Hmm. For years the climate change deniers have had pet scientists willing to say that the consensus among fellow practitioners was wrong: the observable changes in climate had nothing to do with anything we humans had done. Never mind that some 95% of scientists agree that we’re the culprits behind sea levels’ rise, ozone layer depletion, greenhouse gases rising, etc. Why would these contrarians keep defying the consensus?
Well, in at least one case, cash payments. Or at least that’s how it appears. Mr. Wei Hock Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics claims that variations in the sun’s energy can explain global warming. Why would he say that?
…newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.
The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.
…the documents show that corporate contributions were tied to specific papers and were not disclosed, as required by modern standards of publishing.
Dr. Soon appears to have let himself be bought.
There’s an excellent book titled “Merchants of Doubt” which shines light on these scientists who sell out to corporate interests, sowing uncertainty about the science behind the majority consensus. We’ve seen it work in the tobacco industry, and we’re seeing it in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries as well. It’s a good read.