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Index of Editorials

All Editorials for


Antarctic Warming
 Skepticism [2]

 Review [2]

Climate Change
 CO2 Emissions [1]

Climate Models
 Uncertainty [2]

Climate Science
 Climate Cycles [1]
 Climate Sensitivity [1]
 Holes [1]
 Thermal History [1]
 Unsolved Problems [1]

Energy Issues
 American Power Act [1]
 Clean and Sustainable [1]
 Nuclear Waste Storage [1]
 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) [1]

 Surrogate Religion [1]

 Energy Primer for Kids [1]

 Applications [2]

Global Climate - International
 French Academy [1]

Global Warming
 Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) [6]
 Confusion [1]
 Economics [1]
 General [2]
 Greenhouse Gases [1]
 Hockeystick [4]
 Ice Cores [1]
 Junkscience [9]
 Oceans' Role [2]
 Skepticism [1]
 Sun's Role [2]

Health Issues
 Second Hand Smoke [1]

 Arctic Sea Ice [1]
 Atmospheric Temperature Data [2]
 Sea Surface Temperature [1]
 Surface Data [2]

 Statistics Misuse [1]

Modern Empirical Science
 v. Medieval Science [1]

 China [1]

Nuclear Fuel
 Supplies [1]

 Climate Research Unit (CRU) [1]
 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [2]
 Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) [1]
 UK Met Office [1]
 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) [1]

Political Issues
 Climate Realism [1]
 Climategate [3]
 Independent Cross Check of Temperature Data [1]

 IPCC Assessment Report [2]
 NOAA State of the Climate 2009 [1]
 NRC-NAS Advancing the Science of Climate Change [1]

Sea-Level Rise
  West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)  [1]
 Alarmism [1]

Types of Energy
 Nuclear Energy [1]
  • 12-Dec-09 SEPP Editorial
  • 05-Dec-09 SEPP Editorial
  • 25-Nov-09 SEPP Editorial
  • 14-Nov-09 More about 'Scientific Consensus
  • 10-Jan-09 Keeping the IPCC Honest - Part II
  • 27-Dec-08 Keeping the IPCC honest
  • SEPP Editorial
    (in TWTW Dec 12, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    SEPP Editorial

    Jul 29, 2011

    There has been much confusion created by the announcement of the World Meteorological Organization (UN-WMO) that the past decade has shown some of the warmest years, based on the record of 160 years of temperature data.

    Whether intended or not, the WMO press release just at the opening of COP-15 in Copenhagen, has created the impression that human-caused warming (AGW) is the cause and that the IPCC conclusion is correct after all.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The WMO confuses (purposely?) two quite different concepts: TEMPERATURE (measured in degrees C) and TEMPERATURE TREND (measured in degrees C per year).

    Of course, temperatures are at their highest, and may eventually become even higher, as the global climate recovers from the Little Ice Age -- without any human assistance. It may even reach the high values seen in the Medieval Warm Period around 1100AD.

    But temperature trends have been downward -- even as GH gases like CO2 are increasing. This negative correlation contradicts the results of GH models and indicates that anthropogenic GW is quite small.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Editorial
    (in TWTW Dec 5, 2009)

    Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    SEPP Editorial

    Dec 5, 2009

    As the questionable actions of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia are being revealed, we are witnessing how the life work of Hubert H. Lamb was tarnished by the very organizations he helped create. A pioneer in the scientific study of climate change, H.H. Lamb was the founder and first director of the CRU. After he retired, Lamb wrote the classic, Climate, History and the Modern World, (Routledge, 1982 & 1995). Lamb synthesized the physical evidence demonstrating that since the last ice age ended, the earth has been both warmer and cooler than today. For over 3,000 years, 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, it was 2-3 degrees C warmer than today.

    The evidence for the Northern Hemisphere is extensive. Throughout North America and Eurasia trees grew 200 to 400 km closer to the North Pole than they grow today and in the mountains grew at higher elevations than they do today. The Sahara Desert was wetter. For example, cave paintings in the middle of the Sahara show natives hunting hippopotami in canoes or boats.

