Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson

Credentials

Profile image by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.

Background

Jordan B Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto. According to his website, Peterson regularly talks about “personal responsibility, truth and meaning in life” at live events.4About Jordan Peterson,” JordanPeterson.com. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/mzuNP

Peterson produces online programs including “UnderstandMyself” and the “Self Authoring Suite” which “helped over 200,000 people resolve the problems of their past, rectify their personality faults and enhance their virtues.”5About Jordan Peterson,” JordanPeterson.com. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/mzuNP

Peterson published his first book, Mas of Meaning, in 1999 while still a psychology professor at U of T. In 2013, Peterson began broadcasting lectures on YouTube. The Financial Times described him as “the anti-#MeToo, the anti-1968, the defender of old-school masculinity.”6Henry Mance. “Jordan Peterson: ‘One thing I’m not is naive’,” Financial Times, June 1, 2018. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/R5rax

Stance on Climate Change

November 2018

In a video originally uploaded by the climate science denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (taken down due to a copyright claim by the Cambridge Union Society–see alternate video here), Peterson told Cambridge University’s debating society, in response to a question about whether the issue of climate change could unite the political left and right:7Professor Jordan Peterson on climate change and climate policy at the Cambridge Union,” YouTube video uploaded by user “GWPF” on November 8, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“That’s not going to unite us. First of all, it’s very difficult to separate the science from the politics and second, even if the more radical claims are true we have no idea what to do about it.”

“If you go out 50 years the error bars around the projections are already so wide that we won’t be able to measure the positive or negative effects of anything we do right now. So how in the world are you going to solve a problem when you can’t even measure the consequence of your actions – like, how is that even possible?”

June 1, 2018

“Predictably, Peterson doubts climate change is man-made. His book is scathing about environmentalists, whom he accuses of wanting fewer humans on the planet,” Henry Mance wrote of Peterson in an article for the Financial Times.8Henry Mance. “Jordan Peterson: ‘One thing I’m not is naive’,” Financial Times, June 1, 2018. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/R5rax

Key Quotes

January 23, 2022

Peterson retweeted a tweet from Net Zero Watch which questioned whether wind power is a “reliable, efficient and in-demand technology”. Net Zero Watch is a campaign group launched and managed by the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) that claims to “scrutinise” the UK government’s net zero emissions plans.

When resharing the tweet, Peterson added the comment: “Any “policy maker” who aims at zero anything has instantly demonstrated his or her incompetence.”9“Any “policy maker” who aims at zero anything has instantly demonstrated his or her incompetence.” Tweet by @jordanbpeterson, January 23, 2022. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived January 24, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/miP6o

September 24, 2021

Peterson commented during a podcast with The Telegraph:10Jordan Peterson: The collapse of our values is a greater threat than climate change | Off Script,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Telegraph”, September 24, 2021. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“Global and even national attempts to deal with climate change are going to cause way more trouble than accumulated carbon dioxide, not because accumulated carbon dioxide isn’t somewhat of a threat, but when it becomes a global planetary threat that’s a crisis, then, well, then it’s a justification for virtually any political action.

January 2018

In his 2018 book, “12 Rules for Life,” Peterson described some environmentalists as “anti-human.” Under “Rule 2,” titled “A Spark of the Divine,” Peterson wrote:11Jordan B. Peterson. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. Random House (January 2010). Page 56.

“The moral of Genesis I is that Being brought into existence through true speech is Good. This is true even of man himself, prior to his separation from God. This goodness is terribly disrupted by the events of the fall (and of Cain and Abel and the Flood and the Tower of Babel), but we retain an intimation of the prelapsarian state. We remember, so to speak. We remain eternally nostalgic for the innocense of childhood, the divine, unconscious Being of the animal, and the untouched cathedral-like old-growth forest. We find respite in such things. We worship them, even if we are self-proclaimed atheistic environmentalists of the most anti-human sort.” (Emphasis added).

2016

In a video that some argue made Jordan Peterson famous, he debated a group of transgender students about the use of pronouns.12Dr. Jordan Peterson gives up trying to reason with SJWs,” YouTube video uploaded by user “1791L” October 20, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“I don’t believe using your pronouns will do you any good in the long run,” he said. “I believe it’s quite the contrary.” 

November 4, 2016

The following is from an interview with The Daily Wire:13Aaron Bandler. “EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Prof. Jordan Peterson on Genderless Pronouns and the Left’s ‘PC Game’,The Daily Wire. November 4, 2016. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/nBsIO

Aaron Bandler/The Daily Wire: “In writing about this [Bill C-16] you have talked about your opposition to using gender-neutral pronouns. What is your reasoning behind that?”

