Sebastian Lüning

Sebastian Lüning (alt. Luening)


  • Ph.D., Geology/Paleontology, University of Bremen, Germany (1997). [1], [2]
  • Diploma, geology/paleontology, University of Göttingen, Germany (1994). [1], [2]


Sebastian Lüning (alternatively spelled Sebastian Luening) is a geologist currently working for Portuguese oil and gas energy corporation, Galp Energia, according to his LinkedIn profile.  He formerly worked for the oil and gas company RWE Dea AG in Hamburg, Germany. He was the 2005/2006 Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna. [2] 

Lüning is the author of several geo-scientific documentaries. He is also the co-author of Die Kalte Sonne (Translated, “The Cold Sun”) with Fritz Vahrenholt. The book claims that global warming is not due to human activity, but rather due to the sun. Vahrenholt formerly served as the CEO of RWE Innogy[12][13]

Lüning also maintains a website for “Black Shale Research” which links back to his website on the Geology of North Africa and Arabia.

Stance on Climate Change

Die Kalte Sonne claims that “global warming over the past 150 years part of a natural cycle that is characterized primarily by the sun.” [3]

Key Quotes

June 2014

In his presentation at the 7th International Conference for Climate and Energy in Germany (the original presentation is in German), Lunning claims that warming is due to natural fluctuations in solar activity: [11]

“This is a geological context that unfortunately is lost on many people like physicists who believe their formulae more than they believe the true facts.” [11]

Talking about ice in Greenland:

“Despite the thousands of years of continuous warmth, the dramatic ice collapse never occurred.” [11]

He also calls the last 20 years of warming “statistically insignificant” and says that IPCC models have “no chance of success.” [11]

Key Deeds

August 2016

Sebastian Luning 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.” [7], [8]

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. [9][10]

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 […]” [8]

July 7–9, 2014

Sebastian Lüning was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [6]

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

May 21–23, 2012

Sebastian Lüning was a speaker at the Heartland Institute‘s 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland’s ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

Heartland’s president Joe Bast revealed at the end of the conference that the Institute had no plans for future ICCCs. This could be in part due to the defections of corporate sponsors following Heartland’s unsuccessful Unabomber billboard campaign and the unintended release of their confidential documents.

February 2012

Co-authored Die kalte Sonne or, “The Cold Sun” with Fritz Vahrenholt.

The book claims that there is no climate catastrophe because global warming is part of a natural cycle related to the sun. [3]

“Guest authors” include climate skeptics Henrik Svensmark and Nir Shaviv both who have promoted the theory that the sun drives climate change. Other skeptics featured in the book include Nicola Scafetta and Werner Weber. [1]

Although only recently published, the book has already been found to contain numerous fallacies. See one article debunking it published by Zeit Online (translated here). Some of their claims were also refuted by astrophysicist George Feulner. [4]

A website (in German) titled KalteSonneCheck also collected media coverage of the book.



A search of Google Scholar lists 10 articles written by Sebastion Lüning in peer-reviewed journals related to geology and petroleum geology. He does not appear to have published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change.

A full list of publications co-authored by Lüning is available here. [5]


  1. Die Autoren,”  Accessed February 14, 2012. Translated with Google Translate.
  2. The Team,” Seven Continents Science Productions.  Accessed February, 2012. Archived with WebCite, February 14, 2012.
  3. Stefan Schmitt and Christian Tenbrock. “Kälte aus dem All?”, Zeit Online, January 27, 2012. Translated with Google Translate.
  4. Es wird weiterhin wärmer,” n-tv, February 12, 2012. Translated with Google Translate.
  5. Publications co-authored by Sebastian Lüning,” Geology of North Africa and Arabia ( Accessed February, 2012.  Archived with WebCite, February 14, 2012.
  6. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.
  7. The Clexit Committee comprises” (PDF), Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.
  8. After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  9. Graham Readfearn. “After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit,” Desmog, August 3, 2016.
  10. Hugh Morgan AO,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived February 22, 2002. URL
  11. German Geologist: IPCC Models A Failure, ‘Have No Chance Of Success’ … Sees Possible 0.2°C Of Cooling By 2020,” NoTricksZone, June 29, 2014. Archived August 26, 2016. URL
  12. Changes to the Executive Management of RWE Innogy GmbH,” RWE, January 25, 2012. URL:
  13. Curriculum Vitae: Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt,RWE. Archived June 14, 2019. URL:

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