Where Fred Singer went wrong

It would appear that talk of Fred’s death has been grossly exaggerated* so, apparently, he is still able to defend himself. If so, bring it on! Better still, why don’t you (i.e. Fred) sue Oreskes and Conway for defamation of character (as they did it first)? I was taught not to talk ill of the dead but, with the [not] late Dr S. Fred Singer PhD, I am afraid I may have to make an exception: Sir Paul Nurse recently interviewed him for the same programme, Science Under Attack, that has done so much to discredit James Delingpole. Unfortunately, being [not] dead, people may be more wary of criticising Singer. To his credit, unlike Delingpole, Singer did not actually say anything obviously stupid; but he did say that climate change is natural (i.e. what is happening now is not unprecedented); and that the IPCC is not an independent body free of political influence. It is hard to understate Singer’s importance in the denialist movement, as is best demonstrated by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in Merchants of Doubt. Indeed, it is truly alarming how often his ideas are repeated by people who should know better (but do not because they are not scientists!); like Christopher Booker, James Delingpole, and Andrew Montford. With regard to the latter, his Hockey Stick Illusion thesis is founded upon Singer’s claim that the entire UN/WMO/IPCC edifice is involved in a politically motivated scam (a claim that I believe Singer knew to be false and, yes, I therefore believe he was involved in a deceitful campaign to prevent action being taken to mitigate AGW). So there, I have attempted to trash the reputation of someone who can no longer defend himself.[?] However, he has left us a very detailed record by which we can – and I believe history will – judge him to have been one of the main causes of humanity’s failure to take action to mitigate AGW in good time. I also believe that, in time, it will also become clear that the cause he championed in the latter two decades of his life (following the end of the Cold War and in the absence of a “Red Menace) will be found to have been entirely counter-productive: This is because the campaign to protect laissez-faire global Capitalism from being undermined by concern for environmental protection and/or sustainability will, in the end, make the necessary global carbon-correction make recent financial crises seem like mere market-wobbles. Whereas, as the Stern Review (and many others before) made clear, the sooner we act – the less-painful the medicine would have been to take. However, w.r.t. Stern, it should be noted that he was only recommending shaving 1 or 2 % off total economic growth over 50 years (meaning peoples salaries take an extra year to double within that timeframe); and that AGW mitigation is not comparable to building a new bridge; and therefore marginal cost-benefit analysis rules do not apply (Stern 2009, p.13). —- * I think I confused him with (fellow Merchant of Doubt) the late Frederick Seitz (who really is dead)!

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, Hockey Stick Illusion, James Delingpole, Limits to Growth, Merchants of Doubt, Scepticism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Where Fred Singer went wrong

  1. Donald says:

    I am no climate warming denier, in fact I believe in it, but for different reasons than those of other scientists .. but if you are interested in why we have such a huge abundance of deniers then you only need to read this link … http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/un-says-sorry-for-glacier-error/story-e6frg6xf-1225822334349 Here is some of what it says ………… —————————— “The 2007 report, which won the panel the Nobel Peace Prize, said the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”. It caused shock in Asia, where about two billion people depend on melted water from Himalayan glaciers for their supplies during the dry seasons. It emerged last week that the prediction was based not on a consensus among climate change experts but on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999.” —————————— There is more, just read the link but …. it proves, to me at least that it is the IPCC and many other scientific bodies who are to blame for the creation of these denialist because they have been not just foolish in the way they publish their findings, but darn near incompetent. If the world is to fully believe in Climate Warming then we need all the scientists in the world to get together and find some form of consensus …. a few only is not good enough. We need to do something and do it fast …….. and that is to fine those scientists and/or the press if they make incomplete, false or misleading statements!!

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  2. Donald says:

    Agreed …. but other red herrings such as the closing down/abandoning of almost 2000 weather stations in the coldest parts of the world also help to re-enforce the mentality of the global warming denialists. Then there is the fact that science only publishes data on CO2 from Mauna Loa when in fact we both know data is collected from other places as well … but they don’t say this, so people get confused and claim conspiracy Perhaps what we need most of all is a quick re-start by science; they should collect all their findings, publish them untouched and then say ….. “Here, look at the data yourselves, convince yourself of the truth or just die when the world heats up” Easy, ain’t it ? šŸ™‚

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  3. Rick_Altman says:

    Consensus at last! Shall I write to the IPCC or do you want to do it? Now, surely (you being at least GMT+9), it must be time for you to go to bed?

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  4. Donald says:

    Well, it’s almost 11PM here but I don’t usually go to bed until 4 AM, (been doing this all my life because luckily I only need some 3-4 hours sleep) however I recently refurbished an empty room into a small cinema and I been watching movies like crazy. I’ll catch you later šŸ™‚

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