Blog Archive

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Willie Soon plotted to undermine IPCC's Fourth Assessment (IPCC AR4) four years before it was even written!

Willie Soon plotted to take down the IPCC AR4 before it was even written

Greenpeace, June 28, 2011
In 2003, as the IPCC was gearing up for the upcoming Fourth Assessment (AR4) due in 2007, Willie Soon began plotting with colleagues about how to undermine the work. As part of the FOIA documents received by Greenpeace, there was a link to Dr. Soon’s documents. That link led to a directory of Dr. Soon’s files at Harvard. Dr. Soon has also referenced these online files in previous articles published by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In a letter in these files (dated after 10 October) Dr. Soon wrote: 
“Clearly they [the AR4 chapters] may be too much for any one of us to tackle them all ... But, as A-team, we may for once give it our best shot to try to anticipate and counter some of the chapters, especially WG1---judging from our true expertise in the basic climate sciences ...    

Even if we can tackle ONE single chapter down the road but forcefully and effectively ... we will really accomplish A LOT!    

In all cases, I hope we can start discussing among ourselves to see what we can do to weaken the fourth assessment report or to re-direct  attention back to science …”
Who was this “A Team”? The letter was addressed to “Bob, Randy, Walter, Sallie and Dave.” 

From other correspondence, it seems possible that “Bob” is Australian sceptic Bob Carter, as Dr. Soon worked with Carter. “Sallie” is clearly Dr. Sallie Baliunas, “Dave” is likely David Legates. 

There is no prominent “A-team” type scientist or climate sceptic called Randy – except ExxonMobil’s lobbyist Randy Randol, who was heavily involved with the Exxon-funded deniers. Randol wrote the famous memo to the Bush administration recommending that the then head of the IPCC, Bob Watson, be replaced. (Watson was indeed replaced 
 by the current chair, Rajendra Pachauri.  But Pachauri has continued the rigorous scientific work carried out by Watson and has since become the target of deniers.)
Randol was involved in a number of other Exxon plans to undermine climate science, including a plan cooked up in 1998 with other Exxon-funded think tanks to attack the Kyoto Protocol (see his name, bottom of page 4).

Equally, there is no “Walter” in the climate denial field – except Walt Bucholtz, ExxonMobil’s Government Relations & Issues Advisor, the man responsible for doling out Exxon’s funding grants to deniers and front groups. Bucholtz was listed as a “Government relations advisor” to the Heartland Institute in 2005 (as listed in the Heartland Institute’s 2005 990 IRS form).   

Regardless of who these “A Team” members truly were, Willie Soon clearly coordinated a plan to undermine the science chapter of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment – before he even knew what science it contained. This is a clear example of the climate denier strategy of undermining climate science, and stands in sharp contrast with accepted scientific methodology.

No comments: