Statement from Heartland on the climate skeptic witch-hunt

Left Launches Witch Hunt Against Climate Scientists

New York Times, Boston Globe, and others help Greenpeace attack scientists

who disagree with its extreme views on global warming

CHICAGO (March 1, 2015) — A week ago, the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post ran stories repeating claims made by long-time Greenpeace staffer Kert Davies that Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics failed to disclose funding from “fossil-fuel sources” to the editors of a science journal that published an article coauthored by Dr. Soon. Davies alleged this violated the journal’s disclosure and conflict of interest requirements.

Since then, many other media outlets have covered the controversy.

This news coverage was the beginning of a witch hunt waged against climate scientists whose work contradicts the claims of Greenpeace and other liberal advocacy groups. Elements of the witch hunt include:

* Forecast the Facts, a project of the left-of-center Center for American Progress (and more recently affiliated with the even farther-left Citizen Engagement Laboratory) launched an online petition to the Smithsonian Institution demanding Dr. Soon be fired for misconduct.

* Democratic U.S. Sens. Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent letters to 100 business and think tanks – including The Heartland Institute – demanding they divulge any funding they have provided to global warming skeptics.

* Democratic U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva sent letters to seven universities demanding information about funding for eight scientists who have questioned Greenpeace’s stance on global warming.

* Davies asked the editors of journals that published Soon’s work to investigate whether he had complied with their disclosure and conflict of interest policies.

The Heartland Institute, which has been part of the climate change debate since 1993, has created a web page at www.heartland.org/willie-soon that collects commentary and background information on this controversy. The web page contains information contradicting Davies’ allegations while making the following points:

* Neither the editors of Science Bulletin nor the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Soon’s employer, have said Dr. Soon violated their disclosure or conflict of interest rules.

* Davies has been making similar attacks against Dr. Soon and other climate scientists since as long ago as 1997. He is not a credible source. His background and affiliations should have been included in news stories based on his latest allegations.

* Grants supporting Dr. Soon’s work were vetted and submitted by the Smithsonian, not by Dr. Soon. Grant dollars went to the Smithsonian, which kept around 40 percent of the money for oversight and overhead.

* The amount of industry support Dr. Soon received, variously reported as $1 million or $1.2 million, includes the Smithsonian Institution’s 40 percent share and was received over the course of ten years.

* By agreement between donors and the Smithsonian, Dr. Soon wasn’t even aware of who some of the donors were, making a conflict of interest impossible.

* Disclosure of funding sources is not a common requirement of academic journals in the physical sciences field. Most climate scientists – alarmist as well as skeptical – do not disclose their funding sources.

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, said:

“The Heartland Institute stands four-square behind Willie Soon. He’s a brilliant and courageous scientist devoted entirely to pursuing scientific knowledge. His critics are all ethically challenged and mental midgets by comparison. We plan to continue to work with Dr. Soon on future editions of Climate Change Reconsidered and feature him at future International Conferences on Climate Change, including the next one, the tenth, scheduled to take place in June in Washington, DC.”

John Nothdurft, director of government relations for The Heartland Institute, said:

“Instead of having a real conversation with the American public about the science and economics of climate change, well-financed advocacy groups and politicians with many ‘conflicts of interest’ of their own would rather direct the public’s focus on who funds non-profit organizations, independent research institutions, scientists, economists, and other experts.

“Apparently it is now a national offense to raise any concerns over certain aspects of the science or economics of policies that purport to deal with human-caused climate change. This witch hunt has nothing to do with ensuring that science is accurate or reliable. These attacks are leveled by people who refuse to engage in civil debate over important matters of science, economics, and public policy. They should not be allowed to win the day.”

Heartland has worked closely with Dr. Soon over the years, featuring him as a speaker at conferences and including him as a reviewer and contributor to a series of volumes on climate science published for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). In 2013, Heartland published a critique coauthored by Dr. Soon of a report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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118 thoughts on “Statement from Heartland on the climate skeptic witch-hunt

    • Better yet, a write-in campaign to the top newspapers within their states. Make them look like the partisan fools they are.

      Democratic U.S. Sens. Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent letters to 100 business and think tanks – including The Heartland Institute – demanding they divulge any funding they have provided to global warming skeptics.

      Those senators should be contacted and asked why they have not made similar requests of the top environmental organizations and progressive think tanks re their support of the ‘consensus’. Since they have not one can only assume they are on a witch hunt. Letters to the news paper editors within their states explaining those facts would be appropriate.