    Because the land mass of the Southern Hemisphere is far less than the land mass of the Northern Hemisphere there is less physical evidence in the Southern Hemisphere. However, in the mountains of the Southern Hemisphere trees grew at higher elevations than today and Australia was wetter.

    Lamb contended that temperature and climate changes were not uniform and differed both spatially and temporally; but, they existed world-wide and that temperature changes were more pronounced in the mid and upper latitudes than in the tropics. Based on his analysis, Lamb stated that warm periods were beneficial for humanity, and cold periods were harmful. He advocated that governments should fund studies on climate change so humanity will be better prepared for the next cold period that was sure to come. In the 1995 edition, he expressed concern that the study of climate change (global warming) had taken a wrong turn.

    Lamb's research has been largely dismissed by the human caused global warming community.

    For example in discussing Lamb's work, Chapter 6, Palaeoclimate of the 2007 The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report (AR4) states: These local warm periods were very likely not globally synchronous and occurred at times when there is evidence that some areas of the tropical oceans were cooler than today (Figure 6.9) (Lorenz et al., 2006). When forced by 6 ka orbital parameters, state-of-the-art coupled climate models and EMICs capture reconstructed regional temperature and precipitation synchronous and occurred at times when there is evidence that some areas of the tropical oceans were cooler than today (Figure 6.9) p. 460

    The IPCC offers a graph showing a cooling of the tropical North Indian Ocean and the tropical Pacific Ocean as claimed proof that the extended warm period demonstrated by Lamb was regional not global. Of course, there is little physical evidence of warming or cooling of these oceans to verify or contradict the computer simulations. Thus according to the IPCC, compelling physical evidence of extensive warming in one part of the globe is counterbalanced by computer simulations of cooling in another part of the globe for which physical evidence is lacking. The life work of Lamb in compiling physical evidence has been trumped by computer simulations with little or no supporting physical evidence.

    Perhaps there is a bit of irony in this week's statement by Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, when he claimed that the information in the emails in no way damages the credibility of the IPCC's AR4.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Editorial
    (in TWTW Nov 25, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    SEPP Editorial

    Nov 25, 2009

    These were sent by Prof. Singer as he was preparing for debates and lectures during his European trip.

    1. The single most important question is whether warming is natural or man-made. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) claims it is natural. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims it is man-made but presents no credible evidence.

    2. Even if the IPCC were correct, you must consider that a modest warming is beneficial and that therefore mitigation of carbon dioxide is counter-productive.

    3. If NIPCC evidence is accepted, then CO2 is not a pollutant, and there is no need for alternative energy sources like wind, ethanol, etc., or for CCS (Carbon capture and Sequestration).

    4. To sum up: I do not have any fears about climate change. I only fear what zealous politicians might do to distort the economy in their misguided quest to save the climate.


    The Climategate disclosures over the past few days, consisting of some thousand of emails between a small group of British and US climate scientists, demonstrate that global warming is man-made after all - created by this small group of zealous scientists. They have used flawed data, phony statistics, and various tricks. They have covered up any contrary evidence and refused to open their work to the scrutiny of independent scholars. By keeping out intruders, by reviewing their own papers, by capturing scientific journals and intimidating editors, they have tried to suppress any dissent.

    I do not wish to discuss any of the ethical or legal aspects, which may be self-evident.

    I consider the whole matter a great tragedy not only for science but also for the institutions involved and for many of the scientists involved who have in fact spent many years and whole careers on their work. I have some personal sympathy for Philip Jones, the apparent leader of this group, and feel he has been dealt a bad hand. Trying to correct temperature observations from weather stations around the world is extremely difficult work. It involves much detail; it certainly not traditional science. However, I cannot endorse the actions of this group and hope that an impartial investigation will bring closure to this difficult matter.

    Inevitably, the public's view of science will be affected and this will hurt all of science.

