A few days ago I suggested that Willie Soon’s career may be taking a nose dive soon. I was right. Tomorrow’s New York Times has a story that has as many leaks as an old canoe, so we can see it now in various outlets. The story is out and linked to below.

Before going into detail I just want to note that Justin Gillis is doing a great job at the New York Times.

Anyway, you can read the following items, the most recent listed here:

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for a Doubtful Climate Scientist

Willie Soon Gate

Willie Soon, will he soon be fired?

It really looks like Willie Soon has been paid by Big Fossil to write papers, which generally suck as science, suggesting that Anthropogenic Global Warming isn’t much of a thing. A lot of us have known this for some time, and have been complaining about it. Climate science deniers have been denying. Now, major media is putting the story together. Suddenly, we are looking at a sea change, and it is pretty wavy, and Willie needs a bigger boat.

First, the most important fact:

Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.

So, our planet, his deliverables. To the tune of over $400,000 pieces of silver. Nice going, Willie, this makes you kind of an asshole.

Then, this from the big boss at Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysics:

Charles R. Alcock, director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, acknowledged on Friday that Soon had violated the disclosure standards of some journals.

“I think that’s inappropriate behavior,” Alcock said. “This frankly becomes a personnel matter, which we have to handle with Dr. Soon internally.”

Soon is employed by the Smithsonian Institution, which jointly sponsors the astrophysics center with Harvard.

“I am aware of the situation with Willie Soon, and I’m very concerned about it,” W. John Kress, interim undersecretary for science at the Smithsonian in Washington, said Friday. “We are checking into this ourselves.”

Charles, I’m not that impressed with you either. You let this go on in your institution for many years, and Soon isn’t the only climate science denialist you are harboring. WTF? Well, thanks for finally getting on with this. I do hope you have the wits to suspend his activities until the end of the HR investigation, because that could take some time. Otherwise he might pinch off a few more papers under your aegis.

I asked climate scientist Michael Mann what he thought of this news. He told me, “Willie Soon (as amply documented in my book “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars”) was instrumental in the early attacks on the Hockey Stick by James Inhofe and other fossil fuel industry-funded politicians. Now we know for certain that his efforts were a quid pro quo with special interests looking to discredit my work as a means of calling into question the reality and threat of climate change.” (Mann’s book is here.)

UPDATE: Senator Edward Markey will launch an investigation of Big Fossil company funding of bogus climate change studies, according to the Boston Globe:

“For years, fossil fuel interests and front groups have attacked climate scientists and legislation to cut carbon pollution using junk science and debunked arguments,” Markey said in a statement. “The American public deserve an honest debate that isn’t polluted by the best junk science fossil fuel interests can buy. That’s why I will be launching this investigation to see how widespread this denial-for-hire scheme stretches within the anti-climate action cabal.”

Markey will be looking into over a million dollars of funding from such companies as ExonMobil, Southern Company, Texaco, etc.

_____

Other posts of interest:

Also of interest: In Search of Sungudogo: A novel of adventure and mystery, set in the Congo.

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Bloom
    United States
    February 21, 2015

    Who else there? Baliunas is retired IIRC.

  2. #2 st
    February 21, 2015

    What about IPCC deliverables?

    lol

  3. #3 Brainstorms
    February 21, 2015

    Which self-interested corporations paid the IPCC for deliverables?

    LOL

  4. #4 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico (yes, that's in the USA)
    February 21, 2015

    Er… is the director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center really pretending this is a surprise? After a decade of being told the facts about Soon, he still needs to study the issue to see if it’s a problem…. amazing.

  5. #5 Brainstorms
    February 21, 2015

    Desertphile, he’s, er, in *denial*, it would seem…

  6. […] Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for Soon – Greg Laden. Well, maybe. * Gavin at RX on Soon, 2011. * Many Arctic temperature trends […]

  7. #7 cosmicomics
    Denmark
    February 21, 2015

    “Before going into detail I just want to note that Justin Gillis is doing a great job at the New York Times.”

    And has been for a good while. What’s really significant is that the two most important American “papers of record,” The Times and The Washington Post, accept the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and have generally given up on balancing facts with ignorance. Hopefully the combination of bizarre weather and more responsible mainstream reporting will cause more Americans to recognize the need for action.

    “Suddenly, we are looking at a sea change, and it is pretty wavy, and Willie needs a bigger boat.”

    Maybe a bigger bucket. And maybe Willie’s corporate sponsors would be wise to take his pencil away from him.

  8. #8 Magma
    February 21, 2015

    Oh, this is sad. Really, really, really sad.

    After all, how many scientists are expert in fields ranging from astrophysics to terrestrial climate to the biology of polar bears and walruses? I’m guessing ONE, maximum.

