Greenpeace enlists Justin Gillis & John Schwartz of the NY Times in Journalistic Terrorist Attack on Willie Soon – Miss Target, Hit Smithsonian Instead

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen

I cannot bring myself to quote from this unconscionable piece of journalistic malfeasance:

Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher

By JUSTIN GILLIS and JOHN SCHWARTZ FEB. 21, 2015

Instead, I simply let my title and the following excerpts from the so-called “supporting” documents offered by Greenpeace speak for themselves. Their [non-]journalist lackeys: Justin Gillis and John Schwartz of the NY Times, apparently didn’t actually read them – or they might have noticed that the contracts are between the Smithsonian (not Soon) and Southern and if they had stretched themselves, might have uncovered the definition of “deliverables”….I can’t believe Gillis and Schwartz allowed themselves to be duped again.

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Author’s Comment Policy: I am so sickened by this that I really don’t care to discuss it, but others may choose to do so – feel free.

The “documents” consist simply of the contracts between the Smithsonian and Southern Corp and copies of the contractually required progress reports.


Related story: Smear campaign: “His judgment cometh and that right soon”

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Number 7

The alarmists are getting more desperate by the day (especially a certain Mr R Ward – the instigator of this smear).

VicV

Facebook’s “Trending” has this: “Willie Soon: Climate change-refuting scientist reportedly accepted funding from fossil fuel industry”, with links to posts from the N.Y. Times, The Raw Story, Grist.org, Andrew Revkin, Guardian Environment, Discover Magazine, Greenpeace USA,
NCSE: The National Center for Science Education, and more, including the Smithsonian, which said:
“Smithsonian Statement on Willie Soon, researcher at the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory
The Smithsonian is greatly concerned about the allegations surrounding Dr. Willie Soon’s failure to disclose funding sources for his climate change research.
“The Smithsonian is taking immediate action to address the issue: Acting Secretary Albert Horvath has asked the Smithsonian Inspector General to review the matter. Horvath will also lead a full review of Smithsonian ethics and disclosure policies governing the conduct of sponsored research to ensure they meet the highest standards.
“Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon is a part-time researcher at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. He was hired to conduct research on long-term stellar and solar variability. The Smithsonian does not fund Dr. Soon; he pursues external grants to fund his research.
“The Smithsonian does not support Dr. Soon’s conclusions on climate change. The Smithsonian’s official statement on climate change, based upon many decades of scientific research, points to human activities as a cause of global warming.”
My bus runneth over me.
The only posts I saw in support of Soon were Christopher J Shaker’s and Breitbart’s. Shaker commented, including a quote from Breitbart:
“Snort! Snort! Snort! I wonder if the ‘greens’ understand how this precedent bodes for Dr. Michael E. Mann and his battle to keep his supposedly ‘proprietary’ emails secret?
‘Greenpeace was able to access all of eminent solar physicist Willie Soon’s emails from his employer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center regarding the paper. But they found nothing suggesting any kind of foul play, deception or receiving of illegal funds. Mr. Bannon mocked the Harvard-Smithsonian center for having released Soon’s correspondence, sarcastically referring to the institution as a “profiles in courage” for providing all of Soon’s private emails.’ ”
Breitbart’s article: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/23/experts-smeared-by-media-and-greenpeace-for-debunking-global-warming/

VicV

Facebook’s “Trending” has this: “Willie Soon: Climate change-refuting scientist reportedly accepted funding from fossil fuel industry”, with links to posts from the N.Y. Times, The Raw Story, Grist.org, Andrew Revkin, Guardian Environment, Discover Magazine, Greenpeace USA, NCSE: The National Center for Science Education, and more,

Let me laugh the next time warrenlb claims there is no conspiracy amongst Obola administration’s multiple-tiered funding of 60 billion dollars in three years of Obola’s Big Government funding links to Big Science corruption.

“The “documents” consist simply of the contracts between the Smithsonian and Southern Corp and copies of the contractually required progress reports.”
Yes, they do. They show Smithsonian billing Southern Company Services for about 400 hours per year of Soon’s time, and listing what they get for that (deliverables) which are a set of papers by Soon and others outside. Soon was PI with respect to the contracts. The problem is that several of those papers did not indicate the SCS funding. Here is one such. It acknowledges many people, and eg India’s national Institute of oceanography, but not SCS or their client.

John M

All I see is that the “deliverables” are progress reports to Southern for their “internal” use. This is standard boilerplate language for any funded research by a private corporation.
Where does it say that the “deliverables” are externally published papers?

David A

Your point?

PMHinSC

Nick Stokes February 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm
“The problem is…”

Are you implying that Dr. Soon did something inappropriate?

Tom T

Nick,
What the deliverables are is clear defined in the contract and they are not papers. Your normal posting us that of obfuscation but here you have moved to out right lying.

“What the deliverables are is clear defined in the contract and they are not papers. Your normal posting us that of obfuscation but here you have moved to out right lying.”
From p 41 of the doc
http://www.moyhu.org.s3.amazonaws.com/misc/williesoon.png
It would be nice to get an occasional apology for these really stupid accusations of lying.

John M

Here is the paper.
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/Hiremath2012-d/AgnihotriDuttaSoon11-Aug5-TSIderivativevsISM-final.pdf
I agree that Soon should have acknowledged his financial support.
However, reading the paper, one would question why one would conclude Southern “bought” anything.
Of course this should have no affect on the “Models run Hot” paper, which is why Greenpeace went after him.
Of course I’m sure the NYT will aggressively investigate all the honoraria climate scientists receive…

I think what Stokes is suggesting is that the Smithsonian who paid for Soon’s work, are actually stooges, and it was a conspiracy between the Smithsonian and Dr Soon, and the Smithsonian was outsmarted by their evilness. Or possibly, Stokes is suggesting that the Smithsonian is a corrupt organisation in the pay of the fossil fuel industry, and that Dr Soon was a hapless stooge. But should have seen through the conspiracy. Or possibly a third thing he is suggesting (to reasonable people) is that Stokes is something of a nitwit.

MichaelS

Although completely turned off by this whole affair, I do take some comfort that Nick Stokes has finally been shown to be the person of low character I always suspected.

Juice

I worked on a research project funded by an agency of the US government. We were not allowed to disclose that the funding came from that agency. We did not acknowledge their funding in papers or in conference talks. We were actually instructed to LIE and say that our funding came from a different agency.

Nick, what’s Harvard/Smithsonian’s cut for the grant? Typically, administrative overhead sucks 40%-60% of the grant. Unless, you are claiming this is a personal grant, but in that case, Smithsonian wouldn’t likely have been a signatory.
I’m sure that institutions as lofty as Harvard and the Smithsonian wouldn’t take any of that filthy, evil big oil money, would they?

Reply to Stokes ==> It would help civil discourse if actually read, if not the actual full documents themselves, at least the extracts I include above.

Stokes is a warmista hypocrite and I wouldn’t bother with any of his meanderings

Chris

“Stokes is a warmista hypocrite and I wouldn’t bother with any of his meanderings”
What makes him a hypocrite?

Louis

If they billed SCS about 400 hours per year for Soon’s time, that would amount to about 10 40-hour weeks or less than 2.5 months per year. That would leave him plenty of time to work on other research. Is there any evidence that Soon billed them for any of the hours he worked on other papers? If not, why is it relevant, and why should he have disclosed it?

” Is there any evidence that Soon billed them for any of the hours he worked on other papers?”
In fact, I mixed up slightly above. I showed above the report to Donor’s Trust for 2011. It’s also listed as a deliverable to Southern Company Services in 2012 (p 59)
http://www.moyhu.org.s3.amazonaws.com/misc/williesoon2.png
There it is listed as part of a 3.25 month effort.
He didn’t mention either Donor’s Trust or Southern Company Services in the paper.

Robert B

@Nick – you need to put that up a bit further under your comment “It would be nice to get an occasional apology for these really stupid accusations of lying.”
No need to mention the Donor Trust of the Smithsonian. Acknowledgments are for those who actually contribute to the research and not just provide monetary support to the institute, although it is usually polite to add the funding source. Its not for disclosure.
Elviser asks for any conflicts of interest to be disclosed in a form, if that particular journal asks for it. If that did not occur, the oversight was by the lead author, Koushik Dutta, who did not get funding from SC.
So you’re not the CSIRO guy, are you?

“No need to mention the Donor Trust of the Smithsonian. Acknowledgments are for those who actually contribute to the research and not just provide monetary support to the institute, although it is usually polite to add the funding source. “
Donor Trust is another body to which Willie Soon, as PI, put a proposal, with budget specifying hours etc, for project support. Donor’s Trust represents a donor who prefers to remain anonymous. A report was provided to each of SCS and DT, designating this paper among others as deliverables for the project.
This was an Elsevier journal. In their conflict of interest guideline, one thing forbidden is
“Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication”

Juice

Woops. I messed up the threading. I’ll just cut and paste the above comment where it should have gone.
I worked on a research project funded by an agency of the US government. We were not allowed to disclose that the funding came from that agency. We did not acknowledge their funding in papers or in conference talks. We were actually instructed to LIE and say that our funding came from a different agency.

Phil

Nick Stokes said on February 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

This was an Elsevier journal. In their conflict of interest guideline, one thing forbidden is
“Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication”

According to the agreement between Southern and The Smithsonian, the supposed study sponsor (allegedly Southern) did not have a role “in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication”, save only for a confidentiality provision. Therefore, there does not appear to have been any neglect to disclose a role, since there does not appear to have been any such role, as you apparently imply.

mebbe

Nick Stokes,
As far as I can tell, the acknowledgements paragraph doesn’t try to be a comprehensive list of funders; quite the opposite, it’s a thank you to contributors outside of the funding.
The mention of financial support from the Institute of Oceanography and use of facilities doesn’t look like a transparency statement.
Other papers seem to do much the same thing, often with no allusion to financial contributions.
Are we all astonished that greenpeace doesn’t fund Willie Soon?
For what it’s worth, I don’t like to see the accusations of lying directed at you. I would like to see an apology, too.

“For what it’s worth, I don’t like to see the accusations of lying directed at you. I would like to see an apology, too.”
Technically you are correct. Stokes should not be called a liar when all he is indulging in is smear and innuendo. If the other side of the debate weren’t doing much much worse, it would be laughable.

mebbe

I’ve just noticed Nick Stokes’s later comment, revealing that he had misrepresented a piece of evidence.
Well, that was a very vague and barely comprehensible mea culpa from him. A bit like a recalcitrant teenager mumbling after being found out.
I’ll still reserve judgement on “lying” but it doesn’t look great.

Pat Frank

How do you know that any of Willie Soon’s SCS-funded work or time went into the paper you linked, Nick? The SCS-funded 400 hours is 20% of the work-year. That means 80% of Willie’s time is otherwise funded.
The paper itself is about a possible sun connection to the Indian monsoon. Koushik Dutta is the communicating author, not Willie.
It could well be true that Willie did his part of the analysis during time not directly funded by SCS. In the absence of any specific information, your argument against Willie is specious, and rather malign given the context of attempted character assassination.
Your charge of possible malfeasance in that paper doesn’t stop at Willie, either, Nick. All authors on a paper are responsible for all ethical content. You are effectively imputing ethical malfeasance against Willie’s co-authors Rajesh Agnihotri and Koushik Dutta. Maybe you’d like to re-think your accusation. Perhaps an equally public apology and retraction here is appropriate.

“How do you know that any of Willie Soon’s SCS-funded work or time went into the paper you linked, Nick?”,/i>
Well, for SCS for 2012 (year ending Nov) there was a budget of $69,942, citing 3.25 months of PI’s time. Reporting to them what they got for that, Soon listed just 3 deliverables, all papers published. This was one of those. I think that establishes a connection.
Agnihotri and Dutta acknowledged their (Indian) financial support.

Pat Frank

I spoke too soon. The grant final report shows that Willie claimed the paper with Rajesh Agnihotri and Koushik Dutta as part of his SCS-funded work.
On the other hand, item 15 on page 56 of the agreement between SCS and the Smithsonian says, “Publicity, Smithsonian shall not publish and utilize the name or otherwise identify SCS or its affiliate companies in any publications or other advertisements without the express written consent of SCS. As further consideration to SCS, Smithsonian shall provide SCS an advance written copy of proposed publications regarding the deliverables for comment and input, if any, from SCS.
… not publish or utilize the name or otherwise identify SCS… in any publications…” makes no exception for peer-reviewed science papers. Did SCS provide written consent to Willie Soon to acknowledge them in his papers? It seems they would have required this prior assent. If not, then Willie would be contractually required to leave out mention of any association of the work with SCS.

“The grant final report shows that Willie claimed the paper with Rajesh Agnihotri and Koushik Dutta as part of his SCS-funded work.”
That was 2012. He also claimed it as part of his Donor’s Trust funded work, 2011.

Paul mackey

Talking of 80% – that is the amount of tax on fuel in the UK. So therefore, any scientist ( including UAE and UK Met office ) who accept government grants and funding are implicitedly accepting money from the fossil fuel industry.
The argument also goes for road tax, vehicle tax, VAT, corporation tax and income tax – anything derived from the value of our current economy is heavily dependant on the evil fossil fuels. What is the biblical quote about he who is free from sin cast the first stone?

Geoffrey

Nick Stokes have the guts to state what you are implying.

TImo Soren

“The problem” @Stokes is that It appears you are assuming that the publisher requires an insert of financial declaration, in the article. Although for transparency, I believe every academic publication should declare all support, minimally in supplementary material and not necessarily in the acknowledgements. But one of the referenced papers appeared in an Elsevier journal. Here is a link to their conflicts of interest: http://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/163717/ETHICS_COI01a.pdf and it does not appear this grant would need to be disclosed in the article. Although, it may have been declared somewhere, I am not sure. It seems it could be enough to declare it TO ELSEVIER and that you think they have ‘no role’ in the design, interpretation etc…
I am sure that CSIRO’s climate divisions opinions:

CSIRO and Bureau researchers have confirmed that most of the changes observed over recent decades will continue into the future.
“There is very high confidence* that hot days will become more frequent and hotter”, CSIRO principal research scientist, Kevin Hennessy said.
“We also have very high confidence that sea levels will rise, oceans will become more acidic, and snow depths will decline”.

Do not taint any of your research or statements…

Phil

@Nick Stokes
It seems that it may be The Smithsonian that has acted unethically.
Dr. Soon correctly identifies himself in the referenced paper as follows:

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS63, Cambridge, MA02138, USA

As you have noted, Dr. Soon is a part-time employee of the Smithsonian. Consequently and contrary to the statement issued by the Smithsonian, it is the Smithsonian that funds/funded Dr. Soon. Quoting from the contract/agreement with Southern:

The Smithsonian performs research, educational and other special projects supported by grants and contracts awarded under the cost principles of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 230 …

In short, the Smithsonian performed research by means of a part-time employee funded by grants from, among others, Southern. By disclosing that he was with the Smithsonian, it seems to me that Dr. Soon has properly disclosed the direct source of his funding. You are focusing on the indirect source of his funding. The problem with disclosing the indirect source of the funding is the language in the publicity clause (as others have noted and as further developed below):

Publicity. Smithsonian shall not publish and utilize the name or otherwise identify SCS or its affiliate companies in any publications or other advertisements without the express written consent of SCS. As further consideration to SCS, Smithsonian shall provide SCS an advance written copy of proposed publications regarding the deliverables for comment and input, if any, from SCS.

