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 he claims have “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, Maps 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 URL: http://archive.is/R5rax

Stance on Climate Change

August 6, 2023

In a Telegraph piece announcing the launch of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) — an “international community” of writers, politicians and academics including Peterson, Lomborg, Michael Shellenberger, Tony Abbott, and Vivek Ramaswamy, among others — Peterson and ARC advisory board member Bjorn Lomborg asserted that there was a need for “an honest debate of costs and benefits” of climate action “to find the best solutions.”7Jordan Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg. “Elite groupthink put the West on the path to despair – but there’s another way,” The Telegraph, August 6, 2023. Archived August 6, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/FnKFM Peterson and Lomborg decried “the alarmist treatment of climate,” and accused climate campaign groups of “fear-mongering” and “pushing us toward the wrong solutions.” They also criticized the costs of net zero, which they claimed “will cost far beyond $100 trillion, while producing benefits a fraction as large.”

Other versions of the same article were also published by the New York Post on August 4,8Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson. “Stop the panicked fearmongering if we want to make the world better,” New York Post, August 4, 2023. Archived August 6, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/kEf9L the National Post on August 109Jordan Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg. “Jordan Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg: How to save critical thinking and constructive debate,” National Post, August 10, 2023. Archived August 10, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/kHPNT and the Jakarta Post on August 11.10Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson. “Enough panicked fear-mongering on climate change,” Jakarta Post, August 11, 2023. Archived August 12, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/L4bv9

June 18, 2023

In a series of tweets, Peterson described climate change as “the idiot socialist get-out-of-jail-free card,” and said that “lying bastards” blame high food costs on climate change.11Jordan Peterson. ““Climate change” the idiot socialist get-out-of-jail-free card.,” tweet by user @jordanbpeterson, June 18, 2023. Retrieved from x.com. Archived October 26, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/UZ0SI

November 2018

In a video originally uploaded by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the United Kingdom’s primary climate denial group, Peterson spoke to Cambridge University’s debating society about climate change. In response to a question about whether the issue of climate change could unite the political left and right, Peterson told the audience:12Professor 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. Original video removed due to a copyright claim by the Cambridge Union Society. 13Jordan Peterson | Cambridge Union,” YouTube video uploaded by user Cambridge Union, November 4, 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.”

Peterson added:

“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

In a profile of Peterson for the Financial Times, journalist Henry Mance wrote: “Predictably, Peterson doubts climate change is man-made. His book is scathing about environmentalists, whom he accuses of wanting fewer humans on the planet.”14Henry Mance. “Jordan Peterson: ‘One thing I’m not is naive’,” Financial Times, June 1, 2018. Archived October 26, 2023. Archive URL: http://archive.is/R5rax Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Key Quotes

December 17, 2023

In an interview with The Telegraph, Peterson said:15Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

 “There’s no starvation in the world [now], except for political reasons. [There is] plenty to go around.

September 13, 2023

Peterson posted about on net zero policies on X (formerly Twitter), describing the goal of reaching net zero emissions as “a conspiracy run by narcissistic poseurs hellbent on gathering all the power to themselves while they pretend to be planetary saviours impoverish the poor and worsen environmental conditions.”16NetZero A conspiracy run by narcissistic poseurs hellbent on gathering all the power to themselveswhile they pretend to be planetary saviours impoverish the poor and worsen environmental conditions,” post by user “@jordanbpeterson,” September 13, 2023 Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

June 17, 2023

Peterson posted about climate change on X, referencing a post from the United Nations’ World Food Programme about how to address climate change by “making system change.”

Peterson suggested that “You’re the system they want to change,” adding that addressing climate change would mean “NetZero for you”.17Jordan Peterson. “You’re the system they want to change: “System change” = No car No flights No heat No cooling No fireplaces No meat NetZero for you Peasants There’s too many of you anyway “System change”,” X post from user @jordanbpeterson, June 17, 2023. Archived October 26, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/TAKjC

April 3, 2023

Peterson interviewed Bjorn Lomborg, Danish founder of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of a number of books that downplay the risks of climate change.1812 Ways the Planet Could Truly Be Saved | Bjørn Lomborg | EP 345,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” April 3, 2023. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Peterson commented:

“I see the climate apocalyptic catastrophizing as a form of religious striving. I think it’s unsophisticated and ill-aimed and contaminated with a fair bit of malevolence.”