Jordan Peterson: “Well, I don’t like the language itself, especially the made-up ones, the manufactured word ze or zir and that sort of thing. I don’t regard them as legitimate words; I regard those as the ideological construct of radicals who hold a view of the world I find disturbing and dangerous as well as impractical and narrow-minded. So, I’m not using their words because that would make me a mouthpiece of their particular worldview and ideology, and I’m not going to do that.”

Key Actions

August 15, 2022

Jordan Peterson wrote an article for The Telegraph titled “Peddlers of environmental doom have shown their true totalitarian colours.”14Jordan Peterson. “Peddlers of environmental doom have shown their true totalitarian colours,” The Telegraph, August 15, 2022. Archived August 26, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/H0Yme

In the article, Peterson described Deloitte’s goal for net-zero emissions by 2050 as “an utterly preposterous and inexcusable goal, both practically and conceptually.”

“There are clearly more important priorities than costly and ineffective emergency climate change reductions,” Peterson claimed, citing work by Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley among others.

“Citizens are waking up to this. Dutch farmers and fishermen are rising up, Canadian truckers are pushing back. Such protests are spreading, and increasing in intensity. As they should,” he added.

Discussing the language used by Deloitte suggesting “a coordinated transition,” Peterson claimed “A clearer statement of totalitarian inclination could hardly be penned.”

“[Deloitte] have assumed the role as councillors to believers in unchecked globalisation whose policies have sparked considerable unrest around the world,” Peterson wrote. “[S]uch enterprises no longer limit themselves to their proper bailiwick (profit-centred business strategising, say), but – consciously or not – have assumed the role as councillors to believers in unchecked globalisation whose policies have sparked considerable unrest around the world,” he claimed.

Peterson also pointed to a “cabal of utopians operating in the media, corporate and government fronts, wielding a nightmarish vision of environmental apocalypse” as partly responsible for “he Dutch agriculture and fisheries protests, the Canadian trucker convoy, the yellow-jackets in France, the farmer rebellion in India a few years ago, the recent catastrophic collapse of Sri Lanka, or the energy crisis in Europe and Australia.”

Peterson criticizes those he claimed who would limit growth: “Critics of my view will say ‘we have to accept limits to growth.’ Fine. Accept them. Personally. Abandon your position of planet-devouring wealthy privilege. Join an ascetic order. Graze with the cattle. Or, if that’s too much (and it probably is) then purchase an electric car, if you want one (but no diesel-powered emergency backup vehicle or electric power generator for you). Buy some stock in Tesla. That’s probably the best bet (but you don’t approve of Elon Musk, do you?). Stop flying. Stop driving, for that matter. Get on your bike, instead. In your three-piece business suit. In the winter, if you dare. I’ll splash you with icy and salty slush as I drive by, in my evil but warm Ford Bronco SUV, and help you derive the consequent delicate pleasure of your own narcissistic martyrdom. […]

“There is simply no pathway forward to the green and equitable utopia that necessitates the further impoverishment of the already poor, the compulsion of the working class, or the sacrifice of economic security and opportunity on the food, energy and housing front,” he wrote.

He also read the article on YouTube.15Article: Back Off, Oh Masters of the Universe,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” August 15, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

January 25, 2022

In an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Peterson argued that “there’s no such thing as ‘climate'” because “‘climate’ and ‘everything’ are the same word,” and that climate models are inaccurate because they are “not based on everything”. He added that “as you stretch out the [climate] models across time, the errors increase radically” and that models cannot be used to predict future climates because “the [prediction] errors compound, just like interest, and so at some point [the model is] all error”.16#1769 – Jordan Peterson,” The Joe Rogan Podcast, January 25, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Peterson also claimed that “the fastest way to make the planet sustainably green and ecologically viable is to make poor people as rich as possible as fast as we possibly can,” because poor people are “not resource efficient” and use “a lot of resources to produce very, very little outcome,” pointing to the example of slash and burn agriculture.

He also claimed that poor people are not “paying attention to” the environment around them if their future is “insecure on a day-to-day basis,” and that they become concerned about the environment once they gain access to resources and “some hope of a genuine future, especially for their children”. Peterson said that people then “immediately become concerned about broader environmental considerations” and that the desire to make the environment “habitable and sustainable, that comes up of its own accord at grassroots level and spreads everywhere”.

He also claimed that “more people die every year from solar energy than from nuclear,” because people fall off roofs during installation.

Peterson further argued that the United States’ carbon emissions have gone down 15 percent in the last 20 years because of fracking. When Rogan stated that fracking is a “double-edged sword” because it has “definitely polluted some water supplies,” Peterson replied “not really” and added:

“Look, everything, everything pollutes something, and so, so, the idea that there’s any source of energy that we can derive that’s not going to produce some pollutant as a consequence, that’s the kind of nonsense you hear from people who say things like ‘net zero’, ‘We’re going to hit net zero by 2050,’ it’s like, no we’re not.”

