Principia Scientific International

Principia Scientific International

Background

Principia Scientific International (PSI) is an organisation based in the United Kingdom which promotes fringe views and material to claim that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas. PSI was formed in 2010 around the time they published their first book, titled Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory. [1]

PSI claims it provides its members with a “reliable port of call to ascertain the facts behind the news stories to better judge whether information being presented by third parties is accurate information and reflects a balanced view of all facets of the subject.” [2]

The PSI website says the organisation is “for everyone who supports the traditions [sic] scientific method against the rise of sinister and secretive government funded ‘post normal science’.”

As of 2014, PSI described itself as a “not-for-profit community interest subsidiary of PSI Acumen Ltd. That statement has since been removed. [2]

PSI Acumen was registered with Companies House in the UK in March 2013 (see PDF) as a private company, with an address in Battersea Park Road, London. In July 2013, the business address of PSI Acumen was changed (PDF) to an address in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, which is the same as the home address of John O’Sullivan, the organisation’s founder and chief executive officer. PSI Acument LTD was dissolved (PDF) on October 15, 2014. [3], [4], [5]

The two named directors were John O’Sullivan, of the UK, and a Walter James O’Brien, with a US address listed in Fargo, North Dakota. Emails published by climate skeptic blogger Pete Ridley suggest that Walter James O’Brien no longer has any connection to the PSI Acument company. [3], [6]

Principia Scientific reports that one of their “proudest endeavors is the ongoing support given to world-leading independent climatologist, Dr Tim Ball,” who is also a founding member and former chairman of PCI.  [7]

Stance on Climate Change

PSI regularly publishes commentary which claims that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas and that it could actually cool the planet. For example, in an article published in November 2013, “PSI Staff” wrote: [8]

Scientists at Principia Scientific International (PSI), who peer-reviewed Nahle’s paper, are currently advising colleagues that the most reliable data available now confirms that CO2 is shown to act as a coolant in earth’s climate. As such, the notion of a so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ warming effect may be regarded as refuted, while environmental measures by governments and individuals to reduce “carbon emissions”  to combat climate change are, in turn, rendered pointless. 

In 2013, PSI also began to promote unfounded claims that wind turbines make people sick and that childhood vaccines were “one of the largest most evil lies in history.” [9]

Funding

PSI is described on its website as being part of PSI Acumen Ltd — a private company registered in the UK with two named directors. No accounts have been filed for the company.

PSI asks for donations on its website and also seeks members. Membership is free, but PSI asks people applying to make a voluntary donation (they suggest about $30). According to their website, [2]

PSI is not beholden for its funds to any corporation, political party or undisclosed source. PSI functions on the income generated from its members and stakeholders ostensibly via book sales, consultancy fees and unsolicited charitable donations.”

Key People

Principia Scientific International (PSI) maintains a “selected” list of members and “friends/supporters” on its website: 