      • And demand to find the resolution to the regulatory agencies for their trading of NGO personnel.
        September 5, 1997 #51
        by: Doug Fiedor fiedor19@eos.net
        THE REGULATORY MORASS
        The next major federal government scandal is just starting to get legs in the press, thanks to the Dallas Morning News. That is, under a law known as the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, the federal government “lends out” 1,200 to 1,500 well paid federal bureaucrats to left-wing non-profit organizations each year.
        If anyone wonders how the United Nations Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO) fit in with the federal government’s regulatory agencies, here is part of the story: They regularly trade employees back and forth.
        A while back, we reported that the relationship between United Nations NGO’s and federal agencies, like the EPA, was so tight it appeared there was a revolving door between them. Now we learn that many of these people are kept on the federal payroll, even while working for the NGOs.
        Many federal agencies give grants to nonprofit groups. Often, federal regulatory agencies even offer grants to nonprofit organizations that use the money to sue the agency. It’s all a big game, with a well orchestrated game plan. Their plan is to grab power, and the game plan is working well.
        The idea is for nonprofit NGOs to use taxpayer funds to force federal agencies to regulate the American public in ways the NGO desires. Many of the laws and regulations these NGOs want promulgated would be much too harsh to get passed through normal means. So, they trump up some “need” or “violation,” whether environmental or health, and the NGO sues the regulatory agency in court. The courts then “force” the federal regulatory agency to regulate whatever. Hence, it’s a synergistic relationship. The federal regulatory agency ends up with more power and churns out even more regulations, forcing American citizens to act according to the wish of the NGO.

      • Doubtful if it will have any positive effect, considering what the New York Daily News did to William Shatner this weekend over his charity schedule and Leonard Nimoy’s funeral. If you are going to enlist the MSM, you first need to decide whether you are prepared to lose whatever ethics you have, and can afford the electric bill for the shower afterwards.

      • In response to this, I’ve sent letters to many democrats demanding they do something that is anatomically impossible.

  1. failed to disclose funding from “fossil-fuel sources” to the editors of a science journal that published an article Am I reading and understanding this correct? Does someone have to pay for having an articles in science journals published? Before or after the article been accepted?
    Long ago it wasn’t that way at all.

    • My wife was a long-time medical researcher. Yes, authors pay to have their articles published in scientific journals. And, of course, users of the journals pay to read the articles. Furthermore, the professional scientific work of reviewing and critiquing submissions was done by unpaid volunteers. What a business!

      • Don’t forget the part where the research in Global Climate [insert currently approved scary term here] is paid for with our tax dollars… and then the research papers are paywalled so that if we wished to read the fruits of our tax dollars, we get to pay for it again. To top it all off the data we paid for in the first place is kept secret or deleted.

    • Yup. Scientific journals do NOT pay the authors. AT BEST, the journal may accept a submission for review and publication without charging the author(s). Many however, require a fee up front from the author(s). One of the big reasons that plagiarism is an immense issue in scientific publishing is that the sole recognition an author may get for contributions to their filed is through citations. That is also a reason that many scientific papers have absurdly long lists of authors. Every time that paper is cited every author on the list tallies a tick on their citation index.

      • One might pay for reprints, but no bona fide scientific journal (at least none that I’m aware of and I’m familiar with many) charges an author to publish. They just ask for the copyright. Paying to publish sounds like vanity press.

      • Ah, that’s interesting. I wondered why the recent flurry of papers on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko had 60+ authors each. Trouble is, if they are riding on the coat tails just for the citations, they can just as easily be tarred by association. Some of those papers assumed the comet was a contact binary. Sooner or later they will realise it is in fact a single body that has been stretched. All 60 authors will then look rather silly.

    • Yes, we have paid some of the publishing costs in the past This was in biological sciences. Really it helped defray some of the glossy, excellent quality print materials costs and provided authors with production prints of their work in the days when others, who wanted a copy of your work, wrote to the author(s) to get them. This was always after peer review, editing, and acceptance and publication of the work. The publication costs were made clear by the journals up front in their guidelines.
      It was expected back to the 70s that I personally experienced and we included those costs in any funding or grant requests, which reasonably expected those publications. We also reported our funding sources. At the time, peer review was uncompensated, but considered an honor and we took great care to define, describe and avoid conflicts of interest.
      I don’t know how it works now with paywalled internet access, but that part is just about money. I have larger issues with what constitutes peer review anymore, at least in “climate science”.

      • Thanks for the answer. I have heard from friends who back in 70’s had studies published that it could be free after peer review and acceptance to publish but then again in some fields they had to pay. In first case if I understood it correctly (checked last year) the journal “owned” the rights for further publications of same report.
        But what I have against it today, read re. so called “climate scientists reports” is the feeling that some of the Journals publish due to being paid no matter if the study, thesis and so on, has or hasn’t arguments used in accordance with Theories of Science.
        Today while reading an article in some of the Science Journals I can’t help wondering if the “scholar” ever taken time to understand the need for acrebi and the need to present correct facts and so on.

      • I can’t imagine that the tiny circulation of a discipline specific journal allows it to rake in the advertising revenue. Even with the really high subscription costs (that we taxpayers usually bear for university and government entities and personnel) I’d bet most of them run at zero profit anyway.

  2. Perhaps Heartland should publish the affiliations and funding sources of the Alarmist gang. Would be rather illuminating, I think.

    • Joseph Bast ” (Soon’s) critics are all…. mental midgets…”
      I don’t disagree with the man. But we must do better. This is the language of children.

      • I’m with you on that one, but I have to admit to giggling as I read that statement, and muttering “shut the front door”…

      • Yep you got it. The statement was published and not ‘disappeared’ a la Garudian &c. Does Greenpeace as an advocacy publish their funding sources?

