Magazine article New Internationalist

Toxic Sceptics More Than 2,000: Of the World's Leading Scientists Who Sit on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Are Agreed. Global Warming Is Happening - and It's Connected with Fossil-Fuel Use. but There Are Disbelievers, Too. Here Are Six Climate-Change Deniers Who Have Shot to Fame for Their Views - and Their Talent for Attracting Publicity

Magazine article New Internationalist

Toxic Sceptics More Than 2,000: Of the World's Leading Scientists Who Sit on the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Are Agreed. Global Warming Is Happening - and It's Connected with Fossil-Fuel Use. but There Are Disbelievers, Too. Here Are Six Climate-Change Deniers Who Have Shot to Fame for Their Views - and Their Talent for Attracting Publicity

Article excerpt

Fred Singer, leading US climate-change denier, puts his faith in satellites. The University of Virginia professor, and former director of the US Weather Satellite service, observes that data from satellites show no increase in temperature. He discounts readings from the ground. 'Fears of climate catastrophes are without foundation,' Singer states. In 1994 he proposed a $95,000 publicity project to 'stem the tide towards ever more onerous controls on energy use' and has received consulting fees from Exxon, Shell, UNOCAL, ARCO, and Sun Oil. Singer's organization, The Science and Environment Policy Project, has Exxon among its funders. Singer has also enjoyed close links with Reverend Moon (of the Moonies religious cult) who owns the Washington Times, a regular outlet for the professor's views.

Bjorn Lomberg is one of the most media-loving (and loved) of the deniers. His book The Sceptical Environmentalist turned the youthful Dane and former Greenpeace member into a star public speaker. But this T-shirt-wearing, vegetarian professor of statistics from the University of Arhus recently fell foul of the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty for 'misrepresenting or misinterpreting' the scientific studies of others. Lomberg's line is that global warming is probably happening - but it's not nearly as bad as we think. 'It will not decrease food production; nor is it likely to increase storminess, the frequency of hurricanes, the impact of malaria, or cause more deaths.' We should do nothing to reduce CO2 emissions, he says. Better to maintain business as usual, but invest in renewable energy anyway.

Chris de Freitas believes that more carbon dioxide (CO2) - the main greenhouse gas - can only be good for us. It's food for plants which means a more robust biosphere, asserts the climate scientist at the School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand/Aotearoa. 'Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and it does not harm the environment,' states de Freitas. Nor does he believe that global temperature has risen significantly in the past 20 years. De Freitas has been vocal against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. His work features prominently on fossil-fuel industry websites.

Ross McKitrick sees climate change in money terms. While global warming is relatively benign, argues the economics professor from the University of Guelph, Ontario, measures to tackle it are not. …

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