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Craig Idso

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Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

Craig D. Idso is Chairman, founder and former President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a contrarian Arizona-based group funded in part by ExxonMobil. He is the son of its president, Sherwood B. Idso[1], and the brother of its vice president, Keith E. Idso.[2]



Craig Idso's degrees:[3]

B.S. in Geography from Arizona State University
M.S. in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Ph.D. in Geography from Arizona State University; his thesis was on the amplitude of the difference between winter and summer atmopheric CO2 levels, and his thesis advisor was ASU's global warming skeptic professor Robert C. Balling, Jr.[4].


Contrarian think tanks

Idso is listed as Chairman of CO2Science[3] and Science Advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute[5].

No academic position

As of 2011, Idso is not affiliated with a university.[4]

Fossil fuel industry employment

Idso was "Director of Environmental Science at Peabody Energy in St. Louis, Missouri".[3]

Professional societies membership

Idso "is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, Arizona-Nevada Academy of Sciences, Association of American Geographers, Ecological Society of America, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi."[3]

(Membership in such societies is often open to anyone who has an interest in the subject, is willing to pay dues, and has some relevant education.)

Research and teaching

Info from CO2Science website bio

"Dr. Idso's current research focus is on carbon sequestration, but he remains actively involved in several other aspects of global and environmental change, including climatology and meteorology, along with their impacts on agriculture. Dr. Idso has published scientific articles on issues related to data quality, the growing season, the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2, world food supplies, coral reefs, and urban CO2 concentrations, the latter of which he investigated via a National Science Foundation grant as a faculty researcher in the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. In addition, he has lectured in Meteorology at Arizona State University, and in Physical Geography at Mesa and Chandler-Gilbert Community Colleges."[3]

Public speaking

Speaking Engagement at 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting

Idso was a featured speaker at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Meeting, speaking at a Workshop that was to be titled "Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2."[6] The title was later changed to "Benefit Analysis of CO2"[7] He was joined in that workshop by two other speakers and fellow climate skeptics, Roger Helmer and Robert Ferguson.[8] The workshop was hosted by ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.[9]

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that corporations do not vote on the board.) They fund almost all of ALEC's operations. Participating legislators, overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations crafted and voted on the bills. ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a “unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. It might be right. It is as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had pushed the people out the door. Learn more at

Articles and Resources


  1. President. CO2 Science. Retrieved on 2011-08-12.
  2. Vice President. CO2 Science. Retrieved on 2011-08-12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Chairman", Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, accessed April 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Craig Idso, pers. comm to ahaynes, 2011-08-12; Idso says there was no program at ASU that granted specifically climate degrees, so the climate science was within the Geography dept.
  5. Personnel. Science and Public Policy Institute. Retrieved on 2011-08-12. “Science Adviser: Craig Idso, Ph. D., - Now serving as Chairman of the Board of Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, CRAIG D. IDSO is the Center’s founder and former President.”
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived July 22, 2011
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting Agenda, online meeting agenda, image archived August 3, 2011
  8. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Workshops, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  9. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Energy, Environment, and Agriculture 2011 Annual Meeting Task Force Meeting," speaker biographies and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD

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External Resources

Articles and Presentations by Idso

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