According to Peterson, “[W]e have a proclivity in the Woke West to reduce the entire panoply of problems that confront us, or opportunities, depending on how you look at it, to a single climate emergency, and then to reduce that to a single cause carbon, and then to assume that if we oppose carbon, we’re now acting as the appropriate representatives of the Messiah on the planet. And none of that constitutes acceptable theology, let’s say, let alone policy.”

Lomborg later commented on climate change:

“To realize, yes, climate change is a real problem, but it’s not this catastrophic end of the world. There is nothing in the UN climate panel, the new report that came out from 2021–2022, these 1600 pages. No apocalypse in there.”

March 13, 2023

Peterson discussed the recently-launched Alliance for Responsible Citizenship (ARC) on his YouTube channel:19The Future: Vision and Invitation | EP 339,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” March 13, 2023. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“We were also going to avoid entirely any apocalyptic notions, refusing to accept in principle the notion that everything is such an emergency that all the power should be ceded to a centralized committee to save the planet.”

“ARC is a good acronym. It has echoes of the Ark, the Biblical arc, which is a container that allows people to withstand the trials and tribulations of life to navigate through the flood and to preserve,” he said.

“Concluding words. We at the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship, we at ARC do not believe that humanity is necessarily and inevitably teetering on the brink of apocalyptic disaster.”

January 27, 2022

Peterson tweeted about climate models:20The climate models can predict the past.” Tweet by user “@jordanbpeterson,” January 27, 2022. Archived January 5, 2023.

“The climate models can predict the past. Just like models of the stock market. I defy these ‘modellers’ to predict one stock accurately for one year and to bet their own money on the outcome. And one stock is a lot less complex than ‘climate’ particularly out a century,” he wrote.

He also promoted a book by the late S. Fred Singer, who doubted human contributions to climate change, titled Hot Talk, Cold Science in the thread. Coauthors included other climate deniers David R. Legates and Anthony R. Lupo.21The climate models can predict the past.” Tweet by user “@jordanbpeterson,” January 27, 2022. Archived January 5, 2023.

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.”22“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:23Jordan 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:24Jordan 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.25Dr. 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:26Aaron 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

December 17, 2023

The Daily Telegraph interviewed Peterson to discuss several topics including his views on gender identity, and his yet-to-launch Peterson Academy.27Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

“A culture that thinks that diversity is unity is also a culture that thinks that a man can be a woman. You can’t get more confused than that,” Peterson said in the interview.28Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

Speaking of environmental challenges facing the word, he said:29Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

 “There’s no starvation in the world [now], except for political reasons. [There is] plenty to go around.

“We have hurricanes. That’s a natural disaster. But what if you prepare? What are the preconditions for preparation? And the answer to that is well, subsidiary social organisation, or distributed responsibilities. That also makes the system very resilient. So part of the subsidiary vision is that decision making should be passed down the hierarchy to the most proximal possible level.”

Discussing Peterson Academy, he said students would learn “tools for thinking, not lists of facts. A good lecture not only tells you the facts of the matter, but tells you how to embody that and why it’s useful. And then you can negotiate better in the world, navigate better in the world.” he added:30Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

“And we don’t have an HR department. Or a DEI (diversity, equality and inclusion) consultant to lead any of that.”

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Academy would be expected to launch in late January of 2024. He also dismissed formal accreditation:31Dia Chakravarty. “Jordan Peterson: Britain will be ‘Venezuela for 20 years’ if Starmer wins the next election,” The Telegraph, December 17, 2023. Archived January 23, 2024. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/cfSQw

“The accreditation is only important for two reasons,” he said. “One is it’s a path to graduate school and that’s going to be a problem for us. But the other pathway is to employment. And all sorts of corporations are already stating publicly that they no longer regard a university degree as a stamp of accreditation. So why the hell would I pursue that?”