      • I am a Heartland Sustaining Member by my $250 yearly contribution. By the way, I am a retired Professional Engineer living on SS, so it represents a hardship. But it is my way of fighting this Club of Rome Ideological Driven Propaganda Infringement on the Scientific Method, the attack on Carbon Fueled Energy and my Persona Liberties.

  3. Keep in mind this, Greenpeace are the good guys they just lie and stuff, Earth First not so much they come to your home or office and not to say just hi and bye.

    • Well, it is good to know that good guys “lie and stuff”.
      Except, in Greenpeace’s case, the “lies and stuff” keeps them from being “good guys”.

    • Well just like the sierra Club of John Muir’s time, Green peace was at one time a “good guy”.
      So when they were the immediate victims of an unprovoked Military attack on New Zealand by the Government of France, it was Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior.” that was blown up in Auckland harbor while moored there, with at least one crew fatality.
      Well That attack probably ranks high amongst the catalog of Famous French Military Victories.
      I guess they did it, because New Zealand and other Pacific Countries complained about France using the Pacific Ocean as their own personal Atom bomb testing facility.
      Well the frogs can forget about any help from us, next time they get themselves invaded.
      But as for Greenpeace, they now better fit the description of Eco-Terrorists, more closely than a peace organization.
      Sierra Club is also pushing their luck.

  4. Let’s not forget the timing, deflect attention away from Pachauri, not to mention the preemptive strike against the Nevada Flash Fried Poultry fiasco …

  5. This looks like the acts of desperation.
    Panic does not help them so, the thing to do is increase the pressure more.
    People in cheap lie made glass houses should know better than to start a rock fight.

  6. A relevant quote:
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels – Reich Minister of Propaganda

  7. Well, if it’s a witch hunt…
    Has Dr. Soon proven, yet, that he sinks when bound and weighted and thrown into a pond?

  8. It is curious that so many journalists and politicians are not only scientifically illiterate but also ignorant of the arts.
    Arthur Miller’s The Crucible isn’t just a metaphor for persecution of the left by the right in the 1950s.
    It is also a metaphor for persecution, per se.
    But the partisan can’t see beyond their own bigotry.

  9. All part of the lefts plan. Yell your lies louder and silence any and all other voices. Makes me think of old Hitler movies. It still gives me the chills to see him screaming in front of massive crowds. The worst of it is, people like to follow.

    • Sorry, I should’ve said, the far right and far left, to be totally accurate. Unfortunately many politicians regardless of political views will follow because they have no scruples
      .

  10. You see, they’re no longer allowed in the mainstream media (MSM) to hurl gutter level abuse at foreigners, non-whites, non-Christians or most minorities, but if you do happen to disagree with an establishment doctrine; that stricture simply ceases to apply to you. The gloves come off and the rules of civilised discourse are forgotten. You can quite safely be called a racist, redneck, elitist, denier, sexist, flat-earther (thank you for that one from the supposed democratic leader of the free world), a shill, insane, Aryan Nation, a flag fetishist, a paid protester, a conspiracy nut or whatever they need to label you, to simply avoid addressing your awkward questions.
    https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/know-your-enemy-the-establishment-journalist/
    Pointman

    • Yes, they use ad-homs that would be more accurate descriptions of themselves. Particularly the “flat-earth” cliche. It is us who claim that the sun does not revolve around our climate.

    • Pointman,
      Interesting.
      For us to actually be effective in this struggle for our culture and civilization, we must know our opponents’ belief system, and where it came from.
      This short video is a good start:

  11. In the dark ages and through the reformation the church was the final authority on what passed for science. But human curiosity being what it is, a few individuals began to explore and try to measure the world around them. Some discoveries seemed to oppose the church’s view. The solution was to arrest, question and sometimes torture these heritics.
    Somehow I don’t think we’ve progressed much….
    Mike

  12. Meanwhile, the head of the IPCC is out on bail on charges of being a pervert which kinda makes you wonder tying that in with th soft porn novel he wrote.

  13. In poker we have an expression: “going all in”. Not a good idea to use it if you don’t hold a strong hand. It would appear that Sens. Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva are not holding that hand yet they seem to have gone “all in” against Willie Soon. They have just lost control of the Senate and Congress. There will be no agreement in Paris, Putin won’t turn up. The Chinese are winning the economic war against Obama, and Modi has stated that he will not co-operate until his Country is economically on a par with the west. Canada and Australia will procrastinate and Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Iran and Libya are not in the mood. Obama is now a lame duck..King Veto..so quite what the Democrats hope to gain is not clear. Perhaps they really believe they can create a Socialist Climate Caliphate in the West but after 25 years of failure it does not seem likely.

    • Well, you can also go “all in” against what you perceive is a weak opponent regardless of your cards.
      I have a feeling they underestimated their opponent, got called, realized their cards were weak and now are scrambling for a technicality in the rules or a tournament director that will get them out of their jam (e.g. allow them to pull back their all in). In any case, it won’t be pretty.

