Is Soon a Shill Or a Useful Idiot?

Admittedly, this is from someone who lies about climate change for a living, but, as I remarked yesterday, Dr. Willie Soon doesn’t seem to be getting rich from being a professional global warming denialist (boldface mine):

But the maverick researcher claims he would have been better off working for a burger chain and is walking on his uppers…

I am very poor”, he said during an interview at the Heartland Institute conference in Las Vegas last summer. “I would say, if you consider the last three years or four years, I’d say I’m on minimum wage. I could work in McDonald’s and make more money.”

That’s as simple as that. Even my wife doesn’t know this. I don’t discuss money. She supports me in every way she can about science.” He went on: “I’m doing the science I dream of doing … I am a true scientist. In that rigorous sense. I pursue this happiness.”

ExxonMobil cut research grants to Soon at the Harvard-Smithsonian in 2010 after Greenpeace exposed their support – apparently without even thanking him for his years of dedication.

…“Please – everyone should know this thing is on the public record. I don’t think I get ever more than $50,000 to $60,000 a year … if you know how much time I spend working. I am embarrassed to tell people.”

All this professional disgrace, and he’s not even raking in the dough. Kinda sad.

Meanwhile, I still think there’s a hell of a story to be had about why the Smithsonian remained associated him for all these years, apart from the grant money.

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2 Responses to Is Soon a Shill Or a Useful Idiot?

  1. Gingerbaker says:

    Not only is he a liar – but he sucks at math, too.

  2. JO'N says:

    Having been professionally associated with the CfA for a short time, I think the reason Willie Soon is still there is the same reason the John Yoo is still at Berkeley Law School. The CfA is very much folded into the Harvard Astronomy department, and run along similar cultural lines. So, in the absence of academic rule-breaking, it would be considered a bad precedent to force him out strictly because of his published work, even if that work is profoundly embarrassing to the vast majority of his co-workers.

    Given the amounts of grant money flowing though the Harvard Astronomy department, the Harvard Observatory, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the CfA itself (all of which in the same tight cluster of buildings), I’m pretty certain the Willie Soon’s grants weren’t anywhere near significant enough to keep him, if they thought it was a good idea for get rid of him.

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