Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?

Hard to overstate the significance of this topic. Unfortunately, the material in here will become more and more depressing as time goes on. Not much hope of any alternative to that.

Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?

Postby admin » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:15 pm

Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?
by Dan Harris, Felicia Biberica, Elizabeth Stuart and Nils Kongshaug
March, 2008



His fellow scientists call him a fraud, a charlatan and a showman, but Fred Singer calls himself "a realist."

Singer, an 84-year-old Princeton-trained physicist, is the grandfather of the global warming skeptics who dispute the established scientific consensus that global warming is real, that it is caused by the pollution humans are pumping into the atmosphere, and that it will be catastrophic if measures are not taken immediately.

"All bunk," Singer told ABC News in his characteristically blunt fashion. "I'm not really looking for popularity, you know."

Singer seems to enjoy being provocative.

"I hate to tell you this, but polar bears like to eat tiny little seal pups," he told a conference of global warming skeptics recently.

Singer does not deny the planet is warming, but says man is not the cause, and argues, against overwhelming scientific evidence, that a warmer planet will actually be beneficial for mankind and other species on the planet.

Polar bears, though, are not likely to benefit. They are starving because the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, which is cutting them off from seal populations, and some scientists have suggested they will be extinct in the wild before the end of this century if the warming trend is not reversed.

This is not the first time Singer has set himself against mainstream scientific opinion. He has also challenged the dangers of second-hand smoke, toxic waste and nuclear winter.

"He's kind of a career skeptic," said Kert Davies, a global warming specialist at Greenpeace. "He believes that environmental problems are all overblown and he's made a career on being that voice."

Davies says skeptics like Singer, many of them funded for years by the oil and coal industry, have been able to delay government action on global warming by a decade or more by convincing the public through a disinformation campaign that there was an ongoing debate among scientists about global warming.

"That's how people will remember Fred Singer, as someone who tried to slow down the reaction to global warming," Davies said. "And in the end that is going to cost lost lives, lost species and major economic damage around the world."

Singer responds by asking, "Suppose the other side is wrong.... They're forcing us to make tremendous economic sacrifices that will force people into poverty in the world, make life miserable for our children and grandchildren."

But scientists say there is no "other side." The debate about global warming is over, they say.

ABC News showed Singer's most recent report on global warming to climate scientists from NASA, from Stanford University and from Princeton. They dismissed it as "fabricated nonsense."

Singer insists he is not on the payroll of the energy industry, but admits he once accepted an unsolicited check from Exxon for $10,000.

Dan Harris, Felicia Biberica, Elizabeth Stuart and Nils Kongshaug contributed to this report.
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Re: Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?

Postby admin » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:25 pm

My Adventures in the Ozone Layer
by S. Fred Singer
from Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns



Mrs. Thatcher’s 123-nation Conference to Save the Ozone Layer, held in London this March [1989], ended with a whimper. The developing nations, principally China and India, were quite unconvinced by the evidence and unwilling to go along with the European Community and the United States in rushing to completely phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other widely used chemicals. The developing nations have a point.

The London conference has been followed in the last three months by gatherings in the Hague and in Helsinki. All this after the 1985 Vienna Convention, the Montreal Protocol (September 1987), Geneva, Toronto, and who knows how many other international gabfests in between. Who can keep track of them? Norway’s Prime Minister, Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a devout environmentalist, hardly spends time in Oslo any more. When do these people ever govern?

The hyperactivity this created in U.S. government agencies, mainly the State Department and EPA, has to be seen to be believed. The congressional Government Accounting Office would have done an investigation and totaled up the thousands of hours and the huge resources spent on this issue -- except that Congress and its staffs are just as involved. Things are building up to a fever pitch -- spurred on by lurid stories in the media. “Arctic Ozone Is Poised for a Fall,” scream the headlines. “Skin Cancer Is on the Rise!” Is it all hype? Or are there real grounds for worry? As we’ll see, the scientific basis for the much-touted ozone crisis may be evaporating -- leaving the new breed of geo-eco-politician high and dry.

It all started with SST, just twenty years ago. The emerging environmental movement scored its first great victory by convincing Congress to cancel the program to build two SST prototypes that would have been tested in the stratosphere. When objections concerning noise and sonic booms didn’t bring down the program, the activists discovered the stratospheric ozone layer and the fact that a fleet of five hundred planes might have some effect on the ozone content of the upper atmosphere. Most influential was the argument that a reduction in ozone would allow more solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach the earth’s surface, and thus increase the rate of skin cancers. That did it: the skin-cancer scare has been with us ever since, inextricably intertwined with the stratospheric-ozone issue.

Throughout these past two decades many truths have been uncovered by imaginative researchers, but many of these have not been revealed to the public -- and quite a few things have been propagated that departed from scientific truth. Scientists, by and large, behaved honorably, although egos and ambitions sometimes collided with facts, leading to a temptation to ignore the facts. Politicians had no hesitation in manipulating science. And the media had a field day. Let me give you a personal account of this convoluted history.

I first got involved in the SST issue in 1970 while serving as a deputy assistant administrator of the EPA. I was asked to take on the additional task of chairing an interagency committee for the Department of Transportation on the environmental effects of the SST. (I had some background in atmospheric physics, having been active in the earliest rocket experiments on the ozone layer, and I even invented the instrument that later become the main ozone meter for satellites.) There were many false starts. We knew so little about the upper atmosphere. The ozone problem didn’t come up until sometime in 1970, as I recall; and then only in the context of the effects of the water vapor from the burning of the SSTs’ fuel. It was a year later before we came to realize that the main culprit would be, not H20, but the small amount of nitrogen oxides (NOX) created in any combustion process.

The first estimates suggested that some 70 percent of the ozone would be destroyed by an SST fleet; without the ozone shield, “lethal” ultraviolet radiation would stream down to sea level, and an epidemic of skin cancers would sweep the world. This scare campaign led to the cancellation of the SST project. Of course, the two prototypes -- all that was authorized -- wouldn’t have caused any noticeable effect; but the SST opponents had succeeded in confusing the issue. England and France went on to build the Concorde -- with no apparent environmental consequences.

Only later was it discovered that there were also natural sources of stratospheric NOX, and the SST effect soon fell to 10 percent. But then laboratory measurements yielded better data, and by 1978 the effect had actually turned positive: SSTs would add to ozone! It became slightly negative again after 1980, but by then the SST had been forgotten and all attention was concentrated on the effects of CFCs.

Few outside my special field know about these wild gyrations in the theoretical predictions. But those of us who lived through them have developed a certain humility and affection toward the ozone layer. It’s a matter of some irony that current theory predicts that aircraft exhaust counteracts the ozone-destroying effects of CFCs. But remember: it’s only a theory, and it could change.

Science is supposed to be value-free. I learned differently when I conducted a modest survey among my colleagues during the SST controversy. I found that those who opposed SSTs for economic (or less valid) reasons also tended to believe that environmental effects would be serious. Those who liked the idea of supersonic transportation tended to belittle the ozone effects; they turned out to be right a few years later, but how did they know?

Once Pandora’s box had been opened, we all began to look for other ways to affect stratospheric ozone. During my EPA tenure I became intrigued by the idea that human-produced (or, at least, human-related) methane could affect the stratosphere. Methane is a long-lived gas in the atmosphere, very difficult to destroy. It was thought to be mainly due to natural sources, swamps and things like that. But I soon realized that many important sources are related to human activities: rice paddies, cattle, and oil and gas wells, for example.

I reached two conclusions: that about half the methane input is anthropogenic and should therefore increase as population and GNP grow; and that methane can percolate up into the stratosphere, there to be attacked by solar UV radiation, eventually adding to the water vapor in the dry stratosphere. To my surprise I found that methane’s contribution to water vapor is about as large as that feared to come from a hypothetical SST fleet.