  14. “By agreement between donors and the Smithsonian, Dr. Soon wasn’t even aware of who some of the donors were, making a conflict of interest impossible.”
    Really? Why would the Smithsonian agree to this, and don’t you think Dr. Soon would have some idea of who was funding his work?
    “Disclosure of funding sources is not a common requirement of academic journals in the physical sciences field. Most climate scientists – alarmist as well as skeptical – do not disclose their funding sources.”
    It may not be a requirement, but most funding agencies expect to be acknowledged.

    • Who’s responsibility was it to disclose the funding information, Dr. Soon or the Smithsonian?

      • The Smithsonian passed on 60% of $1.2 MM over ten years to Dr. Soon. Comes to $72,000 per year. Who signed the the Check, the Smithsonian or Big Oil?

      • Now think about the $$M that sports figures make for their contributions to society. Hope the poor guy doesn’t have to live in university housing. He hopefully has more grants than this to raise a family on where he is.

    • “Really? Why would the Smithsonian agree to this, and don’t you think Dr. Soon would have some idea of who was funding his work?”
      Why don’t you ask the Smithsonian, and report back? Charitable organizations often accept unusual conditions to secure a donation.

    • Barry, you wrote: “most funding agencies expect to be acknowledged.”
      Can you share your experience with this observation to widen everyone’s perspective on this.

  15. Heartland:
    “Disclosure of funding sources is not a common requirement of academic journals in the physical sciences field.”
    Willie Soon, writing 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…”

    • So what’s the problem? He also said that he received no support for the work that he did on the paper that seems to have irritated the warmmongers.

    • Once again, context is not your friend. both can be true statements (and likely are) without any conflict.

    • I agree that Heartland is wrong in that statement – I wish people would check before they make pronouncements like that. (I’m not familiar with “the physical sciences field [sic]”, but I would be surprised if they’re any different from other areas.) Anyway, what matters here is what the actual acknowledgements were in the paper that was published.

    • Anyway, this is still a witch hunt, and it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise. (Look at all these more-or-less compromised people getting on board this thing!)
      (Not compromised, you say? See Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out.)

    • This part of the statement by Heartland is patently not true, disclosure of funding sources is an almost universal requirement in scientific publishing. I linked to Elsevier’s policy in an earlier thread, here is the equivalent for ‘Science’:
      Funding and conflict of interest Authors must agree to disclose all affiliations, funding sources, and financial or management relationships that could be perceived as potential sources of bias, as defined by Science’s conflict of interest policy.
      The following is typical:
      Conflict of Interest Statement
      The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
      Acknowledgments
      This research was supported by NSF Award #0525275. Holly McKinney assisted with the selection of archeological Pacific Cod remains for analysis and assisted with some of the stable isotope sample preparation.
      (Frontiers in Environ. Sci.)

  16. A giant smear campaign. It will get even uglier. The alarmists have nothing left: their junk science is exposed, the warming trend ended twenty years ago, nobody but the gullible and ignorant pay any attention to their screeching while the rest of the public yawns.All that’s left is smear tactics. These tactics will backfire.

    • “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
      ― Mahatma Gandhi
      Looks like stage three to me.

  17. This will cut both ways if push comes to shove.
    How many pro-CAGW scientists get money from pro-CAGW governments and green groups??? The warmists will have to tie their own shorts in knots to squirm out of this one!

    • Yes. And how many green groups and university climate departments get funding through foundations controlled or funded by the major owners of big oil companies or even directly from those oil companies? Does more group focus on CO2 lead to more such funding? It’s obviously more comfortable for big oil if green focus is on CO2 “pollution” vs oil spill/cleanup pollution or tanker ballast purge pollution.

  18. The lack of global warming is making the science deniers / warmists even more hostile than usual !
    .
    It’s embarrassing to be a leftist because you must always “debate” your positions with character attacks, ridicule, and questioning the motives of EVERYONE who does not agree with you.
    .
    If that behavior does not define a cult, I don’t know what does.
    .
    According to the leftists, the sun has absolutely nothing to do with tiny changes to the average temperature of the planet, assuming that statistic means anything for a planet with an ever-changing average temperature.
    .
    We are told the following fairy tale by the leftists, who have invented yet another new “crisis” so their beloved Goobermint can seize more power to “solve” it:
    — For 18,000 years since the last ice age peaked, there has been warming from unknown natural causes … and SUDDENLY … BY MAGIC … in 1940 … those natural causes stopped having any warming effect on the climate (although they are 100% responsible for any cooling!!!) … and then MANMADE CO2 SUDDENLY became the SOLE cause of warming !!!
    .
    And the scientific proof of this, according to leftists, is: BECAUSE WE SAY SO, AND WE COULDN’T BE WRONG … BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT THE EARTH, AND EVERYONE ELSE WORKS IN, OR TAKES MONEY FROM, THE OIL INDUSTRY, WHOSE PRIMARY GOAL IS TO DESTROY THE PLANET.
    .
    NO mind is more closed to contrary data or logic than a leftist mind.
    The climate change boogeyman is 99% politics and 1% science (1% only because some of the leftists involved have science degrees).
    PS:
    I favor global warming, because I would like my home state of Michigan to be warmer, and I favor more CO2 in the air, because I would like my plants to grow faster.
    .
    I also believe all “warmists” should be put in prison for 30 days for disturbing the peace and politicizing science — the global warming scam has made me consider scientists to have integrity equal to used car salesmen.
    .
    Al Gore should be forced to retake those two elementary science courses he took in college until he finally gets at least a B grade in both of them (he couldn’t manage an A or B in either of them the first time).
    More on the climate in easy to understand language:
    http://www.elOnionBloggle.blogspot.com

  19. Until Big Oil no longer supports/pays ransom to Green Peace, the Sierra Club and other similar NGOs, hypocrisy will be their cornerstone.

