Denial For Hire: Willie Soon’s Career Fueled by Big Oil, Coal and Koch Money

Tue, 2011-06-28 06:03Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Denial For Hire: Willie Soon’s Career Fueled by Big Oil, Coal and Koch Money

Willie Soon, the notorious climate denier who has made a career out of attacking the IPCC and climate scientists, has received over $1 million in funding from Big Oil and coal industry sponsors over the past decade, according to a new report from Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace report, “Dr. Willie Soon: a Career Fueled by Big Oil and Coal,” reveals that $1.033 million of Dr. Soon’s funding since 2001 has come from oil and coal interests. Since 2002, every grant Dr. Soon received originated with fossil fuel interests, according to documents received from the Smithsonian Institution in response to Greenpeace FOIA requests.

The documents show that Willie Soon has received at least $175,000 from Koch family foundations (Soon is a key player in the Koch brothers’ climate denial machine, as Greenpeace documented previously), $230,000 from Southern Company, $274,000 from the American Petroleum Institute, and $335,000 from ExxonMobil, among other polluters.

Dr. Soon is perhaps most well-known for his work with fellow astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas attempting to challenge the “hockey stick” graph of temperature records, first published by Dr. Michael Mann.  



But the documents reveal that he also fancied himself a ringleader of a coordinated effort to sully the IPCC’s fourth assessment, plotting with Exxon staffers years in advance about how to attack the 2007 report.

A letter that Dr. Soon wrote in 2003, uncovered by Greenpeace, states:

Clearly they [the AR4 chapters] may be too much for any one of us to tackle them all … But, as A-team, we may for once give it our best shot to try to anticipate and counter some of the chapters, especially WG1—judging from our true expertise in the basic climate sciences …   

Even if we can tackle ONE single chapter down the road but forcefully and effectively … we will really accomplish A LOT!   

In all cases, I hope we can start discussing among ourselves to see what we can do to weaken the fourth assessment report or to re-direct   attention back to science …”

Soon has served on the roster of many oil- and coal-funded front groups over the past 15 years, from his role as “Scientific Adviser” at the coal-funded Greening Earth Society in the late 1990s, to his affiliations with a variety of Koch-Exxon-Scaife funded groups like the George C. Marshall Institute, the Science and Public Policy Institute, the Center for Science and Public Policy and the Heartland Institute.

Dr. Soon is among the speakers at the annual Denialapalooza climate denier meeting hosted by the Heartland Institute in Washington DC later this week. Since the theme of that Heartland junk science junket is “Restoring the Scientific Method,” perhaps the attendees will query Dr. Soon about the ethics of accepting a million dollars from polluter interests while claiming that climate change is nothing to worry about.

 

Comments

‘All BS of course but predictable and enevatable [sic]. Now that it is clear that the SUN is indeed in control of the climate, A smearing of the honest and impressive work of scientists like Soon was enevatable [sic].’

Well that was certainly the biggest load of crap.

Solar insolation is a forcing.

CO2 build up is a forcing.

Solar activity is at a minimum right now and the Milankovitch factors are all at their minimum for positive forcing too.

CO2 is the only forcing in charge right now with albedo change in the Arctic starting to kick in as a feedback - along with increased power in the hydrological cycle. Note: this makes some places drier and others wetter and these regions of altered rainfall pattern can shift too. Why do you think the Horn of Africa, and large swaths of the US and Europe have been suffering drought conditions to various degrees of severity?

Wake up and smell the coffee - whilst we can still grow it that is!

There you go again pointing to randome natural events and pretending that it means somthing.

get a grip Lional…

CO2 is harmless plant food and we would all be far better off if it could be doubled right away.

LOL… You guys are priceless..

CO2 is harmless plant food and we would all be far better off if it could be doubled right away.”

Can you provide a statement from an actual working climate scientist who has said that?

No.
I was the first to put that in print as far as I know.

The background for it is all over howerver.

Catch„„ dont you think..

“No.
I was the first to put that in print as far as I know.

The background for it is all over howerver.”

So let me get this straight. You can’t point to an actual climate scientist who said this or said it would be a good thing & not being a scientists yourself, you have no idea what the impacts of doubling CO2 would be & you want it now?

Sums up the intelligence of the denier position.

How about David Legates? He has a PhD in Climatology…unlike most of meteorologists and mathematicians that claim to be climate scientists.

