Investment Advisor CEO: Why Value Investors Should Doubt “Climate Science”

Essay by Eric Worrall

Chris Leithner, Joint Managing Director of Leithner & Company Ltd, on why going with the crowd on climate change violates the basic principles of sound investment.

Why value investors should doubt “climate science”

By nature they’re sceptics, and at key junctures become contrarians. I show why they should disbelieve the orthodoxy – and why it matters.

Leithner & Company Ltd

In this article, I answer these crucial questions. I proceed from four premises: 

  1. Value investors are naturally sceptical, and always think for themselves.
  2. They don’t let conventional wisdom sway them – whether in the form of crowds, a “consensus” of academic and other “experts” or stampeding mobs led by jet-setting UN Secretaries General, Australian billionaires, etc. 
  3. In key respects and at crucial junctures value investors are bold contrarians.
  4. They think independently, but they’re also humble. In particular, when necessary they heed competent external views and research.

Applying these principles to an assessment of “climate science,” it’s clear that climate change isn’t a systemic risk: it’s a mass hysteria. Like all manias, it will collapse when people – above all, energy consumers and taxpayers – recover their senses.

“When everybody is on one side of a market,” reckons Jim Rogers, the consensus “has nearly always proven to be wrong. We human beings have not changed in hundreds of years, so we are still guided by the same fears and aspirations.” Howard Marks concurs: “What’s clear to the broad consensus of investors is almost always wrong.” Carl Icahn is less categorical: “The consensus … is generally wrong …”

In conversations over the years, I’ve come to realise that climate zealots, Net Zero nutters, etc. – including those who claim that they’re scientists – fundamentally misunderstand science. The tell-tale sign is their use of the phrase “the science” (note the insertion of the definite article). They falsely regard science as a body of knowledge at a given point in time. Furthermore, they arrogantly believe that today’s “climate science” is 100% correct – and therefore that it always will be. 

So-called “climate science” rests not upon credible theories and valid and reliable data, “but rather political opinions and speculative models that have consistently proven to be wrong.” Moreover, “the Unscientific Method …, relying on consensus, peer review, government opinion, models that do not work, cherry-picking data and omitting voluminous contradictory data, is commonly employed in these studies.” 

Read more:

It’s difficult to do Chris Leithner’s piece justice in just a few short quoted paragraphs. He has most definitely done his research, with multiple quotes from scientists ranging from William Happer, Steven Koonin, and a star cast of other leading skeptics.

And you don’t have to look far to see companies and individuals who are only just starting to feel the hurt from their rash green investment decisions.

Consider automobile companies: Companies whose CEOs rushed headlong into massive electric vehicle investments, perhaps over-confident that governments would force ordinary people to buy their unwanted product, only to see politicians hesitating in the face of electoral backlash and public anger.

In my opinion we have not seen a proper reckoning yet for what could turn out to be a major automobile industry financial disaster. So long as politicians maintain the fiction that fossil fuel vehicles will definitely be phased out in the near future, automobile companies don’t have to mark down their failing EV investments. Automobile company CEOs can maintain the fiction that multi-billion dollar EV manufacturing outlays are valuable strategic investments in the future. Don’t look at the large unsold inventories piling up, think about how wonderful it will all seem next year.

Or not.

Every major crash is preceded by a handful of investment visionaries pointing out the obvious, shouted down by the outrage of those who have committed their fortunes to folly. Perhaps it is Chris Leithner’s turn to be that visionary.

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David Dibbell
September 5, 2023 10:18 am

That is one gem of an article by Leithner!

EW: “In my opinion we have not seen a proper reckoning yet for what could turn out to be a major automobile industry financial disaster.” I agree. In the U.S., I put the responsibility squarely on former President Obama in the recovery from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, for imposing the government plan for future conversion of the industry to EV’s.

Reply to  David Dibbell
September 5, 2023 7:59 pm

Toyota aren’t buying the full EV craze at present and they can’t keep up with hybrid demand-
Toyota’s global sales jump in July to hit monthly record (
They know how to make cars people want to buy and they can turn to the latest cutting edge EV/battery tech anytime they want to if they have to. Toyota might be quite happy leaving the BEV space largely to Tesla and BYD while they dominate the half way house very profitably.

Reply to  observa
September 6, 2023 1:14 am

I agree – Toyota have a solid strategy, including huge markets in Africa where their products are unlikely to change anytime soon.

David Dibbell
Reply to  observa
September 6, 2023 3:25 am

I agree. Sad to see my home state of NY pushing to eventually ban sales even of hybrids. Train wreck ahead.

