Progressive Professor’s Fellowship ‘Terminated’ Over Climate Scepticism

  • Date: 13/06/14
  • Climate Depot

Two days after publishing a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) ’terminates’ Dr. Caleb Rossiter ‘s Associate Fellowship

Image of Caleb S. Rossiter

Caleb Rossiter

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was “terminated” via email as an “Associate Fellow” from the progressive group Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), following his May 4th, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called man-made global warming an “unproved science.” Rossiter also championed the expansion of carbon based energy in Africa.  Dr.  Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University. Rossiter holds a PhD in policy analysis and a masters degree in mathematics.

In an exclusive interview with Climate Depot, Dr. Rossiter explained: “If people ever say that fears of censorship for ‘climate change’ views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just two days after I published a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them…because my analysis and theirs ‘diverge.’”

“I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis,’ Rossiter told Climate Depot. “When I countered a claim of ‘rapidly accelerating’ temperature change with the [UN] IPCC’s own data’, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause — the best response I ever got was ‘Caleb, I don’t have time for this.’”

Climate Depot has obtained a copy of a May 7, 2014 email that John Cavanagh, the director of IPS since 1998, sent to Rossiter with the subject “Ending IPS Associate Fellowship.”

“Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies,” Cavanagh wrote in the opening sentence of the email.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable. The other project directors of IPS feel the same,” Cavanagh explained.

“We thank you for that work and wish you the best in your future endeavors,” Cavanagh and his IPS associate Emira Woods added. [Full Text of IPS email is reproduced further below.]

Rosstier’s May 4, 2014 Wall Street Journal OpEd pulled no punches. Rossiter, who holds a masters in mathematics, wrote: “I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics. Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.”

His Wall Street Journal OpEd continued: “The left wants to stop industrialization—even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.” He added: “Western policies seem more interested in carbon-dioxide levels than in life expectancy.”

“Each American accounts for 20 times the emissions of each African. We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa, which needs electricity for the sort of income-producing enterprises and infrastructure that help improve life expectancy? The average in Africa is 59 years—in America it’s 79,” he explained.

“How terrible to think that so many people in the West would rather block such success stories in the name of unproved science,” he concluded his WSJ OpEd.

Rossiter’s and IPS seemed a natural fit, given Rossiter’s long history as an anti-war activist.  IPS describes itself as “a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

But Rosstier’s credentials as a long-time progressive could not trump his growing climate skepticism or his unabashed promotion of carbon based fuels for Africa.

Rossiter’s website describes himself as “a progressive activist who has spent four decades fighting against and writing about the U.S. foreign policy of supporting repressive governments in the formerly colonized countries.”

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