S. Fred Singer

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Siegfried Frederick Singer (S. Fred Singer), born September 1924 (age 89–90), a former space scientist and government scientific administrator, runs the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)[1], which publicizes his own views on various topics, primarily climate change, ozone depletion, risks of chemical pollution (from DDT and others), nuclear power, and space policy.

Profiles

Singer was born September 27, 1924, in Vienna, Austria. Singer received a B.E.E. from Ohio State University in 1943 and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1948.[2]

In the early 1990s, Singer's then wife, Candace Carolyn Crandall, was Executive Vice President of SEPP and is currently a Research Associate of SEPP.[3]

The Competitive Enterprise Institute listed Singer as "expert" on their website until September 2007.[4] He is now listed on their website as someone who can be booked as a speaker.[5]

Affiliations


It should be noted that, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, October 26, 2006[7]

Climate Change "Expert"

In the early 1990s, while officially "on leave" from the University of Virginia, Singer set up the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy with the help of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution and with funding support from the Unification Church (also known as "Moonies," followers of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church).

This organisation worked closely with Elizabeth Whelan and Frederick Stare's American Council on Science and Health in countering climate activism as it related to the chemical industry.[9] Later Singer's organisation changed into the Science and Environmental Policy Project with funding from the coal and oil industries and some support from PR firm APCO & Associates.

SEPP, in turn, sloughed off a European branch named International Center for a Scientific Ecology (ICSE), in Paris, which was run by science journalist and SEPP associate Michel Salomon [10] Along with Steve Milloy at The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) and Roger Bate at the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF) (a sort of European version of TASSC) these organisations all pushed the climate-denier and "junk science" lines on behalf of large corporate interest groups.

Salomon was a member of the Board of Science Advisors of SEPP [11] and with Singer, he organised the Heidelberg conference which resulted in the infamous Heidelberg Appeal document. The legitimate scientists who signed this appeal intended it to be a request for governments to heed the opinion of scientists before engaging in the wholesale removal of asbestos fibers from schools and other buildings, since in many cases it was safer to leave it in situ with resin bonding. However it was drafted by Salomon and Singer in very general terms.

In these general terms, it appeared to be an attack on climate activism. It was later used in a conference of climate-deniers at the George Mason University in Washington, D.C. to promote U.S. support. The ICSE, SEPP, TASSC and ESEF also promoted the Heidelberg Appeal at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit as evidence of worldwide scientific opposition to the conference's consensus decision that governments needed to take urgent action on climate change.[12]

The Heidelberg Appeal document was funded, circulated and promoted by the asbestos industry and the tobacco industry, but the ICSE organisation was also supported by the vinyl and chemical industries.[13]

The National Center for Public Policy Research lists Singer as someone that journalists can interview on climate change policy.[14]

Professor Ian Enting records a contradiction in Singer's stance: "Singer’s book (with John Avery), Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years proposes a natural 1500 year cycle for global temperature. I find this unconvincing, with no evidence provided for the claim that Imperial Roman times were as cold as the Little Ice Age 1500 years later. I am also puzzled as to how a man who claims we are in a natural warming cycle until about 2300 could be part of the Heartland Institute group. which convinced Senator Steve Fielding that the Earth is cooling."[15]

In 2012, Singer began to criticize certain specific categories of deniers of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), writing that they were "giving us skeptics a bad name". In particular, Singer strongly criticized those who have claimed that (a) the greenhouse effect violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, (b) that rising carbon dioxide levels do not cause temperatures to rise, (c) that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is too small to have an effect, (d) that natural variations in carbon dioxide dwarf human contributions, and (e) that the observed rise in carbon dioxide is due to volcanic eruptions.[16] Singer continues to question whether AGW has actually occurred, but he has apparently lost patience with many AGW deniers.

