Science and Environmental Policy Project

Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

 Background

The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is a research and advocacy group financed by private contributions based in Arlington, Virginia. It was founded in 1990 by climate change skeptic S. Fred Singer, Gerhard Stohrer, and Fred Singer's wife Candace Crandall.

SEPP has questioned concerns about ozone depletion and global warming, as well as the negative health impacts of pesticides and passive smoking. [21]

Stance on Climate Change

“Climate science is not 'settled;' it is both uncertain and incomplete. The available observations do not support the mathematical models that predict a substantial global warming and form the basis for a control policy on greenhouse (GH) gas emissions. We need a more targeted program of climate research to settle major scientific problems.” [1]

“Global agriculture will likely benefit from climate warming and increased precipitation; increased CO2 leads to more rapid plant growth; increased nocturnal and winter warming leads to a longer growing season. Farmers can and will adjust to climate changes.” [1]

 Funding

According to their website, “SEPP does not solicit financial support from either industry or governmental sources. Income is derived mainly from charitable foundations and private individuals… . SEPP operates on a modest budget; its officers and associated scientists do not receive salaries but contribute their services on a pro bono basis.” [2]

John Mashey reported on SEPP's finances, describing them as “curious”:
SEPP paid no salaries, even for Singer’s 60-hour workweeks. Money flowed oddly. Asset trades often exceeded normal income and they accumulated to $1.5M, tax-free.  Then one money trail led to Heartland.” [28]

S. Fred Singer has acknowledged that he has received funding from Exxon, Shell, Unocal and ARCO. He also acknowledged that SEPP is partially funded by Exxon, as reported by an article in The Heat is Online examining industry funding of the “greenhouse skeptics.” [3]

According to ExxonSecrets, SEPP has received $20,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [1]

The Conservative Transparency project lists funding for the years 2007 and 2003[4]

The Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation is one of the Koch Family Foundations. 

Available Form 990s

Key People

According to the latest available 990 form (2012), individual trustees and directors included:

According to SourceWatch:

Board of Directors

Board of Science Advisors

Research Associates

 Others

 Actions

June 11 - June 12, 2015

The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Tenth International conference on Climate Change (ICCC10). [13]

During the conference, SEPP also sponsored the Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award, which was awarded to William Happer who “chronicled the Alice in Wonderland fantasy-like ravings climate alarmists [sic].” [23]

Fred Singer also delivered a “message of hope” regarding climate change as a speaker at the conference:

“Warming is not serious,” Singer said. “We can stand warming. Ice ages are serious. Major ones come every 100,000 years, controlled by astronomical factors. Not much we can do about those. And there are little ice ages, and they come about every 1,000–1,500 years. The major ice ages nearly wiped out humanity, at least they nearly did in Europe. … They wiped out the Neanderthals.” [24]

May 12, 2015

Nearly every board member of the Science and Environmental Policy Project signed an open letter to Pope Francis on Climate change that invites the Pope to reconsider his views on climate change before his encyclical letter on the environment. 
 
The open letter was coordinated and signed by Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance and states that “Good climate policy must recognize human exceptionalism, the God-given call for human persons to 'have dominion' in the natural world (Genesis 1:28), and the need to protect the poor from harm, including actions that hinder their ascent out of poverty.”  [26]
 
SEPP Signatories include:

April 27, 2015

SEPP Vice President Tom Sheahen spoke at the Heartland Institute's “Prebuttal” press conference at the Hotel Columbus in Rome as part of the Heartland Institute's initiative to tell Pope Francis that “global warming is not a crisis.” [25]

Video of Sheahen's speech below:

July 7 - 9, 2014

The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Ninth International conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada. [14]

September, 2013

The Science and Environmental Policy Project participated in a second report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change titled “Climate Change Reconsidered II.” The report is the latest in the Heartland Institute's Climate Change Reconsidered series, and is its primary push in its campaign agains the fifth assessment by the IPCC.  [27]

The full text of the report can be viewed here (PDF). Contributors to Climate Change Reconsidered II (CCRII) include:

Lead Authors/Editors
Contributing Authors and Reviewers
Several additional reviewers wish to remain anonymous.
 
Editors

May 21 - 23, 2012

SEPP is listed as an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). [15]

June 30 - July 1, 2011
 
The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Sixth International conference on Climate Change (ICCC6). [16]
 
May 16 - 18, 2010
 
The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Fourth International conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). [17
 
June 2, 2009
 
The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Third International conference on Climate Change (ICCC3).  [18]

March 8 - 10, 2009

The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Second International conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). [19]

March 2 - 4, 2008

The Science and Environmental Policy Project is listed as a co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's First International conference on Climate Change (ICCC1). [20]

March, 2008

Fred Singer was involved in creating the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a venture partly funded by the Heartland Institute (which currently contributes over $300,000 per year to funding the report) and which is designed to be a counterpoint to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), except which argues that climate change is due to natural causes.

The 2008 NIPCC document was titled Nature, Not Human Activity Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel of Climate Change and was published by The Heartland Institute. Fred Singer served as the General Editor. [22]

June 7, 2002

SEPP President S. Fred Singer signed a letter to President Bush asking him to withdraw the “Climate Action Report 2002” and demand that it be rewritten based on “sound science.” The letter recommends  Bush “dismiss or re-assign all administration employees who are not pursuing your agenda, just as you have done in several similar instances.” [5]

May 14, 2002

Held a briefing at the National Press Club, along with Frontiers for Freedom and the Cooler Heads Coalition, entitled “Experts Discuss Why U.S. Should Withdraw From Kyoto Treaty.” [6]

November 10 - 11, 1997

Co-sponsored a conference titled “Climate Changes - Causes and Consequences,” also hosted by the European Academy for Environmental Affairs and the European Academy for Science and the Arts. [7]

November 9 - 10, 1995

Co-sponsored a conference titled “Greenhouse Controversy and Ozone-Problem (Treibhaus Kontroverse und Ozon-Problem)” with the European Academy for Environmental Affairs. The conference took place in Leipzig, Germany. [7]

It was at this conference that the infamous Leipzig Declaration was launched. The declaration states that “… it has become increasingly clear that – contrary to the conventional wisdom – there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever–in direct contradiction to computer model results.” [8]

August 1, 1995

Fred singer testified before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on how  “… there is no scientific consensus on ozone depletion or its consequences.” (PDF)

According to Singer, “available scientific evidence does not support a ban on the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs or Freons), halons, and especially methyl bromide. There certainly is no justification for the accelerated phase-out of CFCs, which was instituted in 1992 on nothing more than a highly questionable NASA press conference.”

