The dubious sceptic
Greenpeace USA has uncovered documents that reveal one of the world’s most prominent climate sceptics being funded by US oil and coal firms.
Willie Soon, astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is kno-wn for his view that global warming is caused by solar variation rather than CO2 emissions, and that polar bears are not primarily threatened by climate change.
Documents provided by the Smithsonian under the US Freedom of Information Act show the Charles G Koch Foundation, a leading fund provider for climate sceptic groups, gave Soon grants totalling US $175,000 in 2005 and 2010. The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the US petroleum and natural gas industries, gave him grants totalling US $274,000 between 2001 and 2007.
Soon admitted to receiving the money. But he said, “I was never motivated by financial reward in any of my research.”