Monday, February 23, 2015
Massachusetts Democrat Senator goes "ad hominem"
Senator Edward J. Markey has jumped on the bandwagon set in motion by the recent NYT article about Dr Willie Soon. He's got nothing intelligent to say about climate change so is attacking those who do. But a debate about persons tells us nothing about the truth or falsehood of what those persons say. The test of truth its agreement with reality and 18 years of global temperature stasis is a reality that heavily favors the skeptics, not the Warmists.
The fact is that a small minority of skeptics do receive some funding from business. But pro-Warming organizatons receive much larger sums from business. For instance early in this century Exxon gave Stanford $100 million and BP gave Princeton $20 million. So why is funding from business wrong when it goes to skeptics but right when it goes to the Green/Left? There is no intelligent answer to that question. It is just tribalism at work
Senator Edward J. Markey is calling on coal and oil companies to reveal whether they are funding scientific climate change studies after his staff reviewed newly obtained documents illuminating the relationship between a researcher for a Cambridge-based institution and energy interests.
The Massachusetts Democrat will send letters to fossil fuel companies, trade organizations, and others with a stake in carbon fuels, aiming to reveal other climate-change-skeptical scientists whose work has been subsidized by those parties, a Markey spokesman said via e-mail.
“For years, fossil fuel interests and front groups have attacked climate scientists and legislation to cut carbon pollution using junk science and debunked arguments,” Markey said in a statement. “The American public deserve an honest debate that isn’t polluted by the best junk science fossil fuel interests can buy. That’s why I will be launching this investigation to see how widespread this denial-for-hire scheme stretches within the anti-climate action cabal.”
The documents reviewed by Markey’s staff were obtained by Greenpeace, the environmental group, through the Freedom of Information Act. They show a relationship between Dr. Willie Soon, a solar researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and several fossil fuel companies who’ve funded his research on climate change. The Cambridge-based center is a joint project of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution, though Soon is employed by the Smithsonian side. The center has previously said that Soon’s views are his alone and not reflective of the institution.
In 2013, the Boston Globe profiled Soon, who has spent much of the past decade studying the sun’s effect on climate change and downplaying the role of carbon emissions. Some climate scientists and environmental groups have questioned the scientific basis of his work.
Willie Soon, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist, has established himself as a front-line combatant in the partisan crossfire over the climate.
Since 2001, Soon has received more than $1 million in grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation, Southern Company, the Texaco Foundation, the American Petroleum Institute, and other organizations either affiliated with fossil fuel companies or active in undermining carbon’s role in climate change, according to documents that have been previously reported. Soon also is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank known for its conferences on climate change skepticism.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).