Reply to  observa
September 6, 2023 4:12 am

BRISC+, with Russia, Saudis, etc., as members, is pro fossil. Oil $95/barrel

BRISC+, almost all developing countries, ignore economy-destroying Paris Agreements, burn abundant, low-cost coal, and have fast-growing economies

More BRISC+ is better for Toyota and a lot of other non-ESG companies

The West, with its “you must be like us” wind/solar/batteries black hole, is hanging itself.

September 5, 2023 10:30 am

It will be interesting to see how many, if any, MSM outlets report this.
I’m not holding my breath.

J Boles
Reply to  Oldseadog
September 5, 2023 12:36 pm

The MSM are just like the deep state, they think if they just push this green stuff then one day it passes a tipping point and the green goodness get legs and it can support itself without government largess and it all works because everyone is doing it. No way, because it never works well enough and we do it the FF way because it works.

Tom Halla
September 5, 2023 10:31 am

Relying on rent seeking will eventually go bad.

September 5, 2023 10:36 am

I can’t get the “Email” link to work – anyone else have that problem or is it just this old steam driven desktop?

Reply to  Oldseadog
September 5, 2023 11:46 am

It works well for me.

J Boles
September 5, 2023 10:59 am

Here near Detroit, last year, I heard on the local news about FORD building a huge plant entirely for EVs and I wondered if it was justified, but I suppose if the fed govt gives you billions for free and says they will force people to buy them…? It all seems like a house of cards about to crash! Nothing green ever works as well as claimed.

Joseph Zorzin
September 5, 2023 11:02 am

“the science”

the dogma, the faith, the consensus, the prevailing wisdom, the revelation, the means to advance our careers, the easy path

which goes well with “the scientists say”

Rud Istvan
September 5, 2023 11:02 am

Read Leithner’s entire article. He coined a phrase borrowed from Eisenhower’s farewell address: the ‘climate industrial complex”. That is so apt.

Academia likes ‘climate’ because it generates much government funding. As Cliff Mass has noted, climate models receive a hundredfold more US funding than vital weather models. He thinks it criminal that ECMWF performs better than USNWS.

The entire renewables industry with all its subsidies and ignored flaws totally depends on ‘climate’

The complex is apt because these things (climate ‘science’ and renewables industry) are mutually reinforcing, no different than the ‘military industrial complex’ Eisenhower warned of.

Unlike the MIC, whose benign intend is to deter destructive war, the CIC malignant intent is destructive energy policy to stop global boiling.

David Dibbell
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 5, 2023 12:07 pm

Yes, climate fans here might want to bookmark the Leithner piece. It is a terrific summary of the scientific reasons for rejecting the climate claims.

Reply to  David Dibbell
September 6, 2023 10:26 am

I am posting it in two forums both that I moderate in and one I own with a large climate section in it.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 5, 2023 12:50 pm

Global boiling is the currently stated reason for the nutters. I firmly belive that the ultimate goal is complete destruction of the Western way of life.

Reply to  barryjo
September 10, 2023 1:24 pm

Even if it isn’t the aim, it will be the outcome.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 5, 2023 3:30 pm

Bribem, leaving $billions in arms to the Taliban, may have helped MIC revenue, but doesn’t help our security. Quite the contrary, some are used against us (talk about aiding our enemies).

But it wouldn’t surprise me if it were found out that the big guy somehow benefited.

Paul Hurley
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 12, 2023 6:38 am

The bonus for the modelling crowd is the weather will never be perfectly calm with just the right mix of sun & rain. There will always be storms, droughts, floods, etc. somewhere that they can claim is the result of climate breakdown predicted by their models. Just keep sending more money.

Joseph Zorzin
September 5, 2023 11:07 am

Don’t look at the large unsold inventories piling up, think about how wonderful it will all seem next year.

I’ve seen a photo/video on YouTube of some place in China where thousands of EVs are just rotting out in a huge field.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 5, 2023 11:42 am

That has been posted at several sites — and the importance questioned. One claim is that the photo was of “fleet” vehicles that had been replaced.
 See comments by Richard Page @ 6:38 & 7:47

China is Throwing Away Fields of Electric Cars – Letting them Rot! • Watts Up With That?

Richard Page
Reply to  John Hultquist
September 5, 2023 6:11 pm

Yep – the information is all there on the internet if you dig for it.
What would be news is if we found newer, more up to date EV’s rotting in a field but, sadly, we haven’t found that photograph.

