Editorials

Ignore Wei-Hock Soon, a paid denier of climate change

Wei-Hock Soon makes good money by flailing away at the overwhelming scientific proof that man-made emissions are affecting the world’s climate. Recently uncovered evidence reveals that Soon has received more than $1 million from oil and gas companies for his research papers.
Wei-Hock Soon makes good money by flailing away at the overwhelming scientific proof that man-made emissions are affecting the world’s climate. Recently uncovered evidence reveals that Soon has received more than $1 million from oil and gas companies for his research papers. File photo

When it comes to climate change, the outnumbered but well-funded “skeptics” in the fossil fuel industry get what they pay for, and it often involves Wei-Hock Soon.

The scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics makes good money by flailing away at the overwhelming scientific proof that man-made emissions are affecting the world’s climate.

Recently uncovered evidence reveals that Soon has received more than $1 million from oil and gas companies for his research papers.

Soon’s documents have been widely derided by other scientists. And his failure to often disclose funding from industry opponents of climate change arguments — and the fact that he appears to have even promised to deliver certain results — should strip him of further credibility on this topic and others.

For example, Kansas legislators ought to ignore Soon’s viewpoints if he shows up again — as he did in 2013 — to try to convince them to repeal the state’s renewable energy standard.

That reasonable law, opposed by fossil fuel interests, has required utilities to generate more clean energy from wind and other renewables. Another bill to kill the standard has been introduced this year.

As more effects of climate change emerge, Soon and others of his ilk deserve even less attention than they have received in the past.

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