May 24 - 25, 1993

Cosponsored a conference with George Mason University's International Institute titled “Scientific Integrity in the Public Policy Process.”

The conference contended that “In recent years, a handful of scientists appear to have made exaggerated claims in the health and environmental areas. Their forecasts of dire calamities have strained public credulity and antagonized many in the scientific community, who contend that government policies today are moved more by press release than by sound, scientific research.” [7]

June, 1992

SEPP has promoted the The Heidelberg Appeal which was publicly released at the United Nations Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3-14 1992.

Fred Singer helped to organize the conference where it was revealed, and may have been involved with the Appeal in other ways. [9]

The document was promoted through Philip Morris's public relations firm, APCO & Associates. They then organized a seminar promoting various aspects of the associated scientific claims which was “co-sponsored” by SEPP and the George Mason University's International Institute (funded by Philip Morris). [10]

The appeal states that “a Natural State, sometimes idealized by movements with a tendency to look toward the past, does not exist and has probably never existed since man's first appearance in the biosphere, insofar as humanity has always progressed by increasingly harnessing Nature to its needs and not the reverse.” [11]

February, 1992

Published a “Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming” which objected to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development Earth Summit planned to take place in Rio de Janiero on June, 1992.

The signatories to the letter complained that the Earth Summit “aims to impose a system of global environmental regulations, including onerous taxes on energy fuels, on the population of the United States and other industrialized nations. Such policy initiatives derive from highly uncertain scientific theories. They are based on the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action.” [12]

Notable signatories included:

Related Organizations

 Resources

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

  2. CLIMATE IS NOT WARMING - HAS NOT WARMED IN 60 YEARS,” Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived February 15, 2001.

  3. Industry funding of the 'greenhouse skeptics',” The Heat is Online. Archived July 26, 2015. 

  4. Science & Environmental Policy Project,” Media Matters. Accessed May 10, 2012.

  5. Fred L. Smith, Jr. “Joint Letter To President Bush On The EPA's Climate Action Report,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, June 7, 2002. Archived July 26, 2015.

  6. Experts Discuss Why U.S. Should Withdraw From Kyoto Treaty,” U.S. Newswire, May 14, 2002. Archived October 19, 2002.

  7. Major Conferences,” Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived June 15, 2006.

  8. THE LEIPZIG DECLARATION ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE,” Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived September 28, 2006.

  9. Cohen N, Hockaday T, APCO Associates Thoughts on TASSC Europe Memorandum to M. Winokur. March 25, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2025493149/3156.

  10. International Institute of George Mason University D.C. Scientific Integrity in the Public Policy Process Semi-Final Program 930524 - 930525 The Madison Hotel 15th and M Streets, NW Washington, D.C. Pamphlet/Agenda. May 25, 1993. Philip Morris Bates No. 2502284041/4042.

  11. The Heidelberg Appeal,” Science and Environmental Policy Project. Archived November 26, 2009.

  12. Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Greenhouse Warming,” Science and Environmental Policy Project, February 27, 1992. Archived July 10, 1998.

  13. Sponsors,” ICCC-10. Archived July 15, 2015.

  14. ICCC9 CoSponsors,” International Conferences on Climate Change. Archived July 25, 2015.

  15. Seventh International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015.

  16. Sixth International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), the Heartland Institute. Archived July 25, 2015.

  17. 4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  18. Co-Sponsors,” Third International Conference on Climate Change. Archived July 14, 2010.

  19. International Conference on Climate Change New York 2009 Program Schedule (PDF). Archived April, 2009.

  20. Sponsorships,” The 2008 International Conference on climate Change. Archived June 10, 2011.

  21. Key Issues,” Science And Environmental Policy Project. Archived August 15, 2006.

  22. 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. Archived July 26, 2015.

  23. H. Sterling Burnett. “ICCC-10, First Day was Amazing, Informative,” Somewhat Reasonable, June 12, 2015. Archived July 26, 2015.

  24. D. Brady Nelson. “Global Warming Policies Reflect False Assumptions, Panelists Say,” The Heartland Institute, July 14, 2015. Archived July 26, 2015.

  25. Tell Pope Francis: Global Warming Is Not a Crisis!” The Heartland Institute, May 11, 2015. Archived June 30, 2015.

  26. An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance For The Stewardship of Creation. April 27, 2015. Archived July 26, 2015.

  27. Katherine Bagley. “Climate Skeptic Groups Launch Global Anti-Science Campaign,” Bloomberg Business, September 19, 2013. Archived July 26, 2015.

  28. John Mashey. “Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax,” DeSmogBlog, February 14, 2012.

  29. Science & Environmental Policy Project,” ScienceCorruption.com.

  30. Andrew C. Revkin. “Climate Plan Is Criticized As a Risky Bet,” The New York Times, February 26, 2002.

  31. Science and Environmental Policy Project,” SourceWatch.

  32. Science & Environmental Policy Project,” Wikipedia.