Documenting Exxon-Mobil's funding of climate change skeptics.

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FACTSHEET: Willie Soon

DETAILS

Research Physicist, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
-Scientific Advisor to Greening Earth Society Dec 1998 and September 2001 -Professor of the Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies of the University of Putra, Malaysia -senior scientist at the George C. Marshall Institute November 1997 to May 2003 -science director, Tech Central Station (TCS)

Dr. Soon is a leading climate change skeptic and has published multiple climate-related studies with fellow George Marshall and Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Sallie Baliunas. According to Google Scholar, Willie Soon has published two articles related to climate change in peer-reviewed journals.

Willie Soon recieved a bachelor's and master's degrees in science from the University of Southern California. In 1991, he earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. Willie Soon is a physicist at the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an astronomer at the Mount Wilson Observatory.

QUOTES

“We have plenty of direct evidence for man changing the Earth’s environment on local and regional scales, but what is often not appreciated is that not all man-made modifications and influences are so horribly destructive. The evidence about man-made CO2 causing global warming is nowhere close to that neat, but incorrect, conceptual picture of warming as in a greenhouse. If we are serious about knowing the answers, we need to avoid simplistic analogies, stop worrying about public perceptions, and conduct the hard scientific research that is ahead of us.”
Source: CEI Monthly Planet 2008

"Since the appearance of the paper (“Reconstructing Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years: A Reappraisal,” published in the journal Energy & Environment), I have been writing many letters to newspapers and magazines to better educate reporters and writers…All my efforts have centered on testing whether various hypotheses (climate change) should be accepted or rejected."
Source: CEI Monthly Planet 2008

KEY DEEDS

16 May, 2003
Published, with fellow sceptic Sallie Baliunas, an article in the Climate Research journal which reviewed the work of a number of climate scientists who concluded that the last century is the hottest in the last 1000 years. The article, partly funded by the American Petroleum Institute, caused the resignation of three of the journal's editors, in protest at the peer review process. The peer review process was conducted by New Zealand sceptic scientist Chris de Freitas. The Soon/Baliunas article was widely picked up by Exxon-funded groups and led to a Senate hearing chaired by James Inhofe (R-OK)
Source: Jeff Nesmith, Cox News

DEEDS

Wrote a paper titled “Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the "ultimate" survival control factor?”, concluding that polar bears are not being threatened by anthropogenic global warming. Dr. Soon disclosed in the acknowledgments section that he had received direct corporate funding for the work, stating “W. Soon’s effort for the completion of this paper was partially supported by grants from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, American Petroleum Institute, and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.”
Source: "Case Study: Polar Bear Junk Science and Koch Industries"

Dr. Soon has been a guest speaker at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference of Climate Change (ICCC), an annual conference on climate skepticism. In 2009 he spoke about his work in debunking the hypothesis of man-made climate change. He was a Speaker at the Heartland Institute’s 6th ICCC in 2011.
Source: Heartland Climate Conference 6

In May 2011 Soon co-published an article titled The Myth of Killer Mercury in the Wall Street Journal. The article, among other things, argues that the 41-48 estimated tons of mercury per year are dwarfed by other forms of mercury discharge. Therefore, he argues, it is wasteful that the EPA demands power plant retrofits over this “miniscule risk.” Soon is wrongly presented as a natural scientist at Harvard and an expert on mercury and public health issues. Soon is not a Harvard scientist, nor has he published work to be considered a mercury expert.
Source: Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Willie Soon and Paul Driessen

Soon was the chief scientific researcher at the Frontiers of Freedom's Center for Science and Public Policy which was set up after $100,000 ExxonMobil grant in 2002.
Source: DeSmogBlog profile Willie Soon

Willie Soon admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.
Source: The Guardian "Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show" by John Vidal

EVENTS

Heartland Climate Conference 6
http://climateconference.heartland.org/about-2/speakers/
The relationship of Willie Soon to the event: Speaker

ORGANIZATIONS

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Source: "Earth Last," The American Prospect, 5/7/04

George C. Marshall Institute
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06

American Petroleum Institute
Source: "Earth Last," The American Prospect, 5/7/04

Fraser Institute
Source: Fraser Institute website 4/04

Tech Central Science Foundation or Tech Central Station
Source: Tech Central Station Bio - Soon

World Climate Report
Source: World Climate Report website

United for Jobs
Source: United for Jobs "Mercury Matters" May 8, 2004

Heartland Institute
Source: Heartland Institute Website (2006)

Cooler Heads Coalition
Source: CEI Advertisement

Climate Research Journal
Source: Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years

Frontiers of Freedom Institute and Foundation
Source: Article in Wall St Journal

Science and Public Policy Institute
Source: SPPI on Web Archive - way back when machine

ExxonMobil Corporation
Source: Greenpeace case study on Willie Soon

SOURCES

"Earth Last," The American Prospect, 5/7/04
article by Chris Mooney
http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=7603

Fraser Institute website 4/04
http://www.fraserinstitute.ca

World Climate Report website
http://www.co2andclimate.org/climate/editors/editors.htm

Jeff Nesmith, Cox News
Investigative journalist
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/124642_warming02.html

United for Jobs "Mercury Matters" May 8, 2004
http://www.unitedforjobs2004.org/ufj/wrapper.jsp?PID=8040-35&CID=8040-042904D

Tech Central Station Bio - Soon
http://www.techcentralstation.com/biosoonwillie.html

George Marshall Institute website 5/06
http://www.marshall.org

Heartland Institute Website (2006)
http://www.heartland.org/article.cfm?artId=16208

CEI Advertisement
http://www.cei.org/gencon/028,03472.cfm

Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years
http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/storch/pdf/soon+baliunas.cr.2003.pdf

Article in Wall St Journal
Article by Soon and Robert Ferguson on how Mercury is good for you
http://downloads.heartland.org/17743.pdf

"Case Study: Polar Bear Junk Science and Koch Industries"
Greenpeace article
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/case-study-polar-bear-junk-sc

Heartland Climate Conference 6
http://climateconference.heartland.org/about-2/speakers/

CEI Monthly Planet 2008
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/myownPapers-d/CEI-MonthlyPlanet-03-12-pp6to7.pdf

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Willie Soon and Paul Driessen
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703421204576329420414284558.html

SPPI on Web Archive - way back when machine
http://web.archive.org/web/20071012014621/http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/personnel.html

DeSmogBlog profile Willie Soon
http://www.desmogblog.com/willie-soon

The Guardian "Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show" by John Vidal
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

Greenpeace case study on Willie Soon
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/CASE-STUDY-Dr-Willie-Soon-a-Career-Fueled-by-Big-Oil-and-Coal/