God, Hope & Helping Others
Climate Skeptic Faces Attack
by JBS President John F. McManus
Scientist Wei-Hock Soon doesn’t agree with the fright peddlers who insist that man-caused global warming is propelling the planet toward a cataclysm. For steadfastly maintaining his position, he has become the target of many who hold an opposing view. Born (1966) and raised in Malaysia, he earned his doctoral degree from the University of Southern California and now serves as a researcher for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts. His special interests are earth science and solar physics, and he is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate.
Dr. Soon, known widely as Willie, co-authored a paper in 2003 which stated that “the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.” He has never backed away from that view and has, therefore, incurred the ire of militant environmentalists and leftist political groups. Rather than challenge his scientific stands (likely because his position cannot be challenged scientifically), his opponents now claim that he has failed to be open about the sources of funding for his research. Kert Davies of Greenpeace, Dr. Soon’s chief protagonist, recently left Greenpeace and is now the executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, a new organization insisting that global warming is indeed a grave threat to the planet.
In 2013, theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson told the Boston Globe, “The whole point of science is to question accepted dogmas. For that reason, I respect Willie Soon as a good scientist and a courageous citizen.”
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate’s leading global warming skeptic, has cited the findings of Dr. Soon and commented, “Willie Soon is a hero of the skeptical movement [doubters about global warming claims]. When you are an early pioneer, you are going to face scrutiny and attacks.”
Asked to defend himself, Soon says, “If a journal that has peer-reviewed and published my work concludes that additional disclosures [about financing] are appropriate, I am happy to comply. I would ask only that other authors – on all sides of the debate – are also required to make similar disclosures.” He has even accused the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a promoter of global warming claims, for being “a pure bully” and engaging in “blatant manipulation of fact.” He calls for all to “Stop politicizing science!”
None of those who question the funding received by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astro-Physics, Dr. Soon’s part-time employer, dispute Dr. Soon’s scientific work. Of his work, Soon claims that he has “never been motivated by financial reward in any of my scientific research,” wryly adding that he “would have accepted money from Greenpeace if they had offered it.” He insists, “No amount of money can influence what I have to say and write, especially on my scientific quest to understand how climate works.”
The Heartland Institute agrees with Dr. Soon. The Institute’s president, Joseph Bast, stated, “He’s a brilliant and courageous scientist … and his critics are all ethically challenged and mental midgets by comparison.” The evidence to back up that statement should not be left out of any discussion of the worth of Dr. Willie Soon.
Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.