Sunday 28 August 2011

The one where S. Fred Singer lies about his funding and is NOT coming to Belgium ?

S. Fred Singer Belgium Johnson Masson Debeil SEIIClaes Johnson just announced S. Fred Singer will not be coming to Belgium during his European tour, after Belgian IPCC vice-chairman Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele contacted the organising Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels with this letter :
.La SEII et l'honnêteté scientifique Monsieur le Secrétaire général,
La SEII soutient-elle implicitement le déni climatique, à la veille du congrès mondial des ingénieurs à Genève consacré aux défis énergétiques (où j'aurai l'honneur de donner une "keynote lecture") ?
L'utilisation du papier à lettres de la SEII par votre administrateur M. Masson pour l'invitation ci-jointe le suggère malheureusement, malgré une phrase hypocrite pour indiquer que la SEII ne "sponsorise" pas l'événement.
Vous devez savoir que MM Fred Singer est une personne dont l'honnêteté scientifique laisse fortement à désirer. Ses activités de désinformation sont financées par les lobbies des combustibles fossiles (voir XXXXXXXXXXXXXX) , et il est scandaleux qu'une telle personne puisse être associée, de près ou de loin, à la SEII et à la Fondation universitaire.
Des collègues éminents m'ont écrit que M. Johnson ne valait pas mieux. Un de ses "textbooks" récents, où il parlait à tort et à travers des changements climatiques, publié par le Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Suède), a dû être rétracté par ce dernier tellement il contenait d'erreurs.
Merci de me dire très rapidement quelles mesures la SEII compte prendre pour se distancier de cet "événement"? Je serais heureux également de savoir quel est le mandat de ce "think tank" de la SEII sur les changements climatiques que Mr Masson préside (alors que son CV n'est pas disponible sur le site de l'Université d'Antwerpen, et que je n'ai jamais entendu parler de ses compétences en matière de climat).
Cordialement, Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele
In short, Van Yp states Singer’s scientific honesty is lower than one would desire, and Singer gets funded by the fossil-fuel industry.
Singer responds :
  • Why am I not surprised by this disreputable action of this IPCC officer.After all, we know from Climategate emails that these people will go to any length to suppress scientific dissent. Even to libel and to use bald-faced lies.
  • Of course, I am not supported by fossil-fuel industry. That is complete nonsense and invention
  • My Europe visit is paid by the Ettore Majorana Foundation -- to give an invited talk at a climate conference in Erice. I am using the occasion to accept additional invitations to speak (without lecture fees) at the Univ of Hamburg, Imperial College, Univ of Paris - Jussieu, and of course at the KNMI in De Bilt. By happenstance I was also invited to address 100+ engineers in Zurich.
  • Our IPCC colleague van Yp also questions my honesty. Well now -- the IPCC has been using me as a scientific reviewer, I publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals and am an elected Fellow of several scientific societies. So there must be some who disagree with van Yp.
Singer is stating in his reply he’s not being supported by the fossil-fuel industry. Which simply is a lie.
Of course Dutch denialists like’s Rypke Zeilmaker are not pleased with the cancellation. But what they are not mentioning, and probably never will, is Singer’s lie.
Singer’s Astroturf group Science and Environment Policy Project received US$ 10.000 from Exxon in 1998 and 2000.
The +/- 20p NiPCC-report was worth US$ 143.000, through an intermediate source, as the industry isn’t stupid enough any more to fund directly (as they have to publish their funding). And of course this NiPCC report was complete nonsense.
Earlier in his career, when he was still a tobacco lobbyist, Singer received US$ 20.000 for a report trying to manufacture doubt on the relation between passive smoking and cancer. Many more fascinating documents on Singer”s lobby career can be found in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Of course don’t expect the Dutch denialists to ever mention this library. Remember I got banned on De Dagelijkse Standaard when mentioning Labohm lied when telling he didn’t know about Singer’s funding. Getting too close to the source I guess.
Meanwhile, it seems the Singer & Johnson meeting will become a private meeting.


  1. They're choosing to not avoid the smoking issue any longer - and now tobacco is harmless once more...

    Says Rypkema in a comment: "Fred Singer has always been a physics scientist who had difficulties gaining grants from the government [let's pretend we understand what is said here, cRR]. He saw that as damaging to his independence, so he always sought industrial money sources."