Name2014[10]2015[23]2016[24]20172018Description
John SandersonYYYYYChairman
John O’SullivanYYYYYChief Executive Officer & Founder Member
Hans SchreuderYYYYYChief Financial Officer & Founder Member
Alan SiddonsYYYYYFounder Member
Charles AndersonYYYYYFounder Member
Joseph A. OlsonYYYYYFounder Member
Martin HertzbergYYYYYFounder Member
Terri JacksonYYYYYRecruitment Officer
John N EllistonYYYYYVice Chairman (Australasia)
Tom RichardYYYYYWebmaster
Albert EllulYYYYY 
Alberto BorettiYYYYY 
Alberto MiatelloYYYYY 
Alexander LabounskyYYYYY 
Alwyn van der MerweYYYYY 
Andrew KirkpatrickYYYYY 
Bevan DockeryYYYYY 
Bill CoffeyYYYYY 
Bo LehnertYYYYY 
Bobby Brian Porch    Y 
Claes JohnsonYYYYY 
Cliff OllierYYYYY 
Cornelia CodreanovaYYYYY 
Corneliu CiubotariuYYYYY 
Costas CefalasYYYYY 
Darko ButinaYYYYY 
David J. PristashYYYYY 
David StockwellYYYYY 
Derek AlkerYYYYY 
Dev DangolYYYYY 
Don KeillerYYYYY 
Doug LindstromYYYYY 
Eduardo FerreyraYYYYY 
Edward HoskinsYYYYY 
Edwin X BerryYYYYY 
Frank LichtenbergYYY   
Franklin AmadorYYYYY 
George MarlattYYYYY 
Gerald V. ToddYYYYY 
Geraldo Luís LinoYYYYY 
Gerhard KrammYYYYY 
Habibullo Ismailovich AbdussamatovYYYYY 
James O. Coles IIIYYYYY 
Jim PedenYYYYY 
Jim PetchYYYYY 
Jo MoscickiYYYYY 
Joe BastardiYYYYY 
Jose CrocaYYYYY 
Joseph ‘Jef’ ReynenYYYYY 
Joseph E. PostmaYYY   
Jürgen KieserYYYYY 
Karl L. ErdmanYYYYY 
Ken CoffmanYYYYY 
Kerry PendergastYYYYY 
Kevin KYYYYY 
Klaus L.E. KaiserYYYYY 
Lionell GriffithYYYYY 
Liuda PozharYYYYY 
Louis A.G HissinkYYYYY 
Malcolm RobertsYYYYY 
Marian Calcroft    Y 
Martin HovlandYYYYY 
Matthias KleespiesYYYYY 
Michael J. JacksonYYYYY 
Myron Wyn EvansYYYYY 
Nils AbramsonYYYYY 
Nils-Axel MornerYYYYY 
Ole HumlumYYYYY 
Oliver K ManuelYYYYY 
Paul DriessenYYYYY 
Paul ReiterYYYYY 
Paul V. SheridanYYYYY 
Peter ChampnessYYYYY 
Peter Devlin    Y 
Peter F GillYYYYY 
Philip FosterYYYYY 
Pierre R. LatourY    Past Vice Chairman (North) [12]
Piers CorbynYYYYY 
Piet De Pauw    Y 
Ray DelaforceYYYYY 
Raymond HV Gallucci    Y 
Richard RoundsYYYYY 
Robert Arthur Beatty    Y 
Robert AshworthYYYYY 
Robert CheshireYYYYY 
Robert FellYYYYY 
Robert Hanes  YYY 
Robert WebsterYYYYY 
Ron PateYYYYY 
Ross Cameron McLeod* (Not Associated with PSI)Y*Y*Y*   
Sabin ColtonYYYYY 
Sierra RayneYY    
Simon CliffordYYYYY 
Sisir RoyYYYYY 
Stephen J. CrothersYYYYY 
Steve CrouchYYYYY 
Thomas Gillespie    Y 
Victor RiecanskyYYYYY 

*Ross Cameron McLeod since contacted DeSmog and noted his name had been added by PSI without his prior permission, and he requested to be removed from the list. 

Other People

Tim Ball  Founder member and former Chairman [11]

Former Members

In 2012, climate blogger Pete Ridley claimed that several people previously listed as members of PSI have withdrawn. [6]

An entry on the PSI website from May 2013 said that Russian physicist Habibullo Ismailovich Abdussamatov had “resigned,” but a list accessed by DeSmogBlog in December 2013 still had Dr Abdussamatov as a member.

Actions

July 2013

Principia Scientific International (PSI) offers to host a sacked Australian climate skeptic professor, Dr Murry Salby, for speaking engagements in London. [13]

PSI says it has secured funding from publisher Stairway Press for the trip. A later website entry made during Salby’s trip says that Ken Coffman, of Stairway Press, had donated a four figure sum to cover expenses for the Salby trip, which consisted (PDF) of two speeches in London, one in Cambridgeshire, and two more in Edinburgh. [14], [15]

A speech given in the UK parliament was sponsored by British Labour Party MP Graham Stringer and attended by PSI membership officer Terri Jackson. A speech given in the Scottish Parliament was hosted by Scottish Conservative Party MSP Murdo Fraser. [16], [17]

May 2013

In April and May 2013, PSI chief executive John O’Sullivan became embroiled in a public row with prominent climate science denier Lord Christopher Monckton.

O’Sullivan wrote a letter to Monckton, saying he should not accept the basic physics showing carbon dioxide was a “greenhouse gas.” [18]

O’Sullivan wrote: “Greenhouse gas predictions (and thus the science) are shown to be wrong.”

Monckton wrote back, describing O’Sullivan as “confused and scientifically illiterate.” O’Sullivan responded, saying Monckton’s “belief in the greenhouse gas ‘theory’ is premised on misunderstandings, misrepresentations and half truths.” [19], [20]

May 2013

The Australian newspaper’s environment editor Graham Lloyd cites Principia Scientific International in a news article suggesting there was a debate among scientists about the possibility of a coming ice age. The story cited an interview with Dr Habibullo Ismailovich Abdussamatov published on the PSI website. The interview had actually been published more than five years earlier on the Canadian National Post website. [21]

Dr Abdussamatov “resigned” his membership of PSI soon after.

January 2011

John O’Sullivan launches a crowd-funding campaign to raise cash for PSI.  As of December 2013, the campaign had raised just $450 of its stated $15,000 goal. The plea for funds said: [22]

Give generously for this good cause knowing you can help to counter the creeping folly of misguided societies that appear to have been commandeered by political lobbyists and shills serving self-interested corporations or misguided national governments.

