So surprising? Report finds US climate skeptic Willy Soon has been funded by oil and coal firms

14 thoughts on “So surprising? Report finds US climate skeptic Willy Soon has been funded by oil and coal firms”

  1. SO WHAT!!

    From the acknowledgements at the end of their paper.

    Acknowledgements. This work was supported by funds from
    the American Petroleum Institute (01-0000-4579), the Air
    Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant AF49620-02-1-
    0194) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    (Grant NAG5-7635). The views expressed herein are those of
    the authors and are independent of the sponsoring agencies.
    We have benefitted greatly from the true and kind spirit of
    research communications (including a preview of their
    thoughts) with the late Jean Grove (who passed away on January
    18, 2001), Dave Evans, Shaopeng Huang, Jim Kennett,
    Yoshio Tagami and Referee #3. We thank John Daly, Diane
    Douglas-Dalziel, Craig and Keith Idso for their unselfish contributions
    to the references. We also thank the Editor, Chris
    de Freitas, for very helpful editorial changes that improved
    the manuscript. We are very grateful to Maria McEachern,
    Melissa Hilbert, Barbara Palmer and Will Graves for invaluable
    library help, and both Philip Gonzalez and Lisa Linarte
    for crucial all-around help.

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr2003/23/c023p089.pdf

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    1. The “so what” I’m thinking of is “so what about where the funding comes from?”. No amount of money in the world can change scientific fact.

      Got a problem with what someone says? Try addressing what they say, not where their funding comes from, nor who they are, nor even what their qualifications are. Those things mean squat in regards to whether or not what they’re presenting is factual.

      Anyone (and I mean alarmists and skeptics alike) harping on funding are just making ad hominem attacks.

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      1. Got a problem with what someone says? Try addressing what they say, not where their funding comes from, nor who they are, nor even what their qualifications are.

        No problem. Get it through the peer reviewed process then everyone can have a look. But asking to address thousands of opinion pieces on blogs before the science can progress will just hold things up ( which is of course what deniers want) & the same things are asked daily by deniers anyway, so it’s just a delaying tactic.

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    1. Well, I have publically declared that I have worked for Greenpeace, Rio Tinto and many others. Mostly being paid to provide peer reviewed science which was paid to the University and not to me. And all peer reviewed pieces of work. Question is whether you and the research group you are associated with have declared all your potential conflicts Marc. Isn’t there a little coal money you should tell us about Marc?

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  2. Ove,
    Perhaps you could clarify your relationship with fossil fuel giant Rio Tinto who are involved in the The Future Reef partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation through their subsidiary Rio Tinto Aluminium. According to the publicity this is a unique example of industry and science working together on an area of mutual and national concern. Comalco has committed more than A$1 million over four years to two Reef research programmes that will be overseen by the Foundation. Comalco of course are now Rio Tinto Aluminium.
    In 2008 Rio Tinto produced over 150 Mt of coal.
    Please don’t tell me you are the recipient of funds linked to the fossil fuel industry? Given your post on Willie Soon will you now return the funds, or will you accept that you are a hypocrite?
    It appears that you are in receipt of over $1.4 MILLION dollars from this arrangement. This is more than Willie Soon has received.

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  3. Coal money for me, I wish? What are you implying Ove? Please be clear so my lawyers don’t misquote you.
    Are you saying or implying:
    A). I am being directly paid by the coal industry as part of some conspiracy to draw attention to your questionable record on climate science?
    B). I am indirectly paid by the coal industry via superannuation or small share ownership in a resources company (BHP).

    Clearly you are a misguided conspiracy theorist who believes anyone who dares question the great Oz is in someone’s pocket.

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    1. Marc,

      You are a member of Dr Steven Fityus’s research group at the University of Newcastle, right? He receives funding for his group from the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP). About $500k most recently. Interesting observation in the light of accusations of bias by you aimed at me with respect to my work for Greenpeace in the 1990s.

      With respect to your question regarding Rio Tinto – a company that recognizes the challenge of climate change and wants to move rapidly on the solutions (like all responsible businesses) – there is nothing to ponder too deeply about with respect to my groups involvement. In this case, we undertook research on the impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef organisms, and helped run a highly successful employee program. The later was designed to help employees understand the problems of climate change and the urgency of moving toward solutions. A worthy program which had some great outcomes.

      As long as the science is evidence-based and is not interfered with (which it hasn’t been – otherwise I would exited the project immediately), I have worked on science based projects with a wide range of organizations (as I have repeatedly stated). We must get the best answers to the important questions that lie at the heart of this massive problem. Involving all players makes perfect sense.

      By the way, Marc, I see that you are systematically contacting my research colleagues and students with respect to my professionalism. Could you please tell what your intention or hopes are with respect to this? Is it all for the ABC News Watch cause? I note that you have already slurred me on that site. I am not sure that there is much to be gained from engaging in further discussion with you.

      Ove

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  4. “Question is whether you and the research group you are associated with have declared all your potential conflicts Marc. Isn’t there a little coal money you should tell us about Marc?”

    Mark, are you a denier for hire?

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  5. Lets lay all our cards on the table. Exactly what has been the extent of your Big Green funding since 2001?

    How about since 1994?

    If you look at Soon’s papers, he openly points out the sources of his funding (although you pretend that he hides it).

    It turns out that Big Oil has actually done orders of magnitude more funding for climate change “science” than against it. Here is just one example: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1121-04.htm

    Are you sure that none of the tendrils of your funding reach back to ExxonMobil, BP, etc?

    Perhaps it is time to stop the hysterical argumentum ad hominem and discuss facts!!

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  6. It would be useful to show that the funding agencies somehow affected the message rather than attempting to smear the messenger by association. I’ve no doubt Dr. Soon would have accepted Green Peace money, but they don’t fund research that creates a skeptical report.

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