Drs. Willie Soon and David Legates – A True Inquiry Into Climate & Weather (2/2)

Categories: Academia, Climate & Weather, Science & Technology
Dr. Willie Soon

Dr. Willie Soon

The plot really does thicken as we continue our inquiry into climate and weather. The verifiable data offered in this interview is both fascinating and disturbing. Astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and climatologist Dr. David Legates (University of Delaware) brief us on key scientific data that cannot be overlooked or dismissed.

This conversation covers an extensive array of climate topics, including the sun’s role in the global climate system, the obstruction and politicization of science, and an honest look at polar bear populations.

Dr. David Legates

Dr. David Legates

I deeply appreciate the gift of real knowledge that these men have brought us. Speaking with clarity and passion, Drs. Willie Soon and David Legates identify numerous factors that leave the average activist and global warming advocate with a totally different understanding of what is really occurring. They display a rare courage in standing up for the integrity of verifiable science as they continue to speak truth to power against vicious attacks. Tune in and explore this incredibly complex field of inquiry with us!

18 comments… add one
  • jeff aitken Dec 14, 2009 @ 15:40

    Hi Kim, this response to Dr. Soon and colleagues on the RealClimate blog seems reasonable to me… I appreciate your deep inquiry.

    “Perhaps the most publicized recent example was the publication of a study by astronomer Willie Soon of the Harvard University-affiliated Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and co-authors, claiming to demonstrate that 20th century global warmth was not unusual in comparison with conditions during Medieval times. Indeed, this study serves as a prime example of one of the “myths” that we have debunked elsewhere on this site. The study was summarily discredited in articles by teams of climate scientists (including several of the scientists here at RealClimate), in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) journal Eos and in Science. However, it took some time the rebuttals to work their way through the slow process of the scientific peer review. In the meantime the study was quickly seized upon by those seeking to sow doubt in the validity behind the scientific consensus concerning the evidence for human-induced climate change (see news articles in the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal). The publication of the study had wider reverberations throughout the academic and scientific institutions connected with it. The association of the study with the “Harvard” name caused some notable unease among members of the Harvard University community (see here and here) and the reputation of the journal publishing the study was seriously tarnished in the process. The editor at Climate Research that handled the Soon et al paper, Dr. Chris de Frietas, has a controversial record of past editorial practices (see this ’sidebar’ to an article in Scientific American by science journalist David Appell). In an unprecedented (to our knowledge) act of protest, chief editor Hans von Storch and 3 additional editors subsequently resigned from Climate Research in response to the fundamental documented failures of the editorial process at the journal. A detailed account of these events are provided by Chris Mooney in the Skeptical Inquirer and The American Prospect, by David Appell in Scientific American, and in a news brief in Nature. The journal’s publisher himself (Otto Kline) eventually stated that “[the conclusions drawn] cannot be concluded convincingly from the evidence provided in the paper”.

  • jeff aitken Dec 14, 2009 @ 15:42
  • Kim Greenhouse Dec 15, 2009 @ 10:26

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for taking your time to write. What would be helpful should you write again is to provide some commentary and justification for the view you are sharing so that guests can discuss it properly. Essentially you are only passing on information from the experts who are perpetuating the dissemination of a one-sided story and systematically shutting down open inquiry by slandering someone’s credibility.

    I am drawn to interview people whose voices, stories, life experiences and expertise are important but may be lost in the mainstream thinking and structures. It happens to be that Dr. Soon has raised issues that have not been addressed publicly and his voice has been silenced by most of the main stream media, political and academic circles connected to the official story about this matter.

    I welcome continued discourse on this matter but please let’s do it in the context of information-sharing – paradigms in which one side of an issue is vilified and the other upheld as an unquestionable truth do not benefit any of us. We must learn to step back from issues and do our best to examine them objectively, despite the reassurances of publicly- (or politically-) acknowledged experts or institutions.

    I look forward to broadening the dialogue on climate change with you.

  • greg Dec 26, 2009 @ 15:29

    Saw this link over on sott.net and checked it out. Excellent interview of professionals with the interviewer’s common touch of the public’s perspective in that all these lies and their messengers do serve to ‘wake us up’. I too came across much of this with what was called ‘Peak Oil’, and now we have global warming, ‘terrorists’ etc. It’s all a farce, and a lesson in awareness as some have put it, we live in a Purgatorial Maze that each of us has to learn to get out of for ourselves, and these liars serve as obstacles in our paths. They do serve a purpose. So let’s all thank Al Gore and his NWO friends for teaching us about their very real conspiracy against the rest of us that they consider ‘sheep’. It’s nice to know that not all sceintists are under the spell of the ‘dark’ crystal, as that kids movie put it. I find it necessary to keep this farce in perspective and such interviews as this one (Part 1 and 2) help.
    Thank you.

