al. 2017; McKitrick & Vogelsang 2014); (2) the regional changes in climate that might be expected (Koonin 2021; McKitrick & Christy 2019b; Pielke 2018; Lomborg 2007); and (3) the contribution to global warming of human activities (e.g., burning of fossil fuels, land use changes) versus that of natural factors (e.g., CO2 release from or absorption by oceans, changes in the sun’s activities) (Koutsoyiannis 2021; Maher et al. 2020; Lindzen 2020; Zharkova et al. 2019; Frank 2019; Richard 2019; de Larminat 2016, 2019; Svensmark et al. 2017; McKitrick & Nierenberg 2011; McKitrick & Michaels 2004, 2007; Khilyuk & Chilingar 2006; de Laat & Maurellis 2004, 2006).”

It is worth taking a closer look at the names van Kooten et al. cited above, as a number have been profiles by DeSmog. For example:

This is only a small sample of many cited in the full references section of the working paper.

March 2021

Van Kooten wrote the following in a working paper of the REPA (Resource Economics & Policy Analysis) group at the University of Victoria’s Department of Economics. REPA research is directed by Van Kooten.22G. Cornelis van Kooten. “Climate Change and Economics: Update” (PDF), December 2021. Resource Economics & Policy Analysis Research Group (Department of Economics, University of Victoria). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Any climate policies that result in a reduction in the prospects of the poorest should be avoided, even if that means the rest of the world needs to adapt to climate change. Indeed, from that perspective, the ultimate question is whether mitigation or adaptation is the better option. Here is where economics has a role to play.

It is important to realize that climate change is a crisis built upon a computer modeling scaffold that ignores or downplays actual data, and that economic models drive the climate policy process…”

The paper concludes in its “discussion” section that adaptation may be the only possible response to climate change:

“It has been evident for years that huge and growing energy demands by China, India and other emerging nations and the Net Zero agenda being pursued by the USA, UK, EU and other western countries are incompatible when it comes to mitigation of climate change. It also appears that an agreement to resolve this incompatibility may be insurmountable.

“However, if the price for a COP26 compromise is the abandonment of the 1.5C goal, the West’s 2050 Net Zero agenda itself would become futile and self-destructive in face of China’s unrestrained expansion of cheap energy and its rise to global dominance. Clearly, all signs point to adaptation as opposed to mitigation as the best and perhaps only means for tackling climate change.”

April 21, 2020

An author listing himself as G. Cornelis van Kooten wrote the following in a post titled “Climate Change and Wildfires” at a University of Victoria “Online Academic Community” WordPress blog titled Resource Economics & Policy Analysis:23G. Cornelis van Kooten. “Climate Change and Wildfires,” Resource Economics & Policy Analysis (UVic Online Academic Community site), April 21, 2020. Archived January 18, 2022.

“To summarize: There is no evidence to suggest that there are more wildfires today than they were in the past. Rather, the data and scientific studies indicate that there are less wildfires, although their damage might be greater as more people live in areas impacted by fire and smoke. It would be erroneous, however, to argue that climate change is causing more wildfires and that wildfires, in turn, are resulting in greater global warming. If anything, one might argue that climate change is actually reducing wildfire numbers and area burnt, although, in my mind, this too would be a reckless conclusion.”

The blog, as of 2022, included only two posts both published on April 21, 2020. The other, also listing van Kooten as author, is titled “UNPREPARED: Covid-19, Locusts, Refugees, Floods and Climate Change” in which he claims Environmentalists are “delighted” by Covid-19, and makes comparisons to climate change: 24G. Cornelis van Kooten. “UNPREPARED: Covid-19, Locusts, Refugees, Floods and Climate Change,” Resource Economics & Policy Analysis (UVic Online Academic Community site), April 21, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/I9zzI

“Environmentalists are delighted. First, they view the Covid-19 as a harbinger of the future. The decline in economic activity has reduced fossil fuel use without, in their view, little adverse impact on what is important. Addressing climate change does not involve social distancing, the closure of schools or restaurants, et cetera. Environmentalists conclude that we can do without airline travel, and more of us can work from home,” van Kooten wrote in the post.

