S. Fred Singer

fred-singer

S. Fred Singer

Credentials  

  • B.E.E. (Electrical Engineering), Ohio State University.
  • A.M. and Ph.D. (Physics), Princeton University.

Source: [1]

 Background

Siegfried Frederick Singer (S. Fred Singer) is a former space scientist and government scientific administrator.

Singer runs the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), an organization which focuses on global warming skepticism. According to their website, SEPP also covers topics such as nuclear radiation, DDT, science and regulation at EPA, energy policy, and space exploration.

According to leaked documents, Singer has been receiving $5,000 a month from the Heartland Institute.

Stance on Climate Change

“[U]nlike the land surface, the atmosphere has shown no warming trend, either over land or over ocean — according to satellites and independent data from weather balloons.”

Singer also contends that data collected from tree rings “don't show any global warming since 1940.” [2]

Key Quotes

September 5, 2013

“The forthcoming (Sept. 2013) IPCC report claims that the reported surface warming of 1978-2000 is sure (better than 95% – by IPCC's own unsupported estimate) evidence for AGW. But the missing hotspot is sure (better than 96%, by my personal reckoning) evidence against the existence of any such warming. But before you dispose of the 2000-page-plus IPCC report, stop and consider: it makes a wonderful paper weight or door stop.” [23]

“It is ironic that the attempt by two environmental activists to misrepresent my credentials [letters, Feb. 6] coincides with a sustained cold spell in the United States that set a 100-year record. As for full disclosure: My resume clearly states that I consulted for several oil companies on the subject of oil pricing, some 20 years ago, after publishing a monograph on the subject. My connection to oil during the past decade is as a Wesson Fellow at the Hoover Institution; the Wesson money derives from salad oil.” [3]

Key Deeds

July 7 - 9, 2014

S. Fred Singer was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [24]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

November 30 - December 1, 2012

Fred Singer was a speaker (PDF) at the Eighth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8)/Fifth International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5) sponsored by both the Heartland Institute and the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). Singer's speech is titled “Checking the Evidence for Man-Made Global Warming.” [15]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Fred Singer was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

January, 2010

In the January 2010 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, Singer was profiled in the top 17 “polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming.”

In an excerpt of the article about “The Climate Killers,” Singer is described as “A former mouthpiece for the tobacco industry” who “is still wheeled out as an authority by big polluters determined to kill climate legislation.” [4]

April, 2008

Singer is the editor, and a contributor to the NIPCC” report, titled “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” (PDF). [5]

The report is published by the Heartland Institute, and also gives credit to Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP).

Contributors include prominent climate change skeptics such as Dennis Avery, Robert Carter, Richard Courtney, Joseph D'Aleo, Vincent Gray, Kenneth Haapala, Craig Idso, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Madhav Khandekar, William Kininmonth, Hans Labohm, Christopher Monckton, Tom Segalstad, George Taylor, Gerd Weber, and others.

March 8, 2007

Appeared in documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” which portrays global warming as a hoax.

The film includes other prominent climate change skeptics like Tim Ball, Nir Shaviv, Nigel Lawson, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Moore, Roy Spencer, and numerous others.

July, 2005

DeSmogBlog reported that Singer worked with an organization challenging the claims by the US Environmental Protection Agency that second-hand tobacco smoke is bad for human health.

Here is a memo sent by an official at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution soliciting $20,000 from the Tobacco Institute for the preparation of a “research” paper challenging the health effects of second-hand smoke, and suggesting that Dr. Singer be retained to write the report. [6]

Singer also collaborated on an article for APCO Associates, the PR firm hired by The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), on behalf of Philip Morris for their “junk science” campaign. [7]

May, 2005

In his May 10, 2005 Guardian column, George Monbiot uncovered a story implicating Fred Singer in the spread of misinformation on the state of the world's glaciers. An expanded version of this story made its way into Monbiot's best selling book, Heat. [8]

During his research, Monbiot found a letter by the UK climate change skeptic David Bellamy in New Scientist magazine. Bellamy's letter reported that “555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich have been growing since 1980.”

When Monbiot phoned the World Glacier Monitoring Service, they reported in indelicate words that this claim was “complete bullshit.” They confirmed that glaciers are retreating around the world.

Monbiot looked for a source for the claim, which appeared dozens of times in different locations. All trails seemed to lead back to the website of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, S. Fred Singer’s group.

When people challenged Singer on his claim, he criticized Monbiot, saying he must have “been smoking something or other.” Singer eventually conceded that the information had originated on his site – posted there by “former SEPP associate Candace Crandall” and that the information “appears to be incorrect and has been updated.”

“Updated,” however, appears to be different than “corrected” as over 18 months later the false claim was still present on his website. Singer also failed to mention that this former associate, Candace Crandall, is his wife.

