Reality finally bites for Willie Soon

Among the handful of apparently reputable scientists who deny mainstream climate science, Willie Wei-Hock Soon, regularly described as a Harvard astrophysicist (he’s actually an aerospace engineer working for the Smithsonian, which has a joint centre with Harvard), has been among the most prominent and durable. His biggest hit was his 2003 paper with Sallie Baliunas* which brought about the resignation of half of the editorial board of the journal concerned.

Soon has finally come unstuck, having failed to declare his funding from fossil fuel interests and the Koch brothers in a number of articles, thereby violating the requirements of the journals that published him. The New York Times has a lengthy and unflattering expose.

The only surprise is that this took so long, and that Soon has been allowed to do so much damage to science. Still, the supply of seemingly credible deniers is small enough that discrediting even one makes a difference.

* Unlike Soon, Baliunas is a real astrophysicist. But she’s also a rightwing activist, who pushed ozone hole denial as well as climate denial. She made regular appearances in the early years of this blog, but seems to have gone quiet for the last few years.

26 thoughts on “Reality finally bites for Willie Soon

  1. Actual Willie Soon quotes: “Too much ice is really bad for polar bears.”

    “I would suggest the current conditon today is nowhere near optimal for the polar bear, which means it can grow a little bit warmer.”

    These are from a 2008 speech entitled, “Endangering the Polar Bear: How Environmentalists Kill.”

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