David W. Schnare

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David W. Schnare is a Virginia attorney who works on behalf of the contrarian American Tradition Institute (ATI). A climate inactivist, he has affiliations with ATI and with the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy; and as attorneys for ATI, he and Chris Horner (who also wears two ATI hats) are involved in the ATI legal action seeking to let him and Horner review thousands of climatologist Michael Mann's University of Virginia emails, including emails deemed exempt from FOIA.[1]


Schnare reported in December 2011,

"Until my retirement from Federal service, I worked pro bono. I have not, to date, been compensated for my work on any ATI law case. I am receiving partial funding for my work with an Environmental Law Clinic that is undertaking legal research for the Thomas Jefferson Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit."[2]

He reports no work relationship with sister 501(c)(4) the American Tradition Partnership.[2]


Schnare's ATI bio reports[3] he has:

"a PhD in Environmental Management from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a Master of Science in Public Health-Environmental Science from the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health, and a Baccalaureate Degree from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, where he majored in chemistry and mathematics."
"Formerly the nation’s Chief Regulatory Analyst for Small Business (Office of Small Business Advocacy), Dr. Schnare has experience on Congressional Staff, as a trial lawyer with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, as senior enforcement counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as an appellate attorney for private clients. ... In addition to his [former] position as a Senior Attorney in EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Dr. Schnare ...has served as a Director of the George Mason University School of Law Alumni Association Board."[4]

David Schnare is a speaker at the America First Energy Conference to be held on November 9th, 2017. [1]

Climate contrarianism

In December 2011, Schnare explained his views, saying he doesn't deny anthropogenic global warming:

"I believe the climate is changing and that there is a human signal in that change. I simply don't find sufficient evidence that the human contribution constitutes a matter of such significance to require large economic impacts on our current energy mix, much less the secondary harm to human health and the environment that alarmist policies have already cases and will exacerbate in the future."[5]

In the past, Schnare has said that the science isn't clear (2007 Senate testimony)[6], and that if the science is clear, then it's too late to cut carbon emissions,(March 16, 2008)[6], it's too expensive to cut carbon emissions(May 12, 2010)[6], and we should go straight to geoengineering.(March 16, 2008)[6]

Asserted climate and climate policy expertise

Dr. Schnare identifies his expertise as follows:

"Any competent scientist with qualifications in statistical analysis and understanding the scientific method is capable of assessing climate science if they take the time, and are given the opportunity to examine the data and methods used by a "climate scientist". My courses of study leading to a PhD in Environmental Science and an MSPH provided me both."[5]



ATI suit to review Michael Mann's emails

In 2011 Schnare and fellow American Tradition Institute attorney Chris Horner sued the University of Virginia for access to thousands of Michael Mann's emails, including his correspondence with 39 other climate scientists.

But the University of Virginia's court filings[3][4] argued that ATI publicity and actions of ATI principals Schnare and Christopher Horner - both of whom were acting as both attorney and petitioner - had raised serious questions about whether in their role as attorneys for ATI they could be trusted to abide by the previous ruling's requirement to keep the content of the exempt emails private.[8]

Articles and resources


  1. Sue Sturgis (2011-10-31). SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Who's behind the 'information attacks' on climate scientists? -. The Institute for Southern Studies. Retrieved on 2011-11-01.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "I do not work with or for the Partnership." Email to ahaynes, 2011-12-13; Can't check since ATP/WTP's IRS returns, if any, are not available on Guidestar as of 2011-12-14.
  3. Staff & Board of Directors. American Tradition Institute. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.
  4. David W. Schnare. About Me. TheHardLook blog. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Email to ahaynes, 2011-12-14
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 David Schnare. DeSmogBlog. Retrieved on 2011-11-08.
  7. David Schnare. ExxonSecrets Factsheet. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.
  8. Timeline: Legal Harassment of Climate Scientist Michael Mann. Union of Concerned Scientists. Retrieved on 2011-11-03.

Related SourceWatch articles

External resources

  • David W. Schnare. About Me. The Hard Look. Retrieved on 2011-11-05.

External articles