    And soon he may be out on the street. *sob*

  9. #9 cosmicomics
    Denmark
    February 21, 2015

    “The documents were obtained by Greenpeace…”

    Once again:

    “The documents were obtained by Greenpeace…”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate-change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html?gwh=0469531C96BC964F3CC4A6BB1D540204&gwt=pay&assetType=nyt_now&_r=0

    This, too, caught my eye:

    “Dr. Alcock said that, aside from the disclosure issue, he thought it was important to protect Dr. Soon’s academic freedom, even if most of his colleagues disagreed with his findings.”

    Even the freedom to communicate authoritatively without the appropriate knowledge and qualifications? Even the freedom to use his aura of authority to misinform?

    (The Times article is unsparing. Read it.)

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2015

    Cosmicomics, I’m not sure what is going on with Alcock, but he could just be covering his ass. But he had to know this would eventually happen. Remember, Soon brought in 400K of grants. HSA charges overhead. This funding stream did not go unnoticed over all these years.

  11. #11 Brainstorms
    February 21, 2015

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his grant funding stream depends upon his not understanding it.”
    — Upton Sinclair

    And it’s damn sad when they “had to know” that the funding stream would be taken away and they’d inevitably get tarred with the same brush.

    Should one keep driving the car over the cliff ahead just because the roadway was freshly paved and the view to the side is pretty??

  12. #12 Tom
    DC
    February 21, 2015

    Getting his research grants from industry doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

    I mean, he IS wrong…but because his scientific work sucks. Not because he’s funded by the “wrong” people. Discrediting someone based on the source of their money is a political exercise, not a scientific one.

  13. #13 Eric Lund
    February 21, 2015

    But [Alcock] had to know this would eventually happen.

    You’re assuming that Alcock wanted to know. I find that assumption questionable at best. There’s a business office which handles the details of who is being paid from which grant, and as long as the money is coming in, the boss doesn’t need to look too closely at where it’s coming from. Now that this scandal has blown up in his face, he can’t avoid knowing.

  14. #14 climatehawk1
    February 21, 2015

    Forecast the Facts, an activist group on global warming issues, says it now has 23,000 signatures on a petition calling for Mr. Soon’s dismissal: http://act.forecastthefacts.org/sign/willie_soon/ . I’m sure that assistance in publicizing would be welcome.

  15. #15 climatehawk1
    February 21, 2015

    And, I’ve retweeted your tweet about this blog post, Greg, just to help things along.

  16. #16 John Mashey
    February 21, 2015

    Smithsonian is a 501(c)(3) public charity, so when Southern and co donate … they get a tax break…

    Much more efficient than just paying PR agencies and lobbyists.

  17. #17 John Mashey
    February 21, 2015
  18. #18 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2015

    Piles of research is funded by industry. That is a suspect situation and I don’t like it, but it does not mean the research is wrong. But you have to disclose the funding sources. Not doing that is unethical.

  19. #19 dean
    February 21, 2015

    “Piles of research is funded by industry.”

    And the Department of Defense, the Navy, and so on – even in mathematics and statistics. Equipment and expertise are costly and the money must come from somewhere.

    But, to present yourself as a disinterested assessor of knowledge in any area while actively accepting – indeed, if this information is true, selling – your work to the highest bidder is clearly beyond the pale. Soon’s behavior is bad: if higher-ups knew of it and remained silent simply because of the money flow, that is no less bad – probably worse. The reputation of an individual is nothing compared to the reputation of an entire institution.

  20. #20 John Hartz
    Columbia
    February 21, 2015

    Also see:

    Documents Reveal Fossil Fuel Fingerprints on Contrarian Climate Research

    Scientist Willie Soon calls his papers ‘deliverables’ to fossil fuel executives, and grants a big coal utility pre-publication review and anonymity,

    by David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News, Feb 21, 2015

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/21022015/documents-reveal-fossil-fuel-fingerprints-contrarian-climate-research-willie-soon-harvard-smithsonian-koch-exxon-southern-company?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=def6ba6b21-Dave_Special_Story2_21_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-def6ba6b21-326462105

  21. #21 Marco
    February 22, 2015

    I am going to voice a potentially unpopular opinion here:

    I don’t quite see the problem with the term “deliverables” as such. It is a common term in EU funding applications. The issue is more in how those deliverables are presented. If Soon said “deliverable: two papers that show the sun is the main driver of climate change”, he’d already have his conclusion ready before the actual research. If he wrote “deliverable: two papers that clarify to what extent the sun is a contributor to recent climate change”, he didn’t.