This clause does not seem unusual to me. It seems reasonable that a grantee would not want its name associated with a publication over which it had no control, as is the case with a grant (as others have pointed out). The request for an advance copy of the proposed publication, given that it is in this clause, would also seem reasonable to provide Southern with a means for enforcing this clause before it becomes moot. I don’t see any mechanism for Southern to object to the scientific content of any publication.
Right after saying that they had hired Dr. Soon to “conduct research on long-term stellar and solar variability,” The Smithsonian statement of 22 Feb 2015 claims:

The Smithsonian does not fund Dr. Soon; he pursues external grants to fund his research.

When an organization hires an employee, either full or part time, they are giving funds to the employee. Claiming that they are not “funding” the employee is quibbling of the level of debating the meaning of the word “is.” The Smithsonian takes out, according to the documents, “overhead” of about 30% of the grant. Dr. Soon may indeed be pursuing external grants, but the grants are paid directly to the Smithsonian. There is no evidence of any direct payments to Dr. Soon by Southern. Consequently, conflict of interest allegations against Dr. Soon would be difficult to prove, IMHO. The Smithsonian, however, may well have a conflict of interest. Indeed, it seems that their admission that they “do not support Dr. Soon’s conclusions on climate change,” may be an admission of a conflict of interest, given their employment of him over the years. The fact that Dr. Soon is not a signatory to ANY agreements or contracts with Southern, is very relevant. Dr. Soon, as any employee, has a duty to his employer, The Smithsonian, regardless of any agreements or contracts that The Smithsonian may have with third parties.
In its STATEMENT OF VALUES AND CODE OF ETHICS, The Smithsonian makes the following statements:

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
All members of the Smithsonian community have a duty to act in the best interest of the Smithsonian rather than in furtherance of their personal interest or for private gain. We must avoid apparent or actual conflicts of interest and ensure that potential conflicts of interest are disclosed and managed in accordance with applicable guidelines, directives, and standards of conduct.

It is difficult to see how Dr. Soon has violated this statement. He appears to have made full disclosure of all “external” grantors to The Smithsonian and there is no allegation that he has acted “in furtherance of (his) personal interest or for private gain.” If The Smithsonian thinks that a conflict of interest exists in the arrangement with Southern, then it seems to me that it is The Smithsonian who has violated its own values and ethics by failing to “avoid apparent or actual conflicts of interest and ensuring that potential conflicts of interest are disclosed…”

OUTSIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
The Smithsonian seeks and relies on donations, grants, and contracts to provide vital support to successfully achieve its mission. … The Smithsonian adheres to professional standards and best practices in seeking and accepting support from these sources to … protect the Smithsonian’s … independence
We respect the interests and privacy concerns of donors and sponsors, and maintain confidentiality as appropriate and legally permissible. …

Contrary to their public statement of 22 Feb 2015, The Smithsonian clearly states as ITS policy to “seek and rel(y) on … grants …” to “achieve its mission.” Whether it relied upon part-time employees to help in seeking grants is a choice it made. There appears to be no evidence that Dr. Soon acted in any way contrary to The Smithsonian’s written policy regarding Outside Financial Support. Furthermore, the statement that The Smithsonian “adheres to professional standards and best practices” to protect its “independence,” would seem to prevent the very conflict of interest concerns that are now being alleged against Dr. Soon. In short, The Smithsonian appears to have established itself as a bulkhead or barrier to eliminate any ethical questions between its researchers (like Dr. Soon) and outside sources of funds. Indeed, it would appear that The Smithsonian has placed its own reputation on the line to ensure that the scholarship produced by its employees was as free from outside influence as practical. Barring any direct payments to Dr. Soon by Southern, it would seem that The Smithsonian only has itself to blame for concerns about outside influence of research and publications.
As for the “interests and privacy concerns of donors and sponsors,” it would appear that The Smithsonian has violated its own policies in disclosing the information about Southern. If The Smithsonian could be trusted to be an honest intermediary in ensuring that it adhered to “professional standards and best practices” in maintaining its “independence,” then the identity of the donors and sponsors would not be relevant. The Smithsonian is, in effect, admitting that it did not follow its own standards to prevent outside influence on scholarship and publications, but I don’t see how Dr. Soon is at fault, barring something like direct payments to him by Southern.
Further, Smithsonian Directive 807, dated 11 Jan 2012, states the following:

FOIA Exemption (b)(4). The Smithsonian will interpret Exemption 4 as including:

(2) Smithsonian …commercial or financial information directly related to the Smithsonian’s revenue-generating activities …
FOIA Exemption (b)(6). The Smithsonian will interpret Exemption 6 to permit withholding of donor files and information, including donor-identifying information.
Effective Date for Certain Contracts/Agreements
This directive does not apply to contracts/agreements directly related to the Smithsonian’s revenue-generating activities entered into prior to November 30, 2007, in which parties contracting with the Smithsonian entered into a contractual relationship with an expectation that the terms of the agreement would not be disclosed to the public.
Attachment B
April 20, 2012
EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
5 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 552(b) of the Freedom of Information Act states that the Act:
“does not apply to matters that are —

(B) if enacted after the date of enactment of the OPEN FOIA Act of 2009, specifically cites to this paragraph.
(4) trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;

(6) personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy ..

It would appear that The Smithsonian did not comply with this directive and that the documents that were released were covered by these provisions. The agreements with Southern appear to be dated in Feb 2008, so they would NOT be exempt from the policy NOT to disclose them under the provision exempting (i.e. disclosing) documents entered into prior to 30 Nov 2007. It seems that The Smithsonian has acted in a manner contrary to its own written Statement of Values and Code of Ethics and contrary to its own Directive. One could conclude that it was The Smithsonian who may have acted unethically, perhaps for political purposes rather than in support of its mission.
By correctly identifying himself as being part of The Smithsonian, Dr. Soon would seem to have made all relevant disclosures about his source of funding, especially in view of the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics of The Smithsonian, which seems to ensure that it provides the oversight (and charges 30% of the grant for that purpose!) to prevent any undue influence by outside parties (such as donors or sponsors) on any scholarship or publications supported by The Smithsonian. I would agree that this hits The Smithsonian hard and that the Inspector General of The Smithsonian has him- or herself a conflict of interest in investigating these allegations due to the apparently unethical and contrary to stated policy release of documents that would reasonably be considered were going to be or could be used for inflammatory purposes.

“By correctly identifying himself as being part of The Smithsonian, Dr. Soon would seem to have made all relevant disclosures about his source of funding, especially in view of the Statement of Values and Code of Ethics of The Smithsonian”
The policies of the Smithsonian are irrelevant here. The issue is between Dr Soon and his Journal, and beyond that, their readers. As I’ve said above, one of his publishers at least, Elsevier, is quite explicit.
“If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”
So Dr Soon has put a proposal to the company, set out a budget, reached an agreement, presumably (by the agreement) sent the paper to SCS for prior vetting, and declared it as a deliverable under the agreement. If that doesn’t require declaration under Elsevier’s requirement, whatever would?

Paul Courtney

Nick Stokes says, “So Dr. Soon has put a proposal to the company….” What company? The Smithsonian? It’s demonstrated above that the grant docs show the parties, Soon is not a party. He worked for Smithsonian, not “the company, how can Smithsonian’s policies be brushed off as “irrelevant”? Here’s an apology-I’m sorry to see you joining this smear.

LamontT

What company Nick? Not Southern. Soon was hired by and paid by The Smithsonian and had no direct contact with Southern.

Paul Courtney,
” “So Dr. Soon has put a proposal to the company….” What company?”
LamontT,
“had no direct contact with Southern”
http://www.moyhu.org.s3.amazonaws.com/misc/williesoon3.png

Mike M.

Nick Stokes appears to unintentionally misrepresent the Elsevier ethics guidelines: “If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”. Look closely Nick; you will see a footnote that says the requirement applies for medical journals.
“So Dr Soon … sent the paper to SCS for prior vetting …”. How do you know he did that? If he did, that would require declaration under Elsevier’s requirement, but not otherwise. From Pat Frank’s post, it would seem that soon would only have to do that if he wanted to say he got funds from SCS. So he seems that he was in a bit of a catch 22.
In my 30 years of getting research grants, I never sought one that would require prior vetting of publications. And I never would have accepted such funding. But if the funding agency said “you only need our vetting if you want to put our name in the paper”, I might well have said “OK, then”. I have always listed all applicable funding support, but that is usually a requirement of the funding agency. I think that journals requiring that is a fairly recent development.

Mike M,
“Nick Stokes appears to unintentionally misrepresent the Elsevier ethics guidelines: “If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”. Look closely Nick; you will see a footnote that says the requirement applies for medical journals”
I don’t believe the footnote does say that. The document itself is a general guide to authors. Nowhere in the text is there such a restriction. The adjacent box describes something not allowed:
“Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication”
No footnote there. The footnotes themselves (3) are just sources of further information. 1 is “A brief overview on Conflict of Interests” from ORI. 2 is “International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Ethical Considerations in the Conduct and Reporting of Research:
Conflicts of Interest.”. and 3 is COPE “Guidelines on Good Publication Practice”. None of those implies restricted applicability of anything in the text. Footnote 2 is referenced by each of the boxes on the right. With your interpretation, that would make virtually the whole doc limited. In which case, it would be very surprising that there is nothing in the text to say so.
Anyway, I’ll come back to Dr Soon in the Guardian, 2008:
“The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper”
On vetting, I said:
“presumably (by the agreement) sent the paper to SCS for prior vetting”
It’s what the agreement provides. I don’t know whether it happened.

JR

Contradicting the assertion on this blog that he somehow did the research at his own expense, since the salary received is included in those documents.

Jeff P

None of this controversy has anything to do with the contents and conclusions of Soon’s latest paper. Since you have the ability to critique it, why don’t you discuss the paper and its flaws, if there are any?

Paul Courtney

Mr. Stokes: And you never disclose whether you’ve ever received funds directly or indirectly related to the”deliverables” you post here. I assume none, as they so often have no value.

RWturner

I hear that witches float so we can simply throw Willie into a pond to see if he floats, OR we can be really clever and see if he weighs more than a duck. Just be careful or he may turn you into a newt.

Juice

Every mother-effing research grant from the federal government requires deliverables in the form of published papers, conference talks/posters, etc. That’s what they’re called with every research grant I’ve ever seen.

ozric101

So the whole Smear was based on what?

richardscourtney

ozric101
You ask

So the whole Smear was based on what?

I answer, falsehood.
The reality is explained above by Phil in his excellent post which is here.
I ask you to note that the linked post was addressed to Nick Stokes who subsequently continued being an apologist for the falsehoods from Greenpeace when he ignored the documented information provided by Phil and gave the ludicrous reply

The policies of the Smithsonian are irrelevant here.

That reply is ludicrous because Soon declared he was employed by the Smithsonian and the Smithsonian – n.b. NOT Soon – obtained funds from Southern.
Stokes attempts to justify his nonsensical reply by saying Soon helped the Smithsonian to obtain funds from Southern but, of course, that is not relevant to the fact that it was the Smithsonian – NOT Soon – who accepted those funds.
Soon did not obtain funds from Southern and any suggestion that he did is a falsehood.
Richar

ICU

Actually what you say is true, but that does not change the fact of who exactly brought the money in in the 1st place, that person being one Dr. Soon.
Having worked for a government body and having brought in money, I never signed a single binding agreement, management did that. Which is the exact same situation here. Dr, Soon went after the money. Management signed all the necessary paperwork. Simple as that.

dedaEda

I wonder how warmists are getting their daily bread, since it seems that you think they are saving the humanity out of the goodness of their heart and for free. Actually they are living well being fed at the trove filled with our tax dollars by corrupt government agencies. Now who is on higher moral ground?

ICU

Well a bit of a gallop there. As to your question, what moral ground and why?

JR

Who do you think underwrites this website, the tooth fairy?

John Endicott

JR says: February 24, 2015 at 3:48 am
Who do you think underwrites this website, the tooth fairy?
========================
Do tell, RJ, who do *you* think underwrites this website?
[Reply: This site is supported entirely by private, individual donations. ~mod.]

Ernest Bush

Here’s one way they get their daily bread:
https://www.biggreenradicals.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Klein_Report.pdf
This report is not about Green Peace, but it clearly shows links between the Sierra Club, NRDC, and Sea Change. It seems that those organizations are receiving donations not from American big oil, but, instead, they are funded by RUSSIAN big oil. Now you know where a lot of the American anti-fracking sources get their money. Dirty money, indeed.
But let’s look at Green Peace’s funding to see if they have the right to criticize anybody. Well, there is the $203 million dollars received from the American Petroleum Foundation. Then you find that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has given them $214 million dollars. Oh, and there’s the Tides Foundation involved in grant giving. So they are taking money from George Sorros from that connection, which tells you all you need to know about their politics. They even took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, yep HP, declared Hewlett Packard a “green company,” and attacked Apple because they aren’t, supposedly.
Sixty percent of all “donations” go to pay the salaries of the various “managers” around the world. Only six percent goes to funding “operations,” which mostly consists of performing criminal activities and putting out fraudulent environmental statements (some of which they have admitted to). What a highly moral organization they are.
What was that you were saying about Willy Soon? These are the some of the associations of Nick Stokes. Under no circumstances does he have any credibility with me, or the moral right to argue about anybody else’s funding.

LamontT

JR Anthony underwrites this website himself. He has flat out stated he gets no money to run it. Are you claiming some divine knowledge that contradicts this?

What difference should it make in evaluating the validity of the science presented in the paper?

ICU

I didn’t propose the straw man argument that the author of this post did. Your question does not directly address the author’s straw man argument. I’m trying to stay on topic.
But, since you asked, most people expect honesty from others, including any possible conflicts of interest.
As to the science, it would appear that Dr. Soon’s works are largely inconsequential.

richardscourtney

ICU
You say

As to the science, it would appear that Dr. Soon’s works are largely inconsequential.

Really!? You think his papers are “largely inconsequential”?
If so, then please explain why you think
(a) Greenpeace, NYT, and other detractors bother to mention his papers,
(b) those detractors don’t explain how and why the papers are “largely inconsequential”,
and
(c) the detractors are spending time, money and effort to smear the author of the papers.
Richard

JR

I guess if it didn’t make a difference, he would have disclosed it to the journal he was publishing in, right?

David A

And so. Is not the question about this absurd? I do not assume you received a salary of 100 percent of the funding you brought in. I do not assume you were corrupted by your income. Their needs to be far more then assumptions to make any credible accusation. There are many reasons to think that the “team” proponents of CAGW are corrupted by massive single source funding. there are zero indications that Dr. Soon was guilty of anything.

Bevan

“there are zero indications that Dr. Soon was guilty of anything”
Untrue, he seems to be in a spot of trouble with the Smithsonian for not disclosing his funding sources…comment image:large

Bevan

comment image

John M

I wonder if the Smithsonian has a publication authorization process.
We would then be faced with the Smithsonian having signed the contract, the Smithsonian having approved the publication, and the Smithsonian being “troubled” by the lack of disclosure.
Could get interesting.

ICU

Se my above comment to fhhaynie, I am not the one making a straw man or false flag argument.

John M

Please specifically specify the “strawman argument” you are referring. The subject of this post was the Smithsonian’s potential exposure. My comment was specific to what the Smithsonian’s policies are. Please be specific as to your complaint.

