In contrast to the approach taken by most colleges and universities, Accuracy in Academia invited an actual scientist to discuss modern environmental concerns with students attending AIA’s summer conference.
“In the last quarter century, global warming was measurable but minute,” Dr. S. Fred Singer (pictured) told students at AIA’s Conservative University conference in July. Dr. Singer is a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. So how do we get the global warnings?
“Scientists have made many computer models to demonstrate global warming,” Dr. Singer told students. “They have always made simulated models to prove their point rather than actual measurements because the latter show virtually no change.”
Dr. Singer headed the National Weather Service in the 1970s, before it was a federal agency. As head of that service, he authorized the first flight of a weather satellite. These satellites offer one source of hard information about global warming that does not comport with the dire warnings of theorists.
“The greenhouse effect is very real but the human effect has not been proven,” Dr. Singer says. “There is no conclusive evidence that human activity has any significant effect on global warming.”
Even if temperatures rise, the increase may be more welcome than not, Dr. Singer suggests. “If there is actually global warming, economists say this would be good for the gross national product of much of the world,” Dr. Singer noted.
“For example, between 1400 and 1850 there was a mini-ice age,” Dr. Singer explained. “This was extremely bad for the crops worldwide.” Currently, Dr. Singer heads the Science and Environmental Policy Project. In that capacity, he presides over a network of scientists who seek empirical evidence for the environmental scares so many colleges build courses around.
Two such concerns that Dr. Singer found to be mythical are, alternatively, the fear of running out of oil and the fear of radioactivity. “We have been running out of oil for millions of years,” Dr. Singer observed. “At present extraction rates, there is approximately a thousand years worth of fossil fuel reserves already discovered.”
“The supply of reserves is not decreasing, only the cost of extraction.”
But postponing the day of reckoning by conservation via higher taxes that raise petroleum prices is probably not a bright idea. “The increase in the cost of petroleum is most damaging to the economies of the poorest countries.”
Apprehension over radioactivity does not keep Dr. Singer awake nights either. And he knows whereof he speaks.
“I was trained as a nuclear physicist,” said Dr. Singer. “I’m not worried about radioactivity.”
“Radioactivity is all around us in nature,” Dr. Singer says. “Perhaps the greatest concentration is found in granite.”
“Radon is a hoax,” Dr. Singer argues. “There are minute amounts in nuclear power plants in comparison to amounts in fossil fuels.”
“Spent nuclear power rods can stay where they are indefinitely without hurting anyone.”
Mr. Davis is the president of Accuracy in Academia and Mr. Kline the executive director.