Iain Murray

Iain Murray

Credentials

Background

Iain Murray is Vice President for Strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) where he also directs the Center for Economic Freedom. Murray is originally from the United Kingdom, and emigrated to the United States. [2], [3]

Before joining CEI in 2003, Murray worked as Director of Research for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS). He has also worked for the British Department of Transport on railroad privatization. According to a CEI press release, Murray joined CEI‘s “Global Warming Project” in 2003, where he served as the editor of “Cooler Heads,” the newsletter of the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC). Murray was also a visiting fellow at the UK think tank Civitas[4], [5]

Murray has connections to a wide range of conservative and libertarian think tanks, including the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), where he is a member FEE “Faculty Network,” and the Adam Smith Institute where he is a visiting fellow. He formerly worked for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as an associate editor, according to his profile on LinkedIn[4][1]

Murray formerly wrote a weekly column at the now-defunct Tech Central Station titled “Data Dump,” where he regularly wrote articles skeptical of climate change. [5]

Murray has consistently advocated for Britain to leave the European Union (Brexit)[6]

Stance on Climate Change

June 22, 2006

In an article for the National Review Online titled “25 Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore,” Murray makes a number of claims about climate change and extreme weather: [7]

“1. Carbon Dioxide’s Effect on Temperature. The relationship between global temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2), on which the entire scare is founded, is not linear. Every molecule of CO2 added to the atmosphere contributes less to warming than the previous one. […]”

“2. “Kilimanjaro. The snows of Kilimanjaro are melting not because of global warming but because of a local climate shift that began 100 years ago. […]”

“3. Glaciers. Glaciers around the world have been receding at around the same pace for over 100 years. […]”

“4. The Medieval Warm Period. Al Gore says that the ‘hockey stick’ graph that shows temperatures remarkably steady for the last 1,000 years has been validated, and ridicules the concept of a ‘medieval warm period.’ That’s not the case.”

“5. The Hottest Year. Satellite temperature measurements say that 2005 wasn’t the hottest year on record — 1998 was — and that temperatures have been stable since 2001 (p.73). […]” —Cites data from climate change denier John R. Christy.

“6. Heat Waves. The summer heat wave that struck Europe in 2003 was caused by an atmospheric pressure anomaly; it had nothing to do with global warming. […]”

“7. Record Temperatures. Record temperatures — hot and cold — are set every day around the world; that’s the nature of records. […]” — Cites data from climate change denier Patrick Michaels.

“8. Hurricanes. There is no overall global trend of hurricane-force storms getting stronger that has anything to do with temperature.”

“9. Tornadoes. Records for numbers of tornadoes are set because we can now record more of the smaller tornadoes […]”

“10. European Flooding. European flooding is not new [..]”

“11. Shrinking Lakes. Scientists investigating the disappearance of Lake Chad (p.116) found that most of it was due to human overuse of water. […]”

“12. Polar Bears. Polar bears are not becoming endangered. […]”

“13. The Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream, the ocean conveyor belt, is not at risk of shutting off in the North Atlantic […]”

“14. Invasive Species. Gore’s worries about the effect of warming on species ignore evolution. […]”

“15. Species Loss. […] We have documentary evidence of only just over 1,000 extinctions since 1600.” — Cites Bjorn Lomborg and the late Julian Simon.

“16. Coral Reefs. Coral reefs have been around for over 500 million years. This means that they have survived through long periods with much higher temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations than today.”

“17. Malaria and other Infectious Diseases. Leading disease scientists contend that climate change plays only a minor role in the spread of emerging infectious diseases.” — Cites an article in the Lancet, by Paul Reiter.

“18. Antarctic Ice. There is controversy over whether the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning or thickening. Recent scientific studies have shown a thickening in the interior at the same time as increased melting along the coastlines.” — Cites Wibjörn Karlén.

“19. Greenland Climate. Greenland was warmer in the 1920s and 1930s than it is now.” —Cites Petr Chylek.