November 6, 2023

Peterson co-wrote an article with Bjorn Lomborg titled “Don’t give In to gloom, the world Is getting better.” In the article, Lomborg and Peterson argued that, in climate change reporting, “A pervasive and false apocalyptic narrative draws together every negative event — while ignoring, almost entirely, the bigger picture.”32Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson. “Don’t give In to gloom, the world Is getting better,” Waco Tribune-Herald, November 6, 2023. Archived November 23, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6l04O

February 6, 2023

Peterson interviewed Judith Curry, an American climatologist who has since the mid-2000s aligned herself with debunked climate change denial arguments, on his podcast in an episode titled “The Models Are OK, the Predictions Are Wrong.” Discussing the mainstream scientific consensus on man-made climate change, Curry commented:33The Models Are OK, the Predictions Are Wrong | Dr. Judith Curry | EP 329,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” February 6, 2023. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“When you have a complex, highly uncertain situation like this, the issue of consensus is scientifically meaningless. … So, so yeah there’s no consensus.”

Peterson responded:

“The idea that science is consensus-based is wrong. … I mean, my understanding of the IPCC documents is that the projection is something like 1 to 2 degrees of further warming with some increase in variability, especially in the polar regions and a small degree of sea level rise. No indication in the IPCC reports that this will produce runaway out of control feedback loops that will have a devastating consequence. No real vision of apocalypse.”

He later added:

“[O]ur estimates of the cumulative effect of carbon dioxide on global warming or climate change are smaller than our estimates of the magnitude of our error in measuring the effect of water vapor. And that’s a big problem because water vapor is a major contributor to warming in principle. And so that carbon dioxide effects are under the size of the error in that measurement.”

Curry responded:

“Well, I wouldn’t put it that way. We have a pretty good idea of how much water vapor is in the atmosphere. The question is, how is that going to change with warming?”

Peterson linked carbon dioxide output to global “greening”:

“One of the consequences of extra carbon dioxide output is that the planet has greened 15% since the dawn of the millennia and that most of that greening has taken place in what would have otherwise been semi-arid and rather denuded areas.”

“And so I don’t see a statistic on the anti carbon front that’s as powerful negatively as the statistic that the planet is 15% greener and that our crops are also in the consequence quite a lot more productive on the pro-carbon-dioxide front.”He added:“Why are we so sure that carbon dioxide output is a bad thing at all? I mean, some of the people who initially hypothesized about the greenhouse effect where quite a few said in their predictions that this would produce a greener, more lush and more productive world, a more habitable world. So is it unreasonable to put that forward as a proposition?”

Curry responded:

“Yeah. The greening’s happening. I think it’s attributed mostly to carbon dioxide, but also more rainfall and warmer temperatures, I mean help. So the greening is definitely a benefit that. The greening is happening over a big, big portion of the globe, actually. So it’s clearly a benefit.”

Peterson later suggested humanity would be able to adapt to minor climate change:

“Our GDP is going to increase something like 400% on average in the next hundred years. And one of the negative consequences of global warming will be that it’ll be slightly less than 400% and that it’s clear that we can manage that in any real sense and that we’re very good at adapting to a huge range of weather situations and climate scenarios. Some of us live in damn near Arctic conditions and other people live in the desert. And so it’s not outside the realm of human adaptation to adapt to a one or two degree climate transformation. And animals should be able to do the same.”

Discussing green energy policies in Africa, Curry commented:

“It is just evil. And I think green colonialism and energy apartheid are perfect descriptors for what’s going on.”

Peterson concluded, outlining some of the commentators he approved of on climate change (links added):

“I like [Michael] Shellenberger. I think Alex Epstein has some interesting things to say. I like Marion Tupy. What’s this, the English. What’s what’s his name? … Matt Ridley. Matt Ridley is good. Yeah. Yeah. And so but of all those people, I think [Bjorn] Lomborg has done the most credible job and he’s also been given a damn rough ride in the media.”