    Summary of Climate Debate of November 23 2009

    Climate science is basic to climate policy. Based on successive IPCC-reports, there has been constructed a huge edifice of organizations, treaties, laws and regulations all of these essentially depending on the quality of the science. I include there the 1992 Global Climate Treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 15 annual meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) with nearly 200 national delegations, etc. What will happen if the IPCC science turns out to be wrong? What if climate change is controlled by natural factors rather than human-produced greenhouse gases? Will the edifice collapse? One might think so but maybe not. The reason is money. There is so much tied up now with AGW. There are windmill constructors and wind farms, ethanol producers and farmers, there are emission traders, and many others - - all of them intent to keep the edifice erected even without a foundation.

    In the United States, the Waxman Markey Bill aims to extract $865 billion from people who use energy, perhaps the biggest tax in history. Of this amount only 15% will go into the Treasury; 85% goes to favored entities that helped support the legislation. The first IPCC report of 1990 led directly to the 1992 climate treaty. The second IPCC report of 1995 gave rise to the slogan the science is settled and there is now a complete consensus and led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The nations of the world are now considering an extension of Kyoto at Copenhagen; but more and more scientists have concluded that global warming is a non-problem and that the real problem is government action to solve a phantom issue.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #36-2009
    (in TWTW Nov 14, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    More about 'Scientific Consensus

    Nov 14, 2009

    According to the UK Met Office Climate Change Guide the core climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was written by 152 scientists from more than 30 countries and contributed to and/or reviewed by some 600 experts. Not mentioned, however, is the fact that many of the reviewers disagreed with the IPCC conclusion that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90% sure) due to the observed increase in man-made greenhouse gas concentrations. Also unmentioned is the fact that most of the science of the IPCC report is not controversial. The only crucial chapter is Chapter 9 (on Attribution), in which the IPCC attempts to show that 20th century warming was anthropogenic. It was written by only 9 scientists and is dominated by a tightly controlled clique whose members referee each others' papers and consider 'attribution studies' as their private fiefdom.

    The NIPCC was set up to break down this monopoly. The NIPCC Summary (2008) and full report (2009) demonstrate that there is no real evidence backing the IPCC conclusion

    The following letter, signed by senior physicists, was sent to all 100 U.S. senators on October 29, 2009:


    You have recently received a letter from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), purporting to convey a "consensus" of the scientific community that immediate and drastic action is needed to avert a climatic catastrophe. We do not seek to make the scientific arguments here (we did that in an earlier letter, sent a couple of months ago), but simply note that the claim of consensus is fake, designed to stampede you into actions that will cripple our economy, and which you will regret for many years. There is no consensus, and even if there were, consensus is not the test of scientific validity. Theories that disagree with the facts are wrong, consensus or no.

    We know of no evidence that any of the "leaders" of the scientific community who signed the [AAAS] letter to you ever asked their memberships for their opinions, before claiming to represent them on this important matter.

    We also note that the American Physical Society (APS, and we are physicists) did not sign the letter, though the scientific issues at stake are fundamentally matters of applied physics. You can do physics without climatology, but you can't do climatology without physics.

    The APS is at this moment reviewing its stance on so-called global warming, having received a petition from its membership to do so. That petition was signed by 160 [by now well over 200] distinguished members and fellows of the Society, including one Nobelist and 12 members of the National Academies.

    Indeed a score of the signers are Members and Fellows of the AAAS, none of whom were consulted before the AAAS letter to you.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #2-09
    (in TWTW Jan 10, 2009)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Keeping the IPCC Honest - Part II

    Jan 10, 2009

    IPCC reports, and particularly their Summaries for Policy Makers (SPM), are noted for their bias in support of the political goal of control of fossil fuels in order to fight alleged anthropogenic global warming AGW).

    The most blatant example is the Second Assessment Report (SAR), completed in 1995 and published in 1996. Its SPM contains the memorable phrase The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.

    This ambiguous phrase conveys a mental picture of climate scientists, preferably with gray beards, sitting around a table judging both human and natural influences, looking at published scientific research, and carefully weighing their decision. Nothing of the sort has ever happened. The IPCC has consistently ignored the real natural influences on climate change and has focused almost entirely on human causes, especially GH gases -- and more especially on carbon dioxide, which is linked to industrial activities and therefore bad almost by definition.

