The Week That Was (March 26, 2008) brought to you by SEPP

Fred Singer speaking on March 27 in Pittsburgh (Sheraton Hotel Four Points) at a Seminar on Climate Change of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and March 30 noon at Georgetown Presbyterian Church at  3115 P St, Wash, DC


Quotes of the Week:

A mathematician, who could back his prophecy with mathematical formulas and terminology, might be understood by no one and yet believed by everyone. --- Isaac Asimov

Hat tip to


THE ABC FLAP: Dan Harris of ABC World News interviewed me in NY during the Heartland Climate Conference.  The interview lasted more than an hour; the TV broadcast on March 23 lasted a little over 3 minutes.  You can see both the video clip and the Web story at

As of this writing (March 25) there have been 97 comments posted.  Only one offered some support for ABC.  Most excoriated the program and ABC, citing bias, unfairness, journalistic misbehavior, and a breakdown of ethical standards.  The postings expressed great anger and called for apologies from ABC.  I share their sentiment. 

ITEM #1 (below) is my letter to Producer Felicia Biberica and Executive Director (ABC News) Fiona Conway:  Their coordinates are as  follows:


Felicia Biberica                                                                        Fiona Conway

Producer                                                                                   Executive director

ABC News                                                                               ABC News

212-456-3634                                                                          77 W. 66th St.

cell 201-647-7966                                                                    New York City   10023

<>                                               <>


ITEM #2 (below) is a letter of complaint to ABC from the Heartland Institute

ITEM #3 is a letter of complaint to ABC from Mr Rupert Wyndham  in UK

**** Cleaning the TWTW subscription list. [ITEM #4] ****






Dear Ms Biberica and Ms Conway                                                                                  March 25, 2008


I share the anger expressed in nearly 100 postings (so far) at the shoddy handling of my interview aired on March 23:  It was an appalling display of bias, unfairness, journalistic misbehavior, and a breakdown of ethical standards.  It used prejudicial language, distorted facts, libelous insinuations, and anonymous smears.   I urge you to read the postings; only one person offered any support to ABC, as far as I can see.


I put the following account on my website


1.  Interviewer Dan Harris used a man from Greenpeace who spouted conspiracy theories about me, showing someone's diagram that 'connects' me to groups alleged to be financed by oil companies.  The only purpose I can think of is to suggest to viewers that I am in the pay of oil companies and that therefore my science is somehow tainted and not credible.  First, the suggestion is completely false.  I am not financed or supported by oil companies or by any industry. Then, Harris tried to suggest that I misrepresented by denying oil company support but admitting receiving an unsolicited donation.  I draw a distinction --as would any reasonable person -- between being 'supported' and between a single charitable donation (constituting a tiny fraction of 1%) of all donations received. Finally, the word 'connected' is imprecise, and can mean anything from being on a mailing list to holding a position and receiving a salary.  In my case it is definitely the former.


2.  Dan Harris also referred to unnamed scientists from NASA, Princeton and Stanford, who pronounced what I do as 'fraudulent nonsense.'  [The ABC website changed it to 'fabricated' nonsense - perhaps on advice of ABC's lawyers.]  They are easily identified as the well-known Global Warming zealots Jim Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer, and Steve Schneider.  They should be asked by ABC to put their money where their mouth is and have a scientific debate with me.  [I suspect they'll chicken out.  They surely know that the facts support my position -- so they resort to anonymous slurs.]  Hansen is no longer the careful scientist he was but has turned into an ideologue willing to publish junk 'research'.  Oppenheimer, who may still be on the payroll of Environmental Defense, an activist lobbying group, has negligible credentials.  Schneider has not published significant research in years.  Both Hansen and Oppenheimer could be labeled as ‘Contrarians’ since they disagree with important conclusions of the  UN-IPCC.