  20. Nick,
    If the Heartland review is correct, then Soon would have told the journals his work was funded by Harvard, It is common practice for many major companies to provide funding to various scientific and charitable foundations simply to reduce the bottom line they pay taxes on. Odds are that the very same list of major oil companies that contribute to – say – Harvard will appear on the lists of contributors to many AGW worriers. They are not conspiracies. They are tax reductions.
    Exxon, BP, Shell and others know perfectly well that the need for energy to move food, people and goods is not going to go away soon and are well aware they have nothing to worry about. Below is a link to a review of disclosure issues in a field where the concerns regarding COI actually mean something.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3152484/
    You want to remember that drugs are far more closely linked to your health than CO2.

    • “If the Heartland review is correct, then Soon would have told the journals his work was funded by Harvard,”
      Well, not Harvard, I hope. The Smithsonian is the body connected to Dr Soon. But Dr Soon applied directly to the Southern Company for funding. His time was billed to them, and he reported to them, describing the papers in question as deliverables. So if he told them that, it wasn’t accurate.

  21. Note to Joseph Bast ==> “His critics are all ethically challenged and mental midgets by comparison.”
    As the President of The Heartland Institute, one expects you to act like, and speak like, an adult. Teenaged-schoolyard, Joe-Romm-ish cracks such as this are not acceptable from a full grown man who is trying to do public relations for a major player in the policy debate on Climate Change.
    You are an embarrassment.

    • Ok the “mental midgets” was may be out of line language even if the shoe fits.
      On the other hand “ethically challenged” is a proper and reasonable opinion of Soon’s critics. I would have added hypocrites in there someplace as well.

  22. “By agreement between donors and the Smithsonian, Dr. Soon wasn’t even aware of who some of the donors were, making a conflict of interest impossible.”
    The agreement with the Southern Company required the Smithsonian not to publish the source. But Dr Soon knew. He applied to the Southern Company for the funding.

    • @Nike Stokes,

      But Dr Soon knew. He applied to the Southern Company for the funding.

      Are you saying that Dr. Soon was made aware of the sourcing restriction between the Southern Company and the Smithsonian in advance of an application for funding, and that it drove his decision to apply to the Southern Company?
      Or are you saying that because Dr. Soon applied to the Southern Company for funding that the Southern Company would have divulged its contractual agreement with the Smithsonian to Dr. Soon, and therefore Dr. Soon was aware of the restriction?

    • Just to clear things up Nick. Are you saying that Dr Soon only came to his findings because he was funded by the oil industry?
      If he didn’t his paper is correct.
      If he did he made false claims in the paper.
      The only other answer is he biased his conclusions because of the funding, and he therefore made fraudulent claims.
      So cards on the table time Nick Stokes, Please.

    • You apparently believe Soon did something “wrong”. Other than not reporting the source which was in line with Smithsonian wishes, what exactly is wrong appears to be vague claims of “conflict of interest” which is absurd since that would make all funding science receives automatically subject to conflict of interest claims.
      Do you believe the Smithsonian is more wrong in agreeing with SC to not divulge their funding or Soon to not to report it?
      And probably the most important question why is this such a big deal that warrants major stories in major media outlets and the US congress. Mountain out of a mole hill comes to mind in the service of a dishonest political agenda come to mind. Do you agree?

    • The logic of Nick Stokes:
      In this comment, he states that Dr. Soon failed to disclose funding for the paper Temporal derivative of Total Solar Irradiance and anomalous Indian summer monsoon: An empirical evidence for a Sun–climate connection (Agnihotri, Dutta and Soon 2011), thus implying that there is a conflict of interest because it was funded by a grant identified in SCS Contract No. 15670 (pg. 31) as an Agreement between Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Southern Company Services, Inc. for (drum roll….):
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      “Understanding Solar Radiation and Climate Change: A Research Program into the Physical Links between Surface Sunshine History and Chinese Temperature Record!!!!”
      In short, according to Stokes’ logic, Dr. Soon should have made the following disclosure in the Agnihotri, Dutta and Soon 2011 paper (identified as a deliverable on pg. 36):

      This scientific manuscript into the “Temporal Derivative of Total Solar Irradiance and anomalous Indian summer monsoon” was funded by a grant from Southern Company Services, Inc. in the form of an advance payment of $60,003 to Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory for the purpose of “Understanding Solar Radiation and Climate Change…” by means of “A Research Program into the Physical Links between Surface Sunshine History and Chinese Temperature Record.”

