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Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate Paperback – January 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"Hot Talk, Cold Science will be difficult to dismiss, though many will undoubtedly wish to do so.”  —Frederick Seitz, past president, National Academy of Sciences; president emeritus, Rockefeller University

About the Author

S. Fred Singer is research fellow at The Independent Institute, president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for Space Science and Technology. He was the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. He is the former director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and former chief scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; Revised edition edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094599981X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999812
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,204,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric and space physicist, is one of the world's most respected and widely published experts on climate. He is professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. He directs the nonprofit Science and Environmental Policy Project, which he founded in 1990 and incorporated in 1992 after retiring from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Singer served as professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (1971-94); distinguished research professor at the Institute for Space Science and Technology, Gainesville, FL, where he was principal investigator for the Cosmic Dust/Orbital Debris Project (1989-94); chief scientist, U.S. Department of Transportation (1987- 89); vice chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Oceans and Atmosphere (NACOA) (1981-86); deputy assistant administrator for policy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-71); deputy assistant secretary for water quality and research, U.S. Department of the Interior (1967- 70); founding dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences, University of Miami (1964-67); first director of the National Weather Satellite Service (1962-64); and director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Maryland (1953-62).

Dr. Singer did his undergraduate work in electrical engineering at Ohio State University and holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.

Dr. Singer has published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including EOS: Transactions of the AGU, Journal of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, Science, Nature, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Geophysical Research Letters, and International Journal of Climatology. His editorial essays and articles have appeared in Cosmos, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Republic, Newsweek, Journal of Commerce, Washington Times, Washington Post, and many other publications. His accomplishments have been featured in front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life, and U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Singer is author, coauthor, or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs, including Global Effects of Environmental Pollution (Reidel, 1970), Is There an Optimum Level of Population? (McGraw-Hill, 1971), Free Market Energy (Universe Books, 1984), Global Climate Change (Paragon House, 1989), The Greenhouse Debate Continued: An Analysis and Critique of the IPCC Climate Assessment (ICS Press, 1992), Hot Talk Cold Science - Global Warming's Unfinished Debate (Independent Institute, 1997, 1999), Climate Policy - From Rio to Kyoto (Hoover Institution, 2000), Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007, revised ed. 2008), Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate (Heartland Institute, 2008), and Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (Heartland Institute, 2009).

Dr. Singer is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was elected to the AAAS Council and served on the Committee on Council Affairs, and as Section Secretary. In 1997, NASA presented Dr. Singer with a commendation and cash award "for important contributions to space research."

Dr. Singer has given hundreds of lectures and seminars on global warming, including to the science faculties at Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, State University of New York-Stony Brook, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, University of Connecticut, University of Colorado, Imperial College-London, Copenhagen University, University of Rome, and Tel Aviv University. He has also given invited seminars at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Extra-Terrestrial Physics in Munich, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Singer has been a pioneer in many ways. At the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University, he participated in the first experiments using high-altitude research rockets, measuring the energy spectrum of primary cosmic rays and the distribution of stratospheric ozone; he is generally credited with the discovery of the equatorial electrojet current flowing in the ionosphere. In academic science during the 1950s, he published the first studies on subatomic particles trapped in the Earth's magnetic field - radiation belts, later discovered by James Van Allen.

Dr. Singer was the first to make the correct calculations for using atomic clocks in orbit, contributing to the verification of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, and now essential in the GPS system of satellite navigation. He also designed satellites and instrumentation for remote sensing of the atmosphere and received a White House Presidential Commendation for this work.

In 1971, Dr. Singer calculated the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric methane, an important greenhouse gas. He also predicted that methane, once reaching the stratosphere, would transform into water vapor, which could then deplete stratospheric ozone. A few years later, methane levels were indeed found to be rising, and the increase in stratospheric water vapor was confirmed in 1995.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on May 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the previous reviewer, I found Dr. Singer to be a very persuasive source of information. Probably it has something to do with one's political predisposition.

