Another day, another attack on the integrity of the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, this time in the New York Times.
I first became aware of Soon in 2009 when reading through the Climategate emails. One of them was a jocular suggestion by a warmist called Tom Wigley as to how best to smear Soon and his co-author Sallie Baliunas.
Might be interesting to see how frequently Soon and Baliunas, individually, are cited (as astronomers). Are they any good in their own fields? Perhaps we could start referring to them as astrologers (excusable as…’oops, just a typo’).
You might be wondering what Soon and Baliunas had done to incur the wrath of the climate alarmist establishment. Well, they’d just published a meta-analysis of all the papers which had been written on the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). What their paper showed is that contrary to claims by one Michael Mann (the name may be familiar), the MWP was not a small, localised event but global, big and widespread.
So the memo went out from the Hockey Team (the uber-vindictive Mann and his lickspittle posse) to get Soon, and they’ve been going at him ever since: not by criticising the quality of his science — that would be too difficult because his science is impeccable — but simply by trying to make his life miserable, deny him tenure, and to smear him as compromised and corrupt.
The reason for the latest attack on Soon is that he is the co-author, with Christopher Monckton et al, of a paper published earlier this year in the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences journal Science Bulletin.
This study — Why Models Run Hot — infuriated the alarmist establishment, first because it was unusually popular (receiving over 10,000 views — thousands more than most scientific papers get) and second because it made a mockery of their cherished computer models.
As Paul Driessen explains:
Results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” concluded that, once discrepancies in IPCC computer models are taken into account, the impact of CO2-driven manmade global warming over the next century (and beyond) is likely to be “no more than one-third to one-half of the IPCC’s current projections” – that is, just 1-2 degrees C (2-4 deg F) by 2100! That’s akin to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and would be beneficial, not harmful.
Rather than attack the substance of the paper, the warmists reverted to their usual tricks, lead by Kert Davies, an activist lawyer who works for a Greenpeace front organisation called Climate Investigations Center.
Climate Investigations Center executive director (and former top Greenpeace official) Kert Davies told the Boston Globe it “simply cannot be true” that the authors have no conflict of interest over their study, considering their alleged industry funding sources and outside consulting fees. Davies singled out Dr. Willie Soon, saying the Harvard researcher received more than $1 million from companies that support studies critical of manmade climate change claims. An allied group launched a petition drive to have Dr. Soon fired.
Davies’ libelous assertions have no basis in fact. Not one of these four authors received a dime in grants or other payments for researching and writing their climate models paper. Every one of them did the work on his own time. The only money contributed to the Science Bulletin effort went to paying the “public access” fees, so that people could read their study for free.
I spoke to Soon last night. He told me that of course he receives private funding for his research: he has to because it’s his only way of making ends meet, especially since the Alarmist establishment launched its vendetta against him when, from 2009 onwards, he became more outspoken in his critiques of global warming theory.
Harvard-Smithsonian strove to make his life harder and harder, first by banning him from working on anything even remotely connected with issues like climate change or CO2, then by moving his office away from the astrophysics department to a remote area Soon calls Siberia. What the faculty couldn’t quite do was actually sack Soon because it had no cause: he was producing too many quality papers, and he was also bringing in too much money (40 per cent of which goes straight into the faculty coffers).
So there’s nothing new or scandalous about this latest New York Times hit job on poor Willie Soon. It’s just a continuation of a vendetta which has been waged for years against an honest, decent, hardworking — and incredibly brave — scientist who refuses to toe the official (and increasingly discredited) line on man-made global warming.
What most definitely is scandalous is the vile hypocrisy of Soon’s harrassment by the warmist establishment, which receives billions every year from the US government, left-wing charities, and billionaire activists like Tom Steyer and George Soros to prop up their bankrupt cause by promoting exactly the kind of junk science which Soon (and similarly principled scientists) have made it their business to shred.
The warmists are losing their argument. Their desperation is beginning to show.