3.  Dan Harris did mention my doubts about the lung-cancer effects of Second-Hand Smoke, about the danger of toxic waste (spent nuclear fuel), and about 'Nuclear Winter.'  All true -- Dan did his research but withheld the full story.  On SHS, I simply quoted from the experts (see attached review article from a noted medical doctor, specializing in lung disease).  Nuclear fuel presents no technical problems, only political ones.  France and Britain handle its disposal; why don't we?  'Nuclear Winter' (which burst onto the scene in 1983 -- and disappeared quickly) was basically a fraud, invented to shore up an ideological position.   We disposed of it in a debate moderated by Ted Koppel on ABC-Nightline.  But Harris left the audience with the impression that I am a ‘career skeptic’, and therefore my skepticism about manmade GW should be ignored.


4.  Yours is supposed to be a news program not an opinion journal.  Dan Harris completely ignored the new scientific evidence against anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) and the fact that 100 other scientists presented papers that support this view.  The Heartland Conference in NY had an attendance of more than 500, practically all of them AGW skeptics.  That’s news, but ABC ignored it.


Conclusion:  ABC owes it to its audience and to me to make appropriate corrections -- an apology and retraction by Dan Harris on the World News program.





S. Fred Singer, PhD (Physics, Princeton)

Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia

Fellow, American Geophysical Union

Fellow, American Physical Society





Fiona Conway

Executive director

ABC News

77 W. 66th St.

New York City   10023


I am appalled at the utter lack of professionalism demonstrated in ABC News’ March 23 profile of scientist Fred Singer, “Welcome to the denial machine” by reporter Dan Harris and produced by Elizabeth Stewart and Felicia Biberica.


Harris positioned Dr. Singer as a skeptic on global warming, which he certainly is, but by my calculations, Harris spent far more than half of the 3-minutes-20-seconds time mocking Dr. Singer and his views. You didn’t give Dr. Singer time to dramatize why he is skeptical about global warming, but having set him up as a straw man, you spent plenty of time knocking him down.


Harris’s report obviously was a calculated attack on Dr. Singer.


Most egregious of all, however, was ABC News’ unconscionable use of anonymous sources. You gave air to an unnamed source who called Dr. Singer’s work “fraudulent nonsense.”  Is that your idea of “fair” journalism? I call it character assassination. You should be ashamed.


There’s no way to right the wrongs you have done to Dr. Singer and to ABC News’ reputation. But at least you could give the global warming skeptics an opportunity to make their case before you begin kicking them


Dan Miller

The Heartland Institute, Chicago, Ill.



Dear Ms Biberica and Ms Conway

Thanks to the Internet I was able to watch this interview on this side of the Atlantic. It required self discipline. I have already posted a comment which is irrefutable, namely an extract of a letter from the President of The Royal Society. Its significance was that, in it, a world class scientist (as well as, to his lasting shame, an AGW apologist) spoke to one of innumerable commonly hawked lies heavily proselytised by CO2 cultists, with whom you apparently associate and whom you appear to regard as authoritative. This, of course, is that the science is settled. By definition, anything that is settled is not science. Anyway, you may now have the benefit of the entire letter, together with that which provoked it as a response and that which followed.


Do you, I wonder, ever take the trouble actually to think for yourselves - in any way about anything of any significant? Are you really journalists in the true sense of the word, that is to say seekers after truth and exposers of self-interest, pursued at the expense of the public good? Or, like gooney bird chicks, are you content simply to sit on the nest, jaws agape, for the next ration of pre-digested vomit to be spewed down your gullets - there, as a reflex response, to be engulfed without even the pretense of professional detachment and scepticism? Oh, and never mind even handedness - Heaven forfend!


A few more questions:

When I first made contact a couple of days ago, I had not fully appreciated just how shoddy this report was. Now that this has become clearer, a further protest is very much in order. On your side of the Atlantic, it seems, ABC freely peddles white powder of the CO2 cultist variety. On this side, the BBC does likewise. ABC or BBC - which is the more tawdry and devoid of professionalism?
As you say in America, that's a tough call.
Rupert Wyndham



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