January 16, 2023

Peterson interviewed Steve Koonin on an episode of his podcast titled “Unsettled: Climate and Science.”34Unsettled: Climate and Science | Dr. Steven Koonin | EP 323,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” January 16, 2023. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Some notable quotes below:

Steven E Koonin: [00:44:21] “What they [the IPCC] say about extreme weather events is that apart from things directly associated with the temperature, like record high temperatures or heat waves, you don’t see much trends globally.”  [00:44:33]

[…]

Steven E Koonin: [00:38:06] “Now the IPCC projects best guess right now about another 1.3 degrees of warming in the next 100 years. To think. That that additional warming is going to reverse or even significantly derail the progress we’ve had, it’s just nonsense, ok. And in fact, the IPCC reports say that at least on the economic front, a few degrees of warming is a few percent hit on the GDP.” [00:38:38]

Jordan Peterson: [00:38:40] “Which. Will increase anyway, substantially over the next hundred years.”  [00:38:42]

Steven E Koonin: [00:38:42] “Yes. So instead of going up by 400%, it’ll go up 385%.”  [00:38:46]

Jordan Peterson: [00:38:48] “Right. Right.”  [00:38:48]

Steven E Koonin: [00:38:49] “Which is within the uncertainty. Well, within the uncertainty prediction. So the notion of a climate catastrophe is just nonsense.” [00:38:57]

[…]

Steven E Koonin: [00:48:06] The 97% [consensus] number is a made up number also, based on an entirely flawed study. I think, you know, the scientists are not behaving as though it were apocalyptic. I would say 95% of them are not in that camp. But well, that’s just my anecdotal perception. [00:48:27]

[…]

Jordan Peterson: [00:50:11] “I could say, hey, look at this, it turns out that there’s no more effective way of delivering fertilizer for plants worldwide than to burn fossil fuels.”  [00:50:21]

Steven E Koonin: [00:50:26] “So plants love CO2. We’ve pumped CO2 into greenhouses in order to get the plants to grow better. Right now in the atmosphere, the concentrations of about 420 parts per million of CO2, we raise it to over a thousand parts per million in greenhouses to help the plants grow. The CO2 not only lets them grow faster, but it lets them use water more.” [00:50:51]

Jordan Peterson: [00:51:25] “So how come we’re not? How come we can’t take the stance that carbon dioxide is a net good?” [00:51:31]

Steven E Koonin: [00:51:58] “This is certainly one of the benefits and it’s a significant one that has to be weighed against hypothetical detrimental effects from global warming.” [00:52:10]

Steven E Koonin: [00:52:16] “There are other factors about human well-being that are much more important than whether the climate is changing or not. So, you know, if I were to be a little snarky, it’s almost a nothing burger.” [00:52:28]

[…]

Jordan Peterson: [01:20:02] “So not only is the planet Greener, but it’s much better fed. And obesity is a way bigger problem than starvation, except and starvation almost never occurs, except for political reasons.” [01:20:12]

January 15, 2023

Peterson retweeted a graph with the caption “Anyone object to this chart?” from an account named “Climate crisis? There is NO climate crisis” which claims to show that global temperatures are at a historic low compared to fluctuations over the last 7000 years.35Jordan Peterson. “Anyone object to this chart?,” Tweet by user @jordanbpeterson, January 15, 2023. Archived .png on file at DeSmog. The original tweet included a caption “Per Andy Howlett “How can anyone see this chart and seriously still be brainwashed into believing that we are at the end of days? It’s very basic stuff.” An article from AAP Factcheck concludes that the data in this graph was gathered from a single location in Greenland, and is misleading at a global scale. 

January 5, 2023

Jordan Peterson interviewed Richard Lindzen on an episode of his podcast titled “Climate Science: What Does it Say?”36Climate Science: What Does it Say? | Dr. Richard Lindzen | EP 320,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” January 5, 2023. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

The Guardian reported that during the interview, “Lindzen repeated many of his beliefs related to the fundamentals of climate science, such as doubts about how much warming adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause.”37Graham Readfearn. “Jordan Peterson’s ‘zombie’ climate contrarianism follows a well-worn path,” The Guardian, February 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QbUQU

Prof Steve Sherwood, of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, told The Guardian that a number of Lindzen’s arguments were “very old zombie points” were not fair “and have become much less true over time.”38Graham Readfearn. “Jordan Peterson’s ‘zombie’ climate contrarianism follows a well-worn path,” The Guardian, February 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QbUQU