‘There you go again pointing to randome [sic] natural events’

Do you not even understand the meaning of random.

Milankovitch cycles are anything but random.

Americans reading this thread should read this column:

Is the US in denial over its $14tn debt?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13906274

<—extract—>

Take Alaska. The author and serious student of America, Anne Applebaum makes the point that, as she puts it, “Alaska is a myth!”

People who live in Alaska - and people who aspire to live in Alaska - imagine it is the last frontier, she says, “the place where rugged individuals go out and dig for oil and shoot caribou, and make money the way people did 100 years ago”.

But in reality, Alaska is the most heavily subsidised state in the union. There is more social spending in Alaska than anywhere else.

To make it a place where decent lives can be lived, there is a huge transfer of money to Alaska from the US federal government which means of course from taxpayers in New York and Los Angeles and other places where less rugged folk live. Alaska is an organised hypocrisy.

Too many Americans behave like the Alaskans: they think of themselves as rugged individualists in no need of state help, but they take the money anyway in health care and pensions and all the other areas of American life where the federal government spends its cash.

<—end extract—>

and

<—extract—>

And nobody talks about raising taxes. Jeffrey Sachs has a theory about why this is.

America’s two main political parties are so desperate to raise money for the nation’s constant elections - remember the House of Representatives is elected every two years - that they can do nothing that upsets wealthy people and wealthy companies.

So they cannot touch taxes.

In all honesty, I am torn about the conclusions to be drawn. I find it difficult to believe that a nation historically so nimble and clever and open could succumb to disaster in this way.

But America, as well as being a place of hard work and ingenuity, is also no stranger to eating competitions in which gluttony is celebrated, and wilful ignorance, for instance regarding (as many Americans do) evolution as controversial.

<—end extract—>

To which we should add

‘and wilful ignorance, for instance regarding climate change as a hoax.’

If only it were a hoax reader, if only.

Nothing wrong with taxes, providing they are ethically and fairly spread which is anything but the way of things now. The gap between the fewer top wealthy and the remainder has grown substantially over the last few decades. This cannot go on before there is blood in the streets.

It may be in the ME and Greece now but this situation will spread unless major adjustments are made to how the worlds economy works and before nature steps in with very big feet.

But carry on, making your asinine comments you ethically or cognitively or both challenged snipers who breeze in here on your drive bys, for nature doesn’t give a flying fart about your opinion.

Excellent…. Rant..

So amusing…

irrelevent and wildly off topic with no sense of message or anything.

But so common from warmists…..

The sky is falling the sky is falling….

Oh god…. cant stop giggeling…

You are right, let’s go back on topic : a famous “skeptic” getting millions of dollars from oil companies to fund research on the sun. Not on hydrocarbon traps, or on efficient engines, or new ways of drilling : on the sun.

Please do not try to insult the reader’s intelligence by saying this funding does not have obvious interests.

Wouldnt think of it….

It has very obvious interests.

Interests in finding the root mechanism whereby the SUN controls climate.

It is extremely important to complete these studies to lock down the science and put to rest for good the silly myth that the tiny little almost neglegable amount of man made CO2 is anything but beneficial.

You therefore agree that oil companies paid an astrophysician (and not a climate scientist) large amounts of money to discard the CO2 their industry contributes to pour as a recent forcing for the climate. But this is not lobbying, the Lord forbids it : an oil company giving money secretly to a scientist well known for his “skeptic” positions (what about the science, by the way) *surely* does not wish a conclusion suitable to its (huge) profits …
Nah, impossible. The only impostors are the scientists competiting for open federal state grants amounting for 100 k$ . Of course.

What are the results of this genuine money, exactly ?
Hint : http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics/Solar_vs_temp_500.jpg

Seems that you are infering something out of thin air here.

I did not agree to any of your assertions.

YOu may think what you like. And of course you can believe what your read on propaganda sites as well.
But that does not impress me.

Sigh…..

there you go confusing the solar issue again.
your linked chart show only solar irradiance.

