Steven F. Hayward

Steven F. Hayward


  • Ph.D., American studies, Claremont Graduate School. [1]
  • M.A., government, Claremont Graduate School. [1]
  • B.S., Business and Administrative Studies, Lewis and Clark College. [1]


Steven F. Hayward is a conservative writer and journalist covering issues including environmentalism, law, economics, and public policy. He is the Thomas Smith Distinguished Fellow at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio, where he directs their political economy program. [1], [27], [28]

Hayward is a blogger PowerLine, a conservative blog run by the Center for the American Experiment’s (CAE) presidenJohn Hinderaker. Hayward has also contributed to CAE as a report co-author criticizing wind energy in Minnesota. [25], [26]

Hayward has ties to many conservative think tanks. He has been a senior fellow in environmental studies at at the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), and Weyerhaeuser Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also a director of the Donors Capital Fund (DCF), a group that works with DonorsTrust to give hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to numerous groups questioning mainstream climate science. Hayward is a board member of the Institute for Energy Research (IER). [2], [3], [20]

The American Enterprise Institute and Pacific Research Institute are both heavily funded by oil billionaires Koch Industries, and Richard Mellon Scaife.

Stance on Climate Change

April 3, 2017

In a Weekly Standard profile he wrote on conservative Republican Jay Faison, who Hayward said “believes climate change is a serious threat,” Hayward concludes that the 97% consensus is inaccurate and that renewable energy such as wind and solar is not the answer: [41]

“While climate activists like [Tom] Steyer and [Bill’ McKibben recite the (inaccurate) slogan about how ’97 percent of scientists “believe” in climate change,’they shift the subject when it is pointed out that 100 percent of public and private long-term energy forecasts […] find that fossil fuels will be the dominant source of energy for the planet for decades to come, and no amount of solar and wind power worship is going to change that. Who are the real ‘deniers,’ then? With environmentalists becoming increasingly shrill and extreme, as do all coercive utopians detached from reality, Faison’s approach—encouraging innovation around current energy sources like nuclear, coal, and hydropower while seeking new breakthrough energy technologies—may well turn out to be the most farsighted if serious climate disruption comes to pass.” [41]

June 9, 2015

Writing at Forbes, Hayward described climate change as a “secular religion” of “leftists and environmentalists”: [38]

“[P]erhaps a better metaphor for true-believing environmentalism is drug addiction: the addictive need for another rush of euphoria, followed by the crash or pains of withdrawal, and the diminishing returns of the next fix. For there’s always a next fix for environmentalists: fracking, bee colony collapse disorder, de-forestation, drought, floods, plastic bags … the list is endless,” Hayward wrote.

“Activist liberal elites always need a Grand Cause to satisfy their messianic needs, or for the political equivalent of a dopamine rush. For such people, the only thing worse that catastrophic climate change is the catastrophe of not having a catastrophe to obsess over—and use as an excuse to extend political control over people and resources, which is the one-side-fits-all answer for every new crisis that starts through the issue-attention cycle.”

April 29, 2013

Hayward wrote in The Weekly Standard: [30]

“The pause in global warming​​—​​now going on 15 years​​—​​has become so obvious that many of the leading climate scientists are grudgingly admitting that global warming has stopped.”

August 24, 2007

“The planet is warming. Human beings are playing a substantial role in that warming. How large that warming is going to be and how we ought to respond to it is still an open question.” [4]

Key Quotes

June 15, 2014

Writing at The Weekly Standard, Hayward describes organizations promoting climate change denial including the Cato Institute, The Heartland Institute, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute as “boutique operations next to the environmental establishment.” [29]

“The total budgets for all of these efforts would probably not add up to a month’s spending by just the Sierra Club. And yet we are to believe that this comparatively small effort has kept the climate change agenda at bay,” Hayward wrote. [29]

March 5, 2012

“True, Heartland’s board documents reveal seven-figure contributions for their climate work from one ‘anonymous donor,’ but environmental organizations take in many multiples of Heartland’s total budget in anonymous donations washed through the left-wing Tides Foundation.” [6]

“As with Three Mile Island, the hysteria of the media and the political class over the Deepwater spill is likely to lead to increased risk and adverse environmental tradeoffs.” [6]

January 3, 2011

Writing at the AEI website, Hayward describes climate change as a “non-falsifiable hypothesis”: [36]

“At some point, however, advocates of non-falsifiable hypotheses end up sleeping on park benches muttering about how ‘the Man,’ or the CIA chip in his head, or international bankers, or … someone, is keeping the truth under wraps. […] Sometimes, such people get institutionalized, or medicated. And some become global warming advocates.” 