Public interest in methane theory was mild, to say the least. The American journal Science turned it down, based on the recommendation of the reviewer -- a good friend, who then called to tell me he did it to protect my scientific reputation! It was finally published in 1971 in the British journal Nature. But no one got excited about it: stopping cows from belching and emitting other gaseous exhalations didn’t ignite the environmental community. Cows are so -- natural and lowtech. Not a great cause. And besides, controlling their emissions could be messy.

CFCs are different. Brilliant work by a British scientist, James Lovelock, and the calculations of two Californians, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland, demonstrated in 1974 the possibility that long-lived and normally quite inactive CFCs would percolate up into the stratosphere, and there be decomposed and attack ozone.

The ecofreaks were ecstatic. At last, an industrial chemical -- and produced by big bad DuPont and others of that ilk. What a worthy successor to the SST, now that that issue was dead.

Regulation was not long in coming. By 1975, voluntary restraints were adopted on the use of CFCs in spray cans, an important but noncritical application. By 1978, the United States and some other Western nations had unilaterally banned CFC use in all aerosol applications.

But that was all for a while. The other applications of CFCs didn’t have easy replacements. Substitutes hadn’t been developed; and they might turn out to be hazardous, toxic, or expensive -- perhaps all of the above. Besides, replacing refrigerators, air conditioners, plasticfoam blowers, and electronic cleaning equipment loomed as an expensive undertaking. Most Europeans and the Japanese were not interested in joining any global agreement, and further unilateral action by the U.S. wouldn’t have been very effective globally.

On top of all this, the data from the labs and computers were reducing the threat. A National Academy of Sciences study in 1980 predicted an 18 percent ozone decrease, based on a certain standard CFC scenario. By 1982 the estimate had decreased to 7 percent, and by 1984 to between 2 to 4 percent. Ironically, much of the reduction was due to the discovery of the counteracting effects of other pollutants: methane, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. So -- putting these polluting gases into the atmosphere hastens the arrival of global warming by the greenhouse effect while reducing the destruction of ozone.

Then along came the Antarctic “ozone hole” (AOH).

In 1985, a British group operating an ozone observing station at Halley Bay, Antarctica, published a result that came out of the blue. Beginning around 1975, every October, they observed a short-lived decline in the amount of stratospheric ozone. The amplitude of the decrease had grown steadily, reaching nearly 50 percent of the total ozone. The finding was quickly confirmed by satellite instruments, which also indicated that the phenomenon covered a large geographic region.

The “smoking gun” had been found -- so it seems. CFCs were immediately suspected; and indeed, chlorine compounds were observed in the region of ozone destruction. The process itself was a new one and had not been studied before; it involved the presence of ice clouds that formed in the polar winter in the coldest region of the earth’s atmosphere. The growth of the hole was “obviously” connected to the rise in the atmospheric CFC concentration; and it seemed only a matter of time before the hole would expand and “swallow us all” -- or at least all the world’s ozone.

The AOH put new life into the anti-CFC crowd. Dropping their earlier opposition, the industry rolled over and played dead, finally joining the environmental activists. It may have dawned on businessmen that with demand rising and supply limited or even declining, prices and profits could grow nicely. Those with safe substitutes might even gain market share and keep out competitors. Within the government, the strong push came from EPA and State, where mid-level bureaucrats fashioned a steamroller that pushed the White House to propose, as a compromise, a CFC production freeze, followed by a rollback to 50 percent. That was the upshot of the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

But some things didn’t quite fit. I was puzzled by the sudden onset of the AOH in 1975. It suggested some kind of trigger, unlikely to come from the steady increase of the atmospheric CFC content. What could it be? A climate fluctuation that cooled the stratosphere enough for the ice crystals to form? But if the cause was a cooling fluctuation, then the hole could disappear if the fluctuation went the other way. Or -- the AOH might have existed before. I sent a letter to the editor of Science suggesting this -- no luck. So, in November 1988, I finally published a short note in Eos, the house journal of the American Geophysical Union, the major professional society in this field.

Meanwhile, the hype was deafening. I remember one congressional hearing in 1987 -- there were so many -- where the witness was a noted dermatologist. He explained that since 1975, malignant melanoma has increased nearly 100 percent -- a frightening but true statistic. He simply did not explain three other facts to the Congress or to the media:

• An Antarctic hole should have no effect whatsoever on cancer rates in the United States.
• In any case, melanomas have not been related directly to increased UV exposure.
• And finally, melanoma rates have been increasing by about 800 percent since statistics were first collected in 1935. There has been no corresponding change in the ozone layer or in the UV reaching sea level. To the contrary, measurements of UV-B (the biologically active component) have shown a pronounced and steady decline at every location; UV intensities in American cities are lower today than in 1974. The cause of melanoma must include more than UV exposure.

There does exist a correlation between UV-B intensity and benign, non-melanoma skin-tumors. Their frequency clearly increases as one approaches the equator, where the sun and the UV are both stronger, with tumor incidence more than doubling between Minnesota and south Texas. But we should not assume that all the increase is due to higher UV intensities. Lifestyles in warmer climates are conducive to longer exposures and may therefore contribute at least as much to skin tumors as the UV values themselves.

One other factor they don’t much talk about: a 5 percent decrease in the ozone layer, as calculated by some of the more pessimistic scenarios, would increase UV exposure to the same extent as moving about sixty miles south, the distance from Palm Beach to Miami, or from Seattle to Tacoma. An increase in altitude of one thousand feet would produce the same result.

The latest phase in the war against CFCs began in March 1988 when the NASA Ozone Trends Panel (OTP) announced its findings, after a massive re-analysis of data from ground stations and satellites. After subtracting all the natural variations they could think of -- some of them as large as 50 percent within a few months, at a given station -- they extracted a statistical decrease of 0.2 percent per year over the last 17 years. Making these corrections is very difficult and very technical and very uncertain -- especially when the natural variations are a hundred times larger than the alleged steady change.

Furthermore, there is the matter of choosing the time period of study. When people ask me whether the climate is getting warmer or colder, I generally just answer “yes.” It all depends on over what time scale we average. If the time scale is a few months, then the answer in the spring would of course be “warmer” and in the fall “colder.” Now, 17 years is only one and a half solar cycles; and solar cycles have a very strong influence on ozone content. Another letter to Science -- not accepted.

The Panel announced its results with great fanfare, an “executive summary,” and a press conference -- but no publication (as yet) that would allow an independent check of its analysis. One item stands out from its announcement: the trend found is greater than calculated from the theory. Now this could mean that the theory is wrong, or the trend is spurious, or both. But the Panel’s conclusion was different: the trend is “worse than expected,” and therefore CFCs must be phased out completely and quickly. The logic of this conclusion escapes me; but this has now become the U.S. position. Can you blame the Chinese and Indians for not going along?

It’s not difficult to understand some of the motivations behind the drive to regulate CFCs out of existence. For scientists: prestige, more grants for research, press conferences, and newspaper stories. Also the feeling that maybe they are saving the world for future generations. For bureaucrats the rewards are obvious. For diplomats there are negotiations, initialing of agreements, and -- the ultimate -- ratification of treaties. It doesn’t really much matter what the treaty is about, but it helps if it supports “good things.” For all involved there is of course travel to pleasant places, good hotels, international fellowship, and more. It’s certainly not a zero-sum game.

I have left environmental activists till last. There are well-intentioned individuals who are sincerely concerned about what they perceive as a critical danger to humanity. But many of the professionals share the same incentives as government bureaucrats: status, salaries, perks, and power. And then there are probably those with hidden agendas of their own -- not just to “save the environment” but to change our economic system. The telltale signs are the attack on the corporation, the profit motive, and the new technologies.

Some of these “coercive utopians” are socialists, some are technology-hating Luddites; most have a great desire to regulate -- on as large a scale as possible. That’s what makes the CFC/ozone issue so attractive to them. And it showed tellingly at the Hague conference this March -- to which the U.S. was not invited. You can perhaps guess why. These geo-eco-politicians actually proposed a new UN agency, aptly named “Globe.” Globe was supposed to invoke and enforce sanctions on nations that did not knuckle under to the environmental dictates of those who knew better, Wow!