    These people just make things up as they go. Easy to verify how much Singer has profited from government funding.
    Independent research by way of industrial funding is a little more subtle to see through, of course.

  2. Dear Jules,

    It is difficult to understand who exactly funds who, I had a similar discussion with Fred Singer's palls, Hans Labohm and Arthur Rorsch on the dagelijkse standaard. One thing is for sure, all of them are not providing any information in their articles or webpages that they are sponsored from third parties. Yet their activities are more than a hobby that went out of control, so one begins to wonder about the size of the iceberg below the surface. You will have to live with indirect information, such as, comments made during presentations, or the connection with someone's name to an institute that has received funding. In case of the Singer, Labohm and Rorsch I doubt whether anyone has certifiable information revealing industrial funding. We don't get to see their tax returns; we are not in the position to ask. But there is, and you've already mentioned this, significant indirect information.

    Fred Singer's agenda is on SEPP, the website is called Yet nowhere on this website you’ll see his name, you should know Fred Singer, or be on this TWTW mailing list to find out who we are dealing with. We also know that SEPP receives funding, it is acknowledged on the SEPP website. Hans Labohm and Arthur Rorsch hang around on the website de dagelijkse standard (DDS), they blog, but anyone with sufficient free time could do that. DDS receives donations, but it is not sure where this is all is coming from. Hans Labohm wrote for blogs on the EKEI website, see This web-site receives funding, but it is not sure who is behind it. You could go on and on, even the Netherlands government funds skeptics, since they allow Fred Singer to speak at the KNMI. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists climate skeptics receive industrial funding. They estimate around 16 million USD between 1998 and 2005, see also

    The problem of who funds who has even gone up into politics. In the Netherlands political parties have to reveal their sources, but there is no way to find out who is funding political movements such as the “partij” voor de vrijheid (which is not a “partij” but a political movement). In this way a safe haven is created to allow all forms of so-called free speech. What you see in reality is something hypocritical; claiming the right for controversial speech that is supposedly free of funding apparently automatically comes with something sinister, that is, someone is funding the skeptic. Their lips are tightly sealed when you ask for their funding sources, but once you delve into their movements then you automatically end up at companies and individuals who have an interest in sabotaging a process.

    Becoming healthier means that you have to quit smoking, and tobacco companies will not agree. Becoming more sustainable means that we have to stop driving cars, fly in airplanes, stop operating steel mills or operate chemical plants. It is not in the interest of Shell, KLM and Arcelor Mittal, and DSM, so you can expect opposition. Jan Paul van Soest explained this nicely in his essay called klompen in de machinerie. Closing words, what we need in my opinion is a better legal mechanism to clarify funding behind skeptics, in particular when they operate on large scale in politics.



  3. Of course there's no reliable information on just how much funding sceptics receive. But i still think only a minority really is corrupt, i think most of them really are blinded by bias. A lot of scepticism simply is too low brow to be fraudulent.

  4. "... what we need in my opinion is a better legal mechanism to clarify funding behind skeptics, in particular when they operate on large scale in politics." Said Ejo.

    For actual politicians and political parties, Members of Parliament and government, I agree. In the Netherlands imo legal work needs to be done for this.

    For lobbyists and lobbies, I disagree; for 'grassroots organizations' it is by definition irrelevant where funding comes from. A legal mechanism would impinge on the freedom of speech.

    It is, in the end, the public's responsibility to decide on truth or value of a message, be it 'skeptical' or 'alarmist' or 'rational'.
    Unfortunately, in the end it is also the public's responsibility to be more or less informed about the subject matter of any message.

    A legal mechanism here would entail forcing the public to take notice of certain facts re any political statement, and such a mechanism would invariably be viewed as 'totalitarian'.
    People are legally forced to attend school for at least a dozen years anyway, but we cannot tell them what to think and do, if anything at all, with the knowledge they pick up.

    So basically, we can only use 'skeptics' re AGW to learn how to better get the message of the reality of AGW across. So while during coffee break we might digress once in a while on subjects like 'the role of consensus in science' or 'funding', the actual task is no more than delivering the message as effectively we can, backing it up with evidence as best we can, and hope for the best.

    Rgds, cRR Kampen.

  5. Weer universiteit verpest.

  6. Hans is now claiming he has published "peer revieuwed" papers.....