Energy & Environment

Report links climate skeptic researcher to industry money

A prominent, skeptical climate change scientist reportedly received more than $1 million from oil and coal interests for his work and did not properly disclose it.

Willie Soon, who has testified before Congress and is often cited by members of Congress and conservative groups wishing to disprove the human-caused factors of climate change, has previously disclosed some industry funding, The New York Times reported Sunday.

{mosads}Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Senate’s most outspoken climate skeptic, has hailed Soon’s work as part of what he says is part of a large body of research disproving the scientific consensus on climate change.

Through public records obtained by activist group Greenpeace, the Times found that Soon has taken more than $1.2 million from fossil fuel companies that stand to lose from policies that cut carbon emissions, which the majority of scientists believe is the main factor behind climate change.

In return, Soon reportedly published research that downplays the role of greenhouse gases and says that changes in the sun itself can largely explain temperature variations.

He often referred in emails to the research and other work he has completed for those companies as “deliverables,” the Times said.

Soon, who works for the Smithsonian Institution in its joint Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has failed to disclose his industry funding in at least 11 research papers since 2008, according to the newspaper, violating those journals’ ethics rules at least eight times.

Soon declined multiple requests to speak with the Times about the report. Since the Smithsonian was chartered by Congress, its records are public, enabling Greenpeace to obtain Soon’s communications.

Charles Alcock, director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, told the Times that Soon’s omissions were “inappropriate” and promised to deal with the issue as an internal personnel matter.

Soon told Breitbart News after the report was published that he relies on industry funding because the scientific establishment has a vendetta against him and his work questioning their conclusions on climate change.

Tags Climate change Willie Soon

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