ICU

The topic is Dr. Soon who worked for the Smithsonian. Please stay on topic.

John M

I know you guys (strident consensus believers) like to order people around, but I remind you of the title of this post:

Greenpeace enlists Justin Gillis &John Schwartz of the NY Times in Journalistic Terrorist Attack on Willie Soon – Miss Target, Hit Smithsonian Instead

I know you guys also like to be deliberately obtuse, so just so there’s not consfusion:
“Hit Smithsonian Instead”.

Onyabike

Bevan, what a devastating statement from the Smithsonian! To paraphrase: “We are looking into this. We don’t agree with Dr Soon’s conclusions (whatever they are) and human activities may cause climate change (no kidding).”
Not exactly a robust denunciation of Dr Soon is it? Sounds more like a plea to call off the Big Green attack dogs so they can get on with some real work… Like finding out ‘why GCMs run too hot” for example.

Robert B

Bevan, the contracts are signed by three different contracting officer of the Smithsonian. One says
Attention: Dr. Willie Soon (for technical matters)
Attention: Mr William J. Ford (for contractual matters)
Page 19 https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1672782/climate.pdf
Who ever wrote that has lied.

Bill H

It seems the Smithsonian was well aware of his funding as they signed the documents approving of it….

gbaikie

Why isn’t there a person who signing this Smithsonian statement.
An institution must of course have people speak for it.
And without it signed, by a responsible person- seems it not worth
any consideration.

Dave N

@ Bevan
February 23, 2015 at 5:01 pm (re the Smithsonian’s statement)
Given that they’re the ones who agreed to the contract, received the funds, then paid Soon, doesn’t that make that part of their statement an outright lie?

Tim

If he really went after the money he would be lined up with the other hogs getting the easy money for papers supporting the money (gravy) train, but then reality isn’t your concern is it. For you and others of your ilk it is much easier to smear those presenting a differing opinion. Shame on you.

ICU

You assume way too much. Whatever you think I said, I did not say what you think I said.

ICU:
Tim did not name you. You are like the guy who takes a coat off a rack, tries it on, and says, “This coat fits perfectly, therefore it must be my coat!”
I agree with Tim 100%. If Dr. Soon had published a trumped-up ‘analysis’ purportedly showing that human emissions are the cause of most or all global warming, he could expect to cash in handsomely. Plenty of others of lesser status have done just that.
Instead, Dr. Soon did his research and published his consclusions. But his conclusions do not conform to the Narrative. So now the hounds are baying. But as others have pointed out, this could get very interesting. Many others have done what Dr. Soon is only accused of doing — doubled and squared. Let’s open that can of worms, and see how successful they are at putting them all put back again.
This is a witch hiunt, no more and no less. That is an overused phrase, but it applies in spades here. The ‘climate studies’ industry is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. $Billions are wasted every year, and for what? Global warming stopped between 10 – 18 years ago, and as a result the original premise of man-made global warming has taken 5 or 6 torpedoes; it’s going down.
If Dr. Soon stands his ground, his accusers may well regret their present course of action.

Reply to ICU ==> There is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary for Dr. Soon to have sought grants from corporations that give grants for research into environmental issues — that Southern Services Company is associated with one of America’s largest utilities is why they have the money to fund research — into climate issues, solar energy, nuclear energy, carbon capture and sequestration, and other important issues of our day.
That Dr. Soon was able to raise grant money, as an astrophysicist, to investigate the sun’s effects on the climate is how science works — qualified researchers seek money for research in their specialized fields.

M Courtney

ICU, this smear has been used by others in the past against Dr Soon — the Guardian itself, even.
And they had to apologise because the Press Complaints Commission investigated and found the lies to be lies before.
Once bitten by the dogs, you know Dr Soon will be aware of this smear and have been careful to avoid your dirty tricks.
You had better get ready with the humble pie.
And you have fallen in my estimation.

“And they had to apologise because the Press Complaints Commission investigated and found the lies to be lies before.”
I think you should substantiate that a little better. Your link shows no apology or PCC finding of fact. It just says the matter was resolved when the Guardian published a letter in which he stated his complaint.

M Courtney

Nick Stokes, this is beneath you.
The witch hunt has been proven to be a lie before. It will be again.
Here is Monbiots’s apology that was forced out of him by the Press Complaints Commission.
got something wrong abt Willie Soon. I suggested he’d never declared his fossil fuel funding. Unlike many, it turns out he has. Apologies.
Will we hear your apology before being legally forced to?

“Nick Stokes, this is beneath you.”
No, you are proving unreliable. You cited a matter settled in 2008 where Soon challenged the Guardian. You said that “And they had to apologise because the Press Complaints Commission investigated and found the lies to be lies before.”. But your link didn’t say that and you offer nothing further, except a 2011 tweet from Monbiot, with no context.
The allegation here is not that he never declared funding. It is that on several occasions when it was required, he did not. Evidence is provided.

M Courtney

Press Complaints Commission I quote the complaint.

Dr Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics complained that an article reporting on Sarah Palin’s campaign to prevent polar bears becoming protected as an endangered species had inaccurately implied that he had not fully disclosed all of the sources of funding in his research into the connection between variations in solar activity and the climate of the Arctic, and therefore that his conclusions were influenced by the source of his funding. In fact, he had openly declared the sources of his funding from the outset. The complainant was also concerned that he had not been offered an opportunity to respond to these claims.
Resolution:
The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter written by the complainant:
“Your article (October 1) inaccurately implies that I wrote a paper demonstrating that none of the published studies on the imagined threat to polar bears from imagined “global warming” had followed the established scientific norms for population forecasting because I had received a grant from ExxonMobil. Not so. The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper, so peer reviewers can take them into account when deciding whether the scientific analysis has sufficient merit to justify publication.
Since 2002 ExxonMobil has also supported 22 other studies on Arctic wildlife and ecosystems. Main authors of these papers included researchers who proposed the (pointless) listing of polar bears under the US Endangered Species Act. There is, therefore, no more basis for your implication that my results were tainted by ExxonMobil’s funding than that other similarly funded results that better suited your editorial prejudice in favour of the alarmist “consensus” were tainted.
I do not write papers because ExxonMobil or Greenpeace pays me to, but because my academic researches demonstrate that the sun, not carbon dioxide, is the chief driver of Arctic temperatures, and that much of the “evidence” for the bears’ imminent demise is speculative. Indeed the population has increased fivefold since the 1950s, mainly because of restricted hunting. Where the Arctic has cooled, bears dwindle: where it has warmed, they increase.
Polar bears evolved from brown bears 200,000 years ago and therefore must have survived the last interglacial period, when global temperatures were many degrees warmer than the present. More perspective and less prejudice, please.”

Clearly, the Guardian did not challenge the facts that Dr Soon presented. The PCC considered it resolved.
I quote from their website:

Resolved:
These are complaints which the PCC resolves to the satisfaction of the complainant. An example of an outcome in a resolved complaint might be: the publication of a correction or an apology; a follow-up piece or letter from the complainant; a private letter of apology from the editor; an undertaking as to future conduct by the newspaper; or the annotation of the publication’s records to ensure that the error is not repeated. Summaries of these complaints are published on the PCC website.

Even Monbiot acknowledges that the smears were false.
It will come out again that the smears are false.
And then your muck-raking will be seen to be as unreliable as you accuse me of being.

An interesting quote from Soon’s letter to the Guardian, cited above

“The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper”

Nick Stokes:
M Courtney has owned you on this issue.
I suggest you quit digging. You’re only making it worse for yourself.

richardscourtney

ICU
You say

Actually what you say is true, but that does not change the fact of who exactly brought the money in in the 1st place, that person being one Dr. Soon.

For sake of argument, let us assume that what you say is completely true. Then so what?
Soon’s employer accepted that money, not Soon.
Soon is divorced from those and any other monies obtained and/or disbursed by his employer. Soon did NOT accept any money from Southern; his employer did and only his employer has any responsibility for that.
If you have a complaint then it is solely against Soon’s employer, the Smithsonian. You have no valid complaint against Soon.
Richard

Bevan

Your analysis is incorrect, the documents do not simply consist of contracts between the Smithsonian and Southern Corp.
Pages two and three clearly shows Willie Soon as the Principal Investigator of these studies, which are funded by Southern Corp.
The documents are available from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/21/science/document-climate.html
http://i60.tinypic.com/30cpv2c.jpg
http://i57.tinypic.com/2i12pef.png

John M

Have you ever worked for a corporation? The contract is between the Smithsonian and Southern. Willie Soon is the PI as an employee of the Smithsonian.
This isn’t rocket science.

ICU

Yes. Dr. Soon proposed the work, Dr; Soon did the work and Dr. Soon did not express any potential conflicts of interest in publishing those works. Those are the facts as I understand them and that appears to be why the Smithsonian (and CfA) would presumably be doing their investigations.

ICU

Yes. Dr. Soon proposed the work, Dr; Soon did the work and Dr. Soon did not express any potential conflicts of interest in publishing those works.

And Obola’s democrat party operatives don’t like the results of his research, and that is why the NYTimes and Obama’s ABCNNBCBS press corpse are “investigating” this travesty ever so vigorously right before the Paris Conference – while ignoring all of the private money Dr Hansen took and Soros donated to parties that the Obola administration does like.

Mike the Morlock

Hint.. Who owns the papers? If I write something on company time, they own it. I don’t have to document the source of funding. If The corporation uses, publishes or allows, another to publish it, the document is still owned by the corporation. Dr Soon would only have to acknowledge the Smithsonian.
michael

JR

One of the funding sources isn’t listed in the grant proposals: “$324,000 from anonymous donations via DonorsTrust, a fund set up to funnel money from the Koch brothers and other conservative funders to groups that promote climate science denial like the Heartland Institute and Americans for Prosperity.”

John:
It must be ‘rocket science’ to ICU and Nick Stokes.
What they claim is damning evidence is nothing of the kind, instead it is standard contract language and practice.
Willie Soon title for the above ‘proposal’ is “principal investigator”. A title that expressly means a Smithsonian team is responsible, otherwise Dr. Soon would not have the title.
The contract does not explicitly describe who is responsible for performing the work. Only that Dr. Soon as Principal oversees the technical aspects. To ensure correct technical language, Smithsonian’s Contract Officer who is the legal signature, will likely ask/order Dr. Soon to write or oversee writing the research results.
Dr. Soon declared his funding via Smithsonian! The Smithsonian may pull funds from fifty donors to actually pay Dr. Soon and the other employees; as such, the Smithsonian is responsible for identifying whose funds they were using.
Dr. Soon’s value as an effective employee is that he successfully locates potential sponsors and brings funds to the Smithsonian.
It is quite odd that the alarmists are soiling their panties in such an effort to smear Dr. Soon. Twisting contractual wording and communications to mean other than the Smithsonian intended. Meanwhile alarmists get caught committing flagrantly illegal acts, e.g. Gleick, and they honor him. Lucky for them the Holder Department of Justice is blind to alarmist wrongful actions.

Ah JR, more fabrications, falsehoods and misinformation.
Or did you hack into Donorstrust and steal their donors list?
I doubt it. Anyway the amount of money Koch Brothers and others contribute is a tiny drop of funds compared to the billions of dollars flowing through the green blobs.
Unlike the honest scientists like Dr. Soon, those green blobs do demand that work done for them be the results they want.

Specifying who you want to have working on a project, is entirely normal in the corporate world.

PiperPaul

How would gov-paid doomers know this?

lee

Wow, sold his soul to the devil for $60,000?

Imagine, if Soon hadn’t been so evil, he could have made millions from helping the forces of light, millions of dollars of untainted government money, instead of selling out for a few 10s of thousands of dollars of evil private money.
/sarc
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/03/hansen-rakes-it-in/
http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Michael_Mann_Money_011410.html
etc.

Eric Worrall,
Those are damning links. I wonder how ‘ICU’ would respond?

Onyabike

Sorry dbstealey, I can’t see I C U. Maybe he’s off reading “Why Models Run Hot” and preparing a devastating rebuttal to Dr Soon’s challenging new paper. Or maybe not…
wmbriggs.com/public/Monckton.et.al.pdf

old44

Lucky he is not a plumber, he would have charged twice as much.

Dave

Stop the presses, he did research on solar variability and climate change, something the IPCC has neglected to do. Does not look like anything too nefarious, does it?

Reply to Bevan ==> No grant is ever made without signifying who will do the research. The contract is between the Smithsonian and Southern Company Services — SCS is a holding and administrative company for the Southern Corp, which is a giant electrical utility. They give tons of research grants all over the political spectrum — including huge investments in solar energy, nuclear energy, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, etc.

Bevan

that’s a strawman argument, its simple, Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and did not acknowledge his funding in those papers.

Kip Hansen

Reply to Bevan ==> You need to read the Southern and Smithsonian contract. No specific projects were requested by Southern, no specific papers or reports were ordered, no areas of research even specified other than the study of the effects of solar on climate.
The reporting requirement is conflicts of interest. Partial funding from a diversified electric utility company is hardly a conflict for astrophysical research.

“The reporting requirement is conflicts of interest. Partial funding from a diversified electric utility company is hardly a conflict for astrophysical research.”
The monsoon paper was in an Elsevier Journal. Their Conflict of Interest advice is explicit.
“If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”
Dr Soon put proposals to SCS and Donor’s Trust, with budgets. He reported publication of the papers as deliverables. Sounds like SCS and DT were funding sources.

ralfellis

Bevan:
Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and did not acknowledge his funding in those papers.
___________________________________
What a cr@p argument.
I have written reports for a corporation. Do you think I add a ‘funding disclosure’ to the report? I am an employee – where the money comes from is the corporation’s business. The report is the corporation’s property: they bought it, they organised it, they own it, and they did something – somewhere – to earn the money to do so.
If you are doing freelance work, that is different. Your responsibility. But it is clear here that Smithsonian arranged and signed the contract with Southern, and so it is their responsibility. And since they would have ‘signed off’ the resulting paper as being fit for publication, it is doubly their responsibility. So for the Smithsonian to turn around and say it is Soon’s problem, and they are investigating, is the height of disreputable dealing. If there is a University Lecturers’ union in the US, they should be investigating the Smithsonian.
But they will not, of course, because if they are like NAFTHE, the UK’s university lecturer’s union, they will be uber-supporters of Greenpeace. In fact, NAFTHE has its own brigade of student and unemployed ‘brownshirts’ called the ‘UAF’, who are paid to go and beat up anyone that liberals and Greenpeace disagree with. (Yes, the UAF stormtroopers are run from the NAFTHE offices in London.)
These, I am afraid, are the levels to which the modern education establishment have sunk to. Academia is no longer a matter of enlightened debate in hallowed halls, it is all about the deployment of ‘brownshirts’ to shout down the opposition, or put the literal boot in during violent demonstrations. And many of these riots have been violent enough to turn into kristallnachts. Strangely, if you talk to them, these ‘enforcers’ think they are being liberal and enlightened, when they are actually emulating the very worst politics that the modern world has known.
R

Reply to the thread[s] regarding Conflict of Interest ==> Mr. Stokes continues to obfuscate the issue of Conflict of Interest. He has very kindly supplied a link to the Elsevier (a publisher of scientific research papers) document explaining Conflict of Interest from which he repeatedly selectively quotes.
I encourage all here to read the Elsevier document in its entirety. It is quite clear.
Read also, please, FAH’s comment regarding the differences between an agreement involving a general research grant and a contract to perform specific research for a sponsor.
Mr. Stokes represents the misguided idea that is the basis of this ad hom terrorist attack on Soon. It could be stated this way: “Any researcher must always and in every case disclose, in every paper published, any and all financial support ever received from any person or entity for anything.” The attackers conflate this odd idea with Conflict of Interest. Of course, the attackers only mean that this applies to researchers whose scientific findings or personal opinions they don’t like and only to funding from persons or entities they have declared as enemies.
Readers should understand the issue as viewed by Greenpeace — as odd as it is.
The idea that a general research grant (a rather small grant considering the amounts Southern spends on other environmental issues) from an electrical utility in support of research by an astrophysicist into the link between our Sun and Climate could be Conflict of Interest is absurd on its face…at least in the real world.