“20. Sea Level Rise. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does not forecast sea-level rises of ’18 to 20 feet.’”  […]

“21. Population. Al Gore worries about population growth; Gore does not suggest a solution. Fertility in the developed world is stable or decreasing.[…]”

“22. Energy Generation. A specific example of this is Gore’s acknowledgement that 30 percent of global CO2 emissions come from wood fires used for cooking (p. 227). If we introduced affordable, coal-fired power generation into South Asia and Africa we could reduce this considerably and save over 1.6 million lives a year. This is the sort of solution that Gore does not even consider.”

“23. Carbon-Emissions Trading. The European Carbon Exchange Market, touted as ‘effective’ on p. 252, has crashed.”

“24. The ‘Scientific Consensus.’ On the supposed ‘scientific consensus’: Dr. Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, San Diego, (p. 262) did not examine a “large random sample” of scientific articles.  […]” — Cites a letter by Benny Peiser.

“25. Economic Costs […] All of the current proposals in Congress would cost the economy significant amounts, making us all poorer, with all that that entails for human health and welfare, while doing nothing to stop global warming.”

July 10, 2003

Writing at Tech Central Station, Murray claimed global warming may not be a bad thing and the scientific consensus on man-made climate change was a “highly questionable” premise: [8]

“There are many feasible scenarios for how climate change may effect economic interests […] climate change may not be detrimental (a little warming will probably be good for the world as a whole),” Murray wrote, claiming that the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) was ignoring such possibilities. [8]

May 27, 2003

Writing at Tech Central Station, Murray argued we are “still at the theory level” with regards to climate change: [9]

“In the case of global warming, however, we are necessarily still at the theory level. Like it or not, we cannot perform experiments with climate. There is no parallel Earth to act as a control. So we can only progress by developing theories into models. These models can themselves only be tested by comparison with observed data and, as we see regularly, the models and the data often do not agree. 

“For instance, data from satellite and weather balloons indicate that certain areas of the atmosphere are not warming as the models suggest they should. Some suggest that this means that the data, not the models, are inadequate. As there exist many questions as to the fit between the models and the data it cannot truly be said that a scientific consensus has emerged that they are accurate. All we have is a theoretical consensus that may or may not stand up to the tests the theories need to be subjected to. [9]

On Species Extinction

Research finding danger of mass species extinctions is “an area of research prone to wild exaggerations,” Murray has claimed on more than one occassion. Mike Catanzaro, now an energy aide in the Trump Administration, once cited Murray’s work at CEI to counter Al Gore’s claims of species extinction due to global warming. [10], [11], [12]

Key Quotes

June 2, 2015

Writing at the Foundation for Economic Education, Murray suggested that the answer to poverty is eliminating regulations on fossil fuels: [13]

“[S]ome Western governments are working to increase energy costs, purportedly to combat global warming.

“What they are really combating is prosperity.”

[…]

“America should free up federal lands to energy development, rather than pickle them in regulatory aspic. Europe could enjoy its own energy boom by approving hydraulic fracturing.

“Reducing artificially high energy costs is the first step in tackling fuel poverty. In America, the market is alleviating the burden of energy costs on poor households, even as the government goes the wrong way. That shows us the way forward for tackling the much greater problem in the developing world.” [13]

June 25, 2013

Writing at the National Review in an article criticizing President Obama’s plan to cut carbon pollution, Murray declared: [14]

“It is all the more silly because reducing ‘carbon pollution’ in the U.S. will have essentially no effect on global warming, even if you take the CO2-warming link as a given.”

September 20, 2010

Writing of Climategate at The Washington Examiner, Iain Murray lamented that high profile climate change deniers were not included in panels to investigate the scientists involved (who were cleared of all wrongdoing in multiple independent investigations): [15], [16]

“[T]he conclusions of those inquiries are as specious as the science they were supposed to investigate,” Murray complained, adding “[T]he hearings did not include testimony from the most severe critics of the hockey stick graphic, such as Canadians Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who could have explained exactly why the e-mails did suggest impropriety.”