    In my opinion, we should consider the possibility that Soon is convinced of his own research and that (just about) everyone else is wrong. Knowing the scientific community doesn’t quite consider his work credible, I am not surprised he then went for those where he knew he’d get a favorable reception.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    February 22, 2015

    Per se nothing wrong with the TERM deliverables.

  23. #23 Greg Laden
    February 22, 2015

    (Other than it being an annoying jargon term and a nouned verb.)

  24. #24 climatehawk1
    United States
    February 22, 2015

    John Hartz, excellent piece from Inside Climate, thanks for the link.

  25. #25 Willie Soon is going down
    February 22, 2015

    […] his own boss is admitting that he violated disclosure principles by failing to reveal his industry connections. You might be wondering what connections, and how much did he […]

  26. #26 Everett F Sargent
    Is Willie Soon a liar?
    February 22, 2015

    “Willie Soon, a prominent global warming skeptic, says “no amount of money can influence what I say or do or research or write.” If recently released documents are accurate, he is a liar.”

    “If those news reports citing the documents acquired under the Freedom of Information Act are accurate, then I don’t see how you can reach any conclusion other than Soon has been lying.”

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/02/21/willie-soon-takes-corporate-cash-for-science/#.VOnzdfnF_z4

  27. #27 Steve
    Michigan
    February 22, 2015

    So a scientist collected money to write a scientific article ? Like climate scientists paid by the government to specifically write scientific articles with the express bias against carbon as the PRIME mover of earths climate?

  28. #28 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico (yes, that's in the USA)
    February 22, 2015

    … no amount of money can influence what I say or do or research or write.”

    Therefor his only available excuse is incompetence.

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    February 22, 2015

    Steve, no, that is not what we are talking about here at all. Please read the post.

  30. #30 Christopher Winter
    February 22, 2015

    It looks like this new development is being widely covered. Good!

  31. #31 Michael Wells
    February 22, 2015

    Steve – A scientist accepted money from corporations with a specific vested interest in his research outcomes, to conduct research outside his area of expertise, and came to conclusions favorable to his funders’ pocketbooks, in papers whose poor quality has been much-noted for years – all of this without properly disclosing his funding sources per the policies of the journals concerned. This is not standard scientific practice, to put it mildly. Of course, as Greg noted, you could have understood all this from the original post if you were actually interested in understanding.

    As for your second sentence, if you can ever come up with a credible motivation for governments to want to sabotage the fossil fuel industry worldwide, you might have the beginnings of a point (and vague libertarian slogans about how The State will do anything to increase its control over us all don’t count). Even better if you can come up with a plausible mechanism for thousands of climate-related researchers around the world to coordinate the hoax. Most importantly, you would need to find flaws in the resulting research that call their conclusions into doubt.

    Better get to work.

  32. #32 Shelama
    February 22, 2015

    More important than this funding issue — although hopefully it will Soon be a nail in the coffin — is simply exposing the shoddy, inept “science” for what it is, regardless of the funding.

  33. #33 climatehawk1
    United States
    February 22, 2015

    Very strange how the media work: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon . Only three and a half years ago, seems to have the relevant facts. Meanwhile, I’ve seen some tweets that attempt to turn this into a denier benefit by just saying a climate scientist got a payoff, evidently banking on the fact that most people don’t click on links in tweets.

  34. #34 John Mashey
    February 22, 2015

    https://twitter.com/JohnMashey/status/569570724890824705
    He doesn;’t Ack Southern …
    but:
    “Acknowledgments: I thank two referees for their constructive comments and edits that improved the paper. I also thank all colleagues whose works are cited here, and especially those who have allowed access to their hard-earned data series: Nicola Scafetta, Karin Boessenkool, Igor Yashayaev, Igor Polyakov, Mihai Dima, Lars Smedsrud, Jeff Knight, Rob Allan, Daniel Hodson, David Holland, Mads Ribergaard, Frank Kauker, and John Fasullo. I thank Scott Armstrong, Gene Avrett, Sallie Baliunas, Dan Botkin, Bob Carter, Shaun Cheok, Susan Crockford, Bob Ferguson, Dave Fettig, Kesten Green, Joe Kunc, Keith Lockitch, Christopher Monckton, Lubos Motl, Jane Orient, Eric Posmentier, Art Robinson, Mitch Taylor, Bin Wang, and the late Robert Jastrow for their encouragement, and Gene Avrett and Steve Cranmer for their editorial help. I further thank Than, Lien and Julia Pham, Chiew-See Chua, as well as Benjamin and Franklin Soon for motivation. This new synthesis was based on a presentation at the 33rdInternational Geological Congress held in Oslo, Norway, August 6–14, 2008, as well as by another presentation at the International Symposium on Climate and Weather of the Sun–Earth System held at Jakarta, Indonesia, November 24-26, 2008. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and are independent of sources providing support.”