Globe didn’t fly -- this time round. Here is David Doniger, senior attorney for the activist Natural Resources Defense Council, writing the National Academy’s Issues in Science and Technology in 1988: “[The CFC protocol] serves as a precedent for . . . [protocols on] carbon dioxide and a dozen other trace gases.” So that’s what they are headed for. Doniger fairly chortles when he recounts how “hard-liners” and “anti-regulatory elements” in the White House fought a losing battle against tough control on CFCs because they “seemed either to disbelieve the scientific evidence of ozone depletion or to belittle its consequences.”

As one of those hard-liners, I need to explain where I stand and why I am unrepentant in considering any extreme controls on CFCs to be premature. I tried to explain all this in a letter to the editor of Issues, but he turned it down. Twice, in fact. So much for open discussion of important scientific and public-policy issues.

I am not against CFC control at all; but look at the poor state of the scientific evidence. The case against CFCs is based on a theory of ozone depletion, plausible but quite incomplete -- and certainly not reliable in its quantitative predictions. Doniger himself does a good job of undermining the credibility of the theory -- his only “witness for the prosecution.” In his own words:

“Current models for predicting ozone depletion are inadequate.”

“A National Academy of Sciences [NAS] report . . . quickly became outdated because of new scientific information.”

He neglects to inform us that during the past decade the NAS results have varied all over the place. To make matters worse for Doniger’s case, evidence is firming up that volcanoes, and perhaps salt spray and biochemical emissions from the oceans, contribute substantially to stratospheric chlorine, and thus dilute the effects of CFCs. And new scientific results, from the laboratory and the stratosphere, are pouring in constantly; the theory has been in a state of flux and is bound too change.

Having impugned the CFC/ozone theory -- the only basis for making predictions -- Doniger nevertheless insists on immediate draconian measures to control CFC production. Not content with a temporary freeze or a rollback, he argues for a complete phase-out of CFCs -- without waiting for better scientific data.

The standard CFC/ozone theory did not predict the ozone hole, nor can it account for its future course. According to recent reports, an ozone hole is just about to open in the Arctic -- and, by implication, all over the globe. That’s a scary thought -- and it has made a great impact on the public as well as on governments. It probably was the main impetus for the Montreal Protocol.

This sudden growth of the AOH may, however, as I mentioned before, simply signal the presence of a triggering mechanism that has nothing to do with the steady increase in CFC concentration. Under this hypothesis, the AOH would not continue to grow as CFCs build up, and could even be ephemeral.

In reaction to my suggestion published in Eos, Professor Marcel Nicolet, a distinguished Belgian atmospheric physicist, has reminded us in a note to the same journal of a long-forgotten publication by G.M.B. Dobson, the Oxford professor who started modern ozone observations. Dobson recounts that when the Halley Bay Antarctic station was first set up in 1956, the monthly telegrams showed that

the values in September and October 1956 were about 150 [Dobson] units [50 percent] lower than expected. . . . In November the ozone values suddenly jumped up to those expected. . . . It was not until a year later, when the same type of annual variation was repeated, that we realized that the early results were indeed correct and that Halley Bay showed a most interesting difference other parts of the world.

As noted earlier, the Ozone Trends Panel of NASA has not yet released its full report for general review. Yet much political action has already been initiated on the basis just of the announcement. For example, Western nations, principally the UK, are pushing to tighten the Montreal Protocol by completely phasing out most CFCs, instead of just freezing and gradually rolling back CFC production to 50 percent as agreed to in the protocol.

While the OTP report itself is not available, a parallel report from the Center for Applied Mathematics of Allied-Signal, Inc., was distributed at a UN Ozone Science Meeting at the Hague in October 1988. The Allied study deals with many of the corrections necessary to establish a believable trend. The estimated change in total ozone over the 17 years 1970-1986 is somewhat less than the OTP result. But the change shows a surprisingly strong dependence on the choice of time period. A simple explanation may be that the 1970-86 period covers only one and a half solar cycles and includes two solar flux decreases versus only one increase, i.e., two periods of decreasing ozone trends and one increase. Thus the reported global ozone decline may just be an artifact of the analysis procedure.

On the other hand, if the ozone trend is real, then there are several possible explanations:

• CFCs are indeed lowering the average concentration.
• Human-related factors other than CFCs are decreasing ozone levels. One such factor could be methane, as mentioned earlier. Another could be commercial jet aircraft, which are increasingly penetrating the lower stratosphere. But current theory does not envision ozone destruction from this source.
• Natural effects related to solar-cycle variability may be responsible for an observed ozone decline. For example the decline in strength of the solar cycle after 1958 could account for an ozone decline. This hypothesis leads to an interesting aside. Solar cycles have varied greatly. In recent times, sunspot numbers at the peak of the cycle have been as low as 40 (in 1817) and as high as 190 (in 1958). During the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) sunspots were essentially absent. This suggests that there could have been substantial changes in average ozone levels in the past, approximating those feared to result from the release of CFCs. It would be interesting, therefore, to search the historical records for any biological consequences to humans, agricultural crops, or marine life caused by low ozone levels around 1700.

The current situation can fairly be summarized as follows: The CFC/ozone theory is quite incomplete and cannot as yet be relied on to make predictions. The natural sources of stratospheric ozone have not yet been delineated, theoretically or experimentally. The Antarctic ozone hole may be ephemeral; it may be controlled by climate factors rather than by CFCs. The reported decline in global ozone may just be an artifact of the analysis. Even if real, its cause may be related to the declining strength of solar activity rather than to CFCs. The steady increase in malignant melanomas has been going on for at least fifty years and has nothing to do with ozone or CFCs. And the incidence of ordinary skin tumors has been greatly overstated.

So -- the basis for all of the control efforts, the negotiations, the protocol, and the international conferences is pretty shaky. Now may be the time to reflect on the decisive words of the immortal Comrade Lenin. “Shto dyelat? -- What to do?”

The regulatory regime for CFCs adopted in the Montreal Protocol is immensely complicated. Enforcing it will be a nightmare, involving the use of trade barriers and sanctions applied not only to CFCs but to products manufactured with CFCs -- such items as foam plastics and electronic circuit boards that go into computers and TV sets. It will prove to be a contentious issue, particularly since special concessions were given to Third World nations and the USSR. The Common market operates under a European production cap, which further complicates the situation.

The stakes involved are high. Recent newspaper accounts have the EPA predicting a six-fold increase in price, as growing demand for CFCs presses against a limited supply. You can see the struggle for market share and profits reflected in Doniger’s choice of words. When Du Pont was fighting the protocol, it was said to be concerned about “price” (read: profits); but once it decided to manufacture substitutes, he talked only about the “right market incentives.” An interesting and contentious question: Should Du Pont and other chemical manufacturers keep the profits that will be created as a result of government regulation?

And finding substitutes for CFCs is no simple matter. A New York Times report of March 7, 1989, talks about the disadvantages of the CFC substitutes. They may be toxic, flammable, and corrosive; and they certainly won’t work as well. They’ll reduce the energy efficiency of appliances such as refrigerators, and they’ll deteriorate, requiring frequent replenishment. Nor is this all. About $135 billion worth of equipment uses CFCs in the U.S. alone, and much of this equipment will have to be replaced or modified to work well with the CFC substitutes. Eventually, that will involve one hundred million home refrigerators, the air conditioners in ninety million cars, and the central air-conditioning plants in 100,000 large buildings. Good luck!

These are some of the costs we are now trying to impose on developing countries, which can ill afford them. Sanctions through a new UN agency seem to be out- -- t least for the time being. But trade barriers can accomplish the same results and won’t make us beloved. Third World countries are already heard accusing the West of protecting its pocketbooks as well as its fair skins. (Keep in mind that olive-skinned and dark-skinned people are not very susceptible to skin tumors caused by solar ultraviolet rays.)