Mr Stokes says the Elsevier ethical guidelines require disclosure of all funding. No: they do so only for publication in medical journals.

richardscourtney

Bevan
You wrongly assert

that’s a strawman argument, its simple, Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and did not acknowledge his funding in those papers.

That is a falsehood. Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and said he did. He had and has NO RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY KIND for funding obtained and/or disbursed by his employer.
The Smithsonian accepted funds from Southern; Willie Soon did not.
Richard

Bevan says:
Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and did not acknowledge his funding in those papers.
Bevan, WAKE UP. If he worked for the Smithsonian, then they know who funded his research. You’re not a rocket scientist, are you?
It was incumbent on the Smithsonian to do any disclosing. Now they’re frantically pointing fingers. But why should they get a free pass?
The letter from the Smithsonian is obviously to placate Big Green. But in reality, this is a tempest in a teapot. It won’t amount to anything because there was nothing improper done by Dr. Soon. And without him to crucify, there is no reason to continue the hue and cry.

richardscourtney February 25, 2015 at 3:30 am
Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and said he did. He had and has NO RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY KIND for funding obtained and/or disbursed by his employer.

richard you are letting your lack of experience of university research lead you into error.
Post docs, like Soon, are employed on ‘soft’ money, which means he has to raise the funds to support his employment/research. Typical numbers mean that you need to raise double your salary to cover benefits and overhead. As the PI you write the proposal to a funding agency, typically it is submitted via the university’s office of sponsored research who make sure that all regulations and procedures are met and if so sign off on it. The PI himself is responsible for the scientific content, when writing a paper it is the author who is responsible for meeting all the requirements of the journal to which the paper is submitted. I would never have agreed to one of the clauses that Soon apparently agreed to, namely allowing the sponsor to pre-approve a paper. The only time that was suggested to me, I refused and we renegotiated, that is something that should always be declared to the journal.

Elsevier’s Conflict of Interest Policy for all Journals, not just Medical:
“Disclosure and conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest may exist when an author or the author’s institution has a financial or other relationship with other people or organizations that may inappropriately influence the author’s work. A conflict can be actual or potential, and full disclosure to the journal is the safest course. All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest. The journal may use such information as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish such disclosures if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. A decision may be made by the journal not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict. At the end of the text, under a subheading ‘Disclosure Statement’, all authors must disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three (3) years of beginning the work submitted that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work.
Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.
All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. This declaration (with the heading ‘Role of the funding source’) should be made in a separate section of the text and placed before the References. Authors must described the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication. (In addition some funding organizations have particular policies to enable their grant recipients to publish open access in Elsevier journals – for more detail on this, please visit our Funding Body Agreements page.

…potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed…
I am one of those who understands the difference between “should” and “must”.
But clearly, not everyone understands the difference.

Onyabike

Bevan, what has this Solar Variability paper got to do with the Monkton et al. paper on why models run hot?
It appears that certain agencies/NGOs are trying to discredit the Monkton paper (of which Soon was a co-author and received NO funding), by associating Soon with a Smithsonian study 6 years ago for which he did receive money. If that is the case then the link is tenuous at best, and distracted from the recent paper.
Surely no one wants people to be distracted by the Monkton papers conclusions that GCMs are not actually very good at predicting the climate?
Personally, I find this ‘funding corruption’ distraction tedious and asinine. If the source of funding is relevant to the veracity of science then we have surely moved from genuine sceptical enquiry to the era of Lysenkoism.

Ben Of Houston

That’s what’s bugging me. This is a giant bait-and-switch here. Soon may have messed up on noting a sponser on a paper three years ago, but that’s completely irrelevant to the paper at had.
My questions
1: Does someone actually have access to the resulting paper from which this started?
2: Did Soon properly note the sponsers?
2A: If so, good.
2B: If not, well, that’s a problem. Get your act together on documentation.
Now, I still don’t see how funding starting four years ago is relevant to the paper he did with Monkton just a few months ago.

emsnews

OMG…this isn’t government money!! Oh, the humanity!
We need more taxes to pay for more studies of the climate so NOAA can make even worse mistakes predicting future weather.

ems news is right. Unless Bevan, Stokes, and one or two other mudslingers are shareholders, what explains all their wild-eyed consternation? It’s an internal corporate matter. That’s all.
They are trying to get traction on a non-event. This is just like the Wegman Report, which thoroughly debunked Mann’s Hokey Stick. They couldn’t fault Wegman’s statistics, so they tried to monkey-pile on what they called “plagiarism”. Where did that go? Nowhere.
The small handful of clowns throwing mud here have nothing. They’re just making noise. This is just a “Hey! Look! A kitten!” distraction from the real problems.

trafamadore

I am pretty amazed that Soon allowed a read thru that lets Southern approve his papers before they are submitted. Like saying, “I am your pocket pls control me”

@trafamadore:
So, what is your view on Michael Mann being allowed to confer with his “investigators” before the formal investigation, to decide which questions he would, and would not be asked? Are you “pretty amazed” about that, too?

Reply to trafamadore ==> The “read thru” allowed under the agreement applies only to “Publicity” produced by the Smithsonian. You may have misunderstood that. It is on Page 33 of the documents supplied by the Smithsonian to Greenpeace. (linked repeatedly elsewhere).

Traffy:
You need to provide proof that that clause exists. Otherwise you are repeating silly noise from the wrong end of the goat.

Steve Case

Attacking the messenger is tried and true.

Robert Ballard

Also see the feed for the Yahoo front page. Stories by NYT, Think Progress, Take Part, Seattle Times, Washington Post (now with a second story), and The Daily Beast. This is a smear from the start. One piece of evidence may resolve everything in this dispute. Who was required by the IRS to provide a 1099 to Dr. Soon?

George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

I read this news piece two days ago and it clearly is a hit job. I tried to post an online comment accordingly but it was declined (no surprise), Here are some reasons why the article may have appeared when it did.
1).Deflect attention from the record snowfalls and record cold temperature in the northeast and middle west of the USA.
2). Rev up a story as a UN poll and other polls show that the public isn’t that concerned about climate change.
3). In view of Driessens book on “Eco-Terrorism” one even wonders if Dr. Soon was possibly singled out because of his heritage, maybe.
And yes, the money goes to the Smithsonian and Dr. Soon is the PI.
Is there a quality difference between research supported in academe by private industry and government> Absolutely not. In my previous life as a university professor of geology, I received grants and contracts from both industry and government. The resulting research met all publication peer review standards and were cited about equally internationally.
Private industry has high standards of quality control in its research. Their bottom line depends on it and their internal peer review system is far more stringent than a lot scholarly journals or research panel review committees.

Bevan

There may well be no quality difference between government funded and private funding research but ethically you HAVE to acknowledge your funding sources…and Dr Soon did not.

John M

Is it your position that any climate scientist who ever received funding from an NGO mustdisclose that funding in every subsequent paper they publish?

Tim

Wow, now AGWs are worried about ethics? Ha! Not really, it is just in their benefit to scream about someone not dotting his ‘i’s and crossing his ‘t’s. What’s wrong you can’t rebut his science?

lee

Has Mann disclosed funding from the Koch Bros?

ICU

Dr. Muller disclosed Koch funding,

Bernie Hutchins

Many (most?) researchers have multiple projects and multiple sources of funding at any instance of time. When doing the REAL intellectual aspects of their investigations, there is generally no compartmentalization or meter running. Human brains don’t work that way. Researchers do their JOB. In consequence, acknowledgment of financial support is often based on things more tangible than ideas in minds, such as stipends for graduate students, equipment purchases, overhead(!), page fees paid, etc. The input funds and acknowledgements should roughly balance. Second guessing could be both unproductive and endless. That’s why most institutions have professional managers to oversee sponsored programs.

ICU says:
Dr. Muller disclosed Koch funding.
That was not the question.

richardscourtney

Bevan
You repeat a falsehood I rebutted above here when you write

There may well be no quality difference between government funded and private funding research but ethically you HAVE to acknowledge your funding sources…and Dr Soon did not.

I copy the rebuttal I made at the link to your previous post of your falsehood.
That is a falsehood. Dr. Soon worked for the Smithsonian and said he did. He had and has NO RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY KIND for funding obtained and/or disbursed by his employer.
The Smithsonian accepted funds from Southern; Willie Soon did not.

And I add that your iteration of a falsehood does not metamorphose the falsehood into being truth.
Richard

richardscourtney February 25, 2015 at 3:45 am
And I add that your iteration of a falsehood does not metamorphose the falsehood into being truth.

Good advice richard, you should take it.

richardscourtney

Phil.
I see that in a thread about smears you provide a smear from behind the coward’s shield of anonymity.
Please state whatever falsehood it is that you claim I have iterated in this thread. Otherwise, withdraw your offensive remark and apologise.
The nearest I can find is that – as dbstealey told you – you misunderstood a factually correct statement I made because you failed to understand the difference between “should” and “must”.
Richard

Richard Courtney,
Lately “Phil.” has taken to labeling those he disagrees with as being dishonest. He did it with me, too. “Phil.” has simply run out of any good arguments.
I know from reading your comments over the years that you are completely honest. As with other skeptics of MMGW, we do not need to be dishonest in our arguments, because we are agreeing with what the real world says. That is not the case with the alarmist crowd.
The hit ‘n’ run comment above by “Phil.” is trolling, nothing more. Consider the source, and don’t be bothered.

But he did and what possible conflict of interest anyway, the research is published and merely reports findings. Read and consider them

mikewaite

Am I right in reading from the posts above that the alleged offence was committed 6 years ago and totally ignored until Dr Soon co-authored this recent paper conflicting with current consensus and politically correct views?

Reply to Dr. Klein ==> If you would like to participate or supply printable quotes regarding this topicand Conflict of Interest in general for a Guest Essay either here or at Dot Earth (if we can get Andy Revkin’s blessing) , please contact me at my first name at i4 decimal net.

Travis Casey

4). To distract from the IPCC Chairman stepping down amid scandal.

I hope Willie Soon finds himself a sharp lawyer and starts suing the people attacking him. Once the settlement money comes in, Soon probably won’t need other parties to fund his research.

The following was unfunded.
A simple proof that change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) does not cause climate change has been hiding in plain sight. Here it is:
CO2 has been considered to be a forcing. For a unit area, the units of a forcing are Joules/sec. Energy change for that same unit area has units Joules. Average forcing times duration equals energy change (analogous to average speed times duration equals distance traveled). Energy change divided by effective thermal capacitance is temperature change. Thus equivalently, the appropriate scale factor times the time-integral of the CO2 level would produce the average global temperature (AGT) change attributable to the CO2 change.
According to widely available data from Vostok, Antarctica ice cores, during previous glaciations and interglacials, CO2 and AGT went up and down nearly in lock-step (as so dramatically displayed in An Inconvenient Truth). If CO2 is a significant forcing (scale factor not zero), temperature could only increase and it would increase with the time-integral of the CO2 level. Because instead AGT and CO2 go up AND DOWN nearly together, this actually proves CO2 change does not cause significant average global temperature change. Because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere, if CO2 change does not cause temperature change, it cannot cause climate change. THUS THE CO2 CHANGE FROM BURNING FOSSIL FUELS HAS NO SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON CLIMATE.
Application of this analysis methodology to CO2 levels for the entire Phanerozoic eon (about 542 million years) (Berner, 2001) proves that CO2 levels up to at least 6 times the present will have no significant effect on average global temperature.
See more on this and discover the two factors that do cause climate change (95% correlation since before 1900) at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com . The two factors which explain the last 300+ years of climate change are also identified in a peer reviewed paper published in Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471 or search “agwunveiled”.

John Parsons

I can see why it was “unfunded”. JP

Why?

@John Parsons:
Two days later, and still no answer.

Bevan

“scientific claims made in Energy & Environment have little credibility among scientists”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_%26_Environment#Climate_change_skepticism

lee

Wow, Conolley’s wiki? How bizarre.

richardscourtney

Bevan
You assert

“scientific claims made in Energy & Environment have little credibility among scientists”

and cite Conolley’s wiki as support for the bizarre assertion.
However, if your assertion were true then it would be an admission by you that IPCC Reports are not provided by “scientists”. Energy & Environment is indexed in the ISI and is cited 28 times in the IPCC reports.
Richard

benofhouston

You do realize that wikipedia is a very bad source for controversial topics as it tends to favor the opinion of the chief editor.

Joe Civis

that’s great! wow thank you for the laugh; quoting wikipedia as a “scientific” source of credibility. Next up… “well my dad can kick your dad’s butt, so I am right and you stink!”

And wikipedia is not a credible source either.

Tim

Attacking someone because he has presented a differing opinion is a sign of a slime ball and a weak mind. Try examining the paper and presenting a rigorous paper in rebuttal instead or is that beyond all of the AGW crowd. Oh wait Climategate showed how limiting opposing scientific opinions is the AGW’s prefered way of business.

Brute

Consider the dates. It all points to Gillis and Schwartz rushing to publish a hit piece in order to divert attention from the Pachauri scandal.
Dr. Soon has clear grounds for litigation. This is his chance to sue for slander.

Reply to Brute ==> You are too kind by far — I think they just let themselves be shamelessly used by Greenpeace.

Brute

Same difference, my friend. It’s a timing issue.

Frank Cook

Actually I’m wondering whether this hit piece was instigated by Greenpeace to divert attention from the Greenpeace-sponsored and perpetrated desecration of the Nazca Lines World Heritage Site in Peru.
Have any of the Greenpeace members or the organization itself yet been held to account for that?
This mini-tempest-in-teapot has the stench of Greenpeace and willing accomplices at the NY Times pulling a “look over there -> a squirrel” distraction ploy.

emsnews

Well, government funding of NOAA has led to the last dozen years of utter rubbish forecasts about any sort of weather. The incompetence level has shot through the roof and I think all the staff should be fired.
They have either struck out or whiffed the ball repeatedly. No home runs. It is a joke. Farmers were supposed to be educated by NOAA so they would better run their farms which are very weather dependent.
Instead, if you do the exact opposite of forecasts, you are more likely to have the correct forecast.

coolclimateinfo

This is a multi-dimensional attack.
There’s the professional attack on Dr. Soon for having the temerity to ask for money from anywhere at all for any research related to his field. They want to shut him down because he’s professionally effective.
Then there’s the unjustified and unwarranted attack on Dr. Soon’s personal credibility and ethics. What did he do wrong here? Isn’t securing funding for research by people like him do in their job, and what makes that wrong?
One underlying, unstated premise the warmist goons are making is no funding of solar variability/climate studies is worthwhile. They don’t want anyone else to study the sun-earth climate connection either, as they consider the case to be closed, by their closed minds, of course.
Dr Soon said in the Research Target and Proposal: “…The ability to confirm or reject the statistical correlations shown in Figure 1 will be of enormous scientific importance….”
Unquestionably true.
Obviously Dr. Soon getting to the truth of the matter is making the warmists very nervous.
It’s too late – here’s 200+ other solar related papers that the warmists couldn’t stop from getting published: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2015/02/over-200-peer-reviewed-papers.html
The weak Sun is going to do in the warmists, and they can’t stop that from happening, no matter what else they try to pull…..
Keep on truckin Dr. Soon!