July 28 , 2003

Singer was the co-author of Independent Institute report titled “New Perspectives in Climate Change: What the EPA Isn't Telling Us” (PDF).

The report criticizes the EPA's 2001 Climate Action Report. Other authors include climate change skeptics John R. Christy, Robert E. Davis, and David R. Legates. [9]

July 18, 2000

Fred Singer testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Climate Change.

Singer concludes in his testimony that “Contrary to the conventional wisdom and the predictions of computer models, the Earth's climate has not warmed appreciably in the past two decades, and probably not since about 1940.” [10]

July, 1998

Testified (PDF) before the House Small Business Committee, stating that “Climate science does not support the Kyoto Protocol and its emission controls on carbon dioxide.” [11]

November, 1995

The 1995 “Leipzig Declaration” was a collaboration between Fred Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and a group called the European Academy of Environmental Affairs. The Leipzig Declaration stats that “there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide.”

According to SourceWatch, when a Danish journalist attempted to contact the 33 European scientists listed on the petition, 12 denied signing the petition and some had not even heard of the Leipzig Declaration. Of those that did admit to signing the letter, one was a doctor and another was an expert on flying insects. The declaration was eventually revised and many names were removed.

1991

S. Fred Singer was the primary author of a paper in the journal Cosmos, titled “What to do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap.” Many have credited this article to Roger Revelle, a man described by some as the grandfather of modern climate change science and whose name woul dhave given the article significantly more credence than Singer's alone. [16]

Evidence suggests that Revell was never an author. Justin Lancaster, a Research Fellow at Harvard University School of Public Health, suggests that Revelle never had complete knowledge of Singer's paper, and that he may have even been pressured into his role in the project. Lancaster's report and evidence are still available here.

The main conclusions of the Cosmos paper, including the most-referred-to quotes like “Look before you leap” and “The scientific basis for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time,” both appeared before the publication of the Cosmos article, in a separate paper authored by Fred Singer alone in the journal ES&T (see archived PDF here).

The key points of Lancaster's report are reproduced below: [17]

  1. Revelle did not write the Cosmos article.
  2. S. Fred Singer claimed sole authorship of the major statements of the article in his ES&T paper months before he put the finishing touches on his Cosmos Masterpiece.
  3. If S. Fred Singer is sole author of this material, then Revelle cannot be an author.
  4. If S. Fred Singer is not sole author of this material, then he has admitted in his deposition to ethical concern about one author publishing under his own sole authorship material that was co-authored.
  5. Revelle appears not to have had full information — not about the ES&T publication and not about the many energy-industry agents who were busy at work here.

In a written affidavit (Archived PDF here) by Roger's secretary Christa Beran, it appears that Singer may have also pressured Roger Revelle into his involvement with the paper:

“I do not remember seeing any review by Roger of any text by Dr. Singer before a day in February 1991 when he came to Roger's office. For quite some time Dr. Singer had been trying to get Roger to work on an article that Dr. Singer was writing for the Cosmos Club Journal.  He seemed quite anxious to get Roger's comments. […] After a series of unsuccessful attempts to get Roger to work on this document, Dr. Singer must have decided that the only way he was going to get this thing done was to come in person.

“I remember feeling that Roger was cornered, because I thought I understood from the fact that Roger had procrastinated so long that this enterprise was something he didn't really want to be involved with. […]”

It appeared that Revelle did not have full information about the original ES&T publication. Singer went through three drafts of the paper after receiving comments from fellow climate change skeptics Patrick Michaels, Robert C. Balling Jr., Hugh W. Ellsaesser, and Richard Lindzen, however it also appears that Revelle was unaware of their contributions. While Singer incorporated a number of changes based on suggestions made by these skeptics, unlike Revell, none of their names appear in the final paper.

The discussion between Singer and Revelle accounted for just 1% of changes in the article's text between galley proof and final article; this said, it is strange that many still refer to the publication as “Revelle's article” and not Singer's. And those changes were not consistent with Revelle's traditional views. Most notably, that warming in the 21st century would be 1-3 degrees Celsius, as opposed to “well below normal year-to-year variation” which, as Revelle had frequently cited in his own lectures, was less than about 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Lancaster reported that in personal discussion, Revelle “gave me the very strong sense that he was intensely embarrassed that his name was associated [with the paper]. He seemed noticeably relieved when we agreed together that perhaps the readership of the Cosmos Club journal would be small and limited. Little did either of us anticipate at that moment what was really going on and what would follow.”