November 18, 2021

Peterson appeared on BBC’s Question Time where he suggested measures to combat climate change would “100 per cent will be [at the expense of developing countries],” The Telegraph reported. “I don’t think we have any moral right in the West at all to do that,” Peterson said.17Phoebe Southworth. “Jordan Peterson: The West has no right to cut poor countries’ pollution,” The Telegraph, November 19, 2021. Archived November 19, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/udTVw

“It seems to me that the best long term solution is to try to make developing countries as rich as possible, and the best way to do that is not control their pollution output, but to help them develop the cheapest energy they ca n possibly manage as fast as they possibly can – I saw very little of that sort of idea coming out of Cop26,” Peterson commented.

September 24, 2021

Peterson appeared on a podcast with The Telegraph where he discussed how he believed “the collapse of our values is a greater threat than climate change.” The full video is available on YouTube. Notable quotes listed below” 18Jordan Peterson: The collapse of our values is a greater threat than climate change,” The Telegraph, September 24, 2021. Video via YouTube. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

Jordan Peterson: [00:00:00] Global and even national attempts to deal with climate change are going to cause way more trouble than accumulated carbon dioxide, not because accumulated carbon dioxide isn’t somewhat of a threat, but when it becomes a global planetary threat that’s a crisis, then, well, then it’s a justification for virtually any political action. [00:00:22]

November 2018

Peterson spoke to Cambridge University’s debating society. In a video uploaded by the climate science denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, when asked about climate change and whether it could unite the political left and right, Peterson replied:19Professor Jordan Peterson on climate change and climate policy at the Cambridge Union,” YouTube video uploaded by user “GWPF” on November 8, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“That’s not going to unite us. First of all, it’s very difficult to separate the science from the politics and second, even if the more radical claims are true we have no idea what to do about it.”

“If you go out 50 years the error bars around the projections are already so wide that we won’t be able to measure the positive or negative effects of anything we do right now. So how in the world are you going to solve a problem when you can’t even measure the consequence of your actions – like, how is that even possible?”

“What’s the solution – what are we going to do? Switch to wind and solar? Well good look with that. Just try it and see what happens. We can’t store the power.”

“I look at Bjorn Lomborg‘s work. I really like Bjorn Lomborg. I think he’s a real genius.”

May 25, 2018

A former colleague and supporter of Jordan Peterson wrote an article in The Star describing him as “dangerous.20Bernard Schiff. “I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous,” The Star, May 25, 2018. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/iiqdy

“I was once his strongest supporter,” Bernard Schiff wrote at The Star. “That all changed with his rise to celebrity. I am alarmed by his now-questionable relationship to truth, intellectual integrity and common decency, which I had not seen before. His output is voluminous and filled with oversimplifications which obscure or misrepresent complex matters in the service of a message which is difficult to pin down. He can be very persuasive, and toys with facts and with people’s emotions. I believe he is a man with a mission. It is less clear what that mission is.”

March 23, 2018

Peterson appeared on Dose of Truth where he described why he would’ve voted for Donald Trump if he were an American.21Jordan Peterson ‘I’d Vote Donald Trump and Here’s Why’,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Dose of Truth,” March 23, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

September 27, 2016

Peterson released the first part of a three-part lecture series titled “Professor against political correctness” where he argued against Canada’s Bill C-16 which proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.22Patty Winsa. “He says freedom, they say hate. The pronoun fight is back,” The Star, January 15, 2017. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/dvk9k

“There’s a difference between saying something you can’t say and saying that there are things that you have to say,” Peterson told one audience.”I regard these made-up pronouns, all of them as neologisms of a radical PC authoritarianism. I’m not going to be a mouthpiece for language I detest.”23Rosie Dimanno. “New words trigger an abstract clash on campus: DiManno,” The Star, November 19, 2016. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/lfa6a

View the first video and full series below:242016/09/27: Part 1: Fear and the Law,” Youtube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” September 27, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Affiliations

  • University of Toronto Undergraduate Faculty in the Department of Psychology (Area of research “Social/Personality/Abnormal”).25Undergraduate Faculty,” University of Toronto. Archived July 20, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.fo/3s53T
  • ExamCorp — Vice President.26Jordan Peterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  • TVOntario — Essayist (Mar 2011 – Jul 2012)27Jordan Peterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  • Funded Founder Institute — Assessment Process Designer (2009 – 2012)28Jordan Peterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  • Praxis Partners — Consultant (2005 – 2009)29“Jordan Peterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  • Harvard University — Associate Professor (1993 – 1998)30Jordan Peterson,” LinkedIn. Accessed July 20, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Social Media

Publications

Peterson is the author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Jan 2018, Penguin Books) and Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (March 1999, Routledge).

Other Resources

Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawren...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...