    How then does the IPCC-SAR arrive at this "balance?" It was done by carefully removing references to any doubt that human influences are the major or almost exclusive cause of warming. I will quote here from the WSJ (August 13,1996) article, written by the late Professor Frederick Seitz. He compared the draft approved by the authors of IPCC-SAR Chapter 8 (Detection and Attribution) and the final printed text. He noted that key phrases had been deleted from the approved draft before printing.

    This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

    A comparison between the report approved by the contributing scientists and the published version reveals that key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules--a body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.

    The participating scientists accepted "The Science of Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15 sections in Chapter 8 of the report--the key chapter setting out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence over climate--were changed or deleted after the scientists charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly final text.

    Few of these changes were merely cosmetic; nearly all worked to remove hints of the skepticism with which many scientists regard claims that human activities are having a major impact on climate in general and on global warming in particular.

    The following passages are examples of those included in the approved report but deleted from the supposedly peer-reviewed published version:

    ยท "None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases."

    "No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes."

    "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced."

    The reviewing scientists used this original language to keep themselves and the IPCC honest. I am in no position to know who made the major changes in Chapter 8; but the report's lead author, Benjamin D. Santer, must presumably take the major responsibility.

    IPCC reports are often called the "consensus" view. If they lead to carbon taxes and restraints on economic growth, they will have a major and almost certainly destructive impact on the economies of the world. Whatever the intent was of those who made these significant changes, their effect is to deceive policy makers and the public into believing that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming.

    If the IPCC is incapable of following its most basic procedures, it would be best to abandon the entire IPCC process, or at least that part that is concerned with the scientific evidence on climate change, and look for more reliable sources of advice to governments on this important question.

    In addition to these text changes there are also two key graphs that were doctored in order to convey the impression that anthropogenic influences are dominant.

    You may recall that this dishonest 1996 IPCC report played a key role in the political deliberations that led to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The persons responsible for making these alterations bear a heavy responsibility for misleading the Kyoto conference and for the subsequent economic damage. ****************************************************************

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    SEPP Science Editorial #17
    (in TWTW Dec 27, 2008)

    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Keeping the IPCC honest

    Dec 27, 2008

    I know it's a tough job - but let's just check their iconic, widely-quoted conclusion and parse its meaning:

    "Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations." [IPCC Synthesis Report, SPM, Nov 2007]. How should one interpret this ex cathedra declaration to the faithful?

    IPCC helpfully defines 'very likely' as '90-99% certain.' But they don't tell us how they reached such well-defined certainty. What remarkable unanimity! Just how many and whom did they poll?

    IPCC doesn't define the word 'most.' We may assume it means anything between 51 and 99%. Quite a spread. But a footnote informs us that solar forcing is less than 10% of anthropogenic [0.12/ 1.6 W/m2]; so 'most' must be closer to 99% than to 51%.

    OK; let's check out the data since 1958. But we don't want to rely on contaminated surface data - which IPCC likely used -although they omitted to say so. Atmospheric data were readily available to the IPCC in the CCSP-SAP-1.1 report (Fig 3a, p.54; convening lead author John Lanzante, NOAA), with independent analyses by Hadley Centre and NOAA that agree well. And further, according to GH models, atmospheric trends should be larger than surface temperature trends.

    1958 - 2005: Total warming of +0.5 C - but how much of that is anthropogenic?

    1958 - 1976: Cooling

    1976 - 1977: Sudden jump of +0.5 C Cannot be due to GHG

    1977 - 1997: No detectable trend

    1998 - 1999: El Nino spike

    2000 - 2001: No detectable trend

    2001 - 2003: Sudden jump of +0.3 C Cannot be due to GHG

    2003 - present No trend, maybe even slight cooling

    Conclusion: The IPCC's 'most' is not sustained by observations; the human contribution is very likely only 10% or even less.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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