November 2010

According to the PSI website, the organisation was originally conceived after several authors came together to write the book “Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.” [1]

The book, published in November 2010 online and then in print by Stairway Press in January 2011, claims to be the “only full volume refutation of the greenhouse gas theory of man-made global warming.”

Authors listed were John O’Sullivan, Hans Schreuder, Claes Johnson, Tim Ball, Charles Anderson, Alan Siddons, Joseph A. Olson and Martin Hertzberg.

PSI Acumen Ltd.

As of 2014, PSI described itself as a “not-for-profit community interest subsidiary of PSI Acumen Ltd. Registered Office: Penhurst House, 352-356 Battersea Park Road, London, England, SW11 3BY” in their website’s footer (the statement has since been removed). [2]

PSI Acumen was registered with Companies House in the UK in March 2013 (see PDF) as a private company, with an address in Battersea Park Road, London. In July 2013, the business address of PSI Acumen was changed (PDF) to an address in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, which is the same as the home address of John O’Sullivan, the organisation’s founder and chief executive officer. PSI Acument LTD was dissolved (PDF) on October 15, 2014. [3], [4], [5]

Social Media

Resources

  1. John O’Sullivan. “Principles of Association,” Principia Scientific International. Last updated Jan 5, 2016. Archived July 30, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mIoSc
  2. John O’Sullivan. “Support & Advice,” Principia Scientific International, July 19, 2011.  Archived January 7, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Xdygt
  3. “Certification of Incorporation of a Private Limited Company: Company No. 8428391” (PDF) Registrar of Companies for England and Wales, March, 2013. PDF archived at DeSmogBlog. 
  4. AD01: Change of registered office Address” (PDF), Department of Business Innovation and Skills. Retrieved form Companies House UK. PDF archived at DeSmogBlog.
  5. “Dissolved: 8428391” (PDF), Companies House UK. PDF archived at DeSMogBlog.
  6. Spotlight On PSI and PSI Acumen Ltd.“ Global Political Shenanigans, June 16, 2012. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.Is URLhttps://archive.is/RjQcR 
  7. John O’Sullivan. “Funding Our Work in 2015 – Your Donation Sought,” Principia Scientific. January 23, 2014. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Cs2m8
  8. Science Confirmed: Carbon Dioxide & Water Vapour Cools Earth’s Atmosphere,” Principia Scientific International, November 20, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/VxFDY
  9. Andrew Baker. “The Vaccine Hoax Is Over?” Principia Scientific International, December 6, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/En67N
  10. John O’Sullivan. “A Selection of Member Biographies,” Principia Scientific International. Archived July 10, 2014. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/WLGIA
  11. John O’Sullivan. “Principia Scientific International (PSI): Serving the community,” December 14, 2010. Archived October 22, 2015 Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/WoF8G
  12. Pierre Latour PE. “Engineering Earth’s Thermostat with CO2?” Principia Scientific International, April 16, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/RcMkt
  13. John O’Sullivan. “Scientist Fired by University for Exposing Truth on Climate Fraud,” Principia Scientific, July 9, 2013. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/sB6VO
  14. Derek Alker. “On Professor Murray Salby’s Edinburgh Talk: November 7, 2013,” Principia Scientific, November 11, 2013. Archived July 30, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/FqL8u
  15. “Prof. Murry Salby UK TOUR: 4th Nov – 8th Nov Schedule” (PDF), Stairway Press. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  16. Rev Philip Foster and Terri Jackson lead Professor Murry Salby in climate debate in House of Commons,” Terri Jackson’s Scientific Blog, November 8, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Sfrla
  17. So much for the consensus on climate change,” Patrick Harvie MSP, November 9, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tELWv
  18. John O’Sullivan. “Open Letter Challenge to Greenhouse Gas Promotor Lord Moncton,” Principia Scientific, April 9, 2013. Archived July 30, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/436xQ
  19. Lord Moncton Replies to John O’Sullivan’s Open Letter,”  Principia Scientific, April 23, 2013. Archived October 22, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Gtq9b
  20. John O’Sullivan. “Lord Moncton’s Appeal to Authority Backfires in Greenhouse Gas Debate,” Principia Scientific, May 3, 2013. Archived October 22, 2014. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Hv59S
  21. The Australian Brings You The Climate Science Denial News From Five Years Ago,” Graham Readfearn, May 10, 2013. Archived July 30, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/MAVpI
  22. PSI: Politics-free Science Association,” (Campaign), GoFundMe. Archived May 1, 2013. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/4CTFR
  23. John O’Sullivan. “A Selection of Member Biographies,” Principia Scientific International. Archived July 17, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ya1jV
  24. John O’Sullivan. “A Selection of Member Biographies,” Principia Scientific International. Archived July 30, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KZGwB

Photo credit: Principia Scientific International

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