      If I were an editor of the journal that would be publishing the Agnihotri, Dutta and Soon 2011 paper, I would certainly be scratching my head, but not about any possible conflict of interest, but rather about what a paper about TSI and the Indian Summer Monsoon has to do with a grant to study the physical links between “Surface Sunshine History and (the) Chinese Temperature Record.”
      Instead of alleging non-disclosure of funding implying a conflict of interest, a reasonable and unbiased person, on the other hand, would see that Southern had a made a “no strings attached” grant to the Smithsonian for research that the Smithsonian and Dr. Soon spent as they saw fit. (Please see the “Final Report” for this grant on pages 34 to 38.)
      NOTE: All page numbers refer to the “Greenpeace Papers.”

      • Well, objective 3 of the research proposal to SCS was
        “(3) Find if a similar empirical relationship as in Figure 2 may exist elsewhere since similar results for Figure 1 can clearly be shown, for example, for temperature records of the United States.”
        However, the Journal won’t delve into this. Whether it was appropriate for Dr Soon to list it as a deliverable for this project is up to SCS.

      • Nick Stokes says:
        Whether it was appropriate for Dr Soon to list it as a deliverable for this project is up to SCS.
        So if it’s between them, why do you care?

      • “So if it’s between them, why do you care?”
        I don’t. Dr Soon declared it as a deliverable to his sponsors, but disclosed nothing to the public.

    • That worked in Ghandi’s day… but he was only fighting the British. He didn’t have a global media conspiracy propagandizing that he needed to be blown up.

  23. Yes, the enemy is vulnerable on his funding sources.
    This thread reminded me of Gandhi’s saying “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” After ignoring us for so long, and then some pathetic laughter, they are finally fighting. That will last a while before we finally win.
    But for skeptics, first we investigated the subject. We saw the geological graphs and the paleontology showing so little correlation of CO2 and temperatures, and we knew CAGW could not be the truth. Climategate and other things told us we were looking at fabricated data.So we began with the truth–the ultimate win. Then we started to fight. It has been a fun fight in a lot of ways–our enemies give us so much to laugh at. And when we win at last, we will finally be able to ignore them.

  24. The simple, sad fact of this matter is that the whole campaign is nothing but politics. Nothing you or I say or think matters a whit. I have seen this before, being myself the subject of such an exercise a couple of decades ago. Dr. Soon has the unfortunate luck to be administratively vulnerable to this particular attack. He will suffer personally and financially. There will certainly be a due diligence inquiry, which will be careful, tedious and time consuming, by his institution and he will be cleared eventually, but the purpose of the attacks will have been achieved. It is not even personal on the part of the attackers. It is “just business” as Michael Corleone was fond of saying.
    The sole purpose of this kind of attack is to provide political talking points and cover for elected officials to use to justify decisions they wish to make but for which they need to cite evidence to dismiss contrary points of view. There is no basis, and none has even been claimed, for allegations of any criminal behavior, for example fraudulent generation of results. The reasons for that are obvious. First one would need to show that someone (usually the government) paid money for the production of a specific result. Second one needs to show that the accused provided results which were 1) inaccurate in a meaningful way to the intention of the funding and 2) that the accused did this knowingly. In other words the accused had to have knowingly falsified results. This would require the accuser to 1) demonstrate what the actual result should have been given the available data and 2) demonstrate that the accused knew that the actual data did not support the result. Such a claim would actually require evidence as well as standing is some court. This particular attack has no need for evidence or standing. And therein lies its beauty for politics.
    Anyone who claims otherwise is either a liar, that is to say a politician, or someone who “wants to believe” as did Mulder. The politics of AGW is running up to the UN Paris travel club outing, heat is on to continue EPA regulatory implementation, the Keystone decision is twisting in the wind, and great riches are available to the connected in “green” projects, at least for a couple of years. Unfortunately, Dr. Soon is useful to those politicians to provide one of several talking points to cite as cover to support the decisions they want to make anyway. It is convenient that the actual inquiry that will certainly transpire will likely take a year or so as that will allow the talking point to be used for that period of time. The result of any inquiry will certainly be to clear Dr. Soon, but by that time the politicians will have moved on to the next election cycle and no one, except perhaps you and I (and of course Dr. Soon), will care or even note it.

