Litigation-Supporting Activist Dubiously Declares Objectivity

The co-author of a new paper that accuses TotalEnergies of burying its early understanding of climate change declares authoritatively that he has “no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in their paper.”

Unfortunately, this statement appears to be false, raising questions about the motives and objectivity of his research.

Benjamin Franta, a PhD student at Stanford University, is a self-proclaimed anti-oil and gas activist, which should raise eyebrows about the objectivity of his paper. But it’s another disclosure within the same paper that more directly refutes his claim of a lack of competing interests:

“[Benjamin Franta] has served as a consulting expert for climate change litigation, and the findings reported in this article may be relevant to such litigation.”

It seems to defy common sense that Franta can state in one moment that he’s a “consulting expert for climate change litigation” and that his paper may be “relevant to such litigation” and then in the next moment state he has “no known competing financial interests or personal relationships” that could have impact the findings of his research.

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