The Guardian pointed to a statement from Lindzen that the “putative contribution of carbon dioxide to global warming” might be swamped by the margin of error of the contribution of another important greenhouse gas – water vapor.”39Graham Readfearn. “Jordan Peterson’s ‘zombie’ climate contrarianism follows a well-worn path,” The Guardian, February 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QbUQU

“That’s not true,” Prof Piers Forster, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Leeds, told The Guardian. “For more than half a century laboratory measurements, balloon measurements and detailed radiative transfer calculations have been able to calculate the greenhouse effect of both CO2 and water vapour to within a few percent.”40Graham Readfearn. “Jordan Peterson’s ‘zombie’ climate contrarianism follows a well-worn path,” The Guardian, February 1, 2023. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QbUQU

December 14, 2022

Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg wrote an opinion piece for the National Post titled “Hunger is more pressing climate change, elites have it backwards.”41Jordan Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg: Hunger is more pressing than climate change, elites have it backwards,” National Post, December 14, 2022. Archived December 14, 2022.

“We have placed core targets such as the eradication of infant mortality and the provision of basic education on the same footing as well-intentioned but peripheral targets like boosting recycling and promoting lifestyles in harmony with nature,“ they argued.

They cited a list of priorities published by Lomborg’s organization, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which has received funding from DonorsTrust, a group that in turn received funds from Koch-controlled foundations such as the Knowledge and Progress Fund.

DonorsTrust and its sister organization Donors Capital Fund (DCF) have been described as the “Dark Money ATM” of the conservative movement.42Andy Kroll. “Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement,” Mother Jones, February 5, 2012. Archived July 24, 2015. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/dP34U

December 8, 2022

Peterson interviewed Alex Epstein in an episode of his podcast titled “The Great Climate Con.” during the interview, Epstein commented:43The Great Climate Con | Alex Epstein | EP 312,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” December 8, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.

“It’s kind of obvious if you have a warmer world with more CO2, it’s a more tropical world with more life. It’s a more green world in the life sense of green. And yet the green movement hates it because we caused it. So they can see no good in anything we caused, even when it leads to more biological productivity. It’s fundamentally an anti-human movement, not a pro-life-of-any- kind movement.”

September 15, 2022

Lomborg published an opinion editorial in the Financial Post titled “Suppressing good news is scaring our kids witless.”44Bjorn Lomborg: Suppressing good news is scaring our kids witless,” Financial Post, September 15, 2022. Archived December 11, 2022.

According to Lomborg, “There are so many bad-news stories that we seldom stop to consider that on the most important indicators, life is getting much better.”

“We are incessantly told about disasters, whether it is the latest heat wave, flood, wildfire or storm. Yet the data overwhelmingly show that over the past century people have become much, much safer from all these weather events,” Lomborg claimed.

“Weather-fixated television news would make us think disasters are all getting worse. They’re not,” he added.

Lomborg also claimed polar bear populations have increased:

“[T]he reality is that polar bear numbers have been increasing […] We don’t hear this news, however. Instead, campaigners just quietly stopped using polar bears in their activism.”

Organizations tracking polar bear populations have sought to debunk similar claims. For example, Polar Bears International has clarified:45Status,” Polar Bears International. Archived December 29, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/feoMq

“The number of polar bears worldwide is not increasing. Some populations are recovering after their numbers were vastly reduced by uncontrolled hunting in the 1960s, but that potential for growth is running head first into declining carrying capacity in some regions due to loss of sea ice habitat.”

August 15, 2022

Jordan Peterson wrote an article for The Telegraph titled “Peddlers of environmental doom have shown their true totalitarian colours.”46Jordan 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.47Article: 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”.48#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.49Phoebe 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” 50Jordan 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:51Professor 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.52Bernard 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.53Jordan 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.54Patty 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.”55Rosie 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:562016/09/27: Part 1: Fear and the Law,” Youtube video uploaded by user “Jordan B Peterson,” September 27, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Affiliations

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

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