Science & Environmental Policy Project

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The Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) is an advocacy group financed by private contributions based in Arlington, Virginia in the United States.[1] It was founded in 1990 by atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer.[2] SEPP disputes the prevailing scientific views of climate change and ozone depletion. SEPP also questioned the science used to establish the dangers of secondhand smoke, arguing the risks are overstated.[3]

SEPP's former Chairman of the Board of Directors is listed as Rockefeller University president emeritus Frederick Seitz,[4] a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, now deceased.[4][5]

SEPP's views[edit]

SEPP listed the following key issues in 2010: [1]

  • "Computer models forecast rapidly rising global temperatures, but data from weather satellites and balloon instruments show no warming whatsoever. Nevertheless, these same unreliable computer models underpin the Global Climate Treaty."
  • In preparing its 1995 report, the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change unfairly marginalized scientific views which do not support the conclusion that human activity is causing climate change.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated various regulations (pertaining to e.g. smog, ozone, environmental toxins, and particulate matter) which significantly harm the economy with negligible environmental benefit.
  • No detectable increase in ultraviolet radiation has been demonstrated from thinning of the ozone layer. The ban on CFCs in developed countries is economically harmful and ineffective, because they are still produced in developing countries.
  • In general, science has been misused to promote "politically correct" views, and the mechanisms of science funding contribute to a systemic bias.
  • Natural resources are best managed by free-market mechanisms in the context of clearly established property rights.
  • The U.S. space program should focus on manned exploration of Mars (as opposed to unmanned problems, or manned exploration of low earth orbit), with the Moon as a stepping stone.
  • Efforts to protect the Earth from asteroid impact have been neglected.

On September 2, 1997, Singer said that "The possibility that global temperatures could rise because of an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a concern that needs to be monitored...But there has been no indication in the last century that we've seen anything other than natural climate fluctuations. Both greenhouse theory and computer models predict that global warming should be more rapid in the polar regions than anywhere else," he says, "but in July the Antarctic experienced the coldest weather on record."[2]

SEPP was the author of the Leipzig Declaration, which was based on the conclusions drawn from a November 1995 conference in Leipzig, Germany, which SEPP organized with the European Academy for Environmental Affairs.


SEPP's critics offer the following rebuttals to its claims:

  • The satellite record shows that warming is occurring. As of mid-2007, the rise is between 0.14 and 0.184 degree Celsius per decade, depending on which satellite record is used. (See Satellite temperature measurements.)
  • Computer climate models have predicted 20th century temperature trends accurately. [3]
  • Scientific evidence indicates that recent global warming is caused by human activity. Patrick Michaels, a well-known denier, has said that it is "proven humans are warming the atmosphere" [4]. (See Attribution of recent climate change.)
  • The ban on CFCs did not cause any substantial economic harm, and has been effective. Increases in surface UV are inferred (see ozone depletion).
  • Primary scientific data was collected in Punta Arenas, Chile, using a Brewer spectro-photometer, and "These results indicate that during the time when ozone depletion in the Antarctica takes place, an increase in UV-B radiation reaching the Earth surface affected the American continent at latitudes about parallel 50° S."[5]
  • In response to NASA research confirming 2010 tied for the warmest year on record, James Hanson, Chief Climate Scientist and Director, Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, stated: "if the warming trend continues, as is expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not stand for long." [6]


In 2008, The Science and Environmental Policy Project completed the organization[7] of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) as the culmination of a process that began in 2003. The NIPCC calls itself "an international coalition of scientists convened to provide an independent examination of the evidence available on the causes and consequences of climate change in the published, peer-reviewed literature – examined without bias and selectivity."[8]

The 2008 NIPCC document titled Nature, Not Human Activity Rules the Climate: Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel of Climate Change,[9] published by The Heartland Institute,[10] was released in February–March 2008. Singer served as General Editor and also holds the copyright.

Unnamed climate scientists from NASA, Stanford University and Princeton who were contacted by ABC News dismissed the same report as "fabricated nonsense.".[11] In response, Singer objected to the ABC News piece, calling it "an appalling display of bias, unfairness, journalistic misbehavior, and a breakdown of ethical standards" which used "prejudicial language, distorted facts, libelous insinuations, and anonymous smears."[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Science and Environmental Policy Project". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  2. ^ Revkin, Andrew C. (2002-02-26). "Climate Plan Is Criticized As a Risky Bet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  3. ^ SEPP, Key Issues (Updated July 2006) Archived July 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b SEPP, SEPP Board of Directors Archived 2006-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 19 Sep 2010
  5. ^ Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, 6 March 2008, Frederick Seitz, 96; Physicist Cast Doubt On Global Warming
  6. ^ NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record, January 12, 2011
  7. ^ Singer, S. Fred (2007-09-01-). "The Week that Was". SEPP. Archived from the original on 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-05-09. Because of these omissions, which became evident from the initial drafts of AR4, the SEPP decided to set up a ‘Team B’ to produce an independent evaluation of the available scientific evidence. While the initial organization took place in 2004, Team B only became activated after the SPM appeared in February 2007; it changed its name to NIPCC and organized an international climate workshop in Vienna in April 2007. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Harriette Johnson and Joseph L. Bast (2008-05-05). "Climate Change Conference Invigorates Global Warming Debate". Environment News. The Heartland Institute. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  9. ^ Singer, Editor, S. Fred (2008-03-02). "Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate". Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change / The Heartland Institute. Retrieved 2008-05-08.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Report notice: Opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. Nothing in this report should be construed as reflecting the views of the Science and Environmental Policy Project or The Heartland Institute, or as an attempt to influence pending legislation.
  11. ^ Harris, Dan; Felicia Biberica; Elizabeth Stuart; Nils Kongshaug (2008-03-23). "Global Warming Denier: Fraud or 'Realist'?". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-24.
  12. ^ Singer, S. Fred (2008-03-28). "Letter to ABC News from Dr. S. Fred Singer". News Releases > March 2008. Science & Environmental Policy Project. Retrieved 07/08/2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

Further reading[edit]

In 2004 Singer was coauthor of two papers published in Geophysical Research Letters:

  • Douglass, D. H., B. D. Pearson, and S. F. Singer (2004), Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L13208, doi:10.1029/2004GL020103.
  • Douglass, D. H., B. D. Pearson, S. F. Singer, P. C. Knappenberger, and P. J. Michaels (2004), Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L13207, doi:10.1029/2004GL020212.

Scientific criticism of SEPP's views:

  • "The Ozone Backlash," Science, New Series, Vol. 260, No. 5114, pp. 1580–1583, June 11, 1993.

External links[edit]