Of course, if we in the west should be inclined to pay the bill for this major industrial perestroika, then others might just go along. So it’s environmental blackmail versus environmental imperialism.

Governments have yet to address what I regard as the real policy issue: how to make decisions about controls on CFC production, and the timing of these controls, in the light of incomplete and often conflicting scientific information. What is needed, it seems to me, is a more complete analysis that weighs the risks to society stemming from a delay in instituting production controls against the possibility of substantially improving both observations and the theory so that the predictions can be relied upon. At least, when George Bush decided to go along with born-again environmentalist Maggie Thatcher, he qualified his support for a complete CFC phase-out depending on the availability of safe substitutes. He should have added careful science as another condition.


S. Fred Singer is director, Science and Environmental Policy Project, Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy. His past affiliations include professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; chief scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation; and director, National Weather Satellite Center, U.S. Department of Commerce.
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Re: Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?

Postby admin » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:36 pm

Fred Singer
by Wikipedia

S. Fred Singer
2011 photograph
Born September 27, 1924 (age 91), Vienna, Austria
Nationality Austrian, American
Education B.E.E electrical engineering (1943); A.M. physics (1944); Ph.D. physics (1948)
Alma mater Ohio State University, Princeton University
Occupation Physicist
Organization Professor emeritus of environmental science, University of Virginia. Founder and president, Science & Environmental Policy Project
Known for Early space research; first director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service (1962–1964); involvement in global warming controversy
Awards Honorary doctorate, University of Ohio, 1970; Special Commendation from President Eisenhower for the early design of satellites, 1954; Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Federal Service

Siegfried Fred Singer (born September 27, 1924) is an Austrian-born American physicist and emeritus professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia.[1] Singer trained as an atmospheric physicist and is known for his work in space research, atmospheric pollution, rocket and satellite technology, his questioning of the link between UV-B and melanoma rates, and that between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss,[2] his public denial of the health risks of passive smoking, and as an advocate for climate change denial. He is the author or editor of several books including Global Effects of Environmental Pollution (1970), The Ocean in Human Affairs (1989), Global Climate Change (1989), The Greenhouse Debate Continued (1992), and Hot Talk, Cold Science (1997). He has also co-authored Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (2007) with Dennis Avery, and Climate Change Reconsidered (2009) with Craig Idso.[3][4]

Singer has had a varied career, serving in the armed forces, government, and academia. He designed mines for the U.S. Navy during World War II, before obtaining his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1948 and working as a scientific liaison officer in the U.S. Embassy in London.[5] He became a leading figure in early space research, was involved in the development of earth observation satellites, and in 1962 established the National Weather Bureau's Satellite Service Center. He was the founding dean of the University of Miami School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences in 1964, and held several government positions, including deputy assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and chief scientist for the Department of Transportation. He held a professorship with the University of Virginia from 1971 until 1994, and with George Mason University until 2000.[3] [6]

In 1990 Singer founded the Science & Environmental Policy Project,[3][7] and in 2006 was named by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as one of a minority of scientists said to be creating a stand-off on a consensus on climate change.[8][9] Singer argues there is no evidence that global warming is attributable to human-caused increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and that humanity would benefit if temperatures do rise.[10] He is an opponent of the Kyoto Protocol, and has claimed that climate models are neither based on reality nor evidence. [11] Singer has been accused of rejecting peer-reviewed and independently confirmed scientific evidence in his claims concerning public health and environmental issues. [3] [8] [12] [13]

Early life and education

Singer was born in Vienna, Austria, where his father was a jeweler and his mother a homemaker. When the Nazis invaded, the family fled, Singer leaving on a children's transport train with other Jewish children. He ended up in England, where he lived in Northumberland, working for a time as a teenage optician. Several years later he emigrated to Ohio and became an American citizen in 1944.[3][14] He received a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from Ohio State University in 1943, and an A.M. in physics from Princeton in 1944. He taught physics at Princeton while he worked on his masters and his doctorate, obtaining his Ph.D. there in 1948. His doctoral thesis was titled, "The density spectrum and latitude dependence of extensive cosmic ray air showers."[15] His supervisor was John Archibald Wheeler, and his thesis committee included J. Robert Oppenheimer and Niels Bohr.[16]


1950: United States Navy

After his masters, Singer joined the Armed Forces, working for the United States Navy on mine warfare and countermeasures from 1944 until 1946. While with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory he developed an arithmetic element for an electronic digital calculator that he called an "electronic brain." He was discharged in 1946 and joined the Upper Atmosphere Rocket Program at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland, working there until 1950. He focused on ozone, cosmic rays, and the ionosphere, all measured using balloons and rockets launched from White Sands, New Mexico, or from ships out at sea. Rachel White Scheuering writes that for one mission to launch a rocket, he sailed with a naval operation to the Arctic, and also conducted rocket launching from ships at the equator.[3]

From 1950 to 1953, he was attached to the U.S. Embassy in London as a scientific liaison officer with the Office of Naval Research, where he studied research programs in Europe into cosmic radiation and nuclear physics.[17] While there, he was one of eight delegates with a background in guided weapons projects to address the Fourth International Congress of Astronautics in Zurich in August 1953, at a time when, as The New York Times reported, most scientists saw space flight as thinly disguised science fiction.[18]

1951: Design of early satellites

Singer's MOUSE satellite, which he designed in the early 1950s.[19]

Singer was one of the first scientists to urge the launching of earth satellites for scientific observation during the 1950s.[20] In 1951 or 1952 he proposed the MOUSE ("Minimal Orbital Unmanned Satellite, Earth"), a 100 pounds (45 kg) satellite that would contain Geiger counters for measuring cosmic rays, photo cells for scanning the Earth, telemetry electronics for sending data back to Earth, a magnetic data storage device, and rudimentary solar energy cells. Although MOUSE never flew, the Baltimore News Post reported in 1957 that had Singer's arguments about the need for satellites been heeded, the U.S. could have beaten Russia by launching the first earth satellite.[19] He also proposed (along with R. C. Wentworth) that satellite measurement of ultraviolet backscatter could be used as a method to measure atmospheric ozone profiles.[21] This technique was later used on early weather satellites.[22]

1953: University of Maryland

Singer moved back to the United States in 1953, where he took up an associate professorship in physics at the University of Maryland, and at the same time served as the director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Scheuering writes that his work involved conducting experiments on rockets and satellites, remote sensing, radiation belts, the magnetosphere, and meteorites. He developed a new method of launching rockets into space: firing them from a high-flying plane, both with and without a pilot. The Navy adopted the idea and Singer supervised the project. He received a White House Special Commendation from President Eisenhower in 1954 for his work.[3]

He became one of 12 board members of the American Astronautical Society, an organization formed in 1954 to represent the country's 300 leading scientists and engineers in the area of guided missiles—he was one of seven members of the board to resign in December 1956 after a series of disputes about the direction and control of the group.[23]

In November 1957 Singer and other scientists at the university successfully designed and fired three new "Oriole" rockets off the Virginia Capes. The rockets weighed less than 25 pounds (11 kg) and could be built for around $2000. Fired from a converted Navy LSM, they could reach an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,000 m) and had a complete telemetry system to send back information on cosmic, ultraviolet and X-rays. Singer said that the firings placed "the exploration of outer space with high altitude rockets on the same basis, cost-wise and effort-wise, as low atmosphere measurements with weather balloons. From now on, we can fire thousands of these rockets all over the world with very little cost."[24]

