At last, proof of a climate scientist getting rich peddling science.

Feb. 23, 2015

Ten quotes from pundits and politicians on the right denouncing climate scientists for selling out for grant money. We have a smoking gun – except it points to one of their own, supported with fossil fuel money.

By Peter Dykstra
The Daily Climate

We’ve heard the charges leveled for years:  Unlike oil and coal multinationals, climate scientists are only in it for the money.  This week, researchers found the smoking gun. At least for one.

But there’s a catch.

I have known this, and I have warned of this. I've not been able to prove it, however.
- Rush Limbaugh

Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has been a go-to voice for climate deniers and a frequent flier in contrarian media. Documents obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act by Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center, found a pipeline of $1.2 million in grants and contributions from fossil fuel companies and aligned interests to Soon and his research.  In return, Dr. Soon promised "super-duper" results and "deliverables" that would please his sponsors.

Soon-250Soon has acknowledged fossil fuel funding in the past, but the scope and brazenness of the fossil fuel connection – reported in the New York Times, Inside Climate News and other media outlets on Sunday – has set the world of climate politics abuzz.

Here are ten past allegations from pundits, politicians, and a couple of actual scientists who have helped build the mystique of the grant-addicted, amoral climate science community.  Concrete evidence of this now comes from a guy whom these pundits and politicians frequently cite, Willie Soon.

Rush Limbaugh on his syndicated radio show, Nov. 23, 2009:

Climate scientists are "are whoring themselves out for money, abandoning science, the pursuit of truth, in exchange for advancing a leftist political agenda. I have known this, and I have warned of this. I've not been able to prove it, however. I've simply had to rely on my powers of persuasion, my common sense, and my belief in God to convince people I'm right."

Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg, Nov. 18, 2014:

Climate scientists are "these allegedly objective consultants who are actually rent-seeking remoras sucking on the side of the leviathan and making money off of this stuff."

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on the presidential campaign trail, Aug. 17, 2011:

"There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects."

TV Meteorologist James Spann, ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 18, 2007:

"Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon."

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, May 28, 2010:

Cuccinelli sought to build a political career, in part, on his ultimately futile investigations into climate science. From a press release: "Use of manipulated data to apply for taxpayer-funded research grants in Virginia is potentially fraud."

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Feb. 26, 2010:

Climate scientists "tend to benefit [from] government grants and private sector grants."

National Review commentator Iain Murray, March 11, 2011: 

"Climate scientists are very well compensated, out-earning all other faculty outside of law in hourly-wage terms.... When climate skeptics talk about a global-warming gravy train, the numbers back them up."

Roy Spencer, research scientist at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, March 2007: 

"Climate scientists need there to be a problem in order to get funding."

Former Greenpeace activist-turned-industry-spokesman Patrick Moore, Feb. 27, 2014: 

"You can't hardly get a science grant these days without saying it has something to do with climate change."

Then-House Science Chair Ralph Hall, Dec. 1, 2011:

Climate scientists "each get $5,000 for every report like that they give out. That’s just my guess. I don't have any proof of that. But I don't believe 'em."

Peter Dykstra is weekend editor of The Daily Climate, an independent news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Reach him on Twitter @pdykstra.

The Daily Climate is an independent, foundation-funded news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Find us on Twitter @TheDailyClimate or email editor Brian Bienkowski at bbienkowski [at] EHN.org

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