December 8, 2009

Iain Murray wrote an article at the New York Post claiming that the “Climategate” emails was reason to delay the endangerment finding on CO2: [17]

“The e-mails do not disprove that the world has been warming, or that fossil fuels have something to do with it – but they do cast doubt on whether the current warming is in any way unusual,” Murray and Lewis wrote.

“That is an important consideration in deciding whether the current warming endangers human health and welfare. EPA‘s decision to simply ignore it and press forward with its endangerment finding represents a premature rush to judgment. Thus, the finding is a purely political move.” [17]

April 2008

“The dogmatic ideologies and restrictive policies pushed on us by the environmental Left have harmed nature more than helped it,” Murray said, according to a review of his book, The Really Inconvenient Truths. [18]

Speaking at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation, where he also promoted his new book, Murray said: [19]

“It is time to challenge the divine right of environmentalism.”

Inside his book, Murray claims that polar bears are doing just fine. (See a review of the science here[20]

””[P]olar bear numbers are actually increasing and that all populations bar one appear unaffected by global warming,” Murray wrote.

January 31, 2005

Writing at Tech Central Station, Murray called on IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri to resign: [21]

“The IPCC is on the verge of losing that substantial credibility it yet possesses. If anything useful is to be salvaged from the IPCC process, Dr. Pachauri has to go and the organization needs to reinvent itself free from the biases and self-affirmation exercises that currently plague it. If Dr. Pachauri really wants to be the honest broker, he should do the honest thing and resign,” Murray wrote.

June 9, 2005

Murray wrote at Tech Central Station: [22]

“Climate alarmists in the scientific community now face a long retreat, while the victory of the President Bush’s position on the issue seems assured. […] The scientists should retire from the battlefield now. They have picked the wrong fight at the wrong time. Their intervention has done nothing to alter the political landscape except confirm that it is economists, not scientists, who are the most important figures in deciding whether anything will be done now about global warming. The alarmists will fight on, as Lee did after Gettysburg for two more years, but barring unforeseen political events, their war is lost.”

November 26, 2003

“Wind power may well be the least environmentally-friendly idea ever proposed by environmentalists,” Murray wrote at Tech Central StationHe concluded the article by suggesting that “The anti-wind forces are right in several ways.” [23]

September 22, 2003

Writing at the fossil-fuel-industry-sponsored Tech Central Station, Murray claimed that concerns about glaciers are “alarmist.” [24]

“[A] review of the recent scientific evidence on glaciers suggests that, as is so often the case with global warming, much of the concern is overwrought, poorly based or simply alarmist,” Murray claimed, concluding:

“Yet from the point of view of the world’s need for more potable water, it might be regarded as a good thing that less freshwater be locked up in glaciers. If they are melting, whether naturally or for anthropogenic reasons, it would clearly be a good thing if we can harness the freshwater runoff to the general benefit of humanity. However, as should be clear from those figures, it is pretty unlikely that the resource is going to disappear. The scientific evidence suggests that the damn fools are not those supposedly melting the ice, but those who believe every alarmist warning that melting is a serious problem.”

2001

Writing at Technopolitics, Murray claimed that Kyoto “did not take account of a crucial scientific fact”: [25]

“Carbon dioxide is not really a pollutant, as the Environmental Protection Agency has labeled it. It is a vitally important contributor to plant life, which uses much of the gas in the atmosphere. Geographic areas with large amounts of plant life therefore act as ‘carbon sinks,’ sucking in carbon dioxide from the air,” Murray wrote.