  35. #35 John Mashey
    February 22, 2015

    AS far as I know, they didn’t have all the relevant facts.
    The interactions, prior review and secrecy clauses are new.

  36. #36 Robert
    Ottawa Canada
    February 22, 2015

    I noticed an interesting point in the Inside Climate News article covering this pathetic situation:
    ” Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian also pledged not to disclose Southern’s role as a funder without permission.”
    The absence of acknowledgements for funding in the publications was not merely an oversight – it was intentional. In my mind the whole arrangement is beyond suspicious – it positively stinks.

  37. #37 climatehawk1
    February 22, 2015

    Yes, I concede. But many major ones.

  38. #38 Everett F Sargent
    Is Willie Soon lying? Monkers is Bonkers!
    February 22, 2015

    “Davies drew attention to Soon’s funding disclosures last month after Soon and three colleagues published a paper in the Chinese journal Science Bulletin that presented results from a simple climate model to argue that burning all recoverable fossil fuel reserves would result in little more than 2.2°C warming. By comparison, models assessed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on average project around 4° of warming with unabated fossil fuel use by 2100 and further warming beyond that time. The paper was appended with the statement: “The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.” Davies wrote to the journal insisting that Soon’s past funding sources do constitute a conflict of interest that should have been reported.

    Science Bulletin’s conflict of interest policy states that authors must disclose “all relationships or interests that could influence or bias the work,” including “professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.” The policy also gives a series of example disclosures. The first reads, “Author A has received research grants from Company A.”

    Lead author Christopher Monckton, a British viscount and former journalist who now serves as chief advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute, a climate-advocacy group in Haymarket, Virginia, that disputes human-caused global warming, contends that there was no conflict on the Science Bulletin paper and that all of the authors, including Soon, completed the work on their own time. In an e-mail to Nature, he rejected the allegations by Davies as “manifestly untruthful and malevolent.”

    Davies says that Greenpeace has requested Soon’s annual reports to Southern Company for the years 2013 and 2014 to determine whether either of them list the paper in Science Bulletin as a ‘deliverable’.”

    If the Monkers ‘paper’ does show up as a ‘deliverable’ then … he is going to take a gigantic, beyond infinity, one UP the backside! Please excuse my English.

    To say nothing about Harvard and the Smithsonian.

    http://www.nature.com/news/documents-spur-investigation-of-climate-sceptic-1.16972

  39. #39 Everett F Sargent
    Harvards and Smithsonians and Deniers oh my!
    February 22, 2015

    Climate skeptic’s fossil fuel funding puts spotlight on journal conflict policies

    http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2015/02/climate-skeptic-s-fossil-fuel-funding-puts-spotlight-journal-conflict-policies?rss=1

    Will this one make the telly? It’s got all the ingredients that the MSM loves!

  40. #40 Everett F Sargent
    Mugshot of Denier 'Liar' Willie Soon Found On Front Page Of NYT!
    February 22, 2015

    “A version of this article appears in print on February 22, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher”

    Also in the Washington Edition of the NYT (upper right corner).

    http://images.dailykos.com/images/130727/large/Willie_Soon_NY_Times_A1_2015.jpg?1424635367

  41. #41 Michael Wells
    February 22, 2015

    -” In an e-mail to Nature, he rejected the allegations by Davies as ‘manifestly untruthful and malevolent.'”

    Man, if Monckton didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him. He can always be counted on for some airborne spittle flecks.

    Also, he would appear to be unaware of the definition of “manifestly.”

  42. #42 Russell Seitz
    February 23, 2015
  43. #43 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    February 23, 2015

    I know this is late, but I wish to respond to Marco at #21.

    I don’t quite see the problem with the term “deliverables” as such.

    I work in IT. Specifically, I’m a software test analyst. A “deliverable” is something that must be delivered to the client. It’s something the client paid for and may even be written into the contract.
    The fact that a supposedly independent scientist even used the word should be cause for suspicion. Add in the fact that he actively withheld the identity of who was funding him, and this goes beyond suspicious.

  44. #44 John Mashey
    February 23, 2015

    Don’t worry about the “deliverable” word, as usage varies, the issue is the persistent lack of disclosure, the secrecy clause, the pre-review requirements, and fact that Soon spent a lot of time dis-educating the public … because the talks he claimed credit for were rarely for science conferences and would not have been giveable there.
    See also I am not a prostitute.

  45. #45 Steve K
    UK
    February 23, 2015

    @ #42 – WUWT link.