In February 1958, when he was head of the cosmic ray group of the University of Maryland's physics department, he was congratulated in a telegram to the president of the university from President Eisenhower for his work in satellite research.[25] In April 1958, he was appointed as a consultant to the House Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration, which was preparing to hold hearings on President Eisenhower's proposal for a new agency to handle space research, and a month later received the Ohio State University's Distinguished Alumnus Award.[26] He became a full professor at Maryland in 1959, and was chosen that year by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the country's ten outstanding young men.[27]

In a January 1960 presentation to the American Physical Society, Singer sketched out his vision of what the environment around the earth might consist of, extending up to 40,000 miles (64,000 km) into space.[28] He became known for his early predictions about the properties of the electrical particles trapped around the earth, which were partly verified by later discoveries in satellite experiments. In December 1960, he suggested the existence of a shell of visible dust particles around the earth some 600 to 1,000 miles (1,600 km) in space, beyond which there was a layer of smaller particles, a micrometre or less in diameter, extending 2,000 to 4,000 miles (6,400 km).[29] In March 1961 Singer and another University of Maryland physicist, E. J. Opik, were given a $97,000 grant by NASA to conduct a three-year study of interplanetary gas and dust.[30]

1960: Artificial Phobos hypothesis

In a 1960 Astronautics newsletter, Singer commented on Iosif Shklovsky's hypothesis[31][32] that the orbit of the Martian moon Phobos suggests that it is hollow, which implies it is of artificial origin. Singer wrote: "My conclusion there is, and here I back Shklovsky, that if the satellite is indeed spiraling inward as deduced from astronomical observation, then there is little alternative to the hypothesis that it is hollow and therefore martian made. The big "if" lies in the astronomical observations; they may well be in error. Since they are based on several independent sets of measurements taken decades apart by different observers with different instruments, systematic errors may have influenced them."[33] Later measurements confirmed Singer's big "if" caveat: Shklovsky overestimated Phobos' rate of altitude loss due to bad early data.[34] Photographs by probes beginning 1972 show a natural stony surface with craters.[35] Ufologists continue to present Singer as an unconditional supporter of Shklovsky's artificial Phobos hypothesis.[36]

Time magazine wrote in 1969 that Singer had had a lifelong fascination with Phobos and Mars's second moon, Deimos. He told Time it might be possible to pull Deimos into the Earth's orbit so it could be examined.[37] During an international space symposium in May 1966, attended by space scientists from the United States and Soviet Union, he first proposed that manned landings on the moons would be a logical step after a manned landing on the Earth's moon. He pointed out that the very small sizes of Phobos and Deimos—approximately 14 miles (23 km) and eight miles (13 km) in diameter and sub milli-g surface gravity—would make it easier for a spacecraft to land and take off again.[38]

1962: National Weather Center and University of Miami

In 1962, on leave from the university, Singer was named as the first director of meteorological satellite services for the National Weather Satellite Center, now part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and directed a program for using satellites to forecast the weather.[20] He stayed there until 1964. He told Time magazine in 1969 that he enjoyed moving around. "Each move gave me a completely new perspective," he said. "If I had sat still, I'd probably still be measuring cosmic rays, the subject of my thesis at Princeton. That's what happens to most scientists."[37] When he stepped down as director he received a Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Federal Service.[39]

In 1964, he became the first dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences at the University of Miami in 1964, the first school of its kind in the country, dedicated to space-age research.[40] In December 1965, The New York Times reported on a conference Singer hosted in Miami Beach during which five groups of scientists, working independently, presented research identifying what they believed was the remains of a primordial flash that occurred when the universe was born.[41]

1967: Department of Interior and EPA

In 1967 he accepted the position of deputy assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he was in charge of water quality and research. When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created on 1970, he became its deputy assistant administrator of policy.

1971–1994 University of Virginia

Singer accepted a professorship in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia in 1971, a position he held until 1994, where he taught classes on environmental issues such as ozone depletion, acid rain, climate change, population growth, and public policy issues related to oil and energy. In 1987 he took up a two-year post as chief scientist at the Department of Transportation, and in 1989 joined the Institute of Space Science and Technology in Gainesville, Florida where he contributed to a paper on the results from the Interplanetary Dust Experiment using data from the Long Duration Exposure Facility satellite.[3][42] When he retired from Virginia in 1994, he became Distinguished Research Professor at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University until 2000.[43]

Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway say that Singer was involved in the Reagan administration's efforts to prevent regulatory action to reduce acid rain.[44]


Singer has worked as a consultant for several government agencies, including the House Select Committee on Space, NASA, the Government Accountability Office, the National Science Foundation, the United States Atomic Energy Commission, National Research Council, the Department of Defense Strategic Defense Initiative, Department of Energy Nuclear Waste Panel, and the Department of the Treasury. Other clients have included the states of Virginia, Alaska, and Pennsylvania. In the private sector he has worked for Mitre Corp., GE, Ford, General Motors; during the late 1970s Singer consulted with Exxon, Shell, Unocal Sun Oil, and ARCO; and Lockheed Martin, Martin–Marietta, McDonnell-Douglas, ANSER, and IBM on space research.[43] He has also advised the Independent Institute, the American Council on Science and Health, and Frontiers of Freedom.[45]

Public debates


Throughout his academic career Singer has written frequently in the mainstream press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, often striking up positions that go against mainstream thinking. His overall position one of distrust of federal regulations and a faith in the free market. He believes in what Rachel White Scheuering calls "free market environmentalism": that market principles and incentives should be sufficient to lead to the protection of the environment and conservation of resources.[3] Regular themes in his articles have been energy, oil embargoes, OPEC, Iran, and rising prices. Throughout the 1970s, for example, he downplayed the idea of an energy crisis and said it was largely a media event.[3][46] In several papers in the 1990s and 2000s he struck up other positions against the mainstream, questioning the link between UV-B and melanoma rates, and that between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss.[2]

In October 1967, Singer wrote an article for The Washington Post from the perspective of 2007. His predictions included that planets had been explored but not colonized, and although rockets had become more powerful they had not replaced aircraft and ramjet vehicles. None of the fundamental laws of physics had been overturned. There was increased reliance on the electronic computer and data processor; the most exciting development was the increase in human intellect by direct electronic storage of information in the brain—the coupling of the brain to an external computer, thereby gaining direct access to an information library.[47]

During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, he argued that smoke from the Kuwaiti oil fires would have little impact, in opposition to most commentators. He debated the astronomer Carl Sagan on ABC's Nightline, Sagan arguing that, if enough fire-fighting teams were not assembled in short order, and if many fires were left to burn over a period of months to possibly a year, the smoke might loft into the upper atmosphere and lead to massive agricultural failures over South Asia. Singer argued that it would rise to 3,000 feet (910 m) then be rained out after a few days.[48] In fact, both Sagan and Singer were incorrect; smoke plumes from the oil fires rose to 10,000–12,000 feet and lingered for nearly a month,[49] but despite absorbing 75–80% of the sun's radiation in the Persian Gulf area the plumes had little global effect.[50]

The public debates in which Singer has received most criticism have been about second-hand smoke and global warming. He has questioned the link between second-hand smoke and lung cancer, and has been an outspoken opponent of the mainstream scientific view on climate change; he argues there is no evidence that increases in carbon dioxide produced by human beings is causing global warming and that the temperature of the earth has always varied.[10] A CBC Fifth Estate documentary in 2006 linked these two debates, naming Singer as a scientist who has acted as a consultant to industry in both areas, either directly or through a public relations firm.[8] Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway named Singer in their book, Merchants of Doubt, as one of three contrarian physicists—along with Fred Seitz and Bill Nierenberg—who regularly injected themselves into the public debate about contentious scientific issues, positioning themselves as skeptics, their views gaining traction because the media gives them equal time out of a sense of fairness.[51]