What followed was a continued use of “the Revelle paper” in Congressional and Vice-Presidential debates with climate change skeptics including Singer, Balling and Michaels where it was used “to harrass, embarrass and otherwise discredit Al Gore.” In 2003, Singer published a book chapter titled “The Revelle-Gore Story: Attempted Political Suppression of Science” that continued to criticize Al Gore as well as Lancaster.

Evidence (from original Lancaster article):

1990

Fred Singer founded the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) in 1990. While engaged in activities denying the existence of man-made global warming, SEPP has received funding from numerous oil companies including Shell, Uniroyal and ARCO as well as $20,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [12]

Fred Sietz was the Chair of Fred Singer's SEPP project, and was the co-organizer of The “Oregon Petition” was organized by Art Robinson and Fred Seitz. Seitz was past Chair of Fred Singer's SEPP project. He has also been the former medical advisor to RJ Reynolds medical research program.

A 1989 Philip Morris memo stated that Seitz was: “quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice.” However, nine years later, it seems that he was “sufficiently rational” to lead the charge on Robinson’s Oregon Petition. It also seems that Seitz was still “sufficiently rational” to sit as the Chair of Fred Singer's, Science and Environmental Policy Project.

The Oregon Petition has been used by climate change skeptics as supposed proof that there is no scientific consensus regarding man-made climate change, however the validity of its signatures has been questioned.

Affiliations  

  • Global Climate Change (newsletter) — Editor.
  • Weidenbaum Center, Washington University — Published some of Singer's papers.

Source:  According to a January 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists called “Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air,” Singer is affiliated with 11 think tanks and associations that have received funding from ExxonMobil. Singer's own “Science and Environmental Policy Project” (SEPP) has received $20,000 from ExxonMobil. [14]

According to SourceWatch, Singer has also done consulting work for other major oil companies including Texaco, Arco, Shell, Sun, Inocal, the Electric Power Institute, Florida Power and the American Gas Association.

 Publications

According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Singer has published 45+ research articles in peer-reviewed journals, mainly on the subject of climate change.

Singer co-authored a global warming denial book called Unstoppable Global Warming, with Dennis Avery, a “Senior Fellow” at an organization called the Hudson Institute, a US think-tank that has received funding from ExxonMobil.

 Resources

  1. S. FRED SINGER, Ph.D.: Professional Background,” Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived April 17, 2009.

  2. Fred Singer Denies Global Warming,” Skeptical Science, November 2, 2011.

  3. S. Fred Singer, “My Salad Days,” Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, February 12, 2001. Republished by The Heat is Online.

  4. Tim Dickson. “The Climate Killers,” Rolling Stone Magazine, January 6, 2010. Archived January 9, 2010.

  5. S. Fred Singer, ed. “Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, 2008.

  6. Pm_r_ Olmo_,” Archived document at Tobaccodocuments.org. Accessed February, 2012.

  7. OPINION EDITORIALS ON INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND JUNK SCIENCE,” March 8, 1993. Retrieved from Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, Bates Number 2021178205.

  8. George Monbiot. “Junk science,” The Guardian, May 10, 2005.

  9. S. Fred Singer, John R. Christy, Robert E. Davis, David R. Legates, and Wendy M. Novicoff. “New Perspectives in Climate Change,” The Independent Institute, July 28, 2003.

  10. Testimony of Prof. S. Fred Singer: President, The Science & Environmental Policy Project before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Climate Change,” July 18, 20000. Republished by the Global Warming Information Center.

  11. “Testimony of Dr. S. Fred Singer, President, SEPP to the Committee on Small Business, US House of Representatives” (PDF), July 27, 1998. Accessed February, 2012, from Greenpeace.

  12. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Science and Environmental Policy Project, SEPP.

  13. Heartland Experts: S. Fred Singer,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed February, 2012.

  14. “Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air” (PDF), Union of Concerned Scientists, January, 2007.

  15. “8th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-8): V International Conference on Climate and Energy (ICCE-5). Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich, November 30 – December 1, 2012” (PDF) retrieved from eike-klima-energy.eu on November 24, 2012.

  16. What To Do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap,” Cosmos: A Journal of Emerging Issues. Vol. 5, No. 2 (Summer 1992). Archived September 28, 2006.

  17. The Cosmos Myth,” The OSS Foundation, July 6, 2006. Original article archived here.

  18. Greenpeace Investigations on Fred Singer.

  19. S. Fred Singer,” SourceWatch Profile.

  20. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: S. Fred Singer,” ExxonSecrets. Accessed Nov 2, 2011.

  21. Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change,” SourceWatch. Accessed Nov 2, 2011.

  22. “The Leipzig Declaration,” SEPP.org (Archived January 27, 2010).

  23. The UN Climate Panel's 'Hot Spot' is Missing in Action,” American Thinker. September 5, 2013.

  24. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.