    Sorry, Mr Watts is not a credible source of anything remotely scientific.
    http://climatecrocks.com/2013/01/18/the-search-for-intelligent-life-at-wuwt/

  46. #46 cosmicomics
    Denmark
    February 23, 2015

    The Times article fittingly portrays Soon in front of a Heritage Foundation backdrop. As of this morning, Danish time, it has received 1296 comments; the ones I’ve seen have almost all been very good. A number of them mention James Inhofe.

    William M. Connolley noted that the story isn’t new, and linked to a Greenpeace paper from 2013.

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2015/02/22/the-funding-entities-regardless-of-their-affiliation-have-no-influence-on-the-research/

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/CASE-STUDY-Dr-Willie-Soon-a-Career-Fueled-by-Big-Oil-and-Coal/#table

    The Boston Globe picked up the story then, and wrote:

    “Coveted for his Harvard-Smithsonian affiliation, and strident policy views, he has been bankrolled by hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy industry grants.

    Working in close coordination with conservative groups in Washington, he passionately seeks to debunk the growing consensus on global warming before audiences of policymakers, at academic seminars and conferences, and in the media.”

    “Soon’s views are considered way outside the scientific mainstream, which makes him a prophet or a pariah, depending on which side you ask. Some say his work simply doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, that his data are cherry-picked to fit his thesis.
    But in Washington, where facts generally lose the race with opinion, he is a force. His writings and lectures are frequently cited by industry backed groups and think tanks, as they attempt to sow doubt about global warming.
    And the strategy is working.”

    “Some of Soon’s papers disclose the sources of his funding, others do not. Industry and conservative sources have been the sole source of his funding since 2006, according to the records.”
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/11/05/harvard-smithsonian-global-warming-skeptic-helps-feed-strategy-doubt-gridlock-congress/uHssYO1anoWSiLw0v1YcUJ/story.html

    (Aside from a minor false balance misstep, the Globe article is extraordinarily good.)

    Surprisingly, the Greenpeace paper calls Soon an astrophysicist. Among other things, The Times article corrects this mistake:

    “Though often described on conservative news programs as a “Harvard astrophysicist,” Dr. Soon is not an astrophysicist and has never been employed by Harvard. He is a part-time employee of the Smithsonian Institution with a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering. He has received little federal research money over the past decade and is thus responsible for bringing in his own funds, including his salary.
    Though he has little formal training in climatology, Dr. Soon has for years published papers trying to show that variations in the sun’s energy can explain most recent global warming. His thesis is that human activity has played a relatively small role in causing climate change.
    Many experts in the field say that Dr. Soon uses out-of-date data, publishes spurious correlations between solar output and climate indicators, and does not take account of the evidence implicating emissions from human behavior in climate change.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/us/ties-to-corporate-cash-for-climate-change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1

    Re. Greg’s update: With the Senate the way it is, it’s hard to see Markey’s investigation going anywhere politically. But this, of course, is a story in itself.

    Another story is one of martyrdom. “Another day, another attack on the integrity of the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, this time in the New York Times.” That was Breitbart’s kicker from the great interpreter, James Delingpole.

    My own view is that the situation today is different from that in 2013. There’s a greater awareness of extreme weather, climate scientists and their supporters are more willing to speak up, and reporting has generally improved. Despite the 2013 release of the Greenpeace paper and the excellence of the Boston Globe article, it’s only now that the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is under pressure, and (if I’m not mistaken) it’s only now that Soon’s funding and his lack of disclosure have become a political issue.

  47. #47 RogueElement451
    February 23, 2015

    On several reputable sites ,it has been disclosed that indeed at some points in the past Willie Soon received payments for the delivery of reports from fossil fuel companies.
    What does that have to do with the Paper he recently co-authored with zero payment from anyone at all?
    You really are a despicable vulturous cunt Greg.
    Who pays for the shit you write ? The tooth fairy?
    Culture as Science ..wrong wrong wrong ,,,,,Science as culture ,,,,a possibility , but certainly far removed from your imbecilic driveling.

  48. […] Willie Soon Story broke on Saturday night, having cloned off the front page of the Sunday New York Times into a few […]

  49. #49 Everett F Sargent
    Denier is angry that Willie 'Liar' Soon is being pooped on!
    February 23, 2015

    So a Denier shows up displaying the 2nd stage of grief aka ANGER.

    Please return only when you are at the 4th stage of grief aka DEPRESSION.

