Derided as a “Merchant of Doubt,” he spent decades trying to refute the evidence of global warming and other environmental risks. Even as evidence of the human causes of climate change and its risks to the planet coalesced into a scientific certainty, Dr. Singer argued that the threat of climate change was overblown, that efforts to blunt its effects would cause grievous economic damage, and that the effects of global warming would be largely beneficial. Reacting to Dr. Singer’s death, Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, wrote on Twitter, “I always liked Fred personally,” comparing him to “an irascible uncle who would say the most preposterous things at Thanksgiving and everyone would just roll their eyes.” “None of the scientific claims he made,” he said, “stood the test of time.”
By John Schwartz. New York Times. April 11, 2020.