  25. In the 1990’s The Scripps Research Institute received a ca. $200M grant from a drug company to perform research in certain areas that could be profitable to the company, and useful for human health advancement. Scripps ongoing federally-supported and other research were not impacted, the idea allowed Scripps to expand its research base. As TSRI was private, no eyebrows were raised. A few years later, UC Berkeley was similarly propositioned. The leftist screamers came out in force. “This is a public resource, it belongs to California citizens, and can’t be stolen from us by corporate pirates.” Alas, Berkeley had been suffering from declining state support for years–the citizens of California were declining to pay to keep the university up, federal funding had long surpassed state funding, and the private grant had few strings, mainly giving the company access to research results before they were published, and giving it the opportunity to co-patent certain discoveries (processes and products).
    It was demonstrated that new facilities and equipment would be owned by UC and usable to all faculty, graduate and postdoctoral trainees would benefit from cutting edge technology, and new faculty could be recruited, and current top-grade faculty would be better able to resist “poaching”.
    The brow-ha settled and the project was a success. There were no shady dealings.
    Then BP gave Berkeley a $500M grant for energy research. The shrieks from the left were defining. “This university is being bought by private interests!”
    Today the university is being harassed by leftists for a new policy that welcomes out-of-staters and international students, at the cost of 3X the tuition paid by in-state residents. The leftists consider this a form of undue private influence too, as the many of the new students come from affluent families. The leftists fail to understand that the super tuition is used to subsidize the education of in-state residents, improving UC’s affordability to middle and working class families. Moreover, the new students are largely STEM majors: thanks to Cali’s crappy schools, local STEM talent has been declining for decades. Cal’s grad programs in math, physical science and engineering became Asian-majority long ago.
    Privately funded research has a long and honorable history: before WWII, it was synonymous with research in the physical sciences and engineering. Even after WWII public universities continued to do privately funded research, although it was dwarfed by government-funded Big Science.
    Med schools, both public and private, receive substantial drug-testing funding by Big Pharma.
    On the Soon et al. matter, this is just more leftist harping The demands for funding records by Raul Grijalva and other politicians should move the GOP House and Senate leadership to assure the receiving university officials that Congress has no intent to hold committee meetings on scientists’ funding, so no response is necessary until and if the Dems reclaim majority status and have the political power to pursue Congress-approved investigations.
    Furthermore, if academic freedom protects government-funded raw-data and code (research product, that is their holders, consensus climate scientists) from public scrutiny, then academic freedom clearly protects the privacy of researchers who do privately funded research; in the latter case it must, because the blatently-obvious purpose of the latter information-seeking is nothing more than to generate harassment campaigns, particularly to intimidate corporations and private groups into halting their support of “inconvenient research”, that is research that the climate alarmists don’t want performed or reported, Grijalva and his ilk have no knowledge of or interest in Soon, Curry, Pielke, Lindzen: they are being pressured by outside, unnamed (by themselves) Green lobbyists to go after the “inconvenient research” scientists and their supporters, by using the slimy veneer of, at best questionable, if not bogus “Government Authority” that the lobbyists do not themselves possess as private enterprises.
    So as a start, Grijalva’s Committee Chairman should send out letters assuring the institutions that they are authorized to ignore Grijalva’s demands until such time as Committee investigation of the matter of scientists’ private funding is brought up for hearing, the majority passes the motion, and the Chair schedules hearings.

  26. The people and organisations that are the target of this intimidatory behaviour should demand of these people the source of their funding, a sort of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”

    • If you look at the amount and source of funding for individual politicians in elections it makes a laughing stock out of the idea conflict of interest.

  27. People Democratic U.S. Sens. Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse sent letters to 100 business and think tanks – including The Heartland Institute – demanding they divulge any funding they have provided to global warming skeptics. Jews Muslims Politicians so that we can be sure the politicians have no conflicts of interest.
    Funny how they can get “global warming skeptics” through the MSM censors…

  28. Full disclosure: I don’t get funding from any big outfit. The only “funding” I get is when I get paid to make a pickup and delivery– seeing that expedited freight is my field. I could use a little bit of funding though, so if Big Oil wants to pay me for being a skeptic—-.
    But, that’s not why I’m a skeptic. I’m a skeptic because my own personal observations every day for the past 60 years just don’t match what the panic-peddlers are trying to sell. Every time I read another story about the CAGW crowd trying to silence opposition it just makes me more skeptical— since only people who are afraid of the truth behave in such a fashion.
    Science actually goes to the trouble to measure stuff. Like daily temperatures. Wind speed and direction. Moisture content of the air. These days, CO2 gets measured too as it should be. Then– look out the window and see if the sun is shining or if it’s raining or snowing. Actual observation is at the heart of real science. Computer models are only as good as the information they’re fed after all, and if the figures they’re fed are “doctored” to produce the desired result then the result given is bogus. GIGO has been the mantra of computer science ever since I was a boy, after all.
    Yep– I’m a skeptic, and the more I hear the more skeptical I become.

  29. Davies has been making similar attacks against Dr. Soon and other climate scientists since as long ago as 1997. He is not a credible source. His background and affiliations should have been included in news stories based on his latest allegations.

    Amen.

    • We are wrongly thinking of journalism or some other archaic form of reporting when we think of how the media has handled Davies. But that is no longer in effect, we now have what is called entertainment and ratings. If it is entertaining and gets ratings, that is the news to report.

  30. The tell-tale tactics of Politically Correct Progressives:
    Admit Nothing.
    Deny Everything.
    Make Counter-accusations.
    Andemca.

  31. Greenpeace staffer Kert Davies is like Jame Bond. He has been given a license to kill in an effort to save the world from evil criminals against humanity. No scratch that, to save the world from evil people who use electricity, cars, internet and stuff like that.
    In other words Kert Davies has been given a license by the media and idiot politicians to kill us.

