As I’ve said in the past, I’m tired of stoushes with global warming delusionists, and of blogwars more generally. I’ve adopted a policy of banning/deleting trolls here, and, as far as possible, ignoring them elsewhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel I could ignore Graham Young’s attack on me, Robyn Williams, Tim Lambert and others in Online Opinion of which he is Chief Editor. OLO has made a valuable contribution to Australian public debate, and has a well-justified reputation for serious discussion (despite Young’s propensity for publishing silly anti-science pieces on climate change). That reputation will be trashed if it becomes a platform for intemperate and partisan rants (violations of Godwin’s Law are a pretty good indication of this, in my view).
I did write to Young to attempt a resolution, and sent him a lot of links and documents trying to explain why (contrary to his claims) I thought it was appropriate to report Fred Singer’s close involvement with the tobacco industry, and its relationship to his role in the global warming debate (prominent now, but even more so in the 1990s when he and Fred Seitz got the organised delusionist movement going with the Leipzig Declaration and Oregon Petition). However, apart from the offer of a reply (if I want to say that I’m not a brownshirt, I can do so here in much less than 800 words, and have done), he wasn’t interested.
At this point, I’m going to let the documents speak for themselves. Over the fold, I’ve linked and quoted an article from the American Journal of Public Health, and two (of many) documents from tobacco company archives, released as part of a settlement of litigation against them by US state governments. If any readers feel that I’ve been unfairly selective here, I invite you, as I did Graham, to Google “Fred Singer” + tobacco, or search the archives yourself.
That’s it from me on this. If readers’ comments indicate general agreement that I’ve unfairly traduced Singer’s reputation, I’ll retract. Perhaps, if the evidence appears convincing to most, Young might respond appropriately.
American Journal of Public Health 2001, Junking Science to Promote Tobacco by Derek Yach, MBChB, MPH and Stella Aguinaga Bialous, DrPH, MScN, RN
In addition to creating front groups and contributing funds to groups that have a mission broad enough to carry some of the tobacco industryâ€™s goals, the tobacco companies also use publications by allegedly independent think tanks, such as the Virginia based Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. This groupâ€™s 1994 report â€œScience, Economics, and Environmental Policy: A Critical Examinationâ€? 35 criticizes the US Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s risk assessment methods …although no direct financial link has been established, several members of the reportâ€™s academic advisory board have been involved with different tobacco companiesâ€™ activities.36 The reportâ€™s principal reviewer, Dr Fred Singer, was involved with the International Center for a Scientific Ecology, a group that was considered important in Philip Morrisâ€™ plans to create a group in Europe similar to The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), as discussed by Ong and Glantz.37,38 He was also on a tobacco industry list of people who could write op-ed pieces on â€œjunk science,â€? defending the industryâ€™s views.39
APCO Associates memo to Phillip Morris (this is the one cited by Yach and Bialous)
As you know, we have been working with Dr Fred Singer, and Dr Dwight Lee, who have authored articles on junk science and indoor air quality respectively… We discussed with Dr Singer Ellen’s suggestion for the junk science article to have a more personal introduction, however he is adamant this would not be his style.
Most notable, since it shows how Singer used attacks on global warming to push the tobacco line, is this memo about Singer’s work for PR company Shandwick on behalf of tobacco company Brown and Williamson
SEPP initially was reluctant to publicly take the lead on a tobacco issue, so Shandwick recommended the concept of creating a “myths list .” Although the CRS report would be the focal point of publicity activities, SEPP packaged four other issues – global warming, radon, “zero risk” and stratospheric ozone. The publicity plan was launched January 10 with a national press release (attached). Dr. S . Fred Singer, SEPP president, agreed to an aggressive media interview schedule arranged by Shandwick.
 Young also objects to my statement that the late Theodor Landscheidt (who never held an academic or research appointment of any kind, let alone one in climatology) was an amateur climatologist. As ought to be clear from my paper with Dan Hunter, I have nothing against amateurs, and Landscheidt did get some papers published in academic journals. But that doesn’t make his eccentric theories a credible alternative to mainstream science. In any case, this is not a dispute worth pursuing further.
 A new version of the Oregon Petition has just come out.
 This is a reference Ellen Merlo, Vice President of Philip Morris Corporate Affairs department.