Ruth Lea

Ruth Lea

Credentials

Background

Ruth Lea is a political economist and former civil servant. A commentator on economic and political affairs, Ruth Lea has criticised the “big state” economic ideas of Gordon Brown.2“Tax ‘N’ Spend” (PDF), Centre for Policy Studies, July 2004. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Between 2004 and 2007, Ruth was director of Centre for Policy Studies, an organisation with links to climate science denial groups in the US.3Our Team,” Global Vision. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZJJDX

Lea co-founded Eurosceptic and free-market campaign group Global Vision in 2007, which shares an address with the Centre for Policy Studies and other connected groups involved in Brexit lobbying and climate science denial at 55 Tufton Street.4Our Team,” Global Vision. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZJJDX From 2007 to 2010 she was the director of Global Vision, of which Lord Norman Blackwell is Chair. Blackwell has strong links to multiple 55 Tufton Street organisations.5Who We Are,” Global Vision. Archived August 19, 2014. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/pa3ju

Lea is on the advisory council for Taxpayers’ Alliance, an organisation at the heart of the network of pro-Brexit lobby interests and climate science denial at 55 Tufton Street.6Advisory Council,” TaxPayers’ Alliance. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/fjMkj Lea is also a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which is closely linked to the 55 Tufton Street organisations and is located next door at 57 Tufton Street.7Fellows and Academic Advisors,” Institute of Economic Affairs. Archived February 16, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7u3Jw

Lea was a trustee and director of the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), from January 2019 to 2021.8Lord Lawson steps down from GWPF chairmanship,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 16, 2019. Archived January 16, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Fgpmb 9THE GLOBAL WARMING POLICY FOUNDATION,” Companies House. Archived April 16, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/dOjmC

Stance on Climate Change

May 1, 2006

Writing at The Telegraph, Lea cited the now-deceased Australian climate change denier and geologist Bob Carter to claim climate change is largely due to natural variability:10Ruth Lea. “Personal view: The idea everyone agrees on climate change is a fallacy,” The Telegraph, May 1, 2006. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZXRYZ

“All in all, global average surface temperatures picked up by about a modest 0.6C during the 20th Century, which geologist Dr Bob Carter of the James Cook University, Australia, for example, assesses to be within the limits of natural statistical variability. And, interestingly, global average air temperatures, which are regarded as more reliable by climate scientists, have not changed over the past 20 to 30 years,” Lea wrote.

On the scientific consensus, that “the IPCC‘s analysis is deeply flawed”, citing a quote from Paul Reiter in which he had said “consensus is the stuff of politics, not science.

“And indeed it is,” Lea commented. “As there seems to be little scientific agreement that mankind’s fossil-fuel burning is the major reason for climate change.”

Key Quotes

July 31, 2020

Responding to a Met Office report stating that 2019 was the 12th warmest year since 1884, Lea tweeted: “Oh yes, and temperatures fluctuate. Time the climate alarmists cooled down”.11“Stop press: Met’s annual UK report confirms that 2019 was the 12th warmest year from 1884. Oh yes, and temperatures fluctuate. Time the climate alarmists cooled down. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53601257,” Tweet by @RuthLeaEcon, July 31, 2020. Archived July 31, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/XFKKb

May 30, 2020

Lea tweeted in response to an article about a new date for COP26, the United Nations’ annual climate summit:12New date agreed for COP. Gosh, must put that one in my diary. As if our paltry contribution to global CO2 emissions has much impact on “climate change”. It really is time to “move on” from this one.,” Tweet by @RuthLeaEcon, May 30, 2020. Retrieved from twitter.com. Archived May 30, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/T3nrM

“New date agreed for COP. Gosh, must put that one in my diary. As if our paltry contribution to global CO2 emissions has much impact on “climate change”. It really is time to “move on” from this one.”

July 14, 2016

Lea tweeted:13Farewell DECC [Department of Energy and Climate Change], now time to repeal 2008 Climate Change Act & develop competitive, rational energy policy.” Tweet by @RuthLeaEcon, July 14, 2016. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

“Farewell DECC [Department of Energy and Climate Change], now time to repeal 2008 Climate Change Act & develop competitive, rational energy policy.”