May 28, 2002

“To the extent that the UNEP researchers have toned down the claims of Myers, Wilson and Ehrlich, they are to be congratulated. What they have done instead, however, is to play up the threats to the ‘cuddly’ animals – mammals and birds – and thereby maximize media attention,” Murray wrote at Tech Central Station in an article suggesting that mass extinction predictions were exaggerated.  [10]

Key Deeds

August 24, 2016

Co-writing with Rory Broomfield at CEI, Murray authored a 102-page “roadmap for British Exit from the European Union” titled “Cutting the Gordian Knot.” [26]

“By following this road map after leaving the EU, the UK will have set itself on the road to becoming once again a global economic powerhouse,” the authors wrote. In a section on “Environment,” Broomfield and Murray urged a repeal of rules that regulate chemicals:[26]

“One rule Westminster should do its utmost to repeal is the directive on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), the most wide-ranging and restrictive in the world on chemical innovation and use. It requires chemical companies to prove their products are safe, rather than requiring governments prove they are harmful.” [26]

They cite a 2006 study by CEI senior fellow Angela Logomasini, who has consistently promoted the “the life-enhancing value of chemicals and manages SAFEChemicalPolicy.org. Her background is in government and congressional studies rather than any scientific field. [27], [28]

“Overall, the UK will benefit substantially from a reduction in regulation, a better fisheries management system, a market-based immigration system, a free market in agriculture, a globally focused free trade policy, and a shale gas-based energy policy.” the authors conclude. [27]

March 9, 2009

Murray was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 2009 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). His speech was titled “Tracing Alarmist’s Methods Back to Their Roots.” View his PowerPoint, and the video below: [29]

DeSmog researched the funding behind Heartland’s Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2) and found sponsor organizations, including Murray’s Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from Scaife Family foundations[30]

April 2008

Iain Murray published his book, The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You To Know About—Because They Helped Cause Them published by conservative publisher Regnery Publishing. He talked about his book on CSPAN‘s “Book TV.” [19]

In the book, he claims that Liberal environmentalists have harmed the environment and tried to cover it up, while offering tips on how Conservatives can “reclam the environmental issue” with free-enterprise, private-property solutions. His talk was hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. [19]

Murray concluded with comments on global warming. [19]

“I think, what we’ve been seeing, with they hysteria that’s been building up surrounding global warming is a repeat of the DDT model. 

Carbon dioxide has replaced DDT. Fossil fuel use is the enemy. Anyone defending fossil fuel use is evil or a shill or something bad.”

”[…] Let’s for a moment assume that global warming is a problem. The decarbonization is not an efficient strategy to combat it.

So, what would I suggest as a conservative approach to the global warming issue? I would suggest one based on three ideas. One is improved technology to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions. Second is an adaptation strategy. And third is a resiliency strategy.” [19]

For his strategy, Murray suggested removing regulations on emitting facilities and cutting regulatory performance standards which he claimed “act as a barrier to developing better performance.” [19]

“We should also introduce a geoengineering research program separate from energy R&D and climate science as research programs,” Murray suggested. [19]

“An important factor in this would be to abolish all subsidies to energy companies. Coal, oil, alternative energy. Reducing emissions quickly without introducing a carbon tax.  We should repeal the ethanol program in its entirety.” [19]

He concluded that, “for adapation, we should introduce an adaptation fund or program to be based on the successful AIDS and communicatable deseases program that has worked so well in Africa.” [19]

March 3, 2008

Murray was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1). His speech was titled “Assuming the Worst: A No-Regrets Approach to Global Warming.” [31]

Affiliations 

Social Media

Publications

According to his profile at FEE, Murray regularly appears on Fox News, CNN Headline News, the BBC and Al-Jazeera, among other broadcast network. His op-eds have appeared in The National Review, The Providence Journal and Fox News. He has also written a number of books including: [4]

  • Stealing You Blind: How Government Fatcats Are Getting Rich Off of You
  • The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Won’t Tell You About – Because They Helped Cause Them. 