  • Adam Cassidy Dec 27, 2009 @ 3:29

    To Jeff Aitken,

    I see plenty of ‘reputations tarnished’, and ‘editorial boards resigning’ but not one fact. Lots of important sounding journals, hungry for funding and advertising dollars, but where’s the beef?

    Where is your argument, besides making this somehow about Dr’ Soon’s socio-economic status, and social standing amongst a funding cabal of liars and data fudgers who construct whatever model they need to sell at the next global climate conference.

    I’m with the intelligent, meaningful discussion from these two men, and I’d bet anyone who took the time to listen to this would agree.

    Besides, if CO2 is a pollutant, then we should all just kill ourselves before we wreck the planet.

  • Anthony Dec 29, 2009 @ 17:45

    Jeff, isn’t it interesting to see Real Climate pointing out the “controversial record of past editorial practices” of Climate Research, when the recent Climategate scandal has shown much the same thing, only *worse*, occurring amongst pro-AGW publications and websites such as Real Climate. As a scientist myself, the suppression of alternative view points, not to mention the deletion and fabrication of climate data, ranks as some of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in my life — all of which has been revealed by the leaked CRU emails. Real Climate is very much the pot calling the kettle black, and Climategate has now proven that Real Climate has *zero* credibility, since it has long been supported by Michael Mann, a scientist who has engaged in extremely unscientific and totally unethical practices.

  • Rebecca Hanna Aug 17, 2010 @ 13:22

    I have to say this interview was very unique. It was very informative and it has merit on that fact alone. (I am so relieved to know the polar bears are not suffering from a loss of ice in their environment.) BUT that is not the main reason that this interview held my attention. What really held me in awe was the soulful, intimate and passionate candor of Dr Willie Soon. I have a new hero. Although he has been ridiculed, marginalized, set up, silenced and thwarted time and time again by the (anti scientific) radical priests and followers of the Co2 religion, he continues to stand for conclusions based on hard scientific evidence. I also appreciate the supportive and candid comments by Dr David Legates. In a truly free and open society these men would be considered merely brilliant but in these strange days where talking about climate change is taboo, these men are are the real heroes and I salute their courage and commitment to speaking their personal truth which is NOT at all convenient! Thank you Kim for another outstanding show!

  • lee Oct 3, 2010 @ 16:38

    Dear Dr. Willie Soon,
    You are my new hero. You are a humble human of true and incalculable worth. May you live long and be heard. If only, IF ONLY! there were more of you …what a wonderful world this would be.

  • Louise Diack Oct 29, 2010 @ 17:50

    Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Willie and have read some of David’s material also. To me it seems that we are dealing with multiple things – climate change as a belief system in itself (it’s assumptions cannot be questioned) and a crisis in science bought about by the skewing influence of funding, where funding is dependent upon findings that fit the prevailing social/political and ideological views of the time. This is also a moral issue (not so much spiritual in my book). If scientists like Dr Soon back down to the pressure being exerted then debate is over and science is lost. He represents something bigger and that is the basis of human knowledge. I can see why Galileo is his hero.

  • Daniel Nelson May 26, 2011 @ 20:40

    I very much enjoyed the interview. My hat off to Kim for asking some good questions. Dr. Soon is a passionate and extremely bright truth seeker. I am very impressed. It’s difficult to imagine a more simplistic “scientific” approach to global warming than to say “Co2 is a greenhouse gas, the planet’s climate is changing (getting warmer), humans release a lot of Co2 into the environment, so therefore global warming is being caused by humans.” It seems to make some sense (to a child) when looked at very simplistically, but it obviously completely skips the scientific method and is complete pseudo-science. Real science will take into account all of the climate influences and drivers and all the evidence. It doesn’t pick and choose which evidence to use and how to present it in such a way so as to demonstrate a conclusion based on a predetermined agenda.

  • Maria Gottlieb Jun 30, 2011 @ 20:39

    Unsurprisingly, it’s been revealed that Dr. Soon, an astrophysicist with no climatology training, has been in the pocket of petroleum companies for at least a decade. To date there has not been a single contrary study on the subject of climate change that has stood up to scrutiny. I sincerely hope you will act responsibly and air an update.

    • Kim Greenhouse Jul 2, 2011 @ 13:22

      Dear Maria,

      This kind and nature of commentary does not inform the public about the facts that the guest presented, nor the issues about of the subject matter that are very deserving of immediate attention. What your comment does do is to attempt to discredit our guest and to subvert the guests input, experience and unsettling professional disenfranchisement and turn it into something it is not. People on many sides of the issue in so many professions either know someone, are funded by an institution, organization or, have some affiliation with others that do not 100% represent where they stand. This show is meant to engage a kind of dialogue that expands the commentary to go beyond the typical “so and so is in the pocket of so and so”. This just doesn’t fly here. What would be more useful to people is to specifically engage the guests points that you have issues with or thoughts about. This