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This post was edited by sansukong at 2013-2-13 05:02|
Part: 1 of 2
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2013
Fred Singer on the Myths of Politically Correct Science
With Anthony Wile
Dr. S. Fred Singe
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 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.
Daily Bell: Good to meet you. Please give us some background. Where did you grow up and go to school?
Fred Singer: I grew up in Vienna, Austria, left school at the age of 13 and apprenticed at an optical machine shop. I left in 1939, crossing the border into Holland the same day Hitler marched into Czechoslovakia, on March 15, 1939. I continued to England and worked as a teenage optician in Northumberland. I joined my parents in Ohio in 1940, shortly after the London Blitz had started and after the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk.
Daily Bell: You received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1948 in physics. Why did you get interested in physics? What kind of physics?
Fred Singer: In 1941, I was admitted to Ohio State University and studied electrical engineering; I finished in 1943 and was admitted to Princeton University as a graduate student of physics. It gave me the theoretical background for engineering. My Ph.D. came after service in the US Navy in World War 2 and dealt with cosmic rays, essentially high-energy physics.
Daily Bell: You've questioned the link between UVB and melanoma rates, and between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss. Explain, please.
Fred Singer: The link between solar UVB and melanoma is problematic. It is possible that solar UVA is the main cause; UVA is not absorbed by ozone. However, there could be many different causes for melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. I have never questioned the connection between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss; my only concern was whether enough CFCs entered the stratosphere to deplete ozone.
Daily Bell: You are well known for denying the health risks of passive smoking. Is passive smoke deadly? Does it cause cancer? What does cause cancer?
Fred Singer: I definitely do not deny the health risks of passive smoking but it is not as deadly as direct smoking. I would not be surprised if passive smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases. However, the analysis done by the EPA is based on poor science and is not in accord with epidemiology. Cancer is produced by all kinds of causes; smoking is definitely one of the major causes.
Daily Bell: Explain your view on global warming and climate change. What's the difference and why?
Fred Singer: Climate change includes both global warming and global cooling, as well as regional changes. It is not known to what extent human activities are responsible for climate change or global warming.
Daily Bell: Please summarize some of your books. What was Global Effects of Environmental Pollution about, for instance?
Fred Singer: My first book dealing with the climate change issue was published in 1970 with the title of Global Effects of Environmental Pollution. It was updated several years later, titled The Changing Global Environment; it is currently being digitized and reprinted by the Springer publishing company. My book The Ocean in Human Affairsdeals with the science, history and other aspects of the ocean, including its influence on human exploration. Global Climate Change presents both sides of the global warming debate. My book Greenhouse Debate Continued discusses mainly the shortcomings of the IPCC report of 1990. My book Hot Talk, Cold Science (1997) and its second edition of 1999 describe the evidence against an appreciable human influence on global climate. My co-authored Climate Change Reconsidered assembles peer reviewed papers and other evidence against any appreciable human effect on climate. It can therefore be viewed as responding to the IPCC claim for AGW.
Daily Bell: Thanks. What did you do while you served in the armed forces, and in what capacity did you work in government?
Fred Singer: I enlisted in the US Navy at age 18, hoping to become a radar officer; however, the Navy decided to use me in anti-mine warfare. After the end of hostilities I was detailed to work under the mathematician John von Neumann, designing an early electronic computer.
I've held several government positions: First with the Office of Naval Research as a scientific liaison officer in Europe, then with the Department of Commerce as the first director of the weather satellite service, then at the Department of Interior as deputy assistant secretary of water quality and research, then as deputy assistant administrator of EPA and finally as the chief scientist of the Department of Transportation.
Daily Bell: You were a leading figure in early space research and established the National Weather Bureau's Satellite Service Center. How did that come about?
Fred Singer: research grew out of my high-altitude research with rockets (1946-50). I developed the idea of satellites and was then able to put them into effect as director of the weather satellite program. As a result of my experience in satellites, satellite design, instrumentation and atmospheric physics I was asked to establish the National Weather Bureau's weather satellite service, and set that up in 1962-64. From there I went to the University of Miami to set up a new school: It included oceanography, climate science − and dealt with Earth sciences generally.
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?
To be continued .........