    TIA

  50. […] and the Smithsonian is prized by the conservative politicians and pundits who cite his work, while really pissing off the environmental community. Suzanne Goldenberg elaborates at The […]

  51. #51 climatehawk1
    United States of Plutocracy
    February 23, 2015

    RogueElement451, you might try a simple thought experiment. How would you feel if a recognized climate expert like Michael Mann or Gavin Schmidt did exactly the same things Mr. Soon did (offered to write papers for, say, Rainforest Action Group or Greenpeace, signed a contract promising not to disclose the funding source without permission, and submitted those papers to scientific journals without disclosing the funding while declaring no conflict of interest)? Heck, even when recognized authorities don’t do anything wrong (like standard temperature adjustments), denier media (Telegraph, Fox) cook up imaginary scandals and flog them mercilessly.

  52. #52 Christopher Winter
    February 23, 2015

    Steve K: Sorry, Mr Watts is not a credible source of anything remotely scientific.

    Steve, I suggest you follow that link — just for edification’s sake. You may find it VVery amusing.

  53. #53 Christopher Winter
    February 23, 2015

    RogueElement451: What does that have to do with the Paper he recently co-authored with zero payment from anyone at all?

    Which paper would that be? Does it contain good science?

    Assuming for this discussion that it does contain good science, I’ll answer your question. Most of Soon’s work is not good science, and he also evidently ignored his employer’s disclosure policy regarding disclosure of his funding sources.

    Therefore, the paper you allude to has nothing to do with Soon’s misconduct.

  54. #54 John Mashey
    February 23, 2015

    Some people don’t understand how thsi works.
    1) Propose project
    a) Official, written
    b) Side conversations

    2) After spending $ for a year, claim credit for what’s been done. In Soon’s case, each year, there was a listof talks or papers … but these are generally after the fact.
    See FOIA. Search for “disaster” – 3 of 4 hits land you in middle of list of accomplishments.

    3) I.e., only occasionally do people like this get paid in advance to write a specific paper, but rather for generating a stream of papers and talks and articles.that keep fudners happy.
    More explicit are the begging letters one can find in the Legacy Tobacco Document LIbrary 🙂

  55. […] Stick” graph tying the increase in global temperatures to the sharp rise in atmospheric CO2, told Science Blog’s Greg Laden that Soon was key in the early response to his work by deniers such as Sen. […]

  56. […] and the Smithsonian is prized by the conservative politicians and pundits who cite his work, while really pissing off the environmental community. Suzanne Goldenberg elaborates at The […]

  57. #57 PeterK
    Canada
    February 24, 2015

    Greg Laden…the Walter Duranty of the 21st century.

    No one here can find a fault with the Soon et al paper. Total bunch of losers here.

    Just once I would like you to quote from the paper and scientifically challenge what you disagree with. But, it’s always easier for a feeble minded individual to avoid the science and just do name calling. Facts don’t matter. I believe and therefore it is so!

    This total global warming farce is coming to an end. And don’t forget, what has been written and is on the internet will not go away.

    There is so much ammunition about this quack science that all you fools will never live it down.

  58. #58 Michael Wells
    February 24, 2015

    “it’s always easier for a feeble minded individual to avoid the science and just do name calling. Facts don’t matter. I believe and therefore it is so!” -PeterK

    I swear, before the year is out we’ll have to officially retire the concept of irony in honor of climate change deniers, the way they retire jersey numbers of great sports players.

  59. #59 Marco
    February 25, 2015

    “No one here can find a fault with the Soon et al paper”

    Which “the Soon et al paper” would that be? If you actually are referring to the Monckton et al paper, there are some interesting ‘errors’ that *anyone* should be able to find, such as the misrepresentation of the FAR, the cherry pick of Hansen scenario A, and the contradictory information in the figure caption and description of which temperature series are used (UAH+RSS or HADCRUT, GISTEMP, NOAA, etc.). And that’s only figure 1 !

    The fact that people calling themselves “skeptics” have not even noticed that is…welll…evidence they are not be called “skeptics”, but rather “pseudoskeptics”.

  60. #60 cosmicomics
    Denmark
    February 25, 2015

    Senator Markey’s attempt to open an investigation in the Senate is now being supplemented by Representative Grijalva’s attempt to open “an expanded inquiry” in the House:

    “Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. Grijalva cited concerns over possible conflicts of interest involving scientists who have sought to influence the public debate on climate.”

    His remarks contained an implicit attack on the Republican use of witnesses like Soon.

    “Grijalva said Soon failed to properly disclose Big Oil’s support for his work when he testified to Congress and at the state legislature of Kansas — testimony that downplayed the seriousness of man-made climate change. ‘My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,’ Grijalva wrote.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/24/house-dems-did-big-oil-seek-to-sway-scientists-in-climate-debate/

    One of the above mentioned requests was sent to Georgia Tech, and would apply to Judith Curry. In her case, I’d be curious to know not only about her academic funding, but also how much consulting work she’s done for fossil fuel companies, and how much money she’s received for that work.