As usual, warmist propaganda always points to irradiance and says… SEESEEEEEE

Completely missing the point, Intentionally I think.

aaaargh, apologies for the reader (and the moderator), but the message didn’t go where I wanted :

And, for the second part, I copy-paste the definition of total solar irradiance :
” Total solar irradiance is defined as the amount of radiant energy emitted by the Sun over all wavelengths that fall each second on 11 sq ft (1 sq m) outside the earth’s atmosphere.”
Aka the amount of power entering into the Earth considered as a thermodynamic system.
I let the reader judge if this notion of examining the power input into a thermodynamic system and compare it to its mean temperature is so outlandish than claimed above. Especially when you consider this input variation over time and the temperature answer, and you see that the correlation between input and answer breaks during the 60’s and 70’s.

Warning : thinking seriously about these thermodynamic questions may lead you to do actual thermodynamics.

To excuse myself, I will complete my message, and indicate that there is an implicit hypothesis I assumed in order to put the origin of the deviation on the thermodynamic’s system behaviour instead of the solar power input. I let the reader find where I did this assumption.

oh, by the way, before answering me, please dear reader relax, we after all only discuss on a blog. Why won’t you take a delicious drink cooled in your trusted fridge ?

Who is getting all the Big oil money?

Funny, Greenpeace doesn’t talk about that. Nor does it mention:

* that BP is funding research into “ways of tackling the world’s climate problem” at Princeton University to the tune of $2 million per year for 15 years
* that BP is funding an energy research institute involving two other US universities to the tune of $500 million – the aim of which is “to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment”
* that ExxonMobil itself has donated $100 million to Stanford university so that researchers there can find “ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/23/AR2010052302164.html

But dont let facts stand in the way of your idelogy.

theres a difference between funding institutes (with many, many researchers) with proven expertise in a field, and funding a single scientist with no discernible expertise in the field.

It is, of course, also known as “covering all your bases”. Help find new ways of reducing CO2 ouput by new technologies (note, all fitting in the core business area of these companies anyway), while at the same time have the occasional paper that challenges CO2 as any problem whatsoever, so as to reduce/stop any governmental action.

Help find new ways of reducing CO2 ouput by new technologies (note, all fitting in the core business area of these companies anyway).

Really? And I thought they were called OIL companies not CO2 reduction companies.

Total is involved in CO2 capture and storage. BP tries to sell its EOR operations at Krechba (Algeria) as CO2 storage. Shell funds several european projects on CO2 storage (out of memory, CO2MAN, CO2CARE). Exxon I do not know.

Obviously, they think that money can be made with CO2 emission reduction. Their strategy seems pretty clear for me : delay concrete actions for CO2 emission reduction while they can (to sell as much oil as possible), and then ring the doom bell and put forth their solution (to make money once again).

Be wary about their push for minimal safety for CO2 storage, when the situation will be dire. It is now that we have to put limits and safety solutions for CO2 storage, if we do not want another possible frack scandal.

Oil companies know there WILL ultimately be a cap on CO2 emissions (just like cigarette companies knew there would be a backlash at one point in time). And they can even sell stuff as “green”.

This principle is so simple and obvious that some people at oil companies have no problem admitting this.

Oil companies know there WILL ultimately be a cap on CO2 emissions (just like cigarette companies knew there would be a backlash at one point in time). And they can even sell stuff as “green”.

This principle is so simple and obvious that some people at oil companies have no problem admitting this.

‘irrelevent and wildly off topic with no sense of message or anything.’

Only to those afflicted by the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The message is that a large chunk of western society is living beyond the Earth’s capacity to nourish and shelter without mining resources, mining in the sense well explained by Jared Diamond in ‘Collapse’. ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee’ (Can you name one of the other two?) and ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ by the same author are also worth your attention.

It is you, and your ilk, that needs to get a grip, on reality.

Only those with narrow minds cannot see the truth.

So … Phil…

Let me try to understand your point here.

Are you admitting that the CAGW movement is simpley a lie being told to the masses because we are living beyond our means and have to cut back?

Seem like that is your message. Otherwise, your long winded comment was off topic and irrelevent.

‘So … Phil…

Let me try to understand your point here.

Are you admitting that the CAGW movement is simpley [sic] a lie being told to the masses because we are living beyond our means and have to cut back?

Seem like that is your message. Otherwise, your long winded comment was off topic and irrelevent [sic].’

Or is an automiton that has been exposed as making brain-free comments, in other words failed the Turing test by not even realising to whom you are replying. Shame!

“Or is an automiton that has been exposed as making brain-free comments, in other words failed the Turing test by not even realising to whom you are replying. Shame!”

