Follow the money

Coal Plant near Ferron Utah Feb 2015-8170

And it leads you right to a Koch climate whore:

A prominent academic and climate change denier’s work was funded almost entirely by the energy industry, receiving more than $1.2m from companies, lobby groups and oil billionaires over more than a decade, newly released documents show.

Over the last 14 years Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, received a total of $1.25m from Exxon Mobil, Southern Company, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and a foundation run by the ultra-conservative Koch brothers, the documents obtained by Greenpeace through freedom of information filings show.

According to the documents, the biggest single funder was Southern Company, one of the country’s biggest electricity providers that relies heavily on coal.

The documents draw new attention to the industry’s efforts to block action against climate change – including President Barack Obama’s power-plant rules.

Unlike the vast majority of scientists, Soon does not accept that rising greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial age are causing climate changes. He contends climate change is driven by the sun.

In the relatively small universe of climate denial Soon, with his Harvard-Smithsonian credentials, was a sought after commodity. He was cited admiringly by Senator James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who famously called global warming a hoax. He was called to testify when Republicans in the Kansas state legislature tried to block measures promoting wind and solar power. The Heartland Institute, a hub of climate denial, gave Soon a courage award.

Soon did not enjoy such recognition from the scientific community. There were no grants from Nasa, the National Science Foundation or the other institutions which were funding his colleagues at the Center for Astrophysics. According to the documents, his work was funded almost entirely by the fossil fuel lobby.

“The question here is really: ‘What did API, ExxonMobil, Southern Company and Charles Koch see in Willie Soon? What did they get for $1m-plus,” said Kert Davies, a former Greenpeace researcher who filed the original freedom of information requests. Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center, of which Davies is the founder, shared the documents with news organisations.

“Did they simply hope he was on to research that would disprove the consensus? Or was it too enticing to be able to basically buy the nameplate Harvard-Smithsonian?”

I’d say it’s safe to discount the former. Just a hunch!

3 thoughts on “Follow the money

  1. Of course this is why the right wing disinformation campaign has contended for years that the scientific consensus has been bought. If they all do it, then tobacco science is equal to the rest.

  2. Buying the nameplate is like buying the politician. The Citizens United ruling allowed our politicians to be purchased by the highest bidder and those with the deepest pockets legally.
    The military industrial perfected this game.
    “There is no credible evidence to suggest that our malls will be attacked,” said Jeh Johnson, head of the Homeland Security Department on Sunday. Although “al-Shabab has called for an attack on the Mall of America,” he said. “These threats show why I need a budget.”
    What a load of crap.
    Every time the military industrial complex (military, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security) thinks that it might not receive every penny that it has demanded from the taxpayers it plays the fear card. Suddenly we could all die in our sleep. Or be killed while shopping at the mall.
    And our bought and paid for politicians are the ones delivering the news (fear) to us from them.

Comments are closed.