A study published by Geophysical Research Letters sheds new light on the connection between California's epic drought and human-induced climate change.
The study carries the decidedly wonky title, “Probable causes of the abnormal ridge accompanying the 2013-14 California drought: ENSO precursor and anthropogenic warming footprint.”
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Richard S. Courtney
Richard S. Courtney
- BA, Open.
- DipPhil, Cambridge.
- Diploma (Bath).
According to SourceWatch there has been some confusion as to whether Richard S. Courtney holds an academic degree. In some cases he is referred to without any academic degree , . In other cases he has been described as “Dr. Richard S. Courtney,” ,  or “Richard S. Courtney, Ph.D.” 
Interestingly, Courtney's profile states that “Richard avoids confusion about him in his scientific and religious activities by rarely citing his academic achievements.”
Richard S. Courtney is the Technical Editor for CoalTrans International, a journal of the international coal trading industry.
In the early 1990s Courtney was a Senior Material Scientist of the National Coal Board (also known as British Coal) and a Science and Technology spokesman of the British Association of Colliery Management.
Courtney is a member of the the editorial board of Energy & Environment, a journal known for publishing the papers of climate change skeptics. He was also a founding member of the now-defunct European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF). ESEF was part of the “sound science” movement and had connections to the tobacco industry.
According to one profile: “Richard is a respected authority on energy issues, especially clean coal technology. He has been the Senior Materials Scientist of the UK’s Coal Research Establishment, has served as a Technical Advisor to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), possesses several patents, and has published papers in many journals including Nature, Microscopy and Filtration. He is the author of the chapter on coal in Kempes Engineers Yearbook.”
He is also “an Accredited Methodist Preacher,” and a founding Member of the Christ and the Cosmos Initiative “that explores the interactions of religious and scientific ideas.” 
Stance on Climate Change
Courtney is a signatory to the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change which asserts that “human-caused climate change is not a global crisis,” that “(CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life,” that industrial carbon dioxide emissions do not affect climate change, and that “warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder.”
“The warming period from ~1970 to ~2000 was sandwiched between the cooling periods of ~1940 to ~1970 and ~2000 to the present. The changes between these warming and cooling periods coincide with phase reversals of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and, therefore, it seems that the present lack of warming is likely to continue for the next two decades.” 
March 30, 2009
Courtney's signature is displayed alongside a full-page ad funded by the CATO institute that appeared in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune in 2009.
The advertisement criticizes President Obama's declaration that “few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change,” stating that “with all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.” It goes on to describe how “there has been no net global warming for over a decade,” and that the dangers related to global warming are “grossly overstated.” 
Courtney was a speaker at the 2009 International Conference on climate Change where he presented the research findings of fellow climate change skeptic Zbigniew Jaworowski. 
The conference is hosted by the industry-funded Heartland Institute and focuses on “research that contradicts claims that Earth’s moderate warming during the twentieth century primarily was man-made and has reached crisis proportions.”
March 2 - 4, 2008.
Courtney was a signatory of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change which was presented to all attendees of Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. 
The declaration recommends “that world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
Courtney represented ESEF in a briefing co-sponsored by the Cooler Heads Coalition in 2000 called “Climate Is not Warming - Has not Warmed in 60 Years” where he claimed to be an IPCC “expert reviewer” and stated a lack of measured global warming. 
Courtney was one of the first people to sign the 1995 “Leipzig Declaration,” a project of Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project and a group called the European Academy of Environmental Affairs. The declaration stated that “there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide.” 
According to Sourcewatch, when a Danish journalist attempted to contact the 33 European scientists listed on the petition, 12 denied signing the petition and some had not even heard of the Leipzig Declaration. Of those that did admit to signing the letter, one was a doctor and another was an expert on flying insects. The declaration was then revised and Richard Courtney's name, among others, was removed. 
It is interesting to note that a similar tactic was used in the Oregon Institute's petition that DeSmog reported on earlier in our research of the letter of 60 scientists to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Fred Singer and his organization and the George C. Marshall Institute were also deeply involved in the Oregon Petition.