S. Fred Singer is a preeminent authority on energy and environmental issues. Among other things, he designed the first satellite instrument for measuring atmospheric ozone and was a principal developer of scientific and weather satellites.

A research fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, he is also Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science and a member of the Energy Policy Studies center at the University of Virginia. His academic honors and qualifications are too many to list here, but many of them are in the About the Author section in the book

To accuse him of intentionally slanting his opinions because his work has been utilized by some energy companies is scurrilous and denigrating. His work has also been utilized by government agencies, because he is an acknowledged expert in the field.

This book is replete with facts, figures, graphs, and a great variety of evidence to back up his opinions. There are eight pages of closely typeset references of people who agree with his conclusions.

Singer, in the book, discusses the scientific case against the Global Climate Treaty, and says that there is no detectable anthropogenic (man caused) evidence of global warming, and further that the consequences of modest global warming would be positive, rather than negative.

He discusses the so-called "greenhouse effect," and recommends prudency over panic.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful By E. Rodin MD on August 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Singer presents an excellent review of the problems associated with determining the future extent of global warming. He emphasizes the differences between land , ocean, and atmospheric temperature measurements. He also points out correctly that all forecasts depend on models and as we all know weather forecasting is far from an exact science even for the short time of a week or a few months. We still don't know, for instance, if we'll have good snow for the Olympics in Salt Lake City and they are only less than half a year away. How can we have the audacity to pretend to know what the temperature is going to be a hundred years from now? Models can only give answers based on information which is currently available but that is bound to change even within a decade. To engage in massive government intervention on basis of a perceived threat, which in turn rests on inadequate data, would qualify for inclusion in Tuchman's "March of Folly." Dr. Singer is to be congratulated for having had the courage to go against public pressures and present the facts as they exist.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a clear, concise presentation of the case against belief that there is a reason to fear global warming. If global warming did occur, the oceans and seas would not increase to envelop the earth as predicted, but they would decrease by evaporation into the clouds and then rain to produce more ice cap at the poles. Many other fears are dispelled by this book which should be must reading after all the science fiction produced in the press.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gordon W Prince on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
The author has solid credentials. His thrust is presenting scads of conflicting evidence to the "conventional wisdom" that global warming has us on a trajectory to doom.
Some of his evidence is temperature records for the past -- showing fluctuation, but no overall trend. The data is from many varied sources, some of it prehistoric.
Some of his evidence is from surveys of professional weather people -- showing significant lack of confidence in the computer models that are predicting global warming. That should tell us all something by itself.
I remember in the 1970's the scare was about a global ice age caused by cooling. Now new computer models predict global warming. All this at a time when no one can yet predict the weather more than a couple of weeks into the future.
The author reminds us that the world is complex. We don't understand it all yet.
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33 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Fred Singer, the former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, predicts that cutbacks in energy use mandated by the climate change treaty "will cost citizens literally hundreds of billions of dollars in higher product costs and lost wages -- all to mitigate climate 'disasters' that exist only on computer printouts and in the feverish imagination of professional environmental zealots." Singer disputes the "evidence" for global warming, denies that its impact would be harmful even if it were occurring, and rejects the contention "that scientists know which atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are 'dangerous' and which are not." Singer's scientific and sensible formula for a hospitable future, with or without global warming, is "economic growth and continued technological advances."
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Keech on August 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the easiest books to follow that tell the truth about the non-existence of so-called "global warming." Here, Mr. Singer analyzes the Global Climate Treaty and shows how damaging it could be to our economy, if adopted. He goes on to review the relevant facts and figures that clearly indicate the lack of overall warming of our globe in the last decade. His conclusions regarding the effects of man-made carbon dioxide are also clearly justified and documented, showing that the media claims are simply not supported by known facts.
This book clearly explains why we should NOT sign the Kyoto treaty, as Pres. Bush insists, and for the same reasons, that it would decimate our economy without doing anything that useful for our worldwide environment. Americans of all parties should read this book and be prepared to resist the media fear-mongers who try to get us to run from their chicken-little-like scare tactics into the arms of economy-destroying legislation.
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