Crispin in Waterloo

“They don’t want anyone else to study the sun-earth climate connection either, as they consider the case to be closed, by their closed minds, of course.”
They don’t consider it closed, they are crapping bricks that even more evidence will emerge accurately predicting a turndown in temperatures and tightly correlate it to some specific aspect of the solar cycle. The argument “if it can make the temp go down it probably made it go up”, is very powerful.
As the CO2 hypothesis is largely sold on the basis that correlation is causation with some fancy modelling thrown in, the more powerful correlation of solar activity with temperature stasis and decline drives a stake through the heart of the CAGW vampire.
If funding moves from tracking butterflies up mountains to astrophysics, guess who loses the most?

Al McEachran

Forget the contracts, who paid for what etc? The Smithsonian is a world class organization and perfectly capable judging the merits of Soon and his work. The issue here is whether the work had merit or not and since the philistines are attacking the man and not the work we have a clear answer.

Brute

Indeed. The Smithsonian was evidently aware of the source funding and saw no problem with it.

sleepingbear dunes

If the Smithsonian was in the loop and they signed documents, then I am missing the nuanced problem. They appear to have known more than they are letting on publicly.
Beyond the legalese, isn’t all of Soon’s work available for intense scrutiny by his peers?
If it is, then use science to destroy his work.
For anyone to ignore the timing of this slime attack, is beyond naive. Vito Corleone would be envious of such tactics in getting even with your enemies.

coolclimateinfo

Oh, and I forgot to mention, what ethical grounds does Greenpeace think they have, what credibility do they think they have after pulling all the disrespectful, and unlawful stunts they’ve pulled over the years, most recently the desecration of the Nazca Lines in Peru?
None of course. They’re goons. All they’ve accomplished is demonstrating their duplicitious nature for all to see once again.

Hoist by their own petard, eh? How about a campaign to get the NYT to fire Messrs. Gillis and Schwartz, for journalistic malpractice, pursuing personal agendas, and making potentially libelous attacks against a citizen?
/Mr Lynn

tobyglyn

“Bevan
February 23, 2015 at 5:03 pm
There may well be no quality difference between government funded and private funding research but ethically you HAVE to acknowledge your funding sources…and Dr Soon did not.”
I am confused!? Since three Smithsonian representatives signed or witnessed those contracts with Southern Company Services, how can they now claim Soon did not acknowledge his funding sources?

Bevan

Hi Tobyglyn,
the issue doesn’t relate to those documents, it relates to Soon not acknowledging that funding in the published papers:comment image

Bill H

Soon was contractually obligated to NOT mention them! So what is he to do? Kiss his funding goodbye because he didn’t follow the contract or do as you want and loose his funding? You alarmist crack me up.. You want him shut up and that is what your trying to do.. by slander!
Is your position so weak that you can not deal with the facts Dr soon exposed? The answer to that would be.. Yes it is weak and without basis.

benofhouston

Except as Nick Stokes pointed out at the top, this funding was for research related to Chinese historical records, which is not even mentioned in any of the mentioned documents.
So he’s supposed to put conflict of interest statements on unrelated papers for every dime he got ever?
Or only every dime he got from a politically unfavored source?

A. Scott

The first noted paper was a RESPONSE to a critique of Soon et al’s original 2007 paper. Their original paper “acknowledged that Soon received grants from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, American Petroleum Institute and ExxonMobil.”
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/23022015/guide-willie-soons-climate-research-funded-fossil-fuel-companies
Physical Geography, had no formal conflict-of-interest or disclosure policies when Soon submitted one of the questioned papers, although it does now.
http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2015/02/smithsonian-asks-legal-watchdog-investigate-climate-skeptic-s-disclosure-practices
Louis Russell, senior editor of Ecology Law Currents, confirmed in an email that the journal doesn’t require authors to disclose potential conflicts of interest.
Miranda Walker, director of publications at the professional society that publishes Interfaces, said the journal’s conflict-of-interest policies do not apply to authors unless questions are raised during the peer review process “with respect to suspicion of duplicate publication, fabrication of data or plagiarism.”
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/23022015/scientific-journals-alerted-fossil-fuel-funding-contrarian-climate-studies
Funny – I don’t see a single news source, nor Greenpeace or any of the other thugs involved, actually bothering to do the minimal work necessary to identify exactly what the requirements of each of these handful of publications were at the time of publication. Yet that has not stopped them from smearing Soon and calling for his head.
Pure vermin.

Reply to Bevan and InsideClimate News ==> The graphic provided by Bevan, produced by the activist “news” outlet, InsideClimate News (who are funded by Common Sense Fund, Energy Foundation, Educational Foundation of America, Ford Foundation, Grantham Foundation, ioby.org, Knight Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Park Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, amongst others) is based on the same misunderstanding/misrepresentation (which I believe is entirely intentional) of Conflict of Interest policy.
InsideClimate News’ headline on the Soon “story”: Willie Soon: ‘Too Much Ice Is Really Bad for Polar Bears’ — In return for undisclosed funding from a coal utility, the scientist delivered contrarian talks and papers on Arctic melting. By Sabrina Shankman, InsideClimate News
Ms. Shankman even fails to find out who Southern Services Company is and what they do — so much for journalism there.

Nick Stoκes

“Soon was contractually obligated to NOT mention them!”
He has an obligation to the Journal and their readers to declare funding. Elsevier is explicit.
“If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”
Saying, well, I couldn’t, because we agreed not to tell, won’t cut it.

Crispin in Waterloo

Greenpeace gets around this problem by not publishing journal papers so they don’t have to disclose the funding they get from Big Oil. The hypocrisy it astonishing.
The NYT is doing its best to silence a messenger, in favour of another messenger’s message. Yawn. Welcome to America.
Remember the Spanish-American War? That was a war started for reasons entirely based on a New York paper’s fabricated accounts, some from fictitious reporters. It seems to so typical of the Big Apple to sell garbage to a credulous public then demonise (literally) anyone who shows they are lying through their teeth.
That the strings being pulled start in a foreign land is perhaps new. The NYT is dancing to a British tune? Who’d-a-thunk.
Bottom line on a Paris treaty: No taxation without representation.
That might sound familiar even to the sophisticated people in New York.

A. Scott

@Nick Stokes … I generally stand up for you even though I disagree with you here …. that you have the right to express youir opinion like any other. You’ve just seriously challenged my likelihood of doing so in the future.
In a comment about Ethics you cherry pick to remove the context – which is a lie – by omission.
The entire quote – from the is it unethical column:

Researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to all of the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts.
If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared

In the “What it is” column – describing the issue of “an undisclosed funding source and its role” YOUR link says:

Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication

And from the “What you should do” column:

When submitting a paper, a declaration (with the heading ‘Role of the funding source’) should be made in a separate section of the text and placed before the References
Describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication

The context makes absolutely clear – disclosure is only required if a study sponsor has a role … in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
I’ve read thru a number of the contracts. They are relatively simple. They provide no opportunity for the sponsors to have any “role” in design, in collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, nor in the decision to submit for publication. The ONLY thing the sponsor is allowed is an advanced copy, and the right to submit comments and input. There is NO provision whatsoever requiring authors to give ANY consideration to these comments and input.
IF the authors incorporated any such comments then a disclosure would be appropriate – IN THAT PAPER. There is zero requirement to disclose any prior funding not related to the present paper.
Additionally Nick – you provided a link from PRESENT – with total disregard for what the rules were at the TIME of publication of each paper in question. A simple read shows the PDF you linked to referenced 2012 documents/links in its footnotes. Clearly it has NO clear relation or relevance to the first 8 papers listed – all published BEFORE 2012.
A simple investigation into the PDF metadata shows: a create date of 2-15-2013:
“MetadataDate>2013-02-15T12:47:24Z”
A review of the notes in the table of the 11 alleged violations above, shows just THREE with 2013 or later dates to which your link MIGHT apply. However, they note TWO of those – the Feb 2013 and Feb 2015 papers- were submitted in 2012 – eliminating them from the rules you posted from applying.
The SINGLE remaining paper – dated Dec 2013 – is noted that it was published in “Astronomy & Astrophysics” … NOT an Elsevier publication. Oh, and it was published in 2009, not 2013.
You are not only wrong here Nick – you are seriously wrong. You took a gratuitous cheap shot, purposely withholding the important “rest of the story” – the CONTEXT.
Inexcusable in my opinion for someone with credentials in the industry.

Reply to Stokes ==> You misinterpret the entire subject of Conflict of Interest, but thank you for providing the link, as the Elsevier document linked makes it clear that Soon had no reportable Conflict of Interest in regards a general research grant from Southern.
Those who have this question should read the Elsevier document linked Conflict of Interest as it will clear up this entire smear attack.
The generalized rule is stated as:
“When an investigator, author, editor, or reviewer has a financial/personal interest or belief that could affect his/her objectivity, or inappropriately influence his/her actions, a potential conflict of interest exists. Such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties.”
Specifically in regards to funding, the Elsevier guidelines state:
“Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
Researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to all of the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts. If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared.
When submitting a paper, a declaration (with the heading ‘Role of the funding source’) should be made in a separate section of the text and placed before the References. Describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication Editors may request that authors of a study funded by an agency with a proprietary or financial interest in the outcome sign a statement, such as “I had full access to all of the data in this study and I take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.”
The grants from Southern to the Smithsonian in support of Soon’s work 1) Do not constitute sponsorship of any particular study, but rather are a free grant towards research in a particular field. 2) Southern is expressly distanced from everything about Soon’s work — it has no say in what, when, where or how he fulfills his obligation to engage in research, except that he submit a annual report showing that he did engage in research. 3) Since there were no studies sponsored by Southern, Soon is under no obligation at all to discuss his general research grants with anyone. 4) How a unfettered research grant from an electrical utility could possibly be a Conflict of Interest for general research into Solar/Climate relationships still continues to escape me.
I can not even fathom the idea that “electrical utilities” are “fossil-fuel companies”. They produce the electricity that I am using to type this comment. They do not produce fossil-fuels.
Those who are still under the misguided illusion that Southern must be “bad” because it produces electricity should see the list of grants and research supported by them at this link.

Paul Coppin

You may have a reading comprehension problem. Elsevier’s C of I policy states thus:
“A journal may use disclosures as a basis for editorial decisions and may publish them if they are believed to be important to readers in judging the manuscript. Likewise, the journal may decide not to publish on the basis of the declared conflict.”
There are two “publishes” in this statement – the first refers to publishing the disclosure, which Elsevier say “may publish“. The second “publish” refers to publishing the paper, which may be impacted by the disclosure. Conflict of Interest disclosures are inherently confidential in nature at the outset. Publically publishing the disclosure is determined by the disclosure monitor, taking into account impact, validity, relativity and contractual restrictions. Elsevier requires C of I disclosure to Elsevier. It doesn’t require that disclosure to be published in the paper, necessarily.

“In a comment about Ethics you cherry pick to remove the context – which is a lie – by omission.”
No, the statement is clear, and not altered by the context. Again
“Researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to all of the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts.
If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”

The first sentence is independent of funding. It forbids a different circumstance. The second is clear, explicit, and is as I quoted.
“The context makes absolutely clear – disclosure is only required if a study sponsor has a role…”
No, you are misinterpreting “if any” to apply to the role – it clearly qualifies what it immediately follows (sponsors). Sponsoring is a role. The previous sentence says unconditionally that there should be such a statement.

Reply to this Conflict of Interest comment thread ==> Mr. Stokes continues to obfuscate the issue of of Interest — however, he also provides insight into the mind-set of the originators of this attack on Soon.
The attackers are spinning Conflict of Interest to mean that “a researcher must always and in every case, whenever he publishes anything, disclose any and all financial support ever received for anything from anybody (especially people and companies that we don’t like).”
Those wishing to understand this Greenpeace sponsored ad hom terrorist attack on Soon need to understand that is is their point — and understand that their point is not at all valid.
I again encourage all here to read the entire Conflict of Interest Guidelines of Elsevier, kindly provided by Mr. Stokes, which he keeps selectively quoting.
Read also, please the comment from reader FAH February 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm explaining the difference between a general research grant and direct funding of a study.

Carrick

Don’t over analyze this Nick. In the case of anonymous donors, by your logic, I can’t publish.
Berkeley Earth has a big fat anonymous donor yet they publish and nobody complains.
These are guidelines you are citing, not hard fast rules.
Probably the sources you aren’t able to acknowledge in the paper should be disclosed with the publishing editor, but ultimately the responsibility for disclosing actual conflicts of interest (rather than potential ones) needs to be left up to the author and his institute.
The usual reason for disclosing sponsors is so they can take credit for the work, so it’s a completely different logic than tracing conflicts of interest.

Bob Boder

Nick is a paid troll, for him to make any comments on anything that has to do with ethics is ridiculous. I have said it before< STOP Paying any attention to him!

Carrick

Bod Boder:

Nick is a paid troll, for him to make any comments on anything that has to do with ethics is ridiculous. I have said it before< STOP Paying any attention to him!

No, Nick is not a troll and he’s not paid.
The point he is raising is actually an interesting one. Just not one that is likely to bear fruit in discussions on this blog.

Bob Boder

Carrick
Nick is a troll and it is exemplified by what he is doing here now, what does this serve, how does it advance the scientific debate? If Nick has real concerns about Soon and his motives he would wait and see where this goes, but he doesn’t he is the first one out there hitting hard, why? because he is a troll who is being fed a line to push. You can convince yourself of what ever you want but when someone is so dedicated to attacking a fellow scientist he clearly has a motive, Nick is always the first with the byline, he is always the first with the counter argument, he either has a ton of time on is hand and is really great at pulling together info on EVERY subject or he is a spokesman. The clue to me is in the end his argument are always proven false by careful examination of the facts. His game is a media show nothing more.

A. Scott

Stokes:

“In a comment about Ethics you cherry pick to remove the context – which is a lie – by omission.”
No, the statement is clear, and not altered by the context. Again:
“Researchers should not enter into agreements that interfere with their access to all of the data and their ability to analyze them independently, and to prepare and publish manuscripts.
If funding has been provided, all sources must be declared”
The first sentence is independent of funding. It forbids a different circumstance. The second is clear, explicit, and is as I quoted.
“The context makes absolutely clear – disclosure is only required if a study sponsor has a role…”
No, you are misinterpreting “if any” to apply to the role – it clearly qualifies what it immediately follows (sponsors). Sponsoring is a role. The previous sentence says unconditionally that there should be such a statement.

How ridiculous Nick. Can you torture the clear, plain meaning of the statement any more? You are better than this. At least you have been.

Neglecting to disclose the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication

Neglecting to discuss the ROLE… IF ANY – the words and meaning cannot be more clear.

