Tim Worstall

Tim Worstall

Credentials

  • London School of Economics and Political Science, 1984 – 1987. (Subject unknown). [1]

Background

Tim Worstall is a writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based free-market think tank with strong links to the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Centre for Policy Studies, all of which have cast doubt on climate science and green energy regulations. [2]

Worstall mainly writes via his self-titled blog and the news site Continental Telegraph which he founded. He has also contributed to various news outlets including CapX, the Telegraph, and the Times. [2], [3]

On climate change, Worstall has expressed doubts “about a lot of it” and has previously argued that we should “be doing less about climate change than some are urging us to do.” [4], [5]

He has claimed that the UK government’s climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, don’t “understand the underlying science being discussed”. He has also described the climate activism of Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Greta Thunberg as “hair shirtery” and argued that “the way to deal with climate change is to frack for natural gas.” [6], [7], [8]

Worstall has previously expressed his scepticism on offshore wind farms and has said he is not convinced that a turbine “repays its own energy cost in time before the salt water rots it away”. [9]

He has also claimed there is “no real evidence that electric cars have fewer emissions than internal combustion ones”. [10]

In 2009, Worstall unsuccessfully stood as a London MEP candidate for the UK Independence Party (UKIP). [11]

The following year, Worstall published a book titled “Chasing Rainbows: How the Green Agenda Defeats Its Aims”, arguing that preoccupations of the environmental movement causes self-destructive policies. [12]

Worstall spent most of the 1990’s living and working in Russia and claims to have, at the time, been the world’s biggest dealer in the rare-earth element Scandium. [13]

Stance on Climate Change

November 1, 2019

On his blog, Continental Telegraph, Worstall wrote: [4]

It’s time someone explained to St Greta and Extinction Rebellion that they are simply wrong about the world we inhabit. No, this is not an attempt to deny climate change. Nor to say that the science underlying it is all wet. I have my doubts about a lot of it, can point to gross errors in what is being said and how that scientific work is being done.” [4]

February 25, 2016

In a blog post for the Adam Smith Institute titled “People Still Aren’t Understanding Climate Change,” Worstall wrote: [14]

It’s the people insistent that they know all about climate change who are getting it wrong at a basic logical level. As ever here, we’ll start from the idea that the IPCC is correct, that we’ve a problem, we’re causing it and we should do something. Even then these people are still wrong.” [14]

November 30, 2015

In a blog post about COP21, Worstall wrote: [15]

The truth or not of climate change is not the important point. Politics is about what people believe, not the truth. Thus we’ve been advocating a carbon tax on the grounds that we know they’re going to do something so we might as well tell everyone to do what will cure the problem, if it exists, at least cost.” [15]

Key Quotes

April 15, 2020

While discussing different approaches to tackling climate change, Worstall wrote: [7]

The currently fashionable claim… [is] that we must eviscerate modern society right now and retreat back to a much lower standard of living as our method of reducing those emissions. For that is what a ‘zero carbon’ society by 2030, or even 2050 is liable to mean in real terms – the guarantee of immediate penury for millions of people.” [7]

October 29, 2019

On offshore wind farms, Worstall wrote: [9]

I’ve not yet even been convinced that an offshore turbine repays its own energy cost in time before the salt water rots it away, but I’m entirely willing to accept that I might be wrong about that.” [9]

August 5, 2019

In a CapX article advocating for industrial scale agricultural farming, Worstall wrote: [16]

The counter-intuitive truth is that to help combat climate change we need more industrial farming and less organic. The reason being that if we want to save us much land as possible for wildlife, trees and all that good stuff, we should be as economical as possible in our use of land.” [16]

November 13, 2018

In a CapX article, Worstall wrote: [17]

The biggest problem with the climate change debate is that those most insistent that something must be done are those most insistent that the wrong something is done.” [17]

October 14, 2018

On fracking, Worstall wrote: [8]

One of the more interesting absurdities of climate change is that the best-known method of actually dealing with it in the here and now is to use more of a particular fossil fuel. To go out and use a new method – newish perhaps – of extracting it too. The very method that every environmentalist insists we never should use at all.

