Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon is no stranger to the “art” of the media smear. A courageous scientist and outspoken critic of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming, AGW, Dr. Soon has been subjected to relentless attack for more than a decade. As with many of his fellow scientists who challenge the shrill propaganda claims of the climate apocalypse choir at the United Nations and its amplifiers in the establishment media and academia, Dr. Soon’s scientific findings are rarely debated; his attackers merely resort to ad hominem, accusing him of shoddy science and shilling for the fossil fuel industry.
The New York Times launched the latest salvo against Dr. Soon on February 21, with a hatchet piece by a couple of its AGW acolytes, Justin Gillis and John Schwartz, entitled “Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher.” The hit-piece of the Times was immediately picked up and trumpeted by the usual AGW choir members: The Guardian, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe Raw Story, Gawker, and the growing mega industry of climate-alarmist blogs and organizations that receive billions of dollars from government agencies, tax-exempt foundations, and major corporations. Following the typical smear pattern, many of the stories attempt to tar Dr. Soon with the “denier” label, a vicious assault aimed at equating AGW skepticism with Nazi Holocaust denial.
What touched off the recent explosion of invective against Dr. Soon? Well, along with Lord Christopher Monckton, Professor David Legates, and statistician William Briggs, Soon co-authored a paper published in the January 2015, issue of Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that has caused a grand panic in climate-alarmist circles. Why? Because the paper, with the seemingly innocuous title, “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” (available here) takes to task the lavishly funded — but totally discredited — alarmist climate models that have been predicting global warming Armageddon for decades, but have proven to be spectacularly, completely wrong. Not just once or twice, but over and over, again, and again, and again. See here, here, here, here, and here.
The prophets of climate apocalypse are facing a perfect storm: their failed computer models increasingly discredited, their AGW “science” in shambles, no measurable global warming in more than 18 years, embarrassing major defections of former AGW alarmist scientists to the skeptic camp, and their global political agenda planned for the UN’s Climate Summit in Paris in jeopardy.
Now comes the paper by Soon, Legates, Monckton, and Briggs to fundamentally challenge the basis of the failed alarmist computer models. Writing at Breitbart.com, one of the Science Bulletin paper’s co-authors, William Briggs noted:
The paper was quickly noticed, receiving at this writing well over 10,000 downloads. Anybody who understood the settled science that bad theories make bad forecasts knew that this paper was a key challenge to the climatological community to show that our guess of why climate models stink is wrong, or to prove there were other, better explanations for the decades-long failure to produce skillful forecasts.
But, rather than rationally, calmly discussing the science addressed by Soon, et al., the bullies of the AGW lobby turned to smearbund tactics. Dr. Briggs recounts:
After the paper made international news, strange things began to happen. My site was hacked. A pest named David Appell issued a FOIA request to Legates’s employer, the University of Delaware, to release all of Legates’s emails. But since we received no funding for our paper, which of course implies no state funding from Delaware, the university turned Appell down.
“The cult-like Greenpeace had better luck with Soon’s employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who were very obliging,” Briggs reports. “They turned over all of Soon’s emails. And then Greenpeace sent them to a set of sympathetic mainstream reporters.”
“Greenpeace went away disappointed,” Dr. Briggs says. “We were telling the truth. Soon, like most research scientists, has in the past accepted money from sources other than our beneficent government (and what makes government money pure?). Greenpeace, for instance, often issues these kinds of grants. But there was no money for this paper, as we said.”
“But Greenpeace still needed to sidetrack discussion,” Briggs noted, “— anything to distract from the news that climate models are broken — hence their cozying up to ‘science reporters.’”
Not surprisingly, the “science reporters” Greenpeace chose are Justin Gillis and John Schwartz of the Times. Among his many other “accomplishments,” Gillis is notorious for a similar character assassination attack on MIT climatology professor Richard Lindzen, one of the most distinguished and respected AGW skeptics.
And, as Marc Morano at ClimateDepot.com has shown, Justin Gillis has, in his own words, admitted to being an AGW alarmist/propagandist, not an objective reporter, on climate matters.
In a guest column at the climate blogsite WattsUpWithThat.com Kip Hansen calls the Gillis/Schwartz Times piece a “journalistic terrorist attack on Willie Soon” and points out that the “smoking gun” funding documents from Greenpeace that the Times posted are contracts between the Smithsonian and corporate funders, as is plainly obvious to anyone who reads the documents. But the way the story has been presented, the public is led to believe that Dr. Soon was secretly, unscrupulously taking enormous funding from nefarious corporate interests and hiding this from his employer and the public.
And if accepting funding for research from fossil fuel interests automatically disqualifies the researcher/research, then most of the leading AGW environmentalist/alarmist groups must be scotched for taking far larger sums from Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Gas, Big Solar, Big Wind — not to mention Big Government and Big Foundations. See, for instance, here, here, here, here, and here.
Joe Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, which has feautered Dr. Soon as a speaker at seven of its nine international conferences on climate change, sent this e-mail to The New American, in defense of the embattled scientist:
The Heartland Institute stands four-square behind Willie Soon. He’s a brilliant and courageous scientist devoted entirely to pursuing scientific knowledge. His critics are all ethically challenged and mental midgets by comparison. We plan to continue to work with Willie on future editions of Climate Change Reconsidered and feature him at future International Conferences on Climate Change, including the next one, the tenth, scheduled to take place in June in Washington, DC.
Photo of article of Greenpeace smear of Willie Soon: screenshot of Greenpeace website
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