Second-hand smoke

According to David Biello and John Pavlus in Scientific American, Singer is best known for his denial of the health risks of passive smoking.[52] He was involved in 1994 as writer and reviewer of a report on the issue by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, where he was a senior fellow.[53] The report criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their 1993 study about the cancer risks of passive smoking, calling it "junk science". Singer told CBC's The Fifth Estate in 2006 that he stood by the position that the EPA had "cooked the data" to show that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer. CBC said that tobacco money had paid for Singer's research and for his promotion of it, and that it was organized by APCO. Singer told CBC it made no difference where the money came from. "They don't carry a note on a dollar bill saying 'This comes from the tobacco industry,'" he said. "In any case I was not aware of it, and I didn't ask APCO where they get their money. That's not my business."[8] In December 2010 he wrote in American Thinker that he is nonsmoker who finds second-hand smoke an unpleasant irritant that cannot be healthy; he also wrote that his father, a heavy smoker, died of emphysema when relatively young. According to Singer, he serves on the advisory board of an anti-smoking organization, and has never been paid by Philip Morris or the tobacco lobby.[54]

Global warming

In a 2003 letter to the Financial Times, Singer wrote that "there is no convincing evidence that the global climate is actually warming."[55] In 2006, the CBC's Fifth Estate named Singer as one of a small group of scientists who have created what the documentary called a stand-off that is undermining the political response to global warming.[8] The following year he appeared on the British Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle.[56] Singer argues there is no evidence that the increases in carbon dioxide produced by humans cause global warming, and that if temperatures do rise it will be good for humankind.[b] He told CBC: "It was warmer a thousand years ago than it is today. Vikings settled Greenland. Is that good or bad? I think it's good. They grew wine in England, in northern England. I think that's good. At least some people think so."[57] "We are certainly putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," he told The Daily Telegraph in 2009. "However there is no evidence that this high CO2 is making a detectable difference. It should in principle, however the atmosphere is very complicated and one cannot simply argue that just because CO2 is a greenhouse gas it causes warming."[10] He believes that radical environmentalists are exaggerating the dangers. "The underlying effort here seems to be to use global warming as an excuse to cut down the use of energy," he said. "It's very simple: if you cut back the use of energy, then you cut back economic growth. And believe it or not, there are people in the world who believe we have gone too far in economic growth."[3][/b]

Singers's opinions conflict with the scientific opinion on climate change,[58][59] where there is overwhelming consensus for anthropogenic global warming, and a decisive link between Carbon dioxide concentration and global average temperatures, as well as consensus that such a change to the climate will have dangerous consequences.[60][61] In 2005 Mother Jones magazine described Singer as a "godfather of global warming denial."[62] However, Singer characterizes himself as a "skeptic" rather than a "denier" of global climate change. In an article in American Thinker, he complains about bad arguments used by the "deniers," saying that "Climate deniers are giving us skeptics a bad name."[63]

SEPP and funding

In 1990 Singer set up the Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) to argue against preventive measures against global warming. After the 1991 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit, Singer started writing and speaking out to cast doubt on the science. He predicted disastrous economic damage from any restrictions on fossil fuel use, and argued that the natural world and its weather patterns are complex and ill-understood, and that little is known about the dynamics of heat exchange from the oceans to the atmosphere, or the role of clouds. As the scientific consensus grew, he continued to argue from a skeptical position.[3] He has repeatedly criticized the climate models that predict global warming. In 1994 he compared model results to observed temperatures and found that the predicted temperatures for 1950–1980 deviated from the temperatures that had actually occurred, from which he concluded in his regular column in The Washington Times—with the headline that day "Climate Claims Wither under the Luminous Lights of Science"—that climate models are faulty. In 2007 he collaborated on a study that found tropospheric temperature trends of "Climate of the 20th Century" models differed from satellite observations by twice the model mean uncertainty.[64]

Rachel White Scheuering writes that, when SEPP began, it was affiliated with the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, a think tank founded by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon.[3] A 1990 article for the Cato Institute identifies Singer as the director of the science and environmental policy project at the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, on leave from the University of Virginia.[65] Scheuering writes that Singer had cut ties with the institute, and is funded by foundations and oil companies.[3] She writes that he has been a paid consultant for many years for ARCO, ExxonMobil, Shell, Sun Oil Company, and Unocal, and that SEPP has received grants from ExxonMobil. Singer has said his financial relationships do not influence his research. Scheuering argues that his conclusions concur with the economic interests of the companies that pay him, in that the companies want to see a reduction in environmental regulation.[3]

In August 2007 Newsweek reported that in April 1998 a dozen people from what it called "the denial machine" met at the American Petroleum Institute's Washington headquarters. The meeting included Singer's group, the George C. Marshall Institute, and ExxonMobil. Newsweek said that, according to an eight-page memo that was leaked, the meeting proposed a $5-million campaign to convince the public that the science of global warming was controversial and uncertain. The plan was leaked to the press and never implemented.[66] The week after the story, Newsweek published a contrary view from Robert Samuelson, one of its columnists, who said the story of an industry-funded denial machine was contrived and fundamentally misleading.[67] ABC News reported in March 2008 that Singer said he is not on the payroll of the energy industry, but he acknowledged that SEPP had received one unsolicited charitable donation of $10,000 from ExxonMobil, and that it was one percent of all donations received. Singer said that his connection to Exxon was more like being on their mailing list than holding a paid position.[68] The relationships have discredited Singer's research among members of the scientific community, according to Scheuering. Congresswoman Lynn Rivers questioned Singer's credibility during a congressional hearing in 1995, saying he had not been able to publish anything in a peer-reviewed scientific journal for the previous 15 years, except for one technical comment.[3][69]

Criticism of the IPCC

In 1995 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report reflecting the scientific consensus that the balance of evidence suggests there is a discernible human influence on global climate. Singer responded with a letter to Science saying the IPCC report had presented material selectively. He wrote: "the Summary does not even mention the existence of 18 years of weather satellite data that show a slight global cooling trend, contradicting all theoretical models of climate warming."[70] Scheuering writes that Singer acknowledges the surface thermometers from weather stations show warming, but he argues that the satellites provide better data because their measurements cover pole to pole.[3] According to Edward Parson and Andrew Dessler, the satellite data did not show surface temperatures directly, but had to be adjusted using models. When adjustment was made for transient events the data showed a slight warming, and research suggested that the discrepancy between surface and satellite data was largely accounted for by problems such as instrument differences between satellites.[71]

Singer wrote the "Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change in the U.S." in 1995, updating it in 1997 to rebut the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol was the result of an international convention held in Kyoto, Japan, during which several industrialized nations agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Singer's declaration read: "Energy is essential for economic growth ... We understand the motivation to eliminate what are perceived to be the driving forces behind a potential climate change; but we believe the Kyoto Protocol—to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from only a part of the world community—is dangerously simplistic, quite ineffective, and economically destructive to jobs and standards-of-living."[3]

Scheuering writes that Singer circulated this in the United States and Europe and gathered 100 signatories, though she says some of the signatories' credentials were questioned. At least 20 were television weather reporters, some did not have science degrees, and 14 were listed as professors without specifying a field. According to Scheuering, some of them later said they believed they were signing a document in favour of action against climate change.[3]

Singer set up the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) after a 2004 United Nations climate conference in Milan. NIPCC organized an international climate workshop in Vienna in April 2007,[72] to provide what they called an independent examination of the evidence for climate change.[73] Singer prepared an NIPCC report called "Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate," published in March 2008 by The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank.[72] ABC News said the same month that unnamed climate scientists from NASA, Stanford, and Princeton who spoke to ABC about the report dismissed it as "fabricated nonsense." In a letter of complaint to ABC News, Singer said their piece used "prejudicial language, distorted facts, libelous insinuations, and anonymous smears."[68]

On September 18, 2013, the NIPCC's fourth report, entitled Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, was published.[74] As with previous NIPCC reports, environmentalists criticized it upon its publication; for example, David Suzuki wrote that it was "full of long-discredited claims, including that carbon dioxide emissions are good because they stimulate life."[75] After the report received favorable coverage from Fox News Channel's Doug McKelway,[76] climate scientists Kevin Trenberth and Michael Oppenheimer criticized this coverage, with Trenberth calling it "irresponsible journalism" and Oppenheimer calling it "flat out wrong."[77]