  61. #61 Astrostevo
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    February 25, 2015

    @59. Marco : “pseudoskeptics” is putting it politely and mildly. Meanwhile reality is reality and more people are suffering and condemned to worse suffering every day because of our inaction in this area.

  62. #62 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico (yes, that's in the USA)
    February 25, 2015

    No one here can find a fault with the Soon et al paper

    Er…. except everyone who has read the paper. “It’s the sun!” LOL! And ice is harmful to polar bears? ROTFL!

  63. […] HPV Cancers in Men Take Off New Species, the ‘Ruby Seadragon,’ Discovered by Scripps Researchers What 23andMe’s FDA Approval Means For The Future Of Genomics New weapon in war against flu pandemics and pneumonia Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for Soon […]

  64. #64 GregH
    February 25, 2015

    PeterK: Total bunch of losers here…
    But, it’s always easier for a feeble minded individual to avoid the science and just do name calling…
    And don’t forget, what has been written and is on the internet will not go away.

    Indeed, I’ve been reading these discussions for 20 years, and some of the comments still make me smile in wonder and amazement!

  65. #65 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    February 25, 2015

    He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.

    Did he actually deliver that testimony to Congress? Because lying to Congress would be a bad thing.

  66. #66 deminthon
    March 4, 2015

    A request to denier trolls: please present an argument that would sway an intelligent, informed, intellectually honest person, rather that your predictable noise.

  67. #67 Philip R. Tripp
    United States
    April 9, 2015

    Funny. The AGW crowd is worried about one million dollar funding a position different from theirs with no mention of how much they receive themselves. They have the backing of the UN, many Governments, media like the NY Times, liberals, socialists, and others to the tune of many billions of dollars. Not to mention how many more are spent to attack scientists with different conclusions and try to silence them.

    Ever notice that the AGW devotees declare that they are right because they agree with each other that they are right. They call that ‘consensus’ and it is their proof. Virtually every scientist who doesn’t worship at the AGW altar isn’t a real scientist to them, and therefore don’t get a vote. By the way, voting isn’t part of the scientific process.

    Isn’t odd that scientists in fields like psychology and social scientists, and even some theologians describe the AGW/Climate Change movement as a new religion or belief system?

    I’m still waiting for an explanation of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed it. How about all the climate cycles before them? Why does every new claim only seem to reference a short time frame, sometimes as short as 30 years or so, but never before the end of the Little Ice Age?

    Why are the climate models so wrong year after year? Even when data is cherry picked and ‘normalized’?

    In ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Al Gore claims rapidly rising oceans. Why then did he buy a mansion in the SF Bay area that should have been swallowed by the Pacific years ago if those claims are true?

    I’ll leave you with some actual science on CO2 to ponder.http://petitionproject.org/gw_article/GWReview_OISM600.pdf

    If anyone can refute any part of it with facts, please do. I try to always keep an open mind. That’s part of the scientific process.

  68. #68 Marco
    April 9, 2015

    Philip, see
    http://realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=OISM
    for several criticisms.

    Your standard “but Al Gore” is getting rather stale. At no point does Gore say that oceans are rising so rapidly that his Montecito mansion (which is at least 50 feet above sea level) is in any immediate danger. It is attacking a strawman, and anyone who claims to work in a scientific way would have smelled that from miles away.

  69. #69 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    April 9, 2015

    “Funny. The AGW crowd is worried about ….”

    I thought there were laws against masturbating in public.

  70. #70 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    April 9, 2015

    “Your standard ‘but Al Gore’ is getting rather stale.”M/b>

    Stale, yes, but still amusing! In Usenet’s alt.global-warmng newsgroup it is a daily sight. “Al Gore came from a wealthy family therefore climate change isn’t happening!” is common. Along with “Al Gore drives a car therefore the science is all wrong!” and “Al Gore isn’t a scientist therefore all of the world’s scientists are wrong!” We see the same behavior in talk.origins, where Creationists insist evolution isn’t happening because Charles Darwin married his cousin.

  71. #71 Greg Laden
    April 10, 2015

    Stay tuned for a post on the MWP and LIA.

  72. #72 climatehawk1
    April 10, 2015

    “If anyone can refute any part of it with facts, please do. I try to always keep an open mind. That’s part of the scientific process.”

    But, there is always the danger of keeping your mind so open that your brains fall out.

  73. #73 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    April 10, 2015

    “Stay tuned for a post on the MWP and LIA.”

    I’m weary of climate anomalies. Can’t we all gust get along?!