Tobacco Industry Contractor

In 1993, Singer collaborated with Tom Hockaday of Apco Associates to draft an article on "junk science" intended for publication. Apco Associates was the PR firm hired to organize and direct The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition for Philip Morris. Hockaday reported on his work with Singer to Ellen Merlo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris.[17]

In 1994, Singer was Chief Reviewer of the report Science, economics, and environmental policy: a critical examination published by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI). This was all part of an attack on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded by the Tobacco Institute over a risk assessment on environmental tobacco smoke. [18] At that time, Mr. Singer was a Senior Fellow with AdTI.[19]

"The report's principal reviewer, Dr. Fred Singer, was involved with the International Center for a Scientific Ecology, a group that was considered important in Philip Morris' plans to create a group in Europe similar to The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), as discussed by Ong and Glantz. He was also on a tobacco industry list of people who could write op-ed pieces on "junk science," defending the industry's views.39" [20]

In 1995, as President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (a think tank based in Fairfax, Virginia) S. Fred Singer was involved in launching a publicity campaign about "The Top Five Environmental Myths of 1995," a list that included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's conclusion that secondhand tobacco smoke is a human carcinogen. Shandwick, a public relations agency working for British American Tobacco, pitched the "Top Five Myths" list idea to Singer to minimize the appearance of tobacco industry involvement in orchestrating criticism of the EPA. The "Top Five Environmental Myths" list packaged EPA's secondhand smoke ruling with other topics like global warming and radon gas, to help minimize the appearance of tobacco industry involvement in the effort. According to a 1996 BAT memo describing the arrangement, Singer agreed to an "aggressive media interview schedule" organized by Shandwick to help publicize his criticism of EPA's conclusions.[21]

Oil Industry Contractor

In a September 24, 1993, sworn affidavit, Dr. Singer stated that he had two meetings with Robert Balling in Pheonix for which his expenses were re-imbursed. Singer believed the the funding, which he received from Balling, originated from the Western Fuels Association.[22] Singer also admitted to working as a consultant on approximately half a dozen occasions for the Global Climate Coalition and that payments to him came either from the firm of John Shlaes, the coalition's director or the PR firm, E. Bruce Harrison, which worked for the coalition.[23] He also stated that he had undertaken consulting work on "perhaps a dozen or so" energy companies. This included work on behalf of oil companies, such as Exxon, Texaco, Arco, Shell, Sun, Unocal, the Electric Power Research Institute, Florida Power and the American Gas Association.[24]

In February 2001, Ronald Collins from the Center for Science in the Public Interest chided a Washington Post for citing Singer but not disclosing his consulting work. "Although The Post's readers were told of some of Mr. Singer's more impressive credentials, they were not informed that he has served as a consultant to Exxon, Shell, Unocal, Sun Oil, ARCO, Ford and GM. All of those companies, of course, have vested interests in fighting off reductions of carbon dioxide emissions. At a time when industry is buying greater influence in the scientific community, it is essential for the press to provide full disclosure," Collins wrote.[25]

However, on February 12, 2001, Singer wrote a letter to The Washington Post in which he denied receiving any oil company money in the previous 20 years when he had consulted for the oil industry. " As for full disclosure: My resume clearly states that I consulted for several oil companies on the subject of oil pricing, some 20 years ago, after publishing a monograph on the subject. My connection to oil during the past decade is as a Wesson Fellow at the Hoover Institution; the Wesson money derives from salad oil."[26]

Singer Profiled in Rolling Stone Magazine

In the January 2010 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, journalist Tim Dickinson profiled the top 17 United States "polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming". Below is an excerpt from the article titled "Climate Killers" about Fred Singer.[27]