  That is, the way to deal with climate change is to frack for natural gas.” [8]

November 20, 2013

In a blog post for the Adam Smith Institute, Worstall wrote: [18]

If we are to believe that climate change is happening, that it is indeed something we must do about and further, that it is us causing the problem, then the answer is a carbon tax at that social cost of carbon emissions.” [18]

Key Deeds

May 10, 2021

Worstall wrote an article for The Washington Examiner, which criticised US President Joe Biden for advocating for the domestic production of wind turbines in a speech to Congress, where he stated: “There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason. None. No reason.” [31], [32]

In response, Worstall wrote: “Biden’s claim is one of ignorant economics. There is a reason that we buy imports; they’re the entire purpose of trade, the point being to gain access to those things that foreigners do better, or cheaper, or faster, than we do.” He concluded: “Exactly because these Chinese products are cheaper we will achieve more climate change prevention by using imports.” [31]

November 19, 2020

In an article for The Washington Examiner entitled, “Rejoice! Climate change is solved (except not really),” Worstall disputed the cost implications of implementing renewable technologies, writing: “It isn’t true that those new and wondrous solar and wind technologies are, as yet, cheaper than fossil fuels. At least we can’t be certain of it. If those renewables aren’t cheaper yet, then they’re not the solution yet either, are they?” [30]

April 15, 2020

During the coronavirus pandemic, Worstall argued that, due to the lockdown measures used to help stop the spread of the virus, “we’re testing the St Greta method of beating climate change” and “not liking it very much at all”. [7]

Worstall went on to write: [7]

We know pretty well we could reverse the problem if we all agree to become as poor as church mice, or return to being peasants in the fields.” [7]

He also wrote that “instead of the hair shirtery favoured by the Gretas of this world” or the “shrill eschatology of the modern green movement” the best solution to beat climate change is to focus on technological and economic advancements. [7]

One article caption offered up for readers to share on Twitter stated, “We’ve had a taste of Extinction Rebellion’s world – and no one likes it”. [7]

Environmentalists, however, have been quick to suggest that measures seen in the coronavirus pandemic will not work in solving climate change. [19]

May 1, 2019

In a CapX column, Worstall argued that the Committee on Climate Change, the UK’s climate advisory body, didn’t “understand the underlying science being discussed” and suggested that it was “unaware” of the “basic logic of the economics of climate change”. [6]

October 8, 2018

In an article about a Green Party proposal for a four-day working week, Worstall wrote: [20]

To achieve the leisure time the Greens want, we need to really open up the economy to globalisation, ditch recycling targets, stop trying to grow our own food and get serious about building nuclear plants. All the sort of policies the Greens themselves advocate increase the human labour we have to perform, leaving us with less leisure time.” [20]

January 18, 2018

In a CapX article about microwaves, Worstall wrote that there was “no real evidence that electric cars have fewer emissions than internal combustion ones”. [10]

However, a study published in the scientific journal Nature Sustainability found that electric cars produce less CO2 than conventional cars and fossil fuel heating, even when considering the generation of electricity through fossil fuels. [21]

July 26, 2017

In a CapX article, Worstall took issue with the proposal to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, arguing that the market should be left to “allow innovation to let rip”. [22]

Emphasising that he didn’t want to “rehash those very tired arguments about whether climate change is happening or not”, Worstall suggested that we would “be left looking really very stupid indeed” if we went ahead with the proposal prematurely. [22]

June 2, 2017

Worstall wrote “it doesn’t matter a damn” that President Donald Trump had pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement, because “of what we’ve already done about it [climate change]”. [23]

January 7, 2016

Worstall took issue with the way the EU has dealt with climate change and wrote, “assuming, for the sake of argument, that there is a problem that needs solving”, “we here at the [Adam Smith Institute] have always been in favour of a carbon tax. We know very well that, whatever the reality of climate change, some fool somewhere is going to do something. So, let’s make sure that what is done is minimally damaging and might even have some useful side effects”. [24]

December 29, 2015

Worstall suggested there were “two very different tales” as to why there was flooding happening in the North of England; either due to climate change, or “that the bureaucrats have been deliberately designing the flow of rivers so that floods do occur”. [25]

December 13, 2015

As the Paris Agreement on climate change was being negotiated, Worstall wrote: [26]

What is so maddening about this climate change kerfluffle [sic] is that everyone, but everyone, seems to be determined to make the wrong decisions, entirely ignoring everything they are being told by the scientific consensus on the subject. There’ve been a number of reports chewing over what should be done, assuming that the case for doing anything has been made, and they all say much the same thing. [26]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

According to a search on Good Reads, Worstall is the author of several books, including:

  • Chasing Rainbows: How the Green Agenda Defeats its Aims, Stacey International, 2010.
  • 23 Things We Are Telling You About Capitalism, ASI, 2014.
  • The No Breakfast Fallacy: Why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of minerals and metals, ASI, 2015.