Spot on Lionel. Looks like this site has been invaded by the persona management software bots. We have already seen this site invaded by advertisement bots that are bypassing the captcha phrases. It’s more than obvious now that vested interested are spamming this site using persona management software that was uncovered in the HB Gary hack.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED:-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All

No wonder so many comments are “anonymous”…….sock puppets. The fact that it has targeted a non existent post of mine says it all. Lionel, notice they rarely ever quote your words either. It’s just comments tacked onto every post. Nearly every post has some anonymous sock puppet saying “the scam is up” or “the game is up” or “the hoax is over”.

Time to name a flooding event, drought or heat wave after Soon.

Wait just a little while and name the Cold period after him.

the Soon minimum
or
the Soon little ice age.

or Soon this scam will be history……

for Bush’s charge of malfeasance, perhaps.

‘Wait just a little while and name the Cold period after him.

the Soon minimum
or
the Soon little ice age.

or Soon this scam will be history……’

No, Soon to go to China.

From today’s Globe and Mail:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/canadian-scientists-discover-new-clues-to-rapid-arctic-ice-melt/article2078461/

… found that the projections of the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were already obsolete three years after they were published.

When projections from the panel were compared with actual observations, the authors found that between 1953 and 2006 the sea ice was retreating three times faster than it should have. Between 1979 and 2006, when satellite data was available, the actual retreat was twice as fast as climate models predicted.

The report concluded that sea ice retreat is 30 years ahead of where scientists thought it would be.

AS arctic ice disappears, the world will warm even faster. But the deniers say naahh, don’t worry, be happy. Sure…….

“found that the projections of the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were already obsolete three years after they were published.”

That’s the thing T Helin. The IPCC were incredibly conservative in their warming estimates so as to appease the deniers.

The only way the deniers can make the graphs have downward trends now is to tun them upside down.

Think about this:

If there is some scientific uncertainty about AGW, the oil companies can hire real climate scientists to do real science and show the uncertainty.

The oil companies can – and do– hire the best and the brightest scientists to do their research in chemistry, geology, any field they need research in. They provide oil company salaries and benefits to researchers.

Not one oil company has established a division of climate scientists? Wouldn”t they have less to worry about if they can show the present and increasing amount of CO2 in the air is not a problem?

But Exxon, the Koch brothers, don”t hire their own scientists. Instead they sneak around funneling $$ through “think tanks” to people with no training in climate science to generate nonsense. Why?

Actually … Why do you believe what you just wrote.

It is of course nonsense.

that was very good

Just to put things in perspective, when Al Gore left office as Vice President, he reported a net worth of between $1 million and $2 million.

In 2008, Gore’s personal net worth was estimated at over $100 MILLION.

Evidently his Green Ponzi schemes paid off handsomely.

Ironic that Desmogblog claims their supposed information was obtained through FOI requests. Funny how FOI requests for access to climate data were repeatedly and illegally thwarted by the Climategate conspirators.

In any case, what Dr. Soon’s grant funding (if Greenpeace is to be believed – and they really shouldn’t be, given their history of fabrication and exaggeration) has to do with anything is a mystery. Clearly, Desmogblog is using the only tool in its arsenal when it can’t refute Dr. Soon, or anyone else – ad hominem attacks.

Speaking of funding, wouldn’t it be interesting to learn how much millionaire convicted money-launderer, John Lefebvre, has paid to James Hoggan & Associates Public Relations Inc. to bankroll the Desmogblog smear website? Funny how they always hide that information.

Willie Soon. Denier & liar for hire.

What does that make desmogblog? Warmists for hire. Guarenteed to smear anyone who goes against the warmist ideology.

LOL..

I am sure your endorsement is well meant, but Mr Soon is a world class scientist and probably does not need advertising from no name bloggers on obscure little web sites.

Anon is quite the devout acolyte to Soon. LOL. And all s/he has are juvenile quips to support their vacuous hyperbole and rhetoric. So sad that we have pathetic and brainwashed people defending charlatans like Soon and Monckton. Heck they will even defend Wegman and Said for plagiarism and shoddy “research”.

…no name bloggers on obscure little web sites.’

You clearly speak for yourself and to yourself.

Whatever, so why do you bother turning up here if this is so obscure?