  32. Can’t help but think that the timing of the Dr. Soon attacks was to blunt the huge news story that the head of the IPCC resigned in shame because of accusations of sexual misconduct. If it was a high ranking exec at an oil company, I bet there would have been endless stories and in depth investigations…

  33. 3 links to Dr. Soon’s works on 2001 and 2003:
    Climate History and the Sun by Dr. Sallie Baliunas and Dr. Willie Soon – June 5, 2001
    https://web.archive.org/web/20120728151019/http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=90
    Lessons & Limits of Climate History: Was the 20th Century Climate Unusual? – April 17, 2003
    https://web.archive.org/web/20120717000101/http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=136
    Was the 20th Century Climate Unusual? Exploring the Lessons and Limits of Climate History – May 16, 2003
    https://web.archive.org/web/20130322155415/http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=139
    Dr. Willie Soon
    https://web.archive.org/web/20130313080715/http://www.marshall.org/experts.php?id=44

  34. Members of Congress urged the IRS to go after Tea Partiers – and the IRS did just that. I guess Edward Markey, Barbara Boxer, Sheldon Whitehouse and Raúl M. Grijalva couldn’t find a compliant government agency to do their dirty work. This is what happens when your government is all powerful.

  35. Above, TYoke linked to Mark Steyn’s article on this. For those who didn’t click, this section is worth repeating verbatim, especially that part dealing with Roger Pielke, Jr.:
    “When the three investigations into my writing by three separate Canadian “human rights” commissions were finally over (with the acquittal by the British Columbia “Human Rights” Tribunal), a lot of people commented along the following lines:
    ‘I don’t know what Steyn and Maclean’s are complaining about. They were investigated and acquitted. The system worked.’
    And that’s true if you don’t mind wasting a year of your life and a significant seven-figure sum. Most people do mind, of course. Which is why the real target of Big Climate’s thuggery is not the individuals themselves, but the thousands of lesser-known scientists who may secretly, furtively half-agree with the targets of the Warmanos, but figure that, if they can do this to Willie Soon or Judith Curry or Richard Lindzen, what’ll they do to Assistant Professor Wossname at the Podunk Institute of Meteorology? As Jo Nova writes:
    ‘Consider how hard-line the inquisition is. Roger Pielke Jr. accepts most of the consensus IPCC positions, even calling for a carbon tax, and supporting Obama’s proposed EPA regulations, but he’s under fire as much as those who question everything. The aim here is much larger than just stopping Pielke — the real audience are the thousands of silent borderline skeptical academics watching on. Imagine if they spoke their minds? The message to them is “don’t even think it”. All academics must be 100% believers, and even the smallest deviation from the permitted line will receive the same treatment.’
    As with the firebreathing imams who demand that a cartoon or a teddy bear or a swirl on a Burger King ice-cream carton must be punished by death, you’re struck by the insecurity of the true believers. Nevertheless, as Jo says, it works:
    ‘The harassment and pressure work on whistleblowers. We are all human. Sadly even Pielke admits, despite having tenure, that the harrassment means he has changed the way he writes and researches:
    “The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject.”
    http://www.steynonline.com/6831/the-warmish-inquisition

  36. Why doesn’t Dr Soon end this nonsense… Just call a press conference and disclose funding on every research paper. The announce a lawsuit against the NY Times… better yet, do it in Washington with the Skeptic Seven and 30 Senators and Congressmen.

  37. honestly? It is 100% irrelevant who funded research, it only matters if it can be proven and fits the actual world we live in. Obviously people can be biased but this goes for anyone, even potentially those who have no idea where there funding is from, and have personal views influencing them whether they realize or acknowledge this is also irrelevant.
    One thing we know, the world simply isn’t warming at the rates expected for the dangerous end of the claims. Most of the field is trying to explain this in a dozen different ways, and Dr soon is one of those making the case the real problem is weighting co2 as this powerful to begin with. this is clearly the most obvious answer, despite the political posturing and rhetoric.

    • Randy, that about says it all.
      The monkey-piling on Dr. Soon is being done for only one reason: Planet Earth has debunked the alarmist crowd’s CO2 conjecture. But they cannot admit it.
      So they attack anyone they can, and Dr. Soon is currently in their sights. It is reprehensible and despicable. But hey, that’s the climate alarmist crowd for you.

  38. The good news is that witch hunts don’t usually last too long. They usually don’t end too well for the hunters either.

    • Puzzled at what price you think the hunters pay. Do you mean like Gleick? Like the Puritans? Like Harry Reid and his attacks on Romney not paying taxes? Like Mann’s nowhere punitive litigations? The Spanish Inquisitors? As compared to accused witches?
      The common payback for the hunter is a begrudging correction on Page 6. Oh, the humanity!

  39. Heartland endorsing Mr Soon, is like Greenpeace supporting Michael Mann. Interesting but it helps him very little.

  40. It’s unfortunate that climate skeptics continue to use the Heartland Institute as their public face. It gives the impression that skepticism intrinsically implies having the politics and cognitive ability of Sarah Palin. Skepticism is neither right nor left, it’s just the scientific approach.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Many skeptics sadly bang on how AGW is all political, then sit back and (ironically) deride the left.

  41. This falls directly into the category of, “Be careful what you ask for!” If all studies overtly funded by Greenpeace, Tides, etc. were disqualified and withdrawn, 90% of all pro-AGW “Climate Science” papers would vanish. Good riddance to bad rubbish, of course.

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