In December 2009, after the Climatic Research Unit email controversy, Singer wrote an opinion piece for Reuters in which he said the scientists had misused peer review, pressured editors to prevent publication of alternative views, and smeared opponents. He said the leaked e-mails showed that the "surface temperature data that IPCC relies on is based on distorted raw data and algorithms that they will not share with the science community." He argued that the incident exposed a flawed process, and that the temperature trends were heading downwards even as greenhouse gases like CO2 were increasing in the atmosphere. He wrote: "This negative correlation contradicts the results of the models that IPCC relies on and indicates that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is quite small," concluding "and now it turns out that global warming might have been 'man made' after all."[78] A British House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee later issued a report that exonerated the scientists,[79] and eight committees investigated the allegations, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[80]

Selected publications

• Global Effects of Environmental Pollution (Reidel, 1970)
• Manned Laboratories in Space (Reidel, 1970)
• Is There an Optimum Level of Population? (McGraw-Hill, 1971)
• The Changing Global Environment (Reidel, 1975)
• Arid Zone Development (Ballinger, 1977)
• Economic Effects of Demographic Changes (Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress, 1977)
• Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Decisionmaking (Mitre Corp, 1979)
• Energy (W.H. Freeman, 1979)
• The Price of World Oil (Annual Reviews of Energy, Vol. 8, 1983)
• Free Market Energy (Universe Books, 1984)
• Oil Policy in a Changing Market (Annual Reviews of Energy, Vol. 12, 1987)
• The Ocean in Human Affairs (Paragon House, 1989)
• The Universe and Its Origin: From Ancient Myths to Present Reality and Future Fantasy (Paragon House, 1990)
• Global Climate Change: Human and Natural Influences (Paragon House, 1989)
• The Greenhouse Debate Continued (ICS Press, 1992)
• The Scientific Case Against the Global Climate Treaty (SEPP, 1997)
• Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate (The Independent Institute, 1997)
• with Dennis Avery. Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007)
• with Craig Idso. Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) (2009).


1. "Retired faculty", University of Virginia, accessed December 28, 2010.
2. Singer, S. Fred. "Ozone, Skin Cancer, and the SST", Science & Environmental Policy Project, July 1994, accessed May 18, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "The hole truth about CFCs", Science & Environmental Policy Project, March 21, 1994, accessed May 18, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Five Scientific Questions On The CFC-Ozone Issue", Science & Environmental Policy Project, October 16, 2009, accessed May 18, 2010.
3. Rachel White, "S. Fred Singer," in Shapers of the Great Debate on Conservation: A Biographical Dictionary, Greenwood Press, 2004, p.115-127
4. S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. at the Wayback Machine (archived January 25, 2009), Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010.
• Zeller, Tom. "And in This Corner, Climate Contrarians", The New York Times, December 9, 2009; the NYT article calls him an "atmospheric physicist".
5. "Astrophysics: Capturing a Moon and Other Diversions", Time magazine, February 21, 1969, p. 2.
6. Levy, Lillian. Space, Its Impact on Man and Society. Ayer Publishing 1973, p. xiii for general background.
• S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Science and Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010, for founding of SEPP.
7. For an early article of Singer's on this issue, see Singer, S. Fred. "On Not Flying Into a Greenhouse Frenzy", The New York Times, November 16, 1989.
8. "The Denial Machine". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. November 15, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. From the program The Fifth Estate; updated October 24, 2007. Video not archived. Also see Singer, S. Fred (February 11, 1996). "Anthology of 1995’s Environmental Myths". Washington Times.
9. Also see Revkin, Andrew. "Skeptics Dispute Climate Worries and Each Other", The New York Times, March 8, 2009.
10. Gray, Louise. "Fred Singer to speak at climate change sceptics conference", The Daily Telegraph, November 18, 2009.
11. Tierney, John. "Lessons from the Skeptics' Conference", The New York Times, March 4, 2008.
• Stevens, William K. "Global Warming: The Contrarian View", The New York Times, February 29, 2000.
• See Scheuering 2004, p. 115ff for Singer's views on the Kyoto Protocol, esp. pp. 122–123.
12. Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M. (2010).Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
13. Singer, S. Fred (2003). "The Revelle-Gore Story: Attempted Political Suppression of Science" (PDF). In Gough, Michael. Politicizing Science: The Alchemy of Policymaking. Hoover Press.
14. Stevens, William Kenneth. The Change in the Weather. Delta 2001, p. 245. Some of the details given by Scheuering and Stevens of Singer's flight from Vienna and the timing of it appear inconsistent. In fact Scheuering does not even mention such a flight: Scheuering does not even say that the family was Jewish. According to Scheuering the family was already in England in 1938.
15. Singer, S. Fred (1949). "The density spectrum and latitude dependence of extensive cosmic ray air showers". Princeton University.
16. S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010; Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service. "S. Fred Singer Papers, 1953–1989 (bulk 1960–1980)", accessed May 15, 2010.
• For material about his supervisor and thesis committee, see Misner, Charles W. "John Archibald Wheeler and the recertification of General Relativity as True Physics", University of Maryland, October 3, 2006, accessed July 27, 2013.
• Also see Singer, S. Fred. "The Father of the H-Bomb Tells His Story", Hoover Digest, 2002, No. 1, accessed May 15, 2010.
• For his teaching while he obtained his degrees, and the title of his PhD thesis, seeScheuering 2004, pp. 116–117.
17. Current biography yearbook, Volume 10, H. W. Wilson Company, 1956; S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 15, 2010.
18. Hillaby, John. "Astronauts soar in eyes of science", The New York Times, August 3, 1953.
19. "Satellite, MOUSE, Concept Model", Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, accessed May 15, 2010; for a diagram of the MOUSE and Baltimore News Post reference, seeDiagram of MOUSE satellite, Corbis Images, accessed May 16, 2010.
20. The New York Times. "Physicist to Help U.S. Speed Weather Satellite System", July 6, 1962.
21. Singer, S. F & Wentworth, R. C. (June 1957)."A method for the determination of the vertical ozone distribution from a satellite". J. Geophys. Res. (American Geophysical Union) 62 (2): 299–308. doi:10.1029/JZ062i002p00299.ISSN 2156-2202. A detector looking down towards the earth will receive solar ultraviolet scattered by the atmosphere which has been attenuated both by scattering out and by ozone absorption.
22. Zerefos, Christos S.; Isaksen, Ivar S.A.; Ziomas, Ioannis, eds. (2000). "Chemistry and Radiation Changes in the Ozone Layer". Nato Science Series C: Mathematical and Physical Sciences 557. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands: 309. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-4353-0.ISBN 978-0-7923-6513-6. ISSN 1389-2185.Recent studies have demonstrated a link between ozone changes caused by human activities and changing UV levels at the Earth's surface, as well as a link to climate through changes in radiative forcing and links to changes in chemical composition.
23. Schumach, Murray. "Planet Scientists Collide, Break Up", The New York Times, December 3, 1956.
24. "Maryland U. Fires Three New Rockets," The Washington Post, November 8, 1957.
25. "President Lauds Physicist Singer," The Washington Post, February 4, 1958.
26. "Singer Appointed Space Consultant," The Washington Post, April 6, 1958.
• "Md. U. Physicist Receives Award," The Washington Post, May 3, 1958: the reward was for his "widely recognized research contributions in the fields of cosmic rays, upper atmosphere and space flight, and for the recognition he has brought to university and government research organizations through his outstanding and prolific work."
27. S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010; Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service. "S. Fred Singer Papers, 1953–1989 (bulk 1960–1980)", accessed May 15, 2010.
• For his Junior Chamber of Commerce award, see The New York Times. "10 Young Men Cited by Junior Chamber", January 5, 1960; and "TOYA Part Honorees", United States Junior Chamber, accessed May 22, 2010.
28. Osmundsen, John A. "Scientist 'looks' 40,000 miles out", The New York Times, January 30, 1960.
29. Plumb, Robert K. "Scientists' Calculations Indicate Shell of Dust Surrounding Earth", The New York Times, December 28, 1960.
30. "M.U. Professors get NASA grants," Associated Press, March 22, 1961.
31. I. S. Shklovsky, The Universe, Life, and Mind, Academy of Sciences USSR, Moscow, 1962.
32. Iosif S. Shklovski and Carl Sagan. Intelligent Life in the Universe, San Francisco: Holden-Day, 1966.
33. S. F. Singer, "More on the Moons of Mars",Astronautics, February 1960, American Astronautical Society, page 16.
34. E. J. Öpik, "News and Comments: Phobos, Nature of Acceleration". Irish Astronomical Journal 6: 40, March 1963.
35. Mars Exploration Program: Mariner 8 & 9
36. "Andrew Kelleher, "Phobos: the odd moon of Mars", in Alienation News #211 Nov 2002."(PDF). Retrieved 2010-05-26.
37. Time magazine. "Astrophysics: Capturing a Moon and Other Diversions", February 21, 1969.
38. Sullivan, Walter. "World's Space Scientists Take Look at the Future", The New York Times, May 19, 1966.
• S. Fred Singer. "A Manned Mission to the Mysterious Moons of Mars", Philosophical Society of Washington, November 22, 2002, accessed May 13, 2010.
39. Lehr, Jay H. Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns. John Wiley and Sons 1992, p. 393.
• Levy, Lillian. Space, Its Impact on Man and Society. Ayer Publishing 1973, p. xiii.
• Singer, S. Fred. The Changing Global Environment. Springer Publishers 1975, p. 401.
40. Terte, Robert H. "A Dean for Earth and Space", The New York Times, March 15, 1964.
41. Sullivan, Walter. "Scientists Trace Birth of Universe With Light Waves", The New York Times, December 20, 1965.
42. Long duration exposure facility (LDEF) interplanetary dust experiment (IDE) impact detector results
43. S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. Professional background, Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010.
44. Oreskes, Naomi and Erik M. Conway, "Chapter 3: Sowing the Seeds of Doubt," in Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010: p66-106.
45. S. Fred Singer: The Independent Institute, accessed May 15, 2010.
• Scientific advisors, American Council on Science and Health, May 15, 2008, accessed May 15, 2010;
• Frontiers of Freedom—Staff at theWayback Machine (archived December 15, 2003), December 15, 2003, accessed May 15, 2010.
46. "S. Fred Singer Ph.D.", Scientific & Environmental Protection Project, accessed May 18, 2010.
47. Singer, S. Fred. "Looking Back From A.D. 2007", The Washington Post, October 1, 1967.
48. "First Israeli scud fatalities oil fires in Kuwait",Nightline, ABC News, January 22, 1991.
49. "Environmental Exposure Report: Oil Well Fires". U.S. Department of Defense. 2 August 2000. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
50. Hobbs PV, Radke LF (May 1992). "Airborne studies of the smoke from the kuwait oil fires".Science 256 (5059): 987–91.doi:10.1126/science.256.5059.987.PMID 17795001.
51. Brown, Seth. "'Merchants of Doubt' delves into contrarian scientists", USA Today, May 31, 2010.
52. Biello, David and Pavlus, John. "Even Skeptics Admit Global Warming is Real", Scientific American, March 18, 2008.
53. Singer, S. Fred and Jeffreys, Kent. "The EPA and the Science of Environmental Tobacco Smoke", courtesy of the University of California, San Francisco, see page 18 for the authors, undated, accessed May 18, 2010. A prepublication draft of the report was archived in the files of Walter Woodson, Vice President-Public Affairs of the Tobacco Institute: scan(accessed Dec. 26 2012). Interestingly, when the report was released by the de Tocqueville institution as the first chapter of the reportScience, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination, Singer's credit was changed from lead author to "reviewer."
• For the final version of the report, see"Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examination", Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, August 11, 1994, accessed Dec. 26 2012
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59. "CLIMATE CHANGE 2014: Synthesis Report. Summary for Policymakers" (PDF). IPCC. Retrieved 7 March 2015. The evidence for human influence on the climate system has grown since the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together
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80. The eight major investigations covered by secondary sources include: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK);Independent Climate Change Review (UK);International Science Assessment Panel (UK);Pennsylvania State University first panel andsecond panel (US); United States Environmental Protection Agency (US);Department of Commerce (US); National Science Foundation (US)

