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.

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.”
  • “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.”

Source: [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]

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. [3]

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

Media Matters reports that they have also received funds from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, one of the Koch Family Foundations. [4]

Key People

According to SourceWatch:

Board of Directors

Board of Science Advisors

Research Associates

 Others

 Actions

May 21 - 23, 2012

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

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.

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. Accessed May, 2012.

  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.

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

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

  15. Science and Environmental Policy Project,” SourceWatch.

  16. Science & Environmental Policy Project,” Wikipedia.