Second, Covid-19 deaths are considered to be a blessing in disguise as they eliminate the weakest in society, bringing down the population and reducing the adverse impact that people have on the environment. After all, the climate agenda is built on earlier Malthusian fears that natural resources would run out as a result of unchecked population growth. The modern need for population control owes as much to the eugenics movement as to Malthus, as Robert Zubrin points out in his excellent book, Merchants of Despair.” (Bold emphasis added)

“Third, some environmentalists have sought to link the Covid-19 pandemic to climate change. They argue that action is needed immediately to address climate change and thereby avoid another pandemic. This was evident in the attempt by Democrats to include subsidies for renewable energy in a $2.2 trillion package to help stimulate the economy and provide help to those hurt by the policy measures that have been enacted.”

November 2015

Citing a paper by Bjorn Lomborg, van Kooten wrote at his blog:25Impact of Paris,” G Cornelis van Kooten, November 10, 2015. Archived January 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/KvxNb

“…the impact of Paris — the Obama legacy — is empty; when it comes to global warming, the impact of Paris is swallowed up in the measurement error. Its biggest impact will come via the havoc it could imply for the global economy.”

June 2015

Van Kooten concluded his presentation at the Heartland Institute‘s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10):26G. Cornelis van Kooten, ICCC10 (Panel 5),” Heartland Institute. Archived. mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“…even if nations conclude an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions, it will cost a lot of money but have no perceptible impact whatsoever on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global warming, if it’s a real thing.”

February 2011

Van Kooten was quoted in an article at Martlet:

“[Carbon dioxide] has no relation to temperature rises.” 

“Using the U.S. weather rating system, only 8,000 of the 22,000 weather stations [used to document global temperature rises] are reliable.”

“[Gross domestic product] is a non-climactic factor that causes temperature to go up. There is no statistical relationship between CO2 and temperature.”

“You can’t do policy without reading the other side. [… ] I’m becoming a denier more and more, the more I listen to these guys [climate scientists in agreement about global warming]. It’s a religion to them.27”Mark Worthing. “Professor raises eyebrows for contesting climate change,” Martlet, Volume 63, Issue 21 (February 3, 2011). Archived June 19, 2013. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/P6DD0

April 9, 2012

Writing at his website, van Kooten wrote a response to an opinion piece by David Suzuki:

“If anything, it is [David] Suzuki who has abandoned science, not the scientists who question the IPCC, whether of the religious right or not. Suzuki has become post modern.”28Response to David Suzuki Critique of Scientists,” G Cornelis van Kooten, April 9, 2012. Archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/4VF0D

Key Deeds

October 21, 2021

Van Kooten wrote a Fraser Institute report titled “Canadian Climate Policy and its Implications for Electricity Grids” (PDF).29G. Cornelis van Kooten. “Canadian Climate Policy and its Implications for Electricity Grids” (PDF), Fraser Institute, October 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

According to the press release, van Kooten’s “study finds that shutting down coal-fired power plants—which accounted for 9.2 per cent of electricity generation in Canada in 2017—and replacing them with wind and solar would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 7.4 per cent but increase the costs of operating the electricity grid by between $16.8 billion and $33.7 billion a year—or 1 to 2 per cent of Canada’s annual GDP—depending on the weather impacting wind and solar power.” 30(Press Release). “Replacing Canada’s coal-fired power plants with wind and solar would cost between $16.8 and $33.7 billion annually” (PDF), Fraser Institute, October 21, 2021. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In his report’s introduction, van Kooten suggested Canada’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40–45 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels was “a huge challenge that, when considered on a global scale, will do little to stop climate change because emissions by developing countries are rising faster than emissions are being reduced in developed countries.”

An Earth and Environmental Sciences instructor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University told CTV News that the Fraser Institute report was based on assumptions:31Michael Franklin. “Renewable power has high cost, Fraser Institute says, but province calls it ‘unrealistic’,CTV News, October 21, 2021. Archived January 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/AiHTa

“It seems that the estimate is comparing new solar and wind to existing coal. That is not a true comparison (as) the coal plants will all wear out, some sooner than others and will need to be replaced,” he said in an email to CTV News.

“It assumes new natural gas backup plants ‘for when the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining.’ This presumes these are cheaper than storage concepts. It also presumes that existing natural gas plants can’t be repurposed. It also presumes that the grid cant be redesigned to overcome localized power interruptions.”

