Fred Singer on the Myths of Politically Correct Science
The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Dr. S. Fred Singer.
Introduction: Dr. S. Fred Singer (Siegfried Fred Singer) is an American atmospheric physicist, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, which he founded in 1990. Dr. Singer is a prolific author, having published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as editorial essays and articles that have appeared in leading publications. Front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life and US News & World Report have featured his accomplishments. Dr. Singer is author, coauthor or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs and has given hundreds of lectures and seminars on global warming, including to the science faculties at Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley and many others. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Here's a brief snippet.
Daily Bell: How did you become such a global warming skeptic? Your critics say you are irresponsible for advocating your positions. Are you?
Fred Singer: My skepticism about global warming is purely based on the observed evidence − which shows no appreciable warming while there had been large increases in greenhouse gases. I feel that scientific criticism is the most responsible sort of thing − both from the point of view of science and from the point of view of national policy.
Daily Bell: In 2006 you were named by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as one of a minority of scientists said to be creating a standoff on a consensus on climate change. Was this an unfair charge?
Fred Singer: The CBC forgot to mention that thousands of scientists hold the position that I hold and therefore not a "minority" of scientists, at least not a small minority.
Posted by EUbrainwashing on 03/08/13 09:39 AM
Many of the folk I know and meet are deeply concerned with the effects of the so called 'greenhouse effect' or 'global warming' or its more recent title 'climate change'. I do not share their conviction that climate change, if it is occurring at the rates reported, is as a direct result of man made CO2 emissions.
I remember learning in school history lessons that people used to hold fairs on the frozen river Thames in Tudor times, that the Romans grew grapes in York and even against Hadrian's Wall between England and the wild tribes of today's Scotland. Where Britain now stands has been both tropical and under ice sheets. Climate changes I do not deny. A warming climate may produce higher historically recorded levels of CO2 as a result of increased vegetation.
I reckon that a majority of those most deeply concerned with the effect of man-made CO2 climate change are the same people who are generally concerned with the environment, wildlife, pollution, the squandering of natural resources, reduction of habitat and so on. This is my finding when I talk to such folk.
Those who are old enough to have formed opinions on such matters before the 'man-made greenhouse climate global change warming' paradigm took-off were previously, in the vast majority, all strongly anti nuclear-power yet are now, in the main, reluctantly accepting or even advocating it.
These CO2 warriors and worriers even support the plethora of 'Carbon Taxes' and 'Carbon Trading' that have been piggybacked in with the CO2 paradigm, (designed to keep governments and corporates on side with a package of benefit for them too).
Accept or not my assertion CO2 warming is a fake, public support for nuclear energy has reached a record high as policy leaders voice the 'need' for new nuclear power plants.
That has not occurred because people are now convinced nuclear power is clean and green but rather because they are told it does not contribute to global warming. Such is the power of propaganda to brainwashing the people of the world.
Posted by Miner49er on 02/12/13 04:26 PM
If it takes ten years, much of America's fossil-fueled electric utility infrstructure will already have been destroyed. Trillions of dollars worth of used and useful coal mines, power plants and transmission capacity will be gone.
The Warmists are aggressively attacking these facilities through the retulatory structure at this very moment. Next, they will issue impossible-to-meet CO2 regulations against existing coal plants.
Posted by David_Robertson on 02/04/13 07:36 AM
"His brief and direct answers didn't lead me to the view of a curmudgeon, but of a scientist who honestly looks to see where the data takes him."
That was my view precisely. It is augmented perhaps by his age, he is 88 years old. We tend to become more direct as we age. I speak from experience.
Posted by David_Robertson on 02/04/13 07:27 AM
i would have liked to have known Dr. Singer's view of the "precautionary principle". It seems to me that this so called principle is the link between unsound science and public policy. If I read him correctly this would appear to be Dr. Singer's main concern, that public policy with all its attendant costs is not based on sound science.
Once the "precautionary principle" has been firmly established as a primary criterion for setting public policy goals it is inevitable that virtually any scare can be used to generate funding for all kinds of wild eyed schemes. As Dr. Singer also surmised of those who promote these memes: "I suspect that many are motivated by monetary considerations".
Posted by piolenc on 02/03/13 08:07 PM
Whether the Anthropogenic Global Warming nonsense is opposed by one scientist or one million is irrelevant - it sets my teeth on edge to see otherwise sensible people counting noses. That isn't science. Facts are facts, no matter how many or how few recognize them.
My favorite example is the Liebig-Pasteur controversy. Liebig argued that fermentations were purely chemical phenomena, and offered scientific arguments based on valid, verifiable observations to support that theory.
Pasteur argued that the processes observed in fermentation depended on the presence of microorganisms, and therefore were attributable to those organisms even if science could not (at that time) find any mechanism by which the microbes could cause the observed effect.
Pasteur's view eventually prevailed, after he published the results of beautifully designed experiments AND after those experiments were duplicated by others. Neither scientist ever attempted to demonize the other or to accuse him of heresy, nor would either man have ever used the word "skeptic" as an insult.