When submitting a paper, a declaration (with the heading ‘Role of the funding source’) should be made … Describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication

“Should” – not “must/shall” place … describe the “ROLE” “IF ANY” …
The journals reviewed EACH of these papers. Part of that review is whether the paper complies with the journal requirements. Some have tried to say funding sources MUST be disclosed. The rules do NOT say or require that. And IF it were true – that there MUST be a financial disclosure as so many idiots keep claiming – the failing would on the part of the journal for allowing the paper to be accepted and published without complying with their alleged rules of submission and publication.
You are simply wrong Nick … not to mention that there is ZERO evidence the CURRENT rules you posted were in effect in 2007-2009 when these papers were published.

I’ve had one run in with Stokes. He quoted Roy Spencer as making a certain claim. I followed his link and Stokes had carefully truncated the quote such that Roy Spencer had actually said the *exact opposite* of what Stokes claimed. I cited the full quote in context. Sometimes if someone already holds certain views they might stop reading once they’ve found the confirmation they think they were looking for. So this could have been merely a mistake. No. Stokes refused to admit he was wrong, even when presented with the full quote. He lost all interest in discussing the quote. Note: This wasn’t over the merits of Spencer claims, only on what he’d actually written. So the situation was 100% black and white. Stokes wiggled like a worm, started to bring in all kinds of irrelevances in order to change topic. He never admitted he had misrepresented and had ample opportunity to do so. When you behave like that, you go on the record as a liar, not someone who is merely confused or mistaken.

A. Scott,
“You are simply wrong Nick … not to mention that there is ZERO evidence the CURRENT rules you posted were in effect in 2007-2009 when these papers were published.”
Well, 2008-2015. But I’ll quote again from Dr Soon’s letter to the Guardian in 2008, as cited by M Courtney:

“The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper”

Mr Stokes is incorrect about Elsevier. Its requirement that if funding has been provided all sources must be declared applies to medical journals only.

Joe Chang

I don’t see the big deal. The NYT had a reporter tour the Soviet Union in the early 30s? He sent back glowing reports about the workers paradise. Some how he did not notice the Holodomor. Not much has changed in the reliability of the NYT.

I don’t believe they were “duped into” anything. They needed to one up the hit job Joel Ashenbach from the Washington Post did in this months National Geographic.

average joe

This smear campaign is disgusting, albeit predictable. I am completely on the skeptic side, and am disgusted by the lack of integrity shown by the climate science establishment. However, please recognize this is a war. A war of only words (so far) but a war none the less. I am deeply grateful of Dr. Soon’s efforts to get to the truth and I hope he will continue the good fight. But not disclosing this information appropriately was a mistake that our cause cannot afford. Yes, the smear campaign, like most of their other campaigns, is disgusting. But in war it goes with the territory. Bottom line, the responsibility is on those fighting on the front lines to ensure that these types of gaffes don’t happen. Period.

richardscourtney

average joe
Please state what “gaff” you think Willie Soon made because I know of none.
You say he did not reveal “this information appropriately”. What “information”?
Willie Soon said he was employed by the Smithsonian. That was all the funding “information” he needed to state and he did state it.
At present your assertion of an unstated “gaff” by Willie Soon indicates your post as being concern trolling which smears with innuendo.
Richard

average joe

Well I thought the “gaffe” was obvious. Here it is. If, instead of saying simply he was “employed by the Smithsonian”, he would have said that he was “employed by the Smithsonian where he is/was Principal Investigator on project(s) funded by Southern Corp, xyz corp, etc.”, then they wouldn’t have had anything to work with. When a group is looking to dig up any dirt they can, one must go out of their way to not leave them any ammo! This is simple 6th grade street smarts. With Naomi whats-her-face out there claiming big oil is buying results, the last thing this cause needs is a paper trail they can point to and say “see, we told you so”. All it would have taken is for him to think a little bit about the consequences of not providing full disclosure. All the damage this paper may have done to the warmist cause may now never be realized because he didn’t provide FULL disclosure. If I still haven’t cleared it up for you let me know I will break it down even simpler.

richardscourtney

average joe
Please don’t be silly. You are smearing by asserting a “gaffe” which does not exist.
Soon said he was employed by the Smithsonian. That was all the “disclosure” required.
But you say

Well I thought the “gaffe” was obvious. Here it is. If, instead of saying simply he was “employed by the Smithsonian”, he would have said that he was “employed by the Smithsonian where he is/was Principal Investigator on project(s) funded by Southern Corp, xyz corp, etc.”, then they wouldn’t have had anything to work with.

The “disclosure” you demand is not possible because it would require each publication from Soon to include a copy of the entire accounts of the Smithsonian since Soon commenced his employment by the Smithsonian. No publisher would allow that.
It seems you are demanding that Soon publish a statement that implies all his work is conducted on behalf of “Southern Corp, xyz corp, etc.”. Your demand is a smear, and the implication of the statement you demand would be a lie.
Richard

average joe

Well Richard, I assure you I am not being silly. In my view it would have been an easy thing for Soon to disclose a simple sentence or two more information, BEYOND what was “required”, and thereby avoid this $hitstorm over his credibility. Why wouldn’t he do that? Oversight? Pride? Indignation? Lazy? What do you think? The reason for my comment is that I am ticked off because this fantastic opportunity to knock these climate model zealots down a notch, and all the efforts by him and other authors of the simple model paper, are now tainted. It matters not whether he was in the “wrong”, he should have exercised more diligence in making sure he was “squeaky clean” before putting his name on the paper. The fact that he didn’t certainly diminishes his credibility in my eyes, which is just what the zealots want. If I were one of the other authors, I would be calling Soon up and saying what in the bloody xxx were you thinking? If you don’t see it that way, fine. But don’t for a second mistake my motives for trolling or silliness. I am very serious about this. This is my final communication on this topic.

richardscourtney

average joe
I see you are still smearing with innuendo thrown from behind the coward’s screen of anonymity.
Your latest daft innuendo is in the form of these questions

In my view it would have been an easy thing for Soon to disclose a simple sentence or two more information, BEYOND what was “required”, and thereby avoid this $hitstorm over his credibility. Why wouldn’t he do that? Oversight? Pride? Indignation? Lazy? What do you think?

You have added another smear by asserting that Soon’s “credibility” is affected by his having done all that was required of him and not having done something impossible. I think such smears are despicable.
As I already explained, no publisher would permit the publication in a paper of your “simple sentence or two more information, BEYOND what was “required””. This is because – in reality – that “simple sentence etc.” is a call for a complete listing of all funding for the Smithsonian from the time Soon gained employment with the Smithsonian.
He did not do what nobody can do. Laziness, oversight, pride and indignation are not relevant.
Richard

average joe

Richard, to all the above: BULL$HIT Good day sir.

richardscourtney

average joe
I reply for benefit of onlookers.
Your response to being called out is typical behaviour of anonymous concern trolls when their smears and innuendoes are pointed out.
Richard

Can I make a request Kip Hansen? You are obviously passionate about this and I appreciate anyone helping out Anthony. Those who know what you are talking about are making comments–but there is a “foundation” piece of information that I do not have here and don’t know what you are talking about. I can glean a bit from the comments but would have preferred to see a synopsis somewhere for reference. thanks..Shelly

Reply to Day By Day ==> The foundation is the first linked headline:
Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher
By JUSTIN GILLIS and JOHN SCHWARTZ FEB. 21, 2015
A travesty of science journalism in the NY Times.

mikewaite

Judging from some of the contributions above , eg those of Bevan, the subject has been extremely well researched and organised . That takes time , and time as we all know is money . where is that coming from?

Bevan

good question as I’ve seen none of it? $$$

Briggs emphasized that “if you don’t remember anything else from this radio program listen to this: If you have a theory and that theory makes bad predictions, that theory is in error….Climate forecasters have made, for decades, lousy predictions. They are therefore in error….People should not rely on them to make decisions. Certainly, they should not rely on them to make legislation.”
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/23/experts-smeared-by-media-and-greenpeace-for-debunking-global-warming/

If I didn’t know better, I’d say this is an obvious attempt to distract from the real problems with comput…SQUIRREL!!
😉
P.S. We can only hope against hope the mainstream media will apply the same standards of scrutiny the next time they are about to ‘Ctrl+V’ a scientific press release.

ossqss

We flush Billions away on cronies, but worry about Dr. Soon’s .000004 parts per billion!
The administrations name and shame game in action. Just like this presidentially sponsored slander!
https://www.barackobama.com/climate-change-deniers/#/

logos_wrench

This just illustrates what everyone already knows “The Grey Lady” is effin nuts.

This fashionable bigotry (as it was called on a recent thread) will cause its problems for these vile people. There will be a time soon when it will not be fashionable, but the internet will not forget that they are bigots.

masInt branch 4 C3I in is

Good thing the Anthropocene Jihadists can’t read English. In that footer of the grant they, could-a should-a would-a read that the Smithsonian itself was created in 1846 (before the Emasculate Conception of “Human [Carbon] Global Warming” that occurred, as legend has it in 1850) by money from a … FOREIGN NATIONAL. How Scandalous!
Well as you say, playing devils advocate, just how would the “Anthropocene Jihadists” if not schooled in English have come to pin such a diatribe in the NYT, or Guardian for that matter, pray tell?
Answer 1: The Anthropocene Jihadists have one hundred “monkey” Anthropocene Jihadists at AGU, AAAS, Penn State U., EPA, GISS, NOAA and NSF (and the “Greens”) to randomly cobble together a document on one hundred vintage IBM Selectric typewriters. Micromanagers are still waiting for the “Hamlet” text to appear. This will provide parameterizing constraints on the IPCC models in use today and centuries to come.
Answer2: The Anthropocene Jihadists use Google Translate for all communications. LOL (y)
Ha ha.

What’s that saying again? “Wow, that belongs in the Smithsonian”.
Your time is up on this massively failed conjecture. It belongs in the Smithsonian, Smithsonian.
(Although sadly it hasn’t failed has it ? In loserfraud world, this has been a success story).

you HAVE to acknowledge your funding sources…and Dr Soon did not.”
============
Bull Shirt.
“Why Models Run Hot: Results from An Irreducibly Simple Climate Model.” was not funded by Southern Corp.
Hasn’t Greenpeach has receive millions from BP? As such, maybe Greenpeach is secretly in league with big oil to try and remove the only competitor to oil, which is coal?
And all these new shills that are appearing on WUWT? Are they not, in fact paid by oil to try and get the US off coal, so they can jack up the prices for natural gas? With BIG donations to the campaign of politicians willing to toe the party line.
Why else would the Commander in Chief spend more than $1 billion dollars to get a job that pays $400,000 per year for 4 years?

Bevan

I think you dropped your tinfoil hat?

Alan Robertson

Greenpeace received $25,000,000 from Chesapeake Energy Corp. to mount a negative campaign against the coal industry. What’s your snide remark about that fact?

Bevan

sounds pretty clever to me, a free $25000000?

lee

$25m for advocacy? beats writing papers obviously.

Alan Robertson

Actually, it was The Sierra Club and not Greenpeace which took the $25 mil. from Chesapeake.
http://science.time.com/2012/02/02/exclusive-how-the-sierra-club-took-millions-from-the-natural-gas-industry-and-why-they-stopped/

Mike the Morlock

Kip Hansen,… If Dr Soon was not a threat to them they would not have pulled out all the stops to attack him.
The Smithsonian gets some funding from the government. With the threat of Senate investigation over temperature data tampering, they may choose to avoid controversy
The greens are use to winning with no one willing to stand up to them. This time may be different. We shall see, we shall see.
michael

Chris

“If Dr Soon was not a threat to them they would not have pulled out all the stops to attack him.”
How exactly is Dr. Soon a threat to them? For example, in all likelihood NYT reporters covering the 2000 elections wanted Gore to win. But nobody lost their job when Bush did.

Mike the Morlock

Chris.. By “them” I I am referring to Green peace the group that did the freedom of info act so they could start their witch hunt. The NYT their just “useful tools (fools)” as Stalin would say.. You do know who Stalin is don’t you?
michael

Chris

Mike – Yes, I know who Stalin is – he is the one the Koch’s father Fred made his initial millions with when Fred Koch went to Russia and helped Stalin build cracking plants in the 1930s.
In what alternate universe is Willie Soon a threat to Greenpeace? If anything, his work can be used by them to galvanize support and further donations.

Pamela Gray

Since government funding is via congressional action, the political leanings of said congressional decision makers should be announced. Over the years we simply say “tax dollars”. Yet a simple high school course in political leanings of various congressional bodies demonstrates a clear bias towards the political faction in power.
It is overwhelmingly hypocritical to call out the name of anyone whom you think stinketh when your own backdoor is an abundant source of odor.

FAH

Mr. Hansen, it is incorrect to say “the documents consist simply of the contracts between the Smithsonian and Southern Corp.” This cedes too much credence to the claims of the warmist press.
As is usual in this kind of research funding, the documents are clearly labelled “Agreement” for funding research, and it is clear that it is a grant, not a contract. The distinction is important and relevant to the falsity of the charges against Dr. Soon.
A contract is used when a funding entity, private or government, provides funds for research and the funding entity expects deliverable of some specific work product. If such deliverables are not produced meeting the contract requirements, the fundee is legally subject to demands to return the funds on the part of the funder. The document agreed to between the funder and fundee is then a contract in the legally binding sense. It can be terminated at any time by the funder if the production of the agreed upon product is not progressing on schedule.
On the other hand, a grant is literally giving money away to someone in the general expectation that they will pursue useful research in some area, but by definition it cannot require a specific deliverable product. If the researcher fritters away time collecting string instead of working on topic, the funder cannot get the money back, they can only not renew the grant the next time it is up. There is no default mechanism because there is no mutually agreed work product. In general the only “deliverable” required in grants is a progress report, the details of which are entirely up to the researcher. Documents establishing these relationships are called “Agreements” precisely because they are not enforceable contracts. One party agrees to give the money and the other agrees to take it. That is the entirety of the agreement between the parties. These points may seem arcane, but anyone who has been involved in the funder/fundee process knows how important these distinctions are.
In particular Mr. Stokes is incorrect in claiming that the Agreement sections shown here list any set of papers or other matter that Dr. Soon or others are required by the agreement to produce. Dr. Soon is only required to produce a progress report, which is typically required internally and for IRS and SEC purposes by funders to document that the money they granted was in fact utilized by the grantee institution and was not “laundered” in some way for some other purpose. Inclusion of activities, papers published, or any other specific item in a progress report as cut and pasted here is entirely the discretion of the grantee and in no way is individually required as a deliverable of the grant. Dr. Soon could have fulfilled his end of the agreement with a general discussion of his results and no specific list of publications. This grant is typical for current research grant practice and is not evidence of financial interest in the results of research.
Nor is there any evidence in the documents that the grant was open when the work was done on the specific paper that has caused such anger. The latest date in the documents posted was a no-cost extension of period of performance into 2013, some months after Dr. Soon submitted his final report on the grant. That appears to be well before work on the paper under consideration was begun. Even if it had been a contract, if it was not in force when the work was done, without expectation of future compensation based on the results, there is absolutely no basis for a charge of conflict of interest.
Just a minimal listing of some of the grantees of the Southern Company is too extensive to list here. There are overviews and lists of the grantees, ranging from wildlife federations to universities, at http://www.southerncompany.com/what-doing/corporate-responsibility/economic-stewardship/home.cshtml