June 21, 2010

“Even if the costs of the spill exceed $15 billion (to be borne by BP) as now seems likely, the benefits of continued offshore oil production still exceed the costs by a wide margin. Economist Peter Passell estimates a net economic benefit of nearly a trillion dollars from continued offshore production. This will not be a popular position to hold so long as live streaming video of the oil spill continues and the media continue to cover the spill in a state of near hysteria. But it is at precisely such times that rational analysis needs to be heard.” [7]

March 15, 2010

“[W]e cannot rule out the possibility that the changes of recent decades are part of a natural rebound from the ‘Little Ice Age’ that followed the medieval warm period and ended in the 19th century.” [5]

February 19, 2007

“In any event, it has never been true that we ignore mainstream science; and anyone who reads AEI publications closely can see that we are not ‘skeptics’ about warming. It is possible to accept the general consensus about the existence of global warming while having valid questions about the extent of warming, the consequences of warming, and the appropriate responses.” [8]

May 22, 2006

“A sensible climate policy would emphasize building resilience into our capacity to adapt to climate changes–whether cooling or warming; whether wholly natural, wholly man-made, or somewhere in between.” [9]

Index of Leading Environmental Indicators

Hayward is the author of the “Index of Leading Environmental Indicators,” co-published by the American Enterprise Institute and the Pacific Research Institute between 1996 and 2009. The studies generally suggest the environment is improving over time, and implies that little to no intervention is required to solve the world’s environmental problems. 

It is also dismissive of global warming dangers. For example, in the 2009 report, Hayward declared:

The data show that 2008 was the coolest year since 2000, and there has been no discernible warming for the last decade, after two decades of steady warming between 1979 and 1998.”   [42]

View the reports below:

Key Deeds

August 15, 2019

Hayward posted a critical review of a Nature Communications article that ranked 386 “climate change contrarians” based on media visibility. The article also ranked bona fide climate scientists and found that deniers had nearly 50% more visibility in the media than mainstream scientists. [44], [45]

Though Hayward referred to the analysis as “bullshit” he expressed satisfaction with his 40th place ranking and felt that he was in “pretty great company” with the likes of Marc Morano (#1), Freeman Dyson, Ross McKitrick, and John Hinderaker, among others. [44]

Appearing immediately after Morano in the study’s rankings were Sen. James Inhofe, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Judith Curry, and Roy Spencer. [44][45]

Hayward concluded:

This is yet another sign of the desperation of the climatistas, whose failure to persuade is prompting their authoritarian streak to become more obvious and frantic. […] with the climatistas embarrassing themselves on a daily basis, I don’t really need to do much besides sit back and fire up my coal-powered popcorn machine.” [44]

June 4, 2018

In an article titled “Climate Change Has Run Its Course,” Hayward wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue.” [43]

“Climate change is over. No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the future, or that human influence on the climate is negligible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue,” Hayward claimed.

“The descent of climate change into the abyss of social-justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm—a blaring noise people are tuning out.” [43]

October 10, 2017

Hayward was co-author of a report written for the Center of the American Experiment critical of wind power in Minnesota. While the full report does not explicitly promote a fall back to coal-fired power plants, it claims that Minnesota has “little to show” for its investment in wind power, “except higher electricity bills.” [21], [22]

“Minnesota is actually failing to achieve the object of its policy, which is to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Hayward [21]

SourceWatch describes the Center for the American Experiment (CAE) as a “right-wing pressure group” that works to influence legislation in Minnesota. CAE is also a member of the State Policy Network, a Koch-funded network of conservative think tanks fighting for limited government and regularly opposing climate change legislation in the US. [23], [24]

