Cash for Climate Denial

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An investigation has revealed that infamous climate change denying researcher Willie Soon, of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), took more than $1.2 million dollars from the fossil fuel industry (potentially $1.5 million from fossils if Donors Trust funding is included) while authoring a number of highly controversial scientific journal articles challenging the scientific consensus on climate change. The investigation has been covered in the Guardian and the New York Times.

Soon’s correspondence with corporate funders described testimony prepared for Congress and many of his scientific papers as “deliverables”, showing they were completed in exchange for payment.

The controversy was uncovered by freedom of information requests during an investigation by The Climate Investigations Center and Greenpeace. The findings showed cash flowing from Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries and American coal giant Southern Company to the CfA, which takes a 40 percent share of Soon’s grant money.

Soon’s research has been cited by climate denying politicians to justify blocking laws that reduce carbon pollution.