Reply to  Richard Page
September 6, 2023 6:23 am

The video that I saw pointed out that many had below 10 miles on the odometer. IIRC.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 6, 2023 4:36 am

With a crushed gasoline car, you just put it in a melting pot to make new steel
That cannot be done with EVs

You have to partially disassemble, and put the parts in a a hazardous waste facility, which has not been built yet, even in China, and the rest gets molten down. All a lot more expensive

I hear, the cost of insurance for an EV is about 2 to 3 times the cost of a gasoline car.

If an EV is in an accident, the battery may be jolted, which may damage cells, which may cause a future fire, in your garage.
Insurance companies are not stupid. Your house insurance may increase as well. The loser is YOU, not THEM


Tom Abbott
September 5, 2023 11:26 am

From the article: “In my opinion we have not seen a proper reckoning yet for what could turn out to be a major automobile industry financial disaster.”

I think there is a definite danger here to the automobile companies, and if they start stumbling, then it’s going to have much greater negative impact on the general economy.

Government bureaucrats should not be making business decisions for private businesses. It’s almost certain they will screw things up. Like they are doing now with the automobile industry and the electrical power industry.

David Pentland
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 5, 2023 11:40 am

Yes, rather than controlling the weather, governments should stick to the simpler things they do well.
Like balancing the budget.

Reply to  David Pentland
September 5, 2023 3:34 pm

I’d be happier if they could maintain some roads, but apparently it’s too complicated.

Reply to  David Pentland
September 6, 2023 11:17 am

Like balancing the budget?

Where do you live?

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 5, 2023 11:37 am

When all agree, nobody has thought deep enough.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 6, 2023 11:18 am

Old saying on committees:

When everyone in a room thinks the same thing, only one person is doing the “thinking”.

David H
September 5, 2023 12:07 pm

I am SHOCKED as Captain Renault would say… I believe the “consensus” is starting to unravel.

Rud Istvan
September 5, 2023 12:26 pm

Concerning the EV impacts on auto companies, there are two motivations. In Europe they are being told ICE will not be allowed from 2035. In US, GM and Ford cannot stand that Tesla has a significantly high valuation.

Niether motivation is valid. EU will not be able to get rid of ICE. And Tesla is grossly overvalued. So won’t end well for the auto companies. Plus UAW not happy and will strike 9/14. Won’t end well sooner as well as later.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 6, 2023 11:36 am

You miss part of the equation.

Due to CAFE standards, the “bigs” must buy the “low fuel usage” miles from ev companies to achieve the ever decreasing gallon per mile standard. (increasing miles per gallon)

The bigs have decided they would rather keep the 0 “emission” vehicle credits IN HOUSE, instead of funding Tesla, etc.

BUT, as Ford, the first in whole hogg is discovering with their unsold inventory and massive outlay for research and manufacturing capacity, they may have been better off just Biden their time until the whole scam collapsed upon itself.

A new POTUS can probably reverse the CAFE standards, require all EV taxes/transfers to be listed on every car sold to educate the population as to how much the EV industry is being subsidized. The same for electric bills and unreliable generation sources and the expenditures for connection to the grid paid by ALL ratepayers, not the unreliable developers, standby charges for reliable dispatchable generating capacity, etc.

My Mom lives in Massachusetts’s. She has been told for years how her electric rates will go down due to “renewable” energy being added, and a Nuclear plant shut down. Her bills just continue to go up and up.


John Oliver
September 5, 2023 12:41 pm

I can’t wait to read this article after work. I’ve been asking “ when will the insanity end” for awhile now. No doubt in my mind that if the same people stay in power they will continue with their corrupt ill conceived subsidized current economy making the inevitable crash even worse. Regardless a reckoning is inevitable I believe sooner than later.

John Oliver
Reply to  John Oliver
September 5, 2023 12:54 pm

I also believe the current corrupt global cabal will claw, scratch, lie cheat, convict adversaries, blackmail, buy people off, start new conflicts, manipulate in the worse ways imaginable to stay in control. Just saying.

Richard Page
Reply to  John Oliver
September 5, 2023 6:14 pm

Yep. The more things start to slip away from them, the more these governments will tighten their grip.

September 5, 2023 12:51 pm

“Like all manias, it will collapse when people – above all, energy consumers and taxpayers – recover their senses.”

This is what is important. All we need is a sizable minority of average guys to realize how bad they have been lied to and cheated and they will become pissed. At that point it is all over for the CAGW clowns. The average guy is the audience we need to reach.

Steve Case
September 5, 2023 1:03 pm

“Automobile company CEOs can maintain the fiction that multi-billion dollar

EV manufacturing outlays are valuable strategic investments in the future.