CAE‘s president, John Hinderaker, runs the conservative blog Power Line where Steven Hayward is also listed as a blogger. [25]

Critics have called the report short-sighted at best, and wrong at worst. Beth Soholt, Executive Director of Wind of the Wires, said Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) had already considered the economics behind its energy choices in a “thoughtful and thorough” manner. [21]

The report suggested in its conclusion that “Instead of rubberstamping a renewable energy project just because it might advance Minnesota’s green energy goals, moving forward the MPUC should now take greater care in evaluating alternatives and whether the project undermines competitive electricity rates. [22]

August 28, 2017

While climate scientists such as Michael Mann have noted that the flooding related to severe storms such as Hurricane Harvey can be said “with great confidence” to have worsened the flooding, Hayward posted the alternate view of Roy Spencer at PowerLine, claiming that “The rainfall amounts are entirely precedented.” [33], [34

November 2014

Hayward spoke at HIllsale College as part of it’s 2014 Center for Constructive Alternatives “CCA” series. His talk was titled “a funny thing happened on the way to global warming.[37]

According to Hayward, “three funny things happened on the way to global warming:” [37]

“First, global warming stopped. Imagine that. Second, the policy agenda of the ‘climatistas,’ as I call them, or an even better term for the climate crusaders is ‘thermageddonites’—I didn’t think of that, that’s Britain’s Lord Monckton came up with that and I think it’s really good—but the policy agenda of the ‘climatistas’ has been revealed to be completely absurd. […] Even if catastrophic human-caused climate change turned out to be true, environmentalists are the last people you’d want to put in charge of dealing with the problem.” [37]

The third thing, Hayward notes, is “the revival of the oil and gas energy sector to the technological revolution of directional drilling and ‘rock massaging’; that’s what I call fracking.” View the full video below. [37]

May 25, 2011

Hayward testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations opposing U.N. climate talks. He posted excerpts from his testimony at the National Review, and his complete written testimony is also available on the AEI website. [31]

“[T]he international diplomacy of climate change is the most implausible and unpromising initiative since the disarmament talks of the 1930s, and for many of the same reasons,” Hayward began his testimony to the committee. [31]

“The diplomatic approach—the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC)—first set in motion formally at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 has reached a dead end,” he added. [31]

Hayward pushes an alternative to the U.N. climate talks through a report by the conservative AEI and Brookings Institution which “would ignore the UN” and follow “a process begun tentatively by the Bush Administration.”  [31]

For “more detailed explanation of this strategy,” Hayward points to work by Roger Pielke Jr., as well as a 2009 study titled “The Hartwell paper” funded by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation, and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association among other groups. [31], [32]

Hayward later expressed similar views in an interview with the The Wall Street Journal[35]

“These climate talks are doing nothing to solve the problem of global warmig,” Hayward said, describing the talks as a “climate circus.” [35]

April 2011

Steven Hayward is the author of the Pacific Research Institute (PRI) publication titled the “Almanac of Environmental Trends (PDF)” which is published every year on Earth Day. [16]

The corresponding website,, describes its vision as to illuminate the nature and causes of environmental conditions in the U.S. and around the world, and to highlight lessons that can be learned from the significant environmental progress that has occurred in many areas.” [17]

Notable among the website’s staff, other than Hayward himself, is climate change skeptic Kenneth P. Green who is associated with a number of think tanks including AEI, the Fraser Institute, and the Reason Foundation. [18]

According to the print version of the PRI Report, the chief drivers of environmental improvement are economic growth, constantly increasing resource efficiency, technological innovation in pollution control, and “the deepening of environmental values among the American public.” It paints a less favorable picture for government policy, which Hayward describes as a “a lagging indicator, often achieving results at needlessly high cost, and sometimes failing completely.” [16]

The report includes sections on Air Quality (Advocacy Groups “distort air quality data to reinforce public anxiety”), Energy (We have lots of fossil fuels so we shouldn’t worry), Climate Change (the science isn’t settled), Water Quality (consistently improving), Toxic Chemicals (the EPA‘s regulations for toxic chemicals are “out of all proportion”) Forests and Land (we have lots of trees, so we shouldn’t worry), Biodiversity (it’s “impossible to draw definite conclusions” about species loss, but there are “stable or improving fish and bird habitats”), and Public Opinion (people aren’t as worried about the environment). [16]