Van Kooten co-published a guest opinion article in the Edmonton Sun with Fraser Institute analyst Elmira Aliakbari promoting the study. They argued in the piece that “Canadians should understand that at the very least the forced transition to renewables will impose real costs in the form of higher energy bills.”32Cornelis van Kooten and Elmira Aliakbari. “Guest Opinion: Forced transition to wind and solar will impose real costs on Canadians,” Edmonton Sun, October 27, 2021. Archived January 17. 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/mg8o4

“Simply put, there’s no free lunch when it comes to forced energy transitions,” they concluded.

May 14, 2019

Cornelis van Kooten wrote an article titled “The Problem of Renewable Energy and Intermittency” at the “free market energy blog” MasterResource.33Cornelis van Kooten. “The Problem of Renewable Energy and Intermittency,MasterResource, May 14, 2019. Archived January 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/oBEyC

“One only needs to look at what has happened in Germany and other countries that rely on increasing amounts of solar and wind power (while abandoning nuclear energy and building new coal capacity) to determine the futility of trying to become 100% carbon neutral,” van Kooten wrote.

“Studies find that the cost of electricity increases as the penetration of wind and solar into the system increase. And there is often little benefit in terms of reduced CO2 emissions.”

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.34Robin 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 URL: https://archive.is/tAIv4

Van Kooten 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 Coalition, Richard 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 2008.35Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.

The letter reads:36mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.

“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!”

June 11–12, 2015

Cornelis van Kooten was a speaker on Panel 5: “Climate Program Impacts,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with Paul Driessen and Wolfgang Müller. 37Speakers,” Heartland Institute. Archived June 30, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/lpiqu

View Cornelis van Kooten’s Panel 5 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below:38G. Cornelis van Kooten, ICCC10 (Panel 5),” Heartland Institute. Archived. mp4 on file at DeSmog.

May 12, 2015

Gerrit Cornelis van Kooten is a signatory to an open letter to Pope Francis on climate change. The letter invites the Pope to reconsider his views on climate change before his upcoming encyclical letter on the environment, which is widely expected to call for measures to prevent climate change in the interests of the world’s poor. 

The open letter was coordinated and signed by Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance. According to the letter, “Good climate policy must recognize human exceptionalism, the God-given call for human persons to ‘have dominion’ in the natural world (Genesis 1:28), and the need to protect the poor from harm, including actions that hinder their ascent out of poverty.”39An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance For the Stewardship of Creation. April 27, 2015. Archived January 7, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3iYMt

Another excerpt below:

”[…] the [climate] models are wrong. They therefore provide no rational basis to forecast dangerous human-induced global warming, and therefore no rational basis for efforts to reduce warming by restricting the use of fossil fuels or any other means.”

Judith Curry comments on her blog Climate Etcthat “Arguably the most effective ‘pushback’ comes from Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, who coordinated An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change.”40Judith Curry. “Pope Francis, climate change, and morality,” JudithCurry.com, April 29, 2015. Archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/WpM6v

March 27, 2013

B.C. Auditor General John Doyle released a report (PDF) damning B.C.’s carbon trading system. The only academic paper mentioned in the audit was on page 27, and was a study done by Cornelis van Kooten that related to forest carbon credits. The report pulls the following quote from van Kooten’s 2012 report, titled “Rent Seeking and the Smoke and Mirrors Game in the Creation of Forest Sector Carbon Credits: An example from British Columbia” (PDF)

Because commercial exploitation was the counterfactual used to justify the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) carbon offsets, offsets were subsequently sold to non-arms-length buyers, and numbers of carbon offsets are highly sensitive to assumptions, one can only conclude that the carbon offsets generated by this (and probably many other) forest conservation projects are simply spurious.41An Audit of Carbon Neutral Government” (PDF), bcauditor.com, Report 14 (March, 2013). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Cornelis Van Kooten’s study is listed as “working paper” at research group Resource Economics and Policy Analysis (REPA) where van Kooten is Director. Van Kooten’s report criticized international climate negotiators for allowing certified emissions-reduction credits. These credits were designed to maintain biodiversity and improve indigenous standard of living.42About the REPA Research Group,Resource Economics and Policy Analysis. Archived January 17, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/AQopo

John Doyle’s report examined two projects that the government had purchased to achieve carbon neutrality (the Darkwoods Forest Carbon project and the Encana Underbalanced Drilling project), and he concluded that “this claim of carbon neutrality is not accurate, as neither project provided credible offsets.”

