Fred Singer

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Fred Singer : biography

September 27, 1924 –

Global warming

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."The Denial Machine," 01:55 mins, 13:12 mins, 16:01–16:35 mins. The following year he appeared on the British Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle.Gibson, Owen and Adam, David. , The Guardian, July 22, 2008. 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. 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.""The Denial Machine," 20:10 mins. "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." 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." As early as 1992, Singer was charged publicly by a CO2 scientist from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of unethical conduct in certain publications, which same charge was reiterated in 2006.

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. 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.Douglass, David H.; Christy, John R.; Pearson, Benjamin D.; Singer, S. Fred. , International Journal of Climatology, 28: 1693, December 5, 2007.

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. 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.Singer, S. Fred. , Regulation 13(1), Winter 1990, Cato Institute. Scheuering writes that Singer had cut ties with the institute, and is funded by foundations and oil companies. 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.