Kip Hansen

Reply to FAH ==> I concede that the documents are labelled Agreement. I am not a lawyer [why does that sound like a joke??] But I suspect that the document is of a type that lawyers consider a contract under the law.
Any contract law experts reading tonight?

mike

Contracts are a sub-set of agreements. Unlike other agreements, contracts are legally enforceable, while mere agreements are not.
Don’t want to claim myself as a “contract law expert”, but the Smithsonian’s “agreement” sure looks like it has the form of a contract–an offer, an acceptance, and an exchange of value. So assuming that the Smithsonian contracting officer was not a minor or drunk on his butt, just why isn’t the Smithsonian/SCS agreement a contract (a legally enforceable agreement), again? Please spell all this out FAH.
Further, FAH notes that “a grant…by definition… cannot require a specific deliverable product” However, para 5 of the “agreement” “entitles” SCS to a no-cost license, as a specific deliverable product, in “consideration” for its funding. Seems like that aspect of the “agreement”, “definitionally” deprives the “deal” of any claim that it is a mere, legally unenforceable “agreement” and, rather, establishes the whole business as a contract. Unless, of course, FAH maintains that SCS has no “breach of contract” recourse if the Smithsonian fails to provide the specified no-cost license. Be curious to see FAH’s legal reasoning here.

mike

Let me add to my above comment, that I don’t see where classifying the agreement between Smithsonian/SCS as a contract or not is of pertinence to the issue of any alleged wrongdoing by Professor Soon. Elsewhere on this thread, I think a very cogent case has been made that Prof. Soon’s funding was from the Smithsonian and that he, an employee of the same institution, acknowledged that funding. In contrast, SCS, as an indirect funder, was not the source of research funding, as Prof Soon received the funding, and therefore was not required to be reported as such.
Some commenters, however, seem to maintain that Prof Soon was obligated to cite SCS as a source of funds because even though the company’s funding of Prof Soon’s research was indirect. In that regard, Eli Rabett, in a 23 February 2015, 5:27 AM post appearing at his “Rabett Run” blog, advises (if I understand “the bunny’s” write-up) that the Smithsonian, in at least one case, sought a funder’s permission to reclassify a gift (treated as a grant) to an “unrestricted donation”. That reclassification then allowed the fund to be placed in a DDF (Director’s Discretionary Fund) and used as “bridge funding” for other research projects. Consequently, it appears, to moi, that the same logic that would require Prof Soon to cite SCS as a funding source would also require researchers receiving “bridge funding” from the DDF fund to also also cite as sources of funding any contributor to the DDF fund. Is such a thing really done? Or is the rule on citing indirect funding sources one that only applies to Prof. Soon?

Kip Hansen

Reply to FAH ==> Thank you for the very insightful explanation of the legal documents between the Smithsonian and Southern released by Greenpeace. If you are willing to write this topic up with a few examples and maybe include definitions of Conflict of Interest arising from this type of agreement, it would help many to read it here as a Guest Essay. You may write to me at my first name at i4 decimal net.
And thanks for the link to Southern’s other research grants snd efforts — I looked for it but couldn’t find it this afternoon.

thingadonta

I don’t suppose any privately funded research ever works, including how oil companies find and develop oil and gas fields; they never find anything, and shareholders never get any dividend.
Strange how the whole world seems to like the idea of a free market though, as they keep giving money to them.

Louis

And with big government returning trillions of dividends to the tax payers each year, I fail to see why everyone doesn’t want to invest more in it. (/sarc)

Mann grants, 1996 – 2009:
Development of a Northern Hemisphere Gridded Precipitation Dataset Spanning the Past Half Millennium for Analyzing Interannual and Longer-Term Variability in the Monsoons,
 $250,000
Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases,
 $1,884,991
Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing: Combining Paleoclimate Proxy and Instrumental Observations with an Earth System Model, 
$541,184
A Framework for Probabilistic Projections of Energy-Relevant Streamflow Indices,
 $330,000
AMS Industry/Government Graduate Fellowship,
 $23,000
Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana, $759,928
Analysis and testing of proxy-based climate reconstructions,
 $459,000
Constraining the Tropical Pacific’s Role in Low-Frequency Climate Change of the Last Millennium, 
$68,065
Acquisition of high-performance computing cluster for the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC), 
$100,000
Decadal Variability in the Tropical Indo-Pacific: Integrating Paleo & Coupled Model Results,
 $102,000
Reconstruction and Analysis of Patterns of Climate Variability Over the Last One to Two Millennia,
 $315,000
Remote Observations of Ice Sheet Surface Temperature: Toward Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Antarctic Climate Variability,
 $133,000
Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation,
 $14,400
Global Multidecadal-to-Century-Scale Oscillations During the Last 1000 years, $20,775
Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere,
 $214,700
Advancing predictive models of marine sediment transport,
 $20,775
Multiproxy Climate Reconstruction: Extension in Space and Time, and Model/Data Intercomparison, 
$381,647
The changing seasons: Detecting and understanding climatic change,
 $266,235
Patterns of Organized Climatic Variability: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Globally Distributed Climate Proxy Records and Long-term Model Integrations,
 $270,000
Investigation of Patterns of Organized Large-Scale Climatic Variability During the Last Millennium,
 $78,000
[May be a few duplicates]:
2009-2013          Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991 [This needs investigated. Why was Mann given this very large grant? It pays for a study of mosquito vectors. Should it not be given to a biologist, or an epidemiologist? Or was it just payola? There is no record of any paper being produced from this grant.
2009-2012          Toward Improved Projections of the Climate Response to Anthropogenic Forcing: Combining Paleoclimate Proxy and Instrumental Observations with an Earth System Model, NSF-ATM [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann; Co-Investigators: K. Keller (Penn State Univ.), A. Timmermann (Univ. of Hawaii)] $541,184
2008-2011          A Framework for Probabilistic Projections of Energy-Relevant Streamflow Indices, DOE [Principal Investigator: T. Wagener; Co-Investigators: M. Mann, R. Crane, K. Freeman (Penn State Univ.)] $330,000
2008-2009          AMS Industry/Government Graduate Fellowship (Anthony Sabbatelli), American Meteorological Society [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.)] $23,000
2006-2009          Climate Change Collective Learning and Observatory Network in Ghana, USAID [Principal Investigator: P. Tschakert; Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann, W. Easterling (Penn State Univ.)] $759,928
2006-2009          Analysis and testing of proxy-based climate reconstructions, NSF-ATM [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.)] $459,000
2006-2009          Constraining the Tropical Pacific’s Role in Low-Frequency Climate Change of the Last Millennium, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigators: K. Cobb (Georgia Tech Univ.), N. Graham (Hydro. Res. Center), M.E. Mann (Penn State Univ.), Hoerling (NOAA Clim. Dyn. Center), Alexander (NOAA Clim. Dyn. Center)] PSU award (M.E. Mann): $68,065
2006-          Acquisition of high-performance computing cluster for the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC), NSF-EAR [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann, Co-Investigators: R. Alley, M. Arthur, J. Evans, D. Pollard (Penn State Univ.)] $100,000
2003-         Decadal Variability in the Tropical Indo-Pacific: Integrating Paleo & Coupled Model Results, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigators: M.E. Mann (U.Va), J. Cole (U. Arizona), V. Mehta (CRCES)] U.Va award (M.E. Mann): $102,000
2002-          Reconstruction and Analysis of Patterns of Climate Variability Over the Last One to Two Millennia, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann, Co-Investigators: S. Rutherford, R.S. Bradley, M.K. Hughes] $315,000
2002-          Remote Observations of Ice Sheet Surface Temperature: Toward Multi-Proxy Reconstruction of Antarctic Climate Variability, NSF-Office of Polar Programs, Antarctic Oceans and Climate System [Principal Investigators: M.E. Mann (U. Va), E. Steig (U. Wash.), D. Weinbrenner (U. Wash)] U.Va award (M.E. Mann): $133,000
2002-2003         Paleoclimatic Reconstructions of the Arctic Oscillation, NOAA-Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR) Program [Principal Investigators: Rosanne D’Arrigo, Ed Cook (Lamont/Columbia); Co-Investigator: M.E. Mann] U.Va subcontract (M.E. Mann): $14,400
2002-2003         Global Multidecadal-to-Century-Scale Oscillations During the Last 1000 years, NOAA-Climate Change Data & Detection (CCDD) Program [Principal Investigator: Malcolm Hughes (Univ. of Arizona); Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann; J. Park (Yale University)] U.Va subcontract (M.E. Mann): $20,775
2001-2003         Resolving the Scale-wise Sensitivities in the  Dynamical Coupling Between Climate and the Biosphere, University of Virginia-Fund for Excellence in Science and Technology (FEST)  [Principal Investigator: J.D. Albertson; Co-Investigators: H. Epstein, M.E. Mann] U.Va internal award:  $214,700
2001-2002         Advancing predictive models of marine sediment transport, Office of Naval Research [Principal Investigator: P. Wiberg (U.Va), Co-Investigator: M.E. Mann] $20,775
1999-2002          Multiproxy Climate Reconstruction: Extension in Space and Time, and Model/Data Intercomparison, NOAA-Earth Systems History [Principal Investigator: M.E. Mann (U.Va), Co-Investigators: R.S. Bradley, M.K. Hughes] $381,647
1998-2000          Validation of Decadal-to-Multi-century climate predictions, DOE [Principal Investigator: R.S. Bradley (U. Mass); Co-Investigators: H.F. Diaz, M.E. Mann] $388,000
1998-2000          The changing seasons? Detecting and understanding climatic change, NSF-Hydrological Science [Principal Investigator U. Lall (U. Utah); Co-investigators: M.E. Mann, B. Rajagopalan, M. Cane] $266,235
1996-1999 Patterns of Organized Climatic Variability: Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Globally
Distributed Climate Proxy Records and Long-term Model Integrations, NSF-Earth Systems History [Principal Investigator: R.S. Bradley (U. Mass); Co-Investigators: M.E. Mann, M.K. Hughes] $270,000
1996-1998 Investigation of Patterns of Organized Large-Scale Climatic Variability During the Last Millennium, DOE, Alexander Hollaender Postdoctoral Fellowship [M.E. Mann] $78,000
For those keeping score, that’s more than $6 million in grants for various predictions, models and reconstructions over the last 13 years by Mann and his cohorts.
Shall we look into Mann’s payola grants? Or does the Willie Soon witch hunt take precedence?

ICU

Of course.

Onyabike

Yes but more importantly – Did M. Mann ever get a cheeseburger voucher from BP? Now that would surely make him a ‘paid shill’ of evil polluters and invalidate all his ‘work’.

Dr. Mann worked with investigators from the CRU East Anglia (Dr. Phil Jones et al) and they indeed do list oil companies as sponsors. It’s on their acknowledgement of funding page. Nothing unusual there. Many universities and research groups take oil industry funding.
So, if it’s dirty to take oil company funding then a significant portion of the climate research I am aware of should be rejected…

Siberian_Husky

Only a moron would equate government funding with funding from the fossil fuel industry.
But that’s what this is really about itsn’t it- you just don’t like paying taxes because you’ve failed at life…

Um… I think I’ve been a much better than average success at life. Maybe that’s just projection on your part, dog.
And if you noticed, most of those Mann ‘grants’ are not from government agencies.

Onyabike

You are right Husky. You can’t compare the two funding sources. One demands results and the other only demands validation. Where do you think the saying “Good enough for government work” comes from?

Streetcred

The dog gives new meaning to the term, “out in the cold.”

Jeff F

Ouch…some kind of truth there.

ralfellis

Au contrare, my pet doggy. I like paying my taxes, but I don’t like what current governments spend it on.
Spending $50 billion a year on trying to destroy Western industry, technology, standards of living and culture, is not very good value in my book. And I shall continue to resist paying those taxes, and donate them to WUWT instead, for as long as this nonsense continues.
R

dbstealey February 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm
And if you noticed, most of those Mann ‘grants’ are not from government agencies.

Actually stealey they are almost all from government agencies according to your list: NSF, DOE, USIAD, NOAA, ONR,

The ones from gov’t agencies are even worse. That money should be returned to the Treasury:
http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Michael_Mann_Money_011410.html

Bob Boder

Husky
Because we all know the government is our friend and is out to help us.
Let me ask you something when the communist killed 50 million is Russia or 90 million in China or when the Fascists in Germany and Japan tried to take over the world and exterminate everyone they thought was inferior was your biggest worry about who was cornering the market on oil?
Both industry and government are out of control but if you think they are on opposite sides you are crazy. The difference is, industry is trying to control a market, government is trying to control you. Neither cares a wit about you or me.

coolclimateinfo

That is incredible db! I had no idea that kind of money could be garnered by a few people writing papers. What Dr. Soon collected for the Smithsonian was a pittance by comparison. It underscores the complete utter hypocrisy of the warmists.

richardscourtney

Chris
You rightly say

The last time I checked, no one forced Soon to work for the Smithsonian, which has these requirements clearly stated. No one forced him to publish in journals that require disclosure research sources of funding.

Soon clearly stated that he worked for the Smithsonian and he made full disclosure of his research sources of funding.
I am at a loss to understand your point.
Richard

Chris

The question is the disclosure of funding sources for research, not whether someone received funding for their research.

Paul Coppin

No, the question is of whose business it is that there is a disclosure of funding sources…

Chris

“No, the question is of whose business it is that there is a disclosure of funding sources…”
Are you saying a journal or employer of association should not have that right?
The last time I checked, no one forced Soon to work for the Smithsonian, which has these requirements clearly stated. No one forced him to publish in journals that require disclosure research sources of funding.
He could work on his own, and self publish or publish through a journal or site that does not place these restrictions.

A call for Michael Mann to return grant loot to the Treasury:
http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-Michael_Mann_Money_011410.html

dbstealey February 23, 2015 at 7:06 pm
2009-2013 Quantifying the influence of environmental temperature on transmission of vector-borne diseases, NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991 [This needs investigated. Why was Mann given this very large grant? It pays for a study of mosquito vectors. Should it not be given to a biologist, or an epidemiologist? Or was it just payola? There is no record of any paper being produced from this grant.

More of stealey’s usual blind copying and pasting without any understanding of the subject, and associated innuendo and misinformation!
The PI for this grant was an expert on the subject: Matt Thomas, Ph.D., Professor and Huck Scholar in Ecological Entomology. One of his specialties is Malaria: http://www.thethomaslab.net/climate-change
Lists about 12 recent papers on the subject (out of 29 listed at NSF as arising from the award), here’s one with Mann as co-author, note the acknowledgement section:
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/articles/articles/PaaijmansEtAlCCOnline14.pdf
“Acknowledgments This work was supported by the NSF-EID program (grant no. EF-0914384).”
Awaiting with bated breath for stealey’s retraction of this slur.

LOLOL!!!
The truth hurts, eh, “Phil.”?
What’s comparison for the goose is comparison for the gander. You give Mann a totally free pass. But not Dr. Soon? Didn’t think so. I still don’t see a Mann paper in return for that 1.8 mil.
Being a Mann apologist doesn’t surprise me at all. How about that Hokey Stick, eh, “Phil.”?

dbstealey February 24, 2015 at 6:13 am
The truth hurts, eh, “Phil.”?