July 23, 2013

Lea tweeted:14Global warming slowing despite soaring CO2 emissions “puzzle” for the Met Office. No “puzzle” at all, given flawed analysis. #globalwarming,” Tweet by @RuthLeaEcon, July 23, 2013. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

“Global warming slowing despite soaring CO2 emissions “puzzle” for the Met Office. No “puzzle” at all, given flawed analysis. #globalwarming”

October 2008

At a fringe event run by the Freedom Association, a right-wing pressure group in the UK, Lea outlined previous variations in global temperature as a means of dismissing current climate change, and said:15Ruth Lea on climate change – part 1,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Simon Richards,” October 6, 2008. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“In the 1990s, things warmed up a little bit, and now of course since the late 1990s, as I understand it, temperatures have not risen at all, if anything they’re now slightly cooling”.

In the same talk, Lea said of the idea that cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions would reduce global temperature increases:

“I am not a climate scientist, I do not pretend to be. But I do make sure that I have friends who are, and my friends who are climate scientists tell me that this is just ridiculous.”

Key Deeds

February 16, 2022

DeSmog revealed that Lea has been working as a parliamentary aide to Craig Mackinlay, the Conservative MP for South Thanet and leader of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), since at least 2017. When asked about her association with the GWPF while working for Mackinlay, Lea told DeSmog:

“I have been associated with the GWPF and fully support its aims. I am not a climate change denier – but believe that, if the world is to “decarbonise”, then China and India must be on board. As the UK only produces 1% of manmade carbon emissions, then our net zero policies are pretty futile – and very, very expensive.”

Speaking to POLITICO about Lea’s employment, Mackinlay confirmed that she had secured a parliamentary pass through association with his office since 2016. He told POLITICO: “She has never been paid and has assisted me primarily across Brexit, Treasury and economic issues throughout as she continues to do.”16Esther Webber and Karl Mathiesen. “Tory MP hires staff linked to climate denial group,” POLITICO, February 16, 2022. Archived February 17, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/zW8RE

Mackinlay added that Lea’s work with Net Zero Watch “was wholly unconnected to her original appointment with me and is not related to her continuation as a passholder now. She is largely retired these days and she comes to parliament infrequently.”

December 6, 2019

Lea published a series of essays with the GWPF entitled “Carbon Futility”, arguing that policies to decarbonise the UK economy amounted to “futile gesture politics” and that a “major political price will be paid”.17Carbon Policies Are ‘Futile Gesture Politics’,” GWPF, December 6, 2019. Archived January 27, 2019. Archive URL: http://archive.md/RkSUk

January 16, 2019

Lea joined the board of trustees of the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), at the same time as Lord Donoughue replaced Lord Lawson as Chairman.18Lord Lawson steps down from GWPF chairmanship,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 16, 2019. Archived January 16, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Fgpmb

March 2018

Lea was among a series of hardline Brexit lobbyists from organisations linked to climate science denial made economic advisors on an expert committee for Liam Fox, as revealed by a freedom of information request.19Chloe Farand. “Revealed: Liam Fox’s Trade Department is Taking Advice from ‘Experts’ with Links to Climate Science Denial Networks,” DeSmog, March 22, 2018.

Other lobbyists mentioned include Shanker Singham, who worked for a year at the Legatum Institute before leaving for a role at 55 Tufton Street organisation Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Singham also has links to US-based climate science denial organisations, being originally a policy expert for the US-based Heartland Institute, which has received at least $676,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

October 2011

In a Perspectives column entitled “Britain’s high energy prices: the folly of wind-power,” Lea questioned climate science and criticised the UK‘s climate policy for rising energy prices.20“Britain’s high energy prices: the folly of wind-power” (PDF), October 2011. Retrieved from “Sustain Our Beautiful Berwickshire.” Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

March 2007

Lea co-founded the organisation Global Vision, a Eurosceptic and pro-free market organisation operating out of 55 Tufton Street, the same address as other pro-Brexit and climate science denial groups such as the Taxpayers’ Alliance and the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).21Our Team,” Global Vision. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZJJDX

Among the economic advisors for Global Vision is Neil Record. Record is a donor to climate science denial organisation the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a 55 Tufton Street organisation, and is the Chair of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which is located next door at 57 Tufton Street.22Economic Advisory Panel,” Global Vision. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/fnxgO

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

According to her archived profile at Global Vision, Lea “is the author of many papers and articles on a wide range of economic issues.”36Our Team,” Global Vision. Archived January 7, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZJJDX

Other Resources

Resources

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