In his report, Hayward asserts that one of the factors skewing public opinion on environmental quality in the U.S. is environmental advocacy groups “[…] for whom good news is bad news.” [16]

According the section of his report on “Climate Change,” Hayward suggests that climate change has natural causes: [16]

“The historical record suggests that climate shifts can happen suddenly, for reasons that remain unclear. The argument that currently observable climate changes are outside the range of normal climate variability is a key tenet of the climate campaign, and despite the incessant refrain about the “consensus” that “the debate is over,” this core question is far from settled.” [16]

March 15, 2010

Hayward promoted the “Climategate” controversy in an article for The Weekly Standard. [5]

According to Hayward, “Skeptics have known and tried to publicize all of these contrarian or confounding scientific findings [that climate change is natural], but the compliant news media routinely ignored all of them, enabling the IPCC to get away with its serial exaggeration and blatant advocacy for more than a decade. [5]

September 25–27, 2008

Hayward presented a paper at the third annual “Free Market Forum.” In his paper, titled “The Use and Abuse of Global Warming,” Hayward warns that combatting climate change would result in the expansion of government: [39][40]

“First, even if the conventional alarmist version of extreme global warming turns out to be correct—the reasons to be skeptical of climate catastrophe will have to be left to another paper—the conventional remedies of environmentalists and the international community are a prescription for catastrophic bureaucratic expansion, centralization of unaccountable power, dirigiste economics, and wholesale political corruption,” he writes. [40]

August 24, 2007

Hayward starred in a Pacific Research Institute video titled “Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction: Sorting out Sense from Nonsense on Global Warming.” [4]

July 5, 2006

Hayward was a co-author of a July 2006 letter sent by the American Enterprise Institute to an unknown number of scientists, looking for someone – at a rate of $10,000 for 10,000 words – whose review “thoughtfully explores the limitations of climate model outputs as they pertain to the development of climate policy.”

The Guardian reported on the AEI study here. [10]

August 2, 2002

Hayward signed a letter by Myron Ebell and Fred L. Smith addressed to President George W. Bush, congratulating the President for not attending the World Summit on sustainable Development in Johannesburg. [19]

We applaud your decision not to attend the summit in person,” the letter told President Bush. “Although so-called environmental groups may in the next few weeks pressure you to attend, we believe there are good reasons not to give in to this pressure.” [19]

February 4, 2001

Hayward signed a letter to President Bush requesting that he withdraw from the “Climate Action Report 2002,” and that the report be rewritten based on “sound science.” The letter also recommends that Bush “dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.” [15]


Social Media


Hayward as published hundreds of articles in various magazines and blogs including including:

View a list of Hayward’s publications, searchable by keyword (.xlsx).


  • Almanac of Environmental Trends. Pacific Research Institute, April 2011.
  • The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980.
  • The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution, 1980-1989 (CrownForum books).
  • Churchill on Leadership, and Greatness: Reagan Churchill, and the Making of Modern Statesmen.


