2009 International Conference on Climate Change: Update #3

Published March 11, 2009

NEW YORK–Willie Soon, a Harvard University astrophysicist and geophysicist with scores of peer-reviewed papers and books to his credit, said he is “embarrassed and puzzled” by the shallow science in papers that undergird the proposition that the Earth faces a climate crisis caused by global warming.

Soon told the second International Conference on Climate Change here, “We have a system (of peer reviewing scientific literature) that is truly, truly appalling.”

Soon’s criticisms echoed an earlier presentation at the 2 1/2-day conference that ended Tuesday and was attended by about 700 scientists, economists, and policy makers confronting the issue “Global Warming: Was it ever really a crisis?” John Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire, former chief of staff under George H.W. Bush, and a PhD in mechanical engineering, also lamented what he called the “restrictive distribution of research funds” through government channels.

He called for a “fairness doctrine” to be “applied to the funding of research and to the journal-review and publishing of papers.”

Sununu and Soon both said global warming alarmists, particularly the politicians and the few scientists who wrote the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, have captured the scientific paper process, and in Sununu’s words, have been successful in “taking control of who gets funding, who gets published, who gets acclaimed, and who gets demonized.”

“What happened to the peer-review process?” Soon asked rhetorically as he reviewed egregious and complex examples of doctored data and sloppy scholarship in global warming alarmist literature.

In a separate presentation, John Theon, retired senior atmospheric scientist at NASA, accused his former underling, James Hansen, of “embarrassing NASA” with his increasingly strident alarms of imminent death and destruction from the effects of global warming. Among other charges, Hansen has asked for a Nuremberg-style trial for climate realists who disagree with his claims of global warming catastrophe.

Theon said some 300 scientists, including Hansen, reported to him when he was at NASA, “but [Hansen] didn’t receive the attention from me that he should have.”

He noted, for instance, that Hansen, a NASA astronomer, received a six-figure grant from the Heinz Foundation, run by the wealthy wife of U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and afterwards, endorsed Kerry for U.S. President. Theon said Hansen’s endorsement violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from endorsing candidates. But Hansen had “too many powerful friends” in Washington, and so far has escaped discipline.

Theon added that since Hansen has engaged literally in many hundreds of interviews in recent years, he clearly has not been muzzled, as Hansen claims.

For more information about the 2009 International Conference on Climate Change, which closed Tuesday, March 10, visit http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html or call 312/377-4000.