James McGrath

James E. McGrath (Deceased)



Dr. James McGrath is a former professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech and past co-director of the Polymer Materials and Interface Lab (PMIL) at Virginia Tech. James E. McGrath passed away in May of 2014.4“James E. McGrath, 79, scientist and Virginia Tech professor known for work with polymers, dies,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 23, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL: 5Dr. James McGrath,” Department of Polymer Science (Alumni). Archived June 13, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:

McGrath’s past research had been funded by numerous chemical and oil companies including Dow Chemical, Shell, Allied Chemical, Phillips Petroleum, 3M, Exxon, Amoco, Gas Research Institute, Lockheed Martin, and others.6Dr. James E. McGrath Research Review,” April 18, 2008. Archived June 19, 2010 from McGrath’s website at Virginia Tech. URL:

According to his archived faculty profile at Virginia Tech, his research focused on the “synthesis and characterization of high performance matrix polymers and structural adhesives, high-temperature polymer dielectrics for computers, fire-resistant polymers and composites; and new directly copolymerized sulfonated aromatic copolymers for proton exchange membranes (fuel cells).”7James E. McGrath,” Virginia Tech Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute (MII), 2007. Archived January 26, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:

Stance on Climate Change

January 2012

McGrath was one of sixteen “scientists” who signed an inflammatory Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” that stated:8No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012. Archived February 10, 2018.

“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.”

Key Deeds

January 27, 2012

McGrath is one of 16 scientists who appended their signatures to a Wall Street Journal article titled “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.”9No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, January 27, 2012. Archived February 10, 2018.

The article argues that elected officials should avoid implementing climate change policy because it would “divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of ‘incontrovertible’ evidence.”

Other “scientists” who signed the Op-Ed include Claude Allègre, J. Scott Armstrong, Jan Breslow, Roger Cohen, William Happer, William Kininmonth, Richard Lindzen, Rodney Nichols, Burt Rutan, Harrison H. Schmitt, Nir Shaviv, Edward David, Michael Kelly, Henk Tennekes, and Antonino Zichichi.

Interestingly, 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote their own essay, this on the realities of climate change, which had been rejected by the Wall Street Journal in favor of the sixteen-scientist letter.10Peter Gleick. “Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal,” Forbes, January 27, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:

Media Matters also reported on the article, and also found that most of the scientists who signed the Op-Ed “Do Not Actually Publish Peer-Reviewed Climate Research.” They also contacted Yale Economist William Nordhaus who had been cited by the article, and he replied that it was a “Complete Mischaracterization Of My Work.”11The Journal Hires Dentists To Do Heart Surgery,” Media Transparency, January 30, 2012. URL:

April 1998

McGrath is listed as a signatory to the Oregon Petition which has been used by climate change deniers as proof that there is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming.12Petition Signers M,” Global Warming Petition Project. Archived May 27, 2016. URL: 13(Majority Press Release). ”INHOFE QUESTIONS SCIENCE BEHIND ARCTIC REPORT,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, November 16, 2004. Archived January 26, 2016. URL: 14SEPP News Release: More Than 15,000 Scientists Protest Kyoto Accord; Speak Out Against Global Warming Myth,” Science and Environmental Policy Project, April 21, 1998. February 11, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:

The petition was published in April 1998 by Art Robinson and his organization the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, along with the George C. Marshall Institute (known to be funded in part by ExxonMobil).

According to the May 1998 Associated Press article, the Oregon petition included names that were intentionally placed to prove the invalid methodology with which the names of scientists were collected.15H. Josef Hebert. “Jokers Add Fake Names To Warming Petition,” The Seattle Times, May 1, 1998. URL:



McGrath has published numerous papers in peer reviewed journals in the area of chemistry, but does not appear to have published any papers in the area of climate science.21Dr. James E. McGrath: Publications and Patents,” March 18, 2008. Archived June 16, 2010, from McGrath’s website at Virginia Tech. URL:

Other Resources


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