According to a search of 22,000 publications, Courtney has not published any research in the area of climate change.
He has written opinion papers expressing his concern over the loss of jobs in the coal industry as a result of the UK's movement towards renewable energy. He has published one article in the journal Energy and Environment, which has previously been criticized for its peer review process.
- “CRYSTAL BALLS, VIRTUAL REALITIES AND 'STORYLINES',” Energy & Environment, Vol 12, Number 4 (July 2001).
- “Wind Farms Provide Negligible Useful Electricity” (PDF), Center for Science and Public Policy, March, 2006.
- “Biofuels: a solution worse than the problem they try to address?” (PDF), The Science and Public Policy Institute, March 12, 2008.
Richard S. Courtney. “Wind Farms Provide Negligible Useful Electricity” (PDF), Center for Science and Public Policy, March 2006. Republished by Frontiers of Freedom.
“Facts versus Factions: the use and abuse of subjectivity in scientific research” (PDF), ESEF Working Paper, February 1998.
“The threat of climate change,” eco-logic Powerhouse, August 2004. Archived September 25, 2004.
“Protocol lacks 'credible science',” Financial Post, Wednesday, June 4, 2003. Republished by John-Daly.com.
“Treibhaus-Kontroverse und Ozon-Problem: Symposium der Europäischen Akademie für Umweltfragen Leipzig 9.-10.” November 1995,” Amazon.de.
“Sceptical climate science discussion group celebrates 1st year:
Sceptical Climate Science Discussion Group,” The Scientific Alliance, November 22, 2002. Archived May 20, 2006.
“On the astounding DipPhil Courtney,” Rabett Run, February 3, 2008.
“Richard S. Courtney,” climateconference.heartland.org (Website of the Heartland Institute's 6th International Conference on Climate Change). Accessed December 3, 2011.
“Has the IPCC rendered itself irrelevant?”, Climate Progress, April 15, 2009. See comment #41 by “Richard S Courtney.”
“The Climate Scientists' Register Endorsers,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed December 3, 2011.
“Climate Change Reality,” The Cato Institute.
“Richard S. Courtney, DipPhil,” viddler.com video (uploaded by the Heartland Institute), accessed December 4, 2011.
“ENDORSERS OF THE DECLARATION PRESENT AT THE CONFERENCE IN NEW YORK CITY,” International Climate Science Coalition.
“CLIMATE IS NOT WARMING - HAS NOT WARMED IN 60 YEARS: A Briefing by the Science & Environmental Policy Project at COP-6,” The Science and Environmental Policy Project, Nov 21, 2000. Archived February 15, 2007.
“The Leipzig Declaration,” (Original version), Sovereignty.net. Accessed December 3, 2011.
“Richard S. Courtney,” SourceWatch.
Richard S. Courtney. “'Renewable' energy technologies can't hack it in the market place,” The New Australian, No. 134 (September 20-26, 1999).
Open letter to Paul Martin. The Financial Post, June 4, 2003. Republished by the Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived March 26, 2009.
“CFACT Board of Advisors,” Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. Accessed March 2, 2012.
“Heartland Experts: Mr. Richard Courtney,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed March 2, 2012.
“The continuing misadventures of Richard S. Courtney: (non) scientist,” Watching the Deniers, November 3, 2010.
“Richard S Courtney: Temperatures, Climate Models…And The Human Brain,” The Unbearable Nackedness of CLIMATE CHANGE, June 15, 2009.
“Richard Courtney neither lives in, nor visits, nor passes through, nor flies over a small village a block or two from Epsom,” Rabett Run, February 13, 2008.
“Memorandum submitted by richard S. Courtney (CRU 01),” www.parliament.uk, January, 2010.
“Limits to existing quantitative understanding of past, present and future changes to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration” (PDF), Presentation by Richard S Courtney to the Climate Conference held In New York, on 2 to 4 March 2008.