  1. Steven F. Hayward,” American Enterprise Institute. Archived November 20, 2012. URL
  2. “Form 990: Donors Capital Fund, Inc” (PDF), Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  3. Board of Directors,” Donors Capital Fund. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  4. Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction: Sorting out Sense from Nonsense on Global Warming,” Pacific Research Institute, August 24, 2007. Archived May 5, 2012. URL:
  5. Steven F. Hayward. “In Denial: The meltdown of the climate campaign,” The Weekly Standard, Mar 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 25. Archived August 17, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL
  6. Steven F. Hayward. “Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning,” The Weekly Standard, Mar 5, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 24. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL
  7. Steven Hayward. “How to Think About Oil Spills: The perils of overreaction,” The Weekly Standard, Jun 21, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 38. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL
  8. Steven F. Hayward. “Scenes from the Climate Inquisition,” The Weekly Standard, Feb 19, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 22. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:
  9. Steven F. Hayward. “Acclimatizing: How to Think Sensibly, or Ridiculously, about Global Warming,” National Review, May 22, 2006. Republished by the American Enterprise Institute. Archived February 4, 2007. URL
  10. Ian Sample. “Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study,” The Guardian, February 2, 2007. Archived February 18, 2017. URL:
  11. CFACT Board of Advisors,” CFACT. July 8, 2009. Archived February 18, 2017. URL
  12. Scholars,” Pacific Research Institute. Archived February 18, 2017. URL
  13. PERC Board,” Property and Environment Research Center. Archived December 31, 2012. URL
  14. Steven Hayward: Adjunct Fellow,” Ashbrook. Archived January 21, 2012. URL:
  15. Joint Letter To President Bush On The EPA‘s Climate Action Report,” Competitive Enterprise Institute. June 7, 2002. Archived February 18, 2017. URL
  16. “2011 Almanac of Environmental Trend” (PDF), Pacific Research Institute, April, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  17. About,” Environmentaltrends. Archived June 16, 2012. URL
  18. Staff membersEnvironmentaltrends. Archived May 18, 2011. URL:
  19. An Open Letter To President Bush About The World Summit On Sustainable Development,“ Competitive Enterprise Institute, August 2, 2002. Archived November 5, 2002. URL:
  20. BOARD OF DIRECTORS,” Institute for Energy Research. Archived September 26, 2017. URL:
  21. Don Davis. “Is wind power living up to potential? Conservative groups says no, supporters disagree,” Brainerd Dispatch, October 10, 2017. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  22. “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure” (PDF), October 19, 2017. 
  23. Center of the American Experiment,” SourceWatch. Accessed October 20, 2017. URL
  24. Center for the American Experiment,” State Policy Network. Archived October 20, 2017. URL 
  25. Ricardo Lopez. “Conservative blogger, attorney takes helm of Center of the American Experiment,” Star Tribune, January 17, 2016. Archived October 20, 2017.
  26. About Us,” PowerLine. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  27. Steven Hayward,” Ashbrook. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  28. Meet the Faculty,” Pepperdine School of Public Policy. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  29. Steven F. Hayward. “Climate Cultists,The Weekly Standard, June 16, 2014. URL:
  30. Steven F. Hayward. “The Climate Circus Leaves Town,” The Weekly Standard, April 29, 2013. URL:
  31. U.N. Climate Talks Not About Temperature,” National Review, May 26, 2011. URL
  32. The Hartwell paper,” The London Shool of Economics and Political Science, June 6, 2012. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  33. Michael E Mann. “It’s a fact: climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly,” The Guardian, August 28, 2017. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  34. THE TEXAS STORM AND CLIMATE CHANGE,” PowerLine, August 28, 2017. Archived October 20, 2017. URL
  35. Another Climate Crack-Up,” AEI, December 13, 2011. Archived .mp4 on filea at DeSmog.
  36. Steven F. Hayward. “Why Climate Change Reminds Me of a T.S. Eliot Poem,” AEI, January 3, 2011. Archived October 20, 2017. URL:
  37. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Global Warming,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Hillsdale College,” November 11, 2014. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  38. Steven F. Hayward. “Why The Left Needs Climate Change,” Forbes, June 9, 2015. URL:
  39. 2008 Free Market Forum,” Hillsdale College. Archived October 20, 2017.
  40. “The Use and Abuse of Global Warming: The Threat to Free Government” (PDF), retrieved from
  41. A Conservative Takes on Climate Change,” The Weekly Standard, April 3, 2017. URL:
  42. Index of Leading Environmental Indicators: 2009 Report,” Pacific Research Institute, April 16, 2009 .January 15, 2012. URL
  43. Climate Change Has Run Its Course,” The Wal Street Journal, June 4, 2018. Archived June 6, 2018. URL:
  44. Steven Hayward. “Steve and John Make the Climate Blacklist!,”, August 15, 2019. Archived August 15, 2019. URL:
  45. Alexander Michael Petersen, Emmanuel M. Vincent, Anthony LeRoy Westerling. “Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians,” Nature Communications, August 13, 2019. Archived August 14, 2019. URL: Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

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