frederick seitz

How Shell Backed Dutch ‘Coordinator’ of Climate Science Denial For Decades

Read time: 11 mins
Frits Bottcher and Shell logo

This article has been published in collaboration with Platform Authentieke Journalistiek as part of the Shell Papers project, and should be credited to Alexander Beunder, Jilles Mast, Merel de Buck, and Bas van Beek.

Shell and other Dutch multinationals donated over a million guilders – close to half a million Euros – to prominent Dutch climate science denier Frits Böttcher during the 1990s, documents from his personal archives reveal. Böttcher’s explicit objective: to question human responsibility for global warming.

In the past three years I managed to coordinate the scientific opposition against the CO2-Hetze [hate campaign]”, Böttcher, who died in 2008, writes in a letter to Hubert Knoche, then secretary general of the lobby group of European oil refiners Europia. The year is 1996 and the emeritus professor of chemistry, although 80 years old, is at the height of his prominence in the climate debate.

Can You Guess What Climate Deniers Said of the IPCC 20 Years Ago?

Read time: 5 mins

The DeSmog UK epic history series recalls how the war between the climate sceptics and the IPCC heated up as they tried to cast doubt over the science.

The climate sceptics were ever ready to attack the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) following its second report, released in 1995. They well understood the political dangers that confronted them.

Frederick Seitz, (pictured) then chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) – which argues against the existence of climate change – demanded that IPCC chairman Bert Bolin draft a statement immediately saying that the IPCC had “not been able to quantify the magnitude of the greenhouse gas”; he even took the extra step of drafting the proposed letter, ready for Bolin to sign.

How Tobacco Shills Inspired Climate Denial

Read time: 6 mins

DeSmog UK’s history series examines how the tobacco industry’s PR tactics proved inspirational for the army of climate change deniers.

Dr Fred Singer and his sceptic Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) would become an increasingly important platoon in the army assembling against climate science.

Along with the late Dr Frederick Seitz – a founder of the Marshall Institute – the SEPP would use PR tactics developed by the tobacco industry to question and undermine climate science.

Seitz, for example, accused the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of producing scientific summaries “exaggerating risk… solely – we suspect – to satisfy an ideological objective of aggressively constraining the use of energy.”

Fred Singer – 'Granddaddy of Fake Science' – Retires as SEPP President

Read time: 6 mins

Dr Fred Singer has announced his plans to retire as president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) after 25 years at the helm as one of his generation’s most influential climate deniers.

But it might be premature to breathe a sigh of relief just yet. After all, Frederick Seitz continued to serve as SEPP president for two years after he died according to tax records filed by Singer.

While the doctor of denial may have celebrated his 90th birthday this September, it doesn’t seem he’s about to slow down. His ties with SEPP – which argues against the existence of climate change – will not be severed any time soon. He plans to continue as chairman of the board “for as long as possible”.

The Kochtopus Spreads its Tentacles To Strangle Climate Science

Read time: 4 mins

DeSmog UK tells the story of how the ideologically matched and politically inseparable Blundell and Dr Fred Singer became close and controversial allies, in our epic history series.

One evening John Blundell arrived at the Hickory Farm neighbourhood watch meeting in Virginia, and to his surprise discovered he was living close to Dr S Fred Singer, who he had met on the free market think tank circuit.

Singer was with his new wife Candice Crandall, who Blundell had met separately as a press officer at the Koch funded George Mason University (GMU).

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