A former mouthpiece for the tobacco industry, the 85-year-old Singer is the granddaddy of fake "science" designed to debunk global warming. The retired physicist — who also tried to downplay the danger of the hole in the ozone layer — is still wheeled out as an authority by big polluters determined to kill climate legislation. For years, Singer steadfastly denied that the world is heating up: Citing satellite data that has since been discredited, he even made the unhinged claim that "the climate has been cooling just slightly." Last year, Singer served as a lead author of "Climate Change Reconsidered" — an 880-page report by the right-wing Heartland Institute that was laughably presented as a counterweight to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's scientific authority on global warming. Singer concludes that the unchecked growth of climate-cooking pollution is "unequivocally good news." Why? Because "rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests." Small wonder that Heartland's climate work has long been funded by the likes of Exxon and reactionary energy barons like Charles Koch and Richard Mellon Scaife.[27]

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Science & Environmental Policy Project Web site, About the Project, accessed April 8, 2009
  2. Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewUnstoppable skeptic, October 20, 2007
  3. untitled, Philip Morris, March 1991. Bates No. 2025528294/8299
  4. "S. Fred Singer", Competitive Enterprise Institute, archived from September 27, 2007.
  5. "S. Fred Singer", Competitive Enterprise Institute, accessed April 2009.
  6. "[1]"
  7. "Global Warming Skeptics: A Primer: Guess who's funding the global warming doubt shops?", Environmental Defense Fund website, December 19, 2006.
  8. Environmental Defense Fund Web site [http://www.edf.org/article.cfm?ContentID=4870 Global Warming Skeptics: A Primer Guess who's funding the global warming doubt shops?] Posted on December 19, 2006; updated on August 28, 2007. Accessed April 8, 2009
  9. B. Cohen, T.A. Deweese, E.A. McCusker, American Policy Center EPA Watch - Volume 1 Number 1 - White House, Congress clash over indoor air legislation Newsletter, February 21, 1992. Philip Morris Bates No.2046323544/3547
  10. N. Salomon, International Center for a Scientific Ecology Seminar of 930510 on the Linear Relationship Letter. March 31, 1993. 3 pp. Bates No. 2028443741/3743
  11. SEPP Web site SEPP Board of Directors, accessed April 8, 2009
  12. N. Salomon, Projections From Heidelberg to Rio Itinerary of an approach Publication. 1992. Bates No. 2025477480/7483
  13. Gerard Wirz, Philip Morris The Heidelberg Appeal Memorandum. March 23, 1993. Bates No. 2025498346
  14. Web site of the National Center for Public Policy Research, page titled Kyoto Interview Locator
  15. "[2]"
  16. [3]
  17. Hockaday, T. Opinion Editorials on Indoor Air Quality and Junk Science Memorandum, March 8, 1993. Philip Morris Bates No. 2021178205
  18. Derek Yach, Stella Aguinaga Bialous, American Journal of Public Health Junking Science to Promote Tobacco November 2001, Vol 91, No. 11 pp.1745-1748
  19. P. Gerin, J. Mica, House of Congress Briefing on Sound Science and Environmental Policy Letter. 1 pp. 2nd to last paragraph), August 2, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No.2040165575
  20. Derek Yach, World Health Organization, Stella A. Bialous, University of California San Francisco Junking Science to Promote Tobacco American Journal of Public Health, November 2001, Vol 91, No. 11, Tobacco, Lawyers and Public Health, pp. 1745-1748
  21. Joe S. Helewicz Note from JS Helewicz regarding Congressional Research Service Memorandum. January 12, 1996. British American Tobacco Bates No. 700588382
  22. "In the Matter of S. Fred Singer vs Justin Lancaster", September 24, 2003, page 57.
  23. "In the Matter of S. Fred Singer vs Justin Lancaster", September 24, 2003, page 58.
  24. "In the Matter of S. Fred Singer vs Justin Lancaster", September 24, 2003, page 59.
  25. Ronald Collins, "Full Disclosure on Global Warming", Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, February 6, 2001.
  26. S. Fred Singer, "My Salad Days", Letter to the Editor, Washington Post, February 12, 2001, page A20.
  27. 27.0 27.1 "The Climate Killers" Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone Magazine, January 2010.

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Published Works by S. Fred Singer

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