Vancouver’s Georgia Straight reports how Doyle criticized Pacific Carbon Trust, a Crown corporation, for buying carbon credits and claimed that both projects would have succeeded had there been no offsets.43Charlie Smith. “Climate skeptic’s research laid foundation for B.C. auditor general’s report on carbon trading,” The Georgia Straight, April 1, 2013. Archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rxJIr

The Government rejected Doyle’s report, saying that it was not valid due to the fact that the auditor general’s office is not an accredit expert in carbon offsets.44“Auditor general delivers damning report on B.C.’s carbon trading system, Crown corporation that managed funds,” Vancouver Sun, March 27, 2013. Archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/qDyvn

August 2012/2013

Cornelis van Kooten published a book titled Climate Change, Climate Science and Economics (Springer, 2013). His book includes a chapter on “Alternative Explanations” of climate change that include cosmological origins, as well as a chapter on implementing policy (“government intervention […] worsens rather than helps the situation.”) and a chapter on the possibility of “avoiding emissions reduction” by using carbon sinks. 

January 28, 2011

The Martlet, An independent newspaper at the university of Victoria, reported on one of Cornelis van Kooten’s regular lectures on the “Economics of Climate Change.” During his lecture, van Kooten said that “CO2 has no relation to temperature rises,” and also pointed to a case study of two rooftop weather stations on Victoria Elementary schools that he said were examples of the Urban Heat Island affect. In the case study, van Kooten suggested that the hot air vents and nearby woodworking shop influenced the accuracy of the weather stations.45”Mark Worthing. “Professor raises eyebrows for contesting climate change,” Martlet, Volume 63, Issue 21 (February 3, 2011). Archived June 19, 2013. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/P6DD0

Cornelis van Kooten also claimed that “Using the U.S. weather rating system, only 8,000 of the 22,000 weather stations [used to document global temperature rises] are reliable.” A similar claim has been made by climate change skeptic and founder of SurfaceStations.org Anthony Watts. These claims were recently examined and proven to be false by the Berkeley Earth project.

Near the end of van Kooten’s lecture, Tom Pederson (director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions) interjected and challenged van Kooten’s methods:

“If one is going to draw deductions based on global warming trends, one needs to be very familiar with expert literature and speak to experts, many of whom are on this campus,” he said. 

Rob McDonald, a student who had previously dropped out of van Kooten’s Climate Economics class, also disagreed with van Kooten’s teaching methods. He had this to say to The Martlet:

“An economics professor should not be trying to dispute science in an economics class. Also, he shows little academic integrity by using a book that he wrote that has not been reviewed as the textbook, and also by giving his very one-sided and narrow view of climate change without letting people know all the different things scientists are saying on the issue.”

April 2006

Cornelis van Kooten was a signatory to a 2006 open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The letter, titled “Open Kyoto to Debate” was signed by “accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines.” According to the letter, “Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes” and “allocating funds to ‘stopping climate change’ would be irrational.”46Richard Littlemore. “Denying Climate Change; Urging Inaction,DeSmog, April 19, 2006.

2006

G Cornelis van Kooten is a signatory to the “Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” a document put forth by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation of which he is a senior fellow. The declaration describes Earth as “created by God’s intelligent design,” and as such is “robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting” and that “Earth’s climate system is no exception.”47Prominent Signers of ‘An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming’,” Cornwall Alliance, May 1, 2009 (through January 14, 2010). archived January 7, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/YrVJy

Here are some key points of the declaration [emphasis added]:

  • “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.”
  • “We believe mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, achievable mainly by greatly reduced use of fossil fuels, will greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.”
  • We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”
  • “We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.”
  • “We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. “
  • “Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.”
  • “We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.”

The declaration also leaves a call-to-action for Christian leaders to “embrace Biblical thinking, sound science, and careful economic analysis in creation stewardship” and for political leaders “to adopt policies that protect human liberty, make energy more affordable, and free the poor to rise out of poverty, while abandoning fruitless, indeed harmful policies to control global temperature.”

Affiliations

Publications

According to his C.V., van Kooten has published 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and 40 book chapters and is the author or co-author of four books on land and forest economics, two books on climate change, and co-editor of three books. According to a search of peer-reviewed literature, most of his peer-reviewed articles are in the area of economics (his books also appear to focus on the Economics of climate change). 

A full list of his peer-reviewed literature is availabe on Google Scholar. 

Other Resources

Resources

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