    Heh. Okay. No more coffee for me this morning.

  74. #74 Desertphile
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    April 10, 2015

    Regarding Comment 67 above: “If anyone can refute any part of it with facts….” “Philip R. Tripp” here has it backwards #1 temporally and #2 logically.

    #1: the falsehoods he has parroted have already been refuted, at least a thousand times competently and thoroughly;

    #2: no one has the burden to refute falsehoods. She or he has the burden to support her or his falsehoods. Heh! Good luck with that.

  75. #75 climatehawk1
    April 10, 2015

    Just part of the continuing effort to suck us into wasting our time debating with people who will never persuaded, instead of using it more fruitfully to educate others who need education and whose minds are actually open.

  76. #76 Brainstorms
    April 10, 2015

    climatehawk1, they coined a neologism for them: Sealions.

  77. #77 dean
    April 10, 2015

    It also should not have to be said, but: in these discussions the people who first mention Al Gore are the deniers (each with, I am sure, an open mind /snark) who bring him up and assert that he is some sort of demi-god or greater that the “climate alarmists” worship. It is as though they haven’t noticed and/or don’t care that the discussions center on science rather than what they imagine Al Gore dictates.

  78. #78 GregH
    April 10, 2015

    What could work really well would be to standardize the common denial tropes (See Willard’s Contrarian Matrix – which I can’t open at work on account of its “tasteless”??). That would allow consistent scoring and keep everyone informed about where we’re at. The only thing I’m having trouble with is how to claim a win, Internet-wise.

    B = Climate is always changing!
    I = A consensus means it’s not science!
    N = CO2 is a trace gas!
    G = Al Gore!
    O = But, but, the MWP!!

    Ok, maybe we need a longer word to make it interesting. How about Pseudoskeptic?

    This is a semi-serious suggestion. I’ve got quite a bit of mileage out of playing Climate Bingo on Facebook, where people respond seem to respond well to the idea that most denial/sealioning is just the endless repetition of the same stale baloney. At least this might encourage them to come up with some new nonsense.

  79. #79 Astrostevo
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    April 11, 2015

    @67. Philip R. Tripp :

    “I’m still waiting for an explanation of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed it. “

    Your wish isn’t actually my command but, what the hell, I’ll provide you with exactly what you want here anyhow for the lolz :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY4Yecsx_-s&index=25&list=PL82yk73N8eoX-Xobr_TfHsWPfAIyI7VAP

    Or see ’23 — Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction’ by Potholer 54 part of an excellent series I’d highly recommend everyone watches.

    How about all the climate cycles before them? (1) Why does every new claim (2) only seem to reference a short time frame, sometimes as short as 30 years or so, but never before the end of the Little Ice Age? (3)

    (Numbered for ease of reference.)

    1) Ah, yes, the old, old, old Climate cycles are all natural canard. Another video here answers that very well I think :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5hs4KVeiAU&list=PL82yk73N8eoX-Xobr_TfHsWPfAIyI7VAP&index=5

    Again from Potholer54, this time titled ‘5. Climate Change — isn’t it natural?’ – hey I did tell you I like this series didn’t I! If you think its wrong then please explain exactly how and why.

    2) Really? Which new claim exactly? Give us say, three examples please.

    3) Again, citations really needed. Actually the people who cherry-pick short timespans tend to be the Deniers e.g the much vaunted “pause” in global overheating that actually isn’t.

    Why are the climate models so wrong year after year?

    They’re not actually! Oh guess what I’ve got another clip for you answering that one in more depth –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Un69RMNSw&index=79&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    Plus bonus Space Odyssey footage. This time from another favourite youtube series of mine also well watching watching in full – ‘This Year’s Model’ part of the ‘Climate Denial Crock of the Week’ series by Peter Sinclair.

  80. #80 Astrostevo
    April 11, 2015

    @78. Greg H : I think there’s actually a few places that have already done that such as the list complete with debunkings here :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Is this the sort of thing you had mind?

    Or is this Bingo version via Tim Lamberts ‘Deltoid’ blog :

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/04/16/gwsbingo/

    more like it? Or this one with more colourful squares and a few more (slightly) challenging boxes to hear :

    http://usvsth3m.com/post/91356854423/climate-change-denial-bingo-eyes-down-for-a-full

  81. […] public relations has frustrated legitimate climate scientists for a long time. Science writer Greg Laden sought comment from renowned climate scientist Michael Mann, whose work has been attacked by Soon and just about […]

  82. […] public relations has frustrated legitimate climate scientists for a long time. Science writer Greg Laden sought comment from renowned climate scientist Michael Mann, whose work has been attacked by Soon and just about […]