Indur M. Goklany

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Indur M. Goklany
EducationB.Tech. (1968), M.S. (1969), PhD (1973)
Alma materIndian Institutes of Technology, Michigan State University
OccupationScience and technology policy analyst
EmployerUnited States Department of the Interior
Notable work
The Improving State of the World

Indur M. Goklany is a science policy advisor in the United States Department of the Interior (DOI).[1][2] Trained as an electrical engineer, he has often promoted views at odds with the scientific consensus on climate change, falsely asserting that there is a lack of agreement among scientists and that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide has various beneficial effects.[3][4]

In 2017, the Trump administration promoted him to a position charged with reviewing climate policy. In 2020, it was revealed he had repeatedly tried to insert misleading language on climate change into the agency's scientific reports.[1] He has also worked with several organisations known for promoting climate change denial, including the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Global Warming Policy Foundation.[1][3][4]


Goklany has a B. Tech degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institutes of Technology and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in electrical engineering, from Michigan State University.[5]

Views on climate change[edit]

In 2017, Goklany was promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Programs, Science and Technology Policy at the Department of the Interior. In that role he was responsible for reviewing climate policies. He has repeatedly inserted climate change denial language into DOI’s scientific reports, which are used to make decisions on matters like water and mineral rights. The wording includes claims that there is a lack of consensus for global warming among scientists and that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is beneficial.[1]

He took part in the making of Policy Peril: Why Global Warming Policies are More Dangerous than Global Warming Itself, a film created by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank engaged in manufacturing climate change denialism.[1][6] He has also written papers for the Heartland Institute, who paid him $1,000 a month in 2012 for writing a chapter in their book.[3][1] At a Heartland-organised conference in 2017, he posited a correlation between rising CO2 levels and life expectancy and GDP, saying "we’re actually living in the best of times, and carbon dioxide and fossils fuels are a good part of that."[3]

Goklany has argued that while "hysteria over global warming" is fueled by concerns of increased worldwide hunger and driving species to extinction, the proposed use biofuels and ethanol would only make both issues worse.[7] He has also been critical of the World Wide Fund for Nature and the United Nations Population Fund over their stance on population growth saying, "For many groups like the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), World Population Day, which fell on July 11, is another chance to bemoan 'the relentless growth in human population,' while the United Nations Population Fund says 'stabilizing population would help sustain the planet.' The problem, however, is not population but poverty."[8]

In 2021, Climate Feedback fact-checked an article by Breitbart which repeated inaccurate and misleading claims made by Goklany in a post for the Global Warming Policy Foundation.[4] The reviewers noted that Goklany is "an electrical engineer, not a climate scientist, who hasn’t published any peer-reviewed research in at least the past decade on the topics he wrote about".[4]


  • Goklany, Indur M. (2006). The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet. The Cato Institute. ISBN 978-1-930865-98-3.
  • Goklany, Indur M. (November 2002). The Precautionary Principle: A Critical Appraisal of Environmental Risk. The Cato Institute. ISBN 978-1-930865-16-7.
  • Goklany, Indur M. (November 26, 1999). Clearing the Air: The Real Story of the War on Air Pollution. The Cato Institute. ISBN 978-1-882577-83-5.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Tabuchi, Hiroko (March 2, 2020). "A Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial in Scientific Research". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 4, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "Staff Directory". Department of the Interior. Archived from the original on October 19, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Eilperin, Juliet; Grandoni, Dino (March 9, 2018). "How a climate skeptic marginalized for years at the Interior Dept. rose to prominence under Trump". Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "Breitbart article makes numerous false claims about the impacts of climate change, based on Global Warming Policy Foundation post". Climate Feedback. February 12, 2021.
  5. ^ "Indur M. Goklany". World Economic Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  6. ^ Brickley, Adam (August 17, 2009). "New Movie Seeks to Refute Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth'". CNS News. p. 1. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Goklany, Indur M. (April 23, 2007). "Unintended consequences". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Goklany, Indur M. (July 15, 2009). "Apocalypse When?". The Korea Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.