Liebig's famous text on Organic Chemistry is still revered, even though it argues for a theory that is now (partially) discredited. It was a scientific argument, settled by the scientific method. Much later, when the action of extracellular enzymes was clarified, the two theories were even partly reconciled by the discovery that there is an extracellular chemical component to fermentation.
I would like to think that, even if digital computers had existed in those days, nobody would have made the mistake of conflating abstact models running within those computers with physical reality. Yet all the sins that Liebig and Pasteur avoided are Science as Usual today, and we are paying a high price for surrendering science to the fools and knaves who practice them.
Posted by KittyAntonikWakfer on 02/03/13 04:32 PM
It was a pleasure to see your interview with Fred Singer, with whom I've been familiar for several years. It's a good intro for those who have not read his many works and maybe only have heard of him in negative terms in mainstream media. Dr Singer is an articulate reasoning man, though I think it would be better if he (or anyone) did not use the word "believe" when he means that he has reached a conclusion via reasoned logic and/or examination of the evidence. ("I do not believe it [the Antarctic ozone layer hole] is dangerous." The words "think" or "conclude" or the phrase "I am convinced" are more appropriate and convey the use of one's reasoning faculties rather than hold as true without supporting evidence, as does the word "believe".
This may be thought of as a nit-pick, but words are important, especially when attempting to persuade others of the correctness of one's position.
Posted by Danny B on 02/03/13 04:03 PM
Dear Bell, you've written extensively about scarcity memes being used for control.
I agree but, only to a point. This site has a bushel load of graphs on commodities and energy.
Click to view link
The chart is a few years old but, still relevant. The colored bar graph on EROI is especially interesting.
Currently, currency inflation is being used to drive down wages. Commodity prices (tangibles) are "fixed" in relation to other commodities and energy. Wages are being driven down in relation to the fixed value of commodities.
As wages are being lowered relative to food prices, population is driven down. It isn't necessarily that commodities are scarce. They become increasingly expensive compared to dwindling wages. The scarcity memes are VERY accurate for countries like Egypt.
Oil production is falling drastically and population is rising rapidly. It's basic supply-and-demand.
Global warmers are a funny lot.
You tell them that the number ONE greenhouse gas is water vapor and their brain shifts into neutral :)
Reply from The Daily Bell
Agree about global warmers and water vapor.
Disagree about scarcity memes. You can point to numbers, but anyone can make a chart. Statistics lie, especially when they come to elite scarcity memes. Throughout modern history, we've been frightened by a variety of these issues. When we look into it, inevitably we find the products and numbes are manipulated. Facts turn into promotions. And grave warnings become propaganda.
Posted by Danny B on 02/03/13 12:20 PM
Posted by Martin B on 02/03/13 12:14 PM
I had not heard of Fred but he appears to be a man of integrity with the ability to chart his own course totally independent of special interests threats and intimidation. We need many more people like him today.
Posted by Danny B on 02/03/13 11:56 AM
Dear Bell, I posted these yesterday on your site;
Here's another refutation that is completely blocked by MSM.
Click to view link
Here's Fox still pounding the global warming drum. They finally admit that it might not be anthropogenic.
Click to view link
I've stated here before that we are in climate change. We are always in climate change. We are currently in an unusually long inter-glacial period. The Late Holocene.
In the larger picture, you must look at current trends in falling birth rates.
As the economy worsens, people have fewer children. Carbon tax is a way to make people feel poorer and have fewer children. Kyoto was fairly effective at taking a lot of farmland out of production. 243 million acres, just in Oz,,, if memory serves. Ethanol is carbon neutral and was/is used to take land out of food production, even though it has long been proved to be a net energy loser.
From this same viewpoint, the money sequestered in CAFR causes the same effect. YES, I read Gary North on the CAFR situation. In spite of the good work he's done in other areas, his claims on the CAFR money are simplistic and idiotic.
The PTB are adamant about reducing population. Reductions in wealth and food production are accomplishing this end.
The coming crash will have a tremendous effect on birth and death rates. The PTB have a large buffet of manufactured situations to reduce population.
Posted by Howling Wolf on 02/03/13 11:23 AM
Nice to see the truth a howlin' this Sunday morning! Keep up the good fight Dr. Singer. Thanks Daily Bell!
Posted by bionic mosquito on 02/03/13 11:18 AM
DB: We're happy to bring you interviews with people like Fred Singer.
BM: Thank you for this.
DB: You may not have heard of him - and perhaps he comes across as a bit curmudgeonly here - but he is one of the good guys when it comes to speaking out against the various idiocies of the modern age.
BM: I had not heard of him. His brief and direct answers didn't lead me to the view of a curmudgeon, but of a scientist who honestly looks to see where the data takes him. When one is peddling scientifically based truth and not junk, there is no need to add a few hundred flowery words. Flowery words in this profession often are employed when the speaker intends to mask the junk being peddled. No need with Singer.
Posted by pauloportugal on 02/03/13 10:38 AM
Great interview DB. Mr. Singer should be proud of his work and stand against oppressive powers that would rather spin scientific sophisms. Thanks for sharing him today!
Reply from The Daily Bell