Contributed to TLB by: Rebel Siren
Wei Hock “Willie” Soon, Harvard Smithsonian solar physicist, is yet another example of an outspoken “climate skeptic” that turns out has failed to disclose he is funded by BIG OIL (Exxon, Koch Industries, et al.). Just like Marc Morano, Soon, is associated with The Heartland Institute, also exposed for being funded by Big Oil, tobacco, and the pharmaceutical industries. Below is an excerpt from the Boston Globe outlining Soon’s failure to disclose financial conflicts of interest for which he has been skewing data in the direction of his funders’ interests, rather than on fact.
According to Polluter Watch, The Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the fourteenth worst air polluter in the U.S. in their Toxic Release Inventory, above oil giants like BP, Shell and Chevron and large coal utilities like American Electric Power and Duke Energy. CARMA reports that Koch releases about 200,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually.
Photo Credit: Greenpeace
Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Willie Soon apparently failed to disclose conflicts of interest in a new paper, according to a complaint.
By Sylvan Lane Globe Correspondent January 26, 2015
WASHINGTON — A climate-change skeptic at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has relied on grants from fossil-fuel energy interests apparently failed to disclose financial conflicts of interest in a newly released paper, according to a complaint by a climate watchdog group.
The paper by Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Willie Soon and three other climate-change skeptics contends that the UN panel that tracks global warming uses a flawed methodology to estimate global temperature change. Soon and his co-authors claim to have a simpler, more accurate model that shows the threat of global warming to be exaggerated.
The Chinese journal that published the paper, Science Bulletin, imposes a strict conflict of interest policy on authors, obligating contributors to disclose any received funding, financial interests, honors, or speaking engagements that might affect their work.
In a note at the end of the paper, all four authors claimed no conflicts of interest on the published study. But Kert Davies, executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, an organization based in Virginia, said …
Soon’s long track record of accepting energy-industry related grants indicates otherwise and might constitute a violation of Science Bulletin’s disclosure policy.
In a letter to Science Bulletin, Davies points to the more than $1 million Soon has received from companies and interests supporting studies critical of climate change.
“At the end of the article under the heading ‘Conflict of interest’, there is this statement: ‘The authors declare that they have no conflict.’ This simply cannot be true,” Davies wrote. “I am concerned that Dr. Soon has not disclosed his funding sources or his outside consulting fees when submitting this article for publishing in your journal, and I am worried that such failure to disclosure may impact the reputation and credibility of both the journal and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.”
Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian, and Science Bulletin did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Science Bulletin said in a letter dated Saturday to Davies that it will “look into the matter as appropriate.”
Documents: Koch brothers foundation among groups that gave total of $1.25m
This investigation shows that Dr. Soon has received substantial funding from the fossil fuel industry for most of his scientific career and heavy corporate funding in the last decade.
The Koch Brothers: Funding $67,042,064 to groups denying climate change since 1997.
U.S. oil and coal companies, including ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, Koch Industries, and the world’s largest coal-burning utility, Southern Company, have contributed more than $1 million over the past decade to his (Soon’s) research
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.
Koch Industries and the Koch family spend millions of dollars on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change. Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as Koch Industries and the other Koch family foundations, numerous and substantial donations go to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming. Compared to ExxonMobil, which has spent over $27.4 million on skeptic groups since 1998, foundations linked to Koch Industries have spent over $70 million in traceable contributions to the same network of organizations, with addition untraceable funding funneled through organizations like Donors Trust.
Senator Jim Inhofe once infamously declared that global warming is the ” greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. This week, however, Inhofe has signed his name as a cosponsor to S. 228, a Senate bill that acknowledges the reality of climate change, of which global warming is a part. Very quietly, Inhofe has finally admitted that he was wrong, and that global warming is not a hoax mysteriously crafted by some ill defined secret environmentalist elite.
Morano’s blog Climate Depot focuses on disproving man-made global warming, while being heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry. Additionally, Morano has NO scientific expertise.
Soon has done something worse that conducting bad science: he committed ethics violations. It has been well known for years that all of Soon’s funding comes from energy companies like ExxonMobil, the Koch brothers, and from the denialist fronts that they fund. This is itself is serious problem, because it clearly presents “conflict of interest” problems if Soon is cranking out research that is biased to please his funders.
To determine how corrupt any entity is, follow the funding.
TLB recommends you visit Disinformation Directory for more pertinent articles and information.
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