Apparently it does stealey, you got caught out not telling the truth and now you try to evade responsibility for it.
I still don’t see a Mann paper in return for that 1.8 mil.
That’s your problem, perhaps you should try reading, as cited above:
‘Downscaling reveals diverse effects of anthropogenic climate warming on the potential for local environments to support malaria transmission’,
Krijn P. Paaijmans & Justine I. Blanford & Robert G. Crane & Michael E. Mann & Liang Ning & Kathleen V. Schreiber & Matthew B. Thomas
Matthew B Thomas is the recipient of the ‘1.8 mil’ and the PI of the grant Robert G Crane is another of the collaborators on the proposal, NSF list 29 papers arising from the award.
You give Mann a totally free pass. But not Dr. Soon?
Mann acknowledged his source in his paper, apparently Soon has not, there’s no equivalency.
Being a Mann apologist doesn’t surprise me at all.
Not an apologist, just pointing out your untruths and misinformation, your being a Soon apologist doesn’t surprise me at all, par for the course, trying to defect criticism by posting false information.

I imagine that if $1,800,000 were on offer in return for a paper, there would be a line of applicants from Miami to L.A. That amount is so much higher than the average grant that only the most naive and credulous would believe that it’s all just due to an interest in mosquitoes.
Also, “Phil.”, I’ve never told lies or knowingly posted misinformation. That’s your psychological Projection speaking.

dbstealey February 24, 2015 at 9:55 am
I imagine that if $1,800,000 were on offer in return for a paper, there would be a line of applicants from Miami to L.A. That amount is so much higher than the average grant that only the most naive and credulous would believe that it’s all just due to an interest in mosquitoes.

That grant was for four years work, that’s not exceptional, I’ve had bigger ones than that myself.
As pointed out the NSF credits the award as leading to 29 papers, not one. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has recently committed $168million to malaria research.
Also, “Phil.”, I’ve never told lies or knowingly posted misinformation.
Get real stealey, you’ve done so multiple times in this thread alone.
You posted this:
“NSF-EF [Principal Investigator: M. Thomas; Co-Investigators: R.G. Crane, M.E. Mann, A. Read, T. Scott (Penn State Univ.)] $1,884,991 [This needs investigated. Why was Mann given this very large grant? It pays for a study of mosquito vectors. Should it not be given to a biologist, or an epidemiologist?
and this “There is no record of any paper being produced from this grant.” when in fact there are records of multiple papers being produced from it .
In reply to this: “here’s one with Mann as co-author, note the acknowledgement section:
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/articles/articles/PaaijmansEtAlCCOnline14.pdf
Acknowledgments This work was supported by the NSF-EID program (grant no. EF-0914384).”
You posted: “I still don’t see a Mann paper in return for that 1.8 mil.”
Sticking your fingers in your ears and saying ‘I can’t hear you’, doesn’t cut it.

“Phil.” lowers himself to name-calling because that’s the only real argument he has. I’ve got news for the anonymous “Phil”: I don’t lie. If I have ever posted incorrect information, that’s the problem of those who produced it. I’m the messenger, see, name-caller? I never post anything that I know is wrong. But every time “Phil.” comments, it is dishonest. Why? Because he is on the wrong side of the debate, and he knows it: global warming stopped close to twenty years ago. Any skeptical scientist [the ONLY honest kind of scientists] would look at that fact and admit that he was on the wrong track.
I will admit that “Phil.” is the the resident expert here: his expertise consists of doing internet searches, so he can sound intelligent. But the fact is, “Phil.” is just a chameleon; a wannabe smart guy. In reality, “Phil.” is quite stupid on his own. He’s a know-nothing. Take away his internet, and he’s a mouth-breather.
Hey, prove me wrong, “Phil.”. Instead of being an internet coward, post your name. If you don’t have the balls to do that, then you’re nothing.

Reed Bukhart

Dbstealey…..you are way out of line attacking Phil. like that.

@Reed Bukhart:
When someone labels me a ‘liar’, the gloves are off.
What would you do? Turn the other cheek?
I’m ‘awaiting with bated breath for “Phil’s” retraction of that slur’.

dbstealey February 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm
“Phil.” lowers himself to name-calling because that’s the only real argument he has. I’ve got news for the anonymous “Phil”: I don’t lie. If I have ever posted incorrect information, that’s the problem of those who produced it.

Really? Stealey, you produced this statement:
dbstealey February 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm
And if you noticed, most of those Mann ‘grants’ are not from government agencies.

Actually stealey they are almost all from government agencies according to your list: NSF-7, DOE-3, USAID-1, NOAA-5, ONR-1, for a total of 17 government grants vs. 2 non-governmental. So who are you going to blame for producing that incorrect information? How could you not know that your statement was untrue?
And yet according to: ” I never post anything that I know is wrong.”

Bob Boder

take a look into Nick Stokes.

fredberple:

“Why Models Run Hot: Results from An Irreducibly Simple Climate Model.” was not funded by Southern Corp.

Or anyone else. William Briggs (one of the co-authors) says it was written on the authors’ own time. The hit men from the NYT and Greenpissers are just dredging up old accusations against Dr. Soon. The hit men don’t mention “Why Models Run Hot,” so my guess is that Greenpissers thought they hit pay dirt with a FOIA request from the Smithsonian, and then whispered to the Times guys, “Hey, you want to slime the d•niers? Here’s an easy target.” Of course, they didn’t notice that the contracts were between Southern and Smithsonian, not with Dr. Soon.
Of course, the New York Slimes (as Mark Levin calls them) are nothing less than Pravda for the Obama administration. Unfortunately whatever they publish gets picked up by every third- and fourth-rate publication in the country as the gospel truth. So as usual, the lies run around the world while the truth is just getting its boots on (Mark Twain).
/Mr Lynn

Siberian_Husky

[Snip. Calling people denialists gets you snipped. See? ~mod.]

Mike the Morlock

Siberian_Husky No one here uses such language in reference to you. I think you owe an apology. Decide what type of human being you are.
One who engages in honest civil debate over the facts, or no.
michael
ps I await your reply

John Towers

I often read the article and then the posts so as to get better insight. The posts on this article are not up to standard for this site with the personal attacks and acrimony. I enjoy the point counterpoint but the name calling is childish and weakens your arguments. Please stop.

In other circumstances I would agree with you, but do you really think Justin Gillis and John Schwartz deserve any respect for their transparent attempt to ruin the career of a distinguished scientist and to further the agenda of the Warmist ideologues?
/Mr Lynn

Bernie Hutchins

Well – not that bad. But it might be advisable for anyone posting under a screen-name to ask himself/herself if he/she would press the submit button if the real name were showing. If one must use a fake name, that is understandable in some cases, – – but you unavoidably lose points, especially as one spews invective!

Reply to John Towers ==> The inability of some to engage in meaningful civil discourse is regrettable. Remember, this is the internet, where children mix in posing as adults (and, unfortunately, in other places, adults mix in pretending to be children). That there are Junior Deputy Climate Defenders (from both sides of the divide) here who can not discuss but only call names is the price we pay for an open and free internet. I generally ignore comments from those not using their full real names (but sometimes I have allowance for those using their initials, such as Dr. Brown at Duke University who uses “rgbatduke”). It is very hard for commenting Moderators to maintain and enforce free discourse and to cut out the badmouthing kids at the same time. Even I get angry and over-react at times, to my own regret.
To read here and else where on the ‘Net, one must have an active and serviceable reading filter — to skip over the childish nonsense.

The only one of these “journalist” I have found with even a science degree is Monbiot of the Guardian and his is Zoology which still means he is far less qualified than the average sceptic to speak about this dispute between scientific equals.
They don’t have the scientific credibility and by the look of it, they just copy and paste the carbage from the foreign government funded greenblob.
This is why they are no longer the mainstream on climate and WUWT is the mainstream.

Alx

Wow it’s amazing how a coordinated personal attack of no substance can take so much traction in the media. Which shows more what a bunch of easily manipulated idiots make up the media than any failings of Dr Soon.
Meanwhile women coming forward with complaints of sexual harassment by the chairman of the IPCC has little traction except in India. Apparently Indian media is more concerned with men in position of power sexually harassing women than American media does, well unless the accused is a comedian, then it is front page news for months. While they are not at it, would be nice if someone looked into the relationship Pachauris public role as chairman affected his private company and his personal wealth. Let’s see the decisions made at the IPCC have a direct relationship to the bottom line of the companies he owns. Talk about a conflict of interest.
What does sexual harassment have to do with the “science”? Well nothing. What does Soon being funded by SCS have to do with the science. Nothing. Except if you are not a bobble head in the AGW crowd, then it means some ambiguous everything.
It is interesting what a bunch of cowards are running the Smithsonian. They are acting like trailer trash who claim ignorance when confronted with the obligations they have due to the contracts they put their signature on. The Smithsonian cowards felt the need to explain they did not agree with Dr. Soon, why not provide a list of all the scientists they do not agree with? In the same spasm of fear they then gave a mealy mouthed position on AGW; “human activities are “a” cause of global warming.” Yes “a’ cause among many other causes affecting climate temperature. I believe Dr. Soon believes the same, you dumb-arses at the Smithsonian. Thanks to the executives running the Smithsonian for sullying its reputation.
Can’t wait to see what else Climate Science can stain on its narcissistic parade to imagined relevancy.

pochas

It’s the Green Inquisition. I hope they don’t blaspheme themselves by driving cars or flying airplanes.

Wow!
The Republicans have suggested they will call witnesses to question adjustment of temperature records. Dr. Soon was thought to be on the witness list.
Why are they discrediting Dr. Soon? I’m sure you can work it out.

Phlogiston

With their triple-chins purple with the Borsch-stain of Russian funding, Greenpeace are unashamed to add racism to hypocrisy in their bullying of Willie Soon. This makes Greenpeace’s money trail to Putin’s thugs even more unmistakable.

James Hein

I am somewhat confused by many of the comments attached to this particular article. I, like I suspect many that read here, have read hundreds and hundreds of papers across a number of fields of research and I have yet to see any that list their funding sources. It appears to be the default expectation of some commentators that any funding source will automatically taint a paper but the same argument could be made that the biggest source of influence are the personal ones of the researchers themselves, regardless of any funding sources. One notable exception are government funded departments required to produce government directed results.

Kip Hansen

Reply to J Hein ==> You are correct. Those attacking Soon confuse general research grants with Conflict of Interest. A general research grant does not create a conflict of interest. Nothing produced by Soon would result in his financial gain….Southern Corp’s grants to Soon are not predicated on his various findings. Southern is an electric utility whose fortunes do not depend on Soon’s findings about the relationship between the Sun and the Climate or on his personal opinions on Climate Change and its causes.

Pethefin

Exactly. A very convenient confusion by the AGW-crowd. And in any case, what is the function of the disclosure of conflict of interest? Not a full disclosure of all funding resources, but of potentially conflicting interests. What is supposed to be the conflicting interest of an electrical company providing such a general research grant for research in the variability of the sun in terms of the earth’s climate? Not a very smart move by the AGW-camp, since all this hand waving will most likely bite the AGW-cult back as they are setting the bar really high also for the AGW-scientists.

“I, like I suspect many that read here, have read hundreds and hundreds of papers across a number of fields of research and I have yet to see any that list their funding sources.”
You don’t read very carefully. The last two posts at WUWT, and the one that follows, are about papers. Each has a statement of funding source, which is repeated in the press release.

John West

Past funding over their entire career?

Bob Boder

Says a paid Troll

Bernie Hutchins

Nick –James Hein and you are talking about two different things – and you knew that, or should have.
He is talking about “hundreds” of papers within his own experience. You said “The last two posts at WUWT, and the one that follows, are about papers. Each has a statement of funding source, which is repeated in the press release”. Really! What “posts” are you talking about! So you, in contrast, apparently, seem to have SPECIFIC papers by Soon in mind. Is that so? You don’t specifically say. And – very few papers are accompanied by press releases!
True, Hein is most certainly wrong, viewed globally, about a total lack of notices of funding acknowledgment. Such acknowledgments are common, although far from universal, are frequently pro forma and easy to overlook – especially as they may be tucked in at the end following acknowledgments of intellectual contributions that ARE interesting. Even that said, MANY papers do NOT have such notices because funding was non-existent, or too remote in time, place, or topic.

Carrick

As I mentioned above, we need to be careful about insisting on literalist interpretations on what amounts to guidelines for publications. What is allowed eventually is determined by what the editors allow and not by what is written on paper.
The usual reason for disclosing sponsors is to protect the IP rights of the sponsor. With “for profit” research (e.g., new drug protocols), the reason for disclosure is because an actual conflict of interest exists… the “for profit” sponsor has a financial stake in the outcome. It would be unethical to publish research with favorable outcomes to the funding entity, that the funding entity can then earn a profit on.
You get into a bit of a boggy swamp though if you try and start insisting that all funding sources that contributed to research be disclosed. For example, some of us have “anonymous donor” funding.
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures has received $500,000 in anonymous funds in the past two years that they have reported.
By Nick’s logic, apparently not disclosing the name of the anonymous funders would amount to an ethics violation.
Obviously I don’t buy any of this tribally motived nonsense.
There is already a mechanism in place, which I suspect Nick is fully aware, which is the Conflicts of Interest Statement (I’ve linked Elsevier’s). This disclosure is made typically between the author and the publisher (for some journals a sign off by the author’s institute is required).
The other thing to look at is when Elsevier created these supposedly written in stone rules versus when Soon published. Most of the papers listed above almost certainly were published before the new guidelines, which themselves came out of an abuse of peer review by people who were publishing artificially inflated results on the behest of pharmacy companies.
I’ve little regard for Soon’s work, but this is yet another witch hunt directed by true believers. That bothers me far more than what is probably sloppy academic behavior on Soon’s part.

Nick Stokes

Carrick,
“Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures has received $500,000 in anonymous funds in the past two years that they have reported.”
Yes. And here is one of their acknowledgements:
“This work was done as part of the Berkeley Earth project, organized under the auspices of the Novim Group (www.Novim.org). We thank many organizations for their support, including the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation, the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (created by Bill Gates), the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, and three private individuals (M.D., N.G. and M.D.). More information on the Berkeley Earth project can be found at http://www.BerkeleyEarth.org.”
I noted above this quote from a letter Dr Soon wrote to the Guardian:
“The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper”

Chris Hanley

Things are going to get more fraught as Paris approaches.
It’s not Dr Soon’s fault that the planet hasn’t warmed for over 18 years.
For some reason I don’t understand, the fact that armageddon seems to have been cancelled has the alarmists taking out their frustration and disappointment on the sceptics.

Lonie

I personally will never forgive Putin for releasing Greenpeace !!

mikewaite

And why did he ? Putin is not a kind hearted or forgiving man and he has more absolute power than anyone since Stalin.
Was a deal made? Release of activists in exchange for Greenpeace using its formidable propaganda resources for Putin?
One cannot but wonder.

phlogiston

no such thing as a free lunch

Chris

I don’t wonder that – but then, I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

Context & Perspective
The court of NYT & Grist have just sentenced Dr Willie Soon to 5 years in jail for not having lights on his bicycle.
– when I challenged the severity
They replied “Well, he was lucky ……….. If it had been dark, we would have given him 10 years” ..
(….. On the same day a truck being drunk driven by Naomi Oreskes & Michael Mann ploughed thru a crowd of schoolchildren …. But they were let off with a caution and the right to award themselves a Nobel Prize )