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.



That would be the paper which agrees with Mann et al for China in the same period.

Oops. That’s gotta smart.

You might want to actually read the paper, rather than rely on a press release that does not even claim the MWP is warmer than today

Perhaps you should learn to read a graph. All the above papers include graphs of temperature vs time. In all the graphs, the MWP is warmer than today, and the LIA is cooler than today.

Just the opposite of what Mann et al claim in the famous Hockey stick hypothesis.

no james, in that study they used just 10 samples. and there was one sample that was so out of whack that they ….used it anyway…..i think it had something to do with yamal….oh no wait i think i have it mixed up with something else…cant put my finger on it….

I actually read the paper. I actually know what “BP” means. And even better, I know that a warm period 800-1000 AD in reconstruction A does not correspond to a warm period 1000-1200 AD in reconstruction B.

‘Perhaps you should learn to read a graph. All the above papers include graphs of temperature vs time. In all the graphs, the MWP is warmer than today, and the LIA is cooler than today.’

How many times does it have to be pointed out to you that the so called MWP (not even the correct acronym - but) was a moving regional phenomenon, i.e. higher temperatures were not consistent in either place or time.

The LIA is well understood and even that period included areas and times where there were periods of high temperatures and droughts. Another interest of mine is maritime history and especially the wooden walled navies. One tends to learn from the histories of ship building about the problems which weather threw up for those sourcing and seasoning timber and using it for building.

You people are just so ignorant.

‘Just the opposite of what Mann et al claim in the famous Hockey stick hypothesis.’

That, by now, has to be an outright lie. Shame on you.

Actually the outright lies are that Manns Hokey Schtick was anything but fraud and that the MWP was not global.

But seriously that has been shown sooooo many times now it is simple accepted.

b) oh wait, no further points necessary. Lynas embarrassed himself.

It was quite telling Lynas (pro-nuke) went after Greenpeace (anti-nuke), and failed to get all upset about the Lead author from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica on the same chapter (or those from a wide range of other companies on other chapters).

Let’s not forget Willie Soon received $60,000 for consulting, from Frontiers for Freedom in financial year ending 2004.

i wonder where the $300,000,000 algore dished out went to?