Further reading

• Cohen, Bonner and Lehr, Jay. An interview with Dr. S. Fred Singer, Environment & Climate News, February 2001, accessed May 13, 2010.
• Cushman, John H. "Industrial group plans to battle climate treaty", The New York Times, April 26, 1998.
• Gleick, James. "Science and Politics: 'Nuclear Winter' Clash", The New York Times, February 17, 1987.
• Jacoby, Jeff. "The jury is still out on global warming", The New York Times, August 20, 2007.
• NASA, Vanguard—A History, "Chapter 1 Background of Space Exploration" mentions S. Fred Singer's role in early US space exploration.
• Monbiot, George. "Junk science", The Guardian, May 10, 2005.
• Needall, Alan A. and DeVorkin, David. "Oral History Transcript—Dr. S. Fred Singer", Niels Bohr Library & Archives, Center for History of Physics, April 23, 1991.
• Revkin, Andrew C. "Cool View of Science at Meeting on Warming", The New York Times, March 4, 2008.
• The Science & Environmental Policy Project, accessed May 13, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Lessons of the Split in OPEC",The New York Times, May 21, 1977.
• Singer, S. Fred. "A Crisis for OPEC", The New York Times, March 31, 1981.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Against Sending Troops to the Gulf", The New York Times, March 7, 1984.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Intervening in the Oil Market",The New York Times, April 13, 1986.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Rays and Fumes in the Air and in the News", The New York Times, April 1, 1988.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Environmental Strategies with Uncertain Science", Regulation 13(1), Winter 1990, Cato Institute.
• Singer, S. Fred; Revelle, Roger; Starr, Chauncey (Summer 1992). "What To Do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap" (PDF). Cosmos 5(2).
• Singer, S. Fred. "Global Warming's Doomsday Nowhere in Sight", The New York Times, September 28, 1993.
• Singer, S. Fred. (1995-09-20). "Scientific integrity and public trust: the science behind federal policies and mandates : case study 1, stratospheric ozone, myths and realities". Hearing before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, September 20, 1995. Retrieved2012-03-23.
• Singer, S. Fred.; Kent Jeffereys (1999-05-10). "The EPA and the science of environmental tobacco smoke (pwc42f00)". The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL). Retrieved 2012-03-23.
• Singer, S. Fred "Testimony of Prof. S. Fred Singer", Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Climate Change, July 18, 2000, accessed May 16, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Yes, the Ice Is Melting, But Not Because of Us", The New York Times, September 14, 2000.
• Singer, S. Fred. "The End of the IPCC", American Thinker, February 10, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "Secondhand Smoke, Lung Cancer, and the Global Warming Debate", American Thinker, December 19, 2010.
• Singer, S. Fred. "What do Climate Data Really Show? The Berkeley Climate Data Project".American Thinker, February 19, 2011
• Smithsonian Institution Research Information Service. "S. Fred Singer Papers, 1953–1989 (bulk 1960–1980)", accessed May 15, 2010.
• Solomon, Lawrence. The Deniers. Richard Vigilante Books, 2008, pp. 194–198.
• Sullivan, Walter. "Scientists Wonder If Shot Nears Moon", The New York Times, November 5, 1957
• Woodwell, George M. and Holdren, John P. "Climate-Change Skeptics Are Wrong", The New York Times, November 14, 1998.
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