Resources

  1. Tim Worstall,” LinkedIn. Archived May 5, 2020. 
  2. Fellows and Senior Fellows,” Adam Smith InstituteArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/apyEN
  3. The Continental Telegraph,” Adam Smith InstituteArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/h9oBD
  4. Tim Worstall. “Extinction Rebellion Should Shut Up And Go Home,” Continental Telegraph, November 1, 2019. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/gcynS
  5. Tim Worstall. “Climate Change Is Now Less of a Problem. So We Need To Do Less About Climate Change,” Forbes, March 29, 2013. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/tsqsx
  6. Tim Worstall. “Emissions targets are the wrong way to solve climate change,” CapX, May 1, 2019. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/EVHAa
  7. Tim Worstall. “The crisis exposes the hollow fantasies of Greta and Extinction Rebellion,” CapX, April 15, 2020. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/8qWXW
  8. Tim Worstall. “How To Properly Beat Climate Change – Get Fracking,” Continental Telegraph, October 14, 2018. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/gtvY8
  9. Tim Worstall. “Have we already found the solution to climate change?” CapX, October 29, 2019. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/snZYK
  10. Tim Worstall. “Emissions claims about microwave ovens are a lot of hot air,” CapX, January 18, 2018. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/OhTdj
  11. London candidates for the European Elections 2009,” BBCArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/6K4lr
  12. Chasing Rainbows: How the Green Agenda Defeats Its Aims,” Google BooksArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/tHCAH
  13. Freedom’s Fighters with Tim Worstall,” YouTube video uploaded by user Adam Smith on November 1, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  14. Tim Worstall. “People Still Aren’t Understanding Climate Change,” Adam Smith Institute, February 25, 2016. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/YwuAq
  15. Tim Worstall. “Something to remember about COP21,” Adam Smith Institute, November 30, 2015. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/LQjbn
  16. Tim Worstall. “Why industrial agriculture is crucial to fighting climate change,” CapX, August 5, 2019. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/0XI4v
  17. Tim Worstall. “Central planners won’t solve climate change,” CapX, November 13, 2018. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/jJDgZ
  18. Tim Worstall. “Why a carbon tax would work,” Adam Smith Institute, November 20, 2013. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/wGMhi
  19. Adam Jacobson. “COVID-19 pandemic response temporarily combating CO2 emissions, but systemic change needed, experts urge,” CBC, March 14, 2020. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/21hCN
  20. Tim Worstall. “Green Party policies would give us less leisure time – not more,” CapX, October 8, 2018. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/8FNyf
  21. Fiona Harvey. “Electric cars produce less CO2 than petrol vehicles, study confirms,” Guardian, March 23, 2020. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/1vEg1
  22. Tim Worstall. “Let the market drive innovation, Mr Gove,” CapX, July 26, 2017. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Vn90u
  23. Tim Worstall. “Don’t worry about Paris – let the market save the planet,” CapX, June 2, 2017. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/SHnQo
  24. Tim Worstall. “The EU’s method of dealing with climate change always was insane,” Adam Smith Institute, January 7, 2016. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/NCyAy
  25. Tim Worstall. “We really need to get this story about rivers and flooding straight,” Adam Smith Institute, December 29, 2015. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/55JIG
  26. Tim Worstall. “Entirely the wrong decision on climate change in Paris,” Adam Smith Institute, December 13, 2015. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/xcV0I
  27. Tim Worstall,” CapXArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/Bv3Q7
  28. Tim Worstall,” TelegraphArchived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/HazMz
  29. Mark Lynas. “A challenge to Christopher Booker: try Decc’s future energy calculator properly,” Guardian, January 10, 2012. Archived May 5, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/H2Zwx
  30. Tim Worstall. “Rejoice! Climate change is solved (except not really)”, The Washington Examiner, November 19, 2020. Archived November 24, 2020. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/DBF3p 
  31. Tim Worstall. “Biden offers hot air on wind turbine imports,” The Washington Examiner, May 10, 2021. Archived May 11, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/xOBDj
  32. Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress,The White House, April 29, 2021. Archived May 12, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/zXYzG

Image credit: @worstall Twitter

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