Bunch of reasons really.

Nostalgia….
Its getting hard to find real believers these days.
The focus of this blog is so silly it is just fun.

Finally, few other sites are quite so immoral so I never have to feel bad reading scathing reviews of the owners.

A report in the Washington Examiner, entitled “Working for Big Green can be a very enriching experience” by Mark Tapscott, showed that the leaders of 15 top Big Green environmental groups are paid more than $300,000 in annual compensation, with a half million dollar plus figure for the top “earner”.

He mentions that Environmental Defense Fund President Frederic Krupp, receives total compensation of $496,174, including $446,072 in salary and $50,102 in other compensation.

Close behind Krupp among Big Green environmental movement executives is World Wildlife Fund- US President Carter Roberts, who was paid $486,394, including a salary of $439,327 and other compensation of $47,067.

Soon is a lighweight. He should be paid more!

Dont forget the study released by the IPCC that was written by Greenpeace which they tried to pass off as peer-reviewed science.

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/6/15/lynas-on-the-ipcc.html

using bishophill’s blog.

Believing anything that Andrew Monford, aka bishophill, writes is like belief in the tooth fairy as anybody aware of the cherry picking and distortions in Montford’s, aka bishophill, work of fiction. Memo to deniers: multiple lines of scientific enquiry come up with a hockey stick reconstruction for temperatures over the last millennium. You have been told this time and time again. You have even been informed where to find the scientific literature that supports this and also told how you can set about testing this for yourself by drawing on the data that has always been available and not hidden or destroyed as you liars keep insisting.

This may help you understand, but you do need to have a fully functional brain to appreciate this:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

Montford, aka bishophill, is another bullshit artist, like Plimer except that Montford, aka bishophill, does not have scientific credentials.

I understand that some can be rather slow on the uptake but you people behave like you have unevolved brains.

Montford did not write the above article. Lynas did. Perhaps you should read before commenting about a subject. It would make you look less ignorant.

Here is the orginal link if you care to read it.

http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/questions-the-ipcc-must-now-urgently-answer/

But dont let facts get in the way of your ideology.

for you clearly have no idea, or are avoiding to point out, how devious and mendacious Montford is by avoiding the context,

‘Montford did not write the above article. Lynas did.’

which is that Lynas is having a hissy fit over details which Montbank wants to take advantage of and thus includes only the most advantageous, to his crackpot philosophy, excerpt.

For a more nuanced reading of what is going on here try this:

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/16/246665/ipcc-renewables-2/

but of course you wont risk exposing yourself to rational appraisals OF ANYTHING in this sad state of affairs where each and every DK denial drags us closer to the precipice.

multiple lines of scientific enquiry come up with a hockey stick reconstruction for temperatures over the last millennium.

Such as this one?

Canadian Lake’s Past Water Levels Refutes Both Mann’s ‘Hockey-Stick’ Climate & IPCC’s “Unprecedented” Modern Warming http://www.c3headlines.com/2011/06/canadian-lakes-past-water-levels-refutes-both-manns-hockey-stick-climate-ipccs-unprecedented-modern-.html

Or this one?

Medieval Warming Prosperity Collapsed Due To Devastation of Rapid Climate Cooling

In peer-reviewed research published by the influential Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists reconstructed 5,600 years of climate conditions in Greenland. This new reconstruction confirmed the warm and optimum climate conditions of the Medieval Warming and the rapid onset of the frigid Little Ice Age. http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2011/05/vikings

Or maybe this one?

Paleo-Climate Experts Reject Mann’s “Hockey Stick” Hypothesis, Embrace The McIntyre/McKitrick Results http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/manns-conference-debunks-the-hockey-stick/

Oh wow, that would be the same picture as present in AR4. And somebody needs to check the confidence intervals on MBH99. You know, just to know how Steve Goddard (“It snows CO2 on Antarctica”) deals with facts.

Or maybe this one?

Scientists Determine That China’s Roman & Medieval Temperatures Significantly Warmer Than Present

A peer-reviewed study utilizing high resolution data from a peat bog sediment core, analyzes 6,000 years worth of a temperature proxy. The researchers determined that both Roman and Medieval Periods experienced temperatures that were significantly higher than those of the current period. http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/10/scientists-determine-that-chinas-roman-medieval-temperatures-signficantly-warmer-than-present.html

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