Madhav Khandekar

Madhav Khandekar


  • Ph.D., Meteorology, Florida State University. [1]
  • M.Sc., Meteorology, Florida State University. [1]
  • M.Sc., Statistics, Pune University (India). [1]
  • B.Sc., Mathematics. [1]
  • B.Sc., Physics. [1]


Madhav Khandekar is a retired Environment Canada scientist. The Heartland Institute describes him as “an environmental consultant on extreme weather events and a scientist with the Natural Resources Stewardship Project.” [2]

According to leaked documents from Heartland, Khandekar has been receiving $1,000 per month from the Heartland Institute, an organization at the forefront of climate change science denial.

Stance on Climate Change

November 2008

“There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature at all. In fact if we look at the temperature change over the last 100 years and link it with the CO2, there is little correlation…” [3]

Key Quotes

July 2009

“At this point I don’t think it’s correct to say that the planet is continuing to warm because it has essentially stayed about the same. There is no additional warming of the entire earth-atmosphere-ocean system in the last few years.”

“I don’t see that CO2 is inducing any climate change. CO2 may have induced a small amount of warming that we saw in the 80’s and 90’s but more importantly CO2 is an inert gas, it is not a pollutant.” [4]

Key Deeds

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. [27]

Khandekar 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 CoalitionRichard Lindzen, a fellow at the Cato InstituteCraig 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. [28]

The letter reads: [29]

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!”

February 23, 2017

Khandekar was a signatory of a petition (PDF) organized by Richard Lindzen of the Cato Institute urging President Donald Trump to pull the United States out of the United Nations international convention on climate change (UNFCCC). [22]

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” Lindzen wrote in the letter. [22]

DeSmog investigated the list, and found that only a small handful of the signatories could be considered “even remotely ‘qualified’ or ‘eminent’ — but not in the field of climate science.” The list included individuals “interested in climate,” and one signatory who only identified as an “emailer who wished to sign the petition” while some signers provided no affiliation or address whatsoever. [23]

August 2016

Madhav Khandekar is listed as a “Founding Member” of group named Climate Exit (Clexit) led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton. According to Clexit’s founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” [18][19]

Desmog reports on how the group grew in the wake of the UK‘s decision to leave the EU. A key member of Clexit’s “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders” is Hugh Morgan, a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and former CEO of Western Mining Corporation with close ties to Australia’s Liberal party. [20][21]

According to Clexit’s founding statement:

If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science […]” [19]

June 10, 2016

Madhav Khandekar was a signatory to a Cornwall Alliance open letter written by Calvin Beisner and addressed to U.S. attorneys general about climate change. [11]

The letter responds to recent investigations by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Attorneys General United for Clean Power into what ExxonMobil knew about climate change and when, started by a coalition of attorneys general in the US. [12], [13] 

Calvin Beisner writes that the attorneys generals’ actions are “a dead giveaway that you’re ignorant about climate science and related climate and energy policy.”  [11]

“[U]nlike in the case of tobacco’s health risks, there are innumerable and enormous holes in the case (not for human contribution to global warming but) for manmade global warming dangerous enough to justify spending trillions of dollars reinventing the world’s energy system to mitigate it, particularly when competing use of those trillions might bring far greater benefit,” Beisner addresses the attorneys general. And you, intelligent and learned all, are ignorant of those enormous holes.”  [11]

The Cornwall Alliance lists the following signatories to its open letter:  [11]

September 9, 2014

Madhav Khandekar, Cliff Ollier, and Arthur Middleton Hughes publish a book titled About Face!: Why the World Needs More Carbon Dioxide; The Failed Science of Global Warming. The book’s trio of authors encourage ramping up CO2 levels, by way of increased fossil fuel use, “to allow more plants to grow and combat rising levels of malnutrition.” [14]

The authors write if the “EPA and IPCC are successful in reducing carbon dioxide in the air, more millions will die annually of starvation—people that could be fed from bigger harvests generated by more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” and that, “CO2 is good. We need more of it, not less. DDT is good. We need to use it to eradicate malaria. Energy Independence is impossible and wrong-headed. We should stop subsidizing ethanol, wind power and solar. Coal plants are urgently needed to produce electricity and increase CO2 in the atmosphere. We need to stop programs that are causing millions of deaths worldwide, and spending billions of dollars wastefully at home … There is no global warming caused by CO2, nor are there deaths to wild birds or people due to DDT.” [15]

The central message of the book asserted by Ollier, Khandekar, and Hughes is “people have to be ever vigilant to make sure that doomsayers are not allowed to dictate public policy.” [15]

July 7–9, 2014

Madhav Khandekar was a panelist and moderator at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [16] He moderated Panel 12: “International Perspectives on Climate Change with Christopher Moncton and Sebastian Luning and spoke on Panel 14: “Weather and Climate Change” with Joe Bastardi.

Panel 14: Weather and Climate Change

Panel 14: Q&A

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland’s ICCC9, which can be found here.