Don’t look at the large unsold inventories piling up, “


Look here, don’t look there.

Misdirection is rampant in Climate Change propaganda.

September 5, 2023 1:56 pm

Because it is all a politically driven religious lie?

Reply to  2hotel9
September 5, 2023 5:46 pm

You can substitute “philosophy of life” for “religion”…

September 5, 2023 3:03 pm

I used to just invest in index ETFs (Exchange-traded funds). But things were getting so out of whack that I started losing faith in the market itself, or rather in it’s grip on reality. So I decided to make a bet against the greens who were controlling so much of what went on, knowing full well that it was very high risk. I bought coal stocks. Things went badly at first – market timing is always difficult – but after a nerve-wracking ride (there was a single day when I dropped 14%, ouch!) I ended up cashing in a very substantial profit. I still don’t think things are in whack, so now I have bought into Uranium. Again, things went badly at first, but the Uranium price is starting to move up and I do think I am on another winner. I hope so anyway. It’s nice to back a winner, but it’s also nice to see greens fail.
Now I’ll read Chris Leithner’s piece and maybe get some more ideas.
NB. Don’t take my word for anything, please do your own investment reserch.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 5, 2023 4:07 pm

Coal stocks have been doing great this past six months and pay a good dividend to boot.

Reply to  Scissor
September 5, 2023 4:30 pm

My Whitehaven stocks aren’t doing much. 🙁

But as you say.. expect a nice dividend.

Reply to  Scissor
September 5, 2023 5:43 pm

The coal price is stuck in a range a bit over $100. It’s reasonable to expect coal stocks to move when the coal price makes a significant move.

Reply to  Scissor
September 6, 2023 3:34 pm

I’ve more than doubled what I invested in BTU (Peabody Energy) over the last year by selling covered calls every time it hit a new high. I’m about to sell my last 300 shares, though. The Chinese economy looks like it will suffer a real estate crash, and if it reduces coal consumption to produce electricity, coal prices will take a hit. Been a fun and profitable ride, though! 130% profit in one year.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
September 5, 2023 7:01 pm

As soon as the Net Zero target was announced I bought New Hope (coal) and Woodside (gas). Including dividends and growth WDS has returned 92% and NHC 275% to date. More dividends to come.

Edward Katz
September 5, 2023 6:09 pm

The fact that Volkswagen’s huge plant in Emden has recently laid off 20% of its labor force after it found that it had overestimated EV demand by 30% is yet another warning sign that consumers don’t aim to overpay for any item ostensibly save the planet.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Edward Katz
September 6, 2023 7:27 am

In the UK the 2nd and 3rd best selling EVs (MG4 & Polestar 2) are both made in China and the boss of BMW has recently warned that Chinese carmakers pose an “imminent risk” to the European industry, particularly makers of cheaper models.

At the same time the EU is pressing ahead with its “rules of origin” tariffs as part of the Brexit deal which could add £5000 to the cost of EVs imported from Europe from next January. The UK manufacturers will face similar tariffs exporting to Europe.

John Oliver
September 5, 2023 6:21 pm

Been contemplating getting out of one of my pieces of local real estate now. It continued to go up for longer than I thought it would but even real estate has it’s day of reckoning ( as we have seen before and l’m tired of maintaining it) But it is “ real”.

September 5, 2023 9:12 pm

We at Origin are happy to run it all for you if you do all the appropriate ‘investing’-
Secret documents shed light on failed taxpayer efforts to rescue giant coal plant Eraring (
Just sign here with the cost plus agreement and you let us know when you’ve had enough OK?

September 6, 2023 3:55 pm

There is investing and there is trading.

Any company engaged in addressing climate change is a terrible investment. The entire industry is simply not profitable and likely won’t be. It matters not what the product is; solar cells, wind turbines, batteries, EVs, etc.

But if you like trading they can be very profitable. Just get in early, take a good profit before there is an indication of collapse, and do not look back. Selling too soon has made many people millionaires; there is no such thing as a bad profit. When traders realize a company is not going to fulfill lofty expectations share prices can crash in a an instant. Watching speculators is akin to watching six year olds play soccer. They all run to where the ball is, and will leave an area quickly when the ball travels to a different place.

If you want to invest, buy shares of companies providing basic needs. Utilities (except for utes investing heavily in renewables), basic food companies like cereal (General Mills, Kellogg) or comfort foods (Coke, Pepsi), the defense industry (Lockheed, Raytheon), Amazon, Costco. The companies are primarily stodgy, low growth, pay nice dividends, and will be around when you retire.

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