Murray’s profile at CEI lists over 1,000 publications in a variety of news sources. View a complete listing of Murrays publications here (.xlsx), and some examples below:

Tech Central Station

Murray has written a number of articles at the now-defunct Tech Central Station (laterTCSDaily), a news outlet historically boasting corporate sponsors including AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil, General Motors Corporation, McDonalds, Merck, Microsoft, Nasdaq, and PhRMA. While in operation, TCS regularly published articles by climate change deniers. [35], [36]

Resources

  1. Iain Murray,” LinkedIn. Accessed December 29, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  2. Iain Murray,” Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URL:https://archive.is/6Hr28

  3. Iain Murray,” The Heartland Institute. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/UJ9WR

  4. Iain Murray,” Foundation for Economic Education. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Ch1si

  5. (Press Release). “Iain Murray Joins CEI Global Warming Project,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 10, 2003. Archived January 5, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/RpP4N

  6. Britain’s Time for Choosing,” National Review, June 22, 2016. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Bzvrc

  7. Gorey Truths,” Natioal Review, June 22, 2006. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/k5jhB

  8. Iain Murray. “Environmentalists for Enron,” Tech Central Station, August 19, 2003. Archived August 31, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/5uzvx

  9. [Iain Murray. “Consensus Cons,” Tech Central Station, May 27, 2003. Archived November 23, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/I9toZ

  10. Iain Murray. “Tigers and Rhinos and Pandas, Oh My!Tech Central Station, May 28, 2002. Archived November 2, 2003. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/GUg6q

  11. f”Virtually Extinct,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 8, 2004. Archived January 6, 2018.

  12. Michael Catanzaro. “‘Stabilization’ Undefined,” Human Events, January 8, 2004. Archived February 23, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mYhNX

  13. Iain Murray. “The Poor Need Affordable Energy,” Foundation for Economic Education, June 2, 2015. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/guybV

  14. Obama’s Climate Plan: It’s for the Kidz,” National Review, June 25, 2013. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/S41BA

  15. Iain Murray: Climategate inquiry glosses over the facts,” Washington Examiner, July 20, 2010. Archived August 24, 2010. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/fd6Yj

  16. Debunking Misinformation About Stolen Climate Emails in the ‘Climategate’ Manufactured Controversy,” Union of Concerned Scientists.

  17. Iain Murray. “An EPA power grab,” New York Post, December 9, 2009. Archived January 6, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/AmiNr

  18. The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You to Know About — Because They Helped Cause Them,” Conservative Book Club. Archived December 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/agipl

  19. The Really Inconvenient Truths,” C-SPAN, April 29, 2008. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  20. Iain Murray. The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals, Regnery Publishing, April 22, 2008.

  21. Iain Murray. “A Dishonest Broker?Tech Central Station, January 31, 2005. Archived October 26, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Uv2b5

  22. Iain Murray. “The Pickett’s Charge of Climate Alarmism,” Tech Central Station, June 9, 2005. Archived November 27, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4p81K

  23. Iain Murray. “Green Civil War,” Tech Central Station, November 26, 2013. Archived December 12, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DBFN4

  24. Are We All ‘Damn Fools’?Tech Central Station, September 22, 2003. Archived November 18, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/bDPfa

  25. Iain Murray. “Europe Emits C02, U.S. Cleans It Up.” Technopolitics, April 13, 2001. Archived May 10, 2001. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/bzU1i

  26. Iain Murray and Rory Broomfield. “Cutting the Gordian Knot” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute Issue Analysis No. 7. (August 2016).

  27. About,” SAFEChemicalPolicy.org. Archived March 27, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/vlsYV

  28. Angela Logomasini, Ph.D.” LinkedIn. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  29. Iain Murray, ICCC2,” Climateconferences.heartland.org. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  30. Heartland Institute’s 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” Desmog.

  31. “The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change” (PDF), The Heartland Institute. PDF created November 15, 2011.

  32. About the Statistical Assessment Service,” Statistical Assessment Service. Archived June 2, 2002.

  33. Iain Murray,” Tech Central Station. Archived January 2, 2006. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/u2W3s

  34. Iain Murray,” The Federalist Society. Archived December 29, 2017.

  35. A Message from TCS Daily,” Ideas in Action, December 30, 2010. Archived December 28, 2017.  Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/EpcQe

  36. About TCS Daily,” Tech Central Station. Archived December 30, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/QCpUc

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