May 2010

Khandekar was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4) where he gave a speech titled “Glaciergate, Glacier Melt and Future Sea Level Rise: A New Perspective.” [31]

DeSmog has done research on the co-sponsors of the conference and found that 19 of the 65 sponsors (including Heartland itself) have received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries family foundations or the Scaife family foundations.

March 30, 2009

Khandekar’s signature is appended to a full-page ad funded by the CATO institute that appeared in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune in 2009.

The advertisement criticizes President Obama’s declaration that “few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change,” stating that “with all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.” It goes on to assert that “there has been no net global warming for over a decade,” and that the dangers of global warming are “grossly overstated.” [10]

March 2008

Khandekar was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1) where he gave a speech titled “Global Warming and Extreme Weather: No Discernable Link.” [30]

December 13th, 2007

Khandekar signed an open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations alleging that that the “UN climate conference is taking the World in entirely the wrong direction.”

The letter was signed by 100 “Prominent Scientists.” [5]

May 3, 2004

Khandekar spoke at a Cooler Heads Coalition “Congressional and Media Briefing” titled “The Impacts of Global Warming: Why the Alarmist View is Wrong.”

Other speakers included global warming skeptics Paul Reiter, Nils-Axel Morner, and Patrick Michaels. [6]


Madhav Khandekar was one of three Canadians “part of a network of academics receiving monthly payments from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute as part of its advocacy work to cast doubt on scientific evidence linking human activity to global warming observed in recent decades,” according to a report from Postmedia News‘ Mike De Souza. Khandekar wrote there was “nothing secret about it,” receiving a $1,000 per month stipend from Heartland, “for doing the literature review and providing commentaries on the website.” [17]

Tom Harris was among the other Canadians mentioned in the internal financial records as having received funds from the Heartland Institute. Harris also received $175,000 from Talisman Energy, an Alberta-based energy company, to finance a project titled “Research on the Climate-Change Debate,” using University of Calgary “research accounts,” yielding “a video attacking the Kyoto Protocol and peer-reviewed scientific literature linking human activity to climate change.” [17]



According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Khandekar has published 19 pieces of research in peer-reviewed journals, mainly in the area of El Nino and climate.

Many of his papers on climate change were published in the journal Energy and Environment , a journal which has been criticized for its peer review process and which is edited by global warming skeptic Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen.


  1. Experts,” ICECAP. Accessed January, 2012.
  2. Heartland Experts: Madhav Kandekar,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed January, 2012.
  3. Climate Change. Interview with Madhav Khandekar (Part 1).” YouTube video, uploaded by HLabohm on November 9, 2008. Accessed January, 2012.
  4. Interview with the Frontier Center for Public Policy, July 31, 2009.
  5. Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” December 13, 2007. Reprinted by the Science and Public Policy Institute.
  6. Impacts of Global Warming: Why the Alarmist View is Wrong,” Cooler Heads Coalition ( Archived April 24, 2007.
  7. NRSP People,” Natural Resources Stewardship Project. Archived January 31, 2007.
  8. WHO WE ARE,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.
  9. SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD,” Friends of Science. Accessed January, 2012.
  10. Climate Change Reality,” The Cato Institute.
  11. E. Calvin Beisner. “Open Letter to Attorneys General about Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance, June 10, 2016. Archived June 24, 2016. WebCite URL
  12. David Hasemyer. “Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon Draws Attention of 17 Attorneys General,” InsideClimate News, March 30, 2016. Archived June 24, 2016. WebCite URL:
  13. Ben Jervey. “State Investigations Into What Exxon Knew Double, and Exxon Gets Defensive,” Desmog, April 1, 2016.
  15. Arthur Middleton Hughes, Madhav Khandekar, and Cliff Ollier. ”About Face!: Why the World Needs More Carbon Dioxide; The Failed Science of Global Warming,” Two Harbors Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.
  16. “Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, Program, (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived April 10, 2018.
  17. Feds discreet about foreign funding of climate skeptics,” Postmedia News, March 12, 2012. Archived November 7, 2014.
  18. The Clexit Committee comprises” (PDF), Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.
  19. After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  20. Graham Readfearn. “After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit,” Desmog, August 3, 2016.
  21. Hugh Morgan AO,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived February 22, 2002. URL
  22. PETITION” (PDF), February 23, 2017. Richard Lindzen. PDF Archived at DeSmog.
  23. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Denier Richard Lindzen’s List of 300 “Scientists” Sent to Trump Is the Usual Parade of Non-Experts,” DeSmog, February 27, 2017.
  24. amnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.
  25. Robin 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. URL
  26. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.
  27. Robin 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. URL
  28. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer,” DeSmog, February 6, 2018.
  29. mnh18-feb4-petitionletter (PDF – Untitled). Retrieved from Watts Up With That.
  30. “First International Conference on Climate Change, Program,” (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived January 23, 2018. URL 
  31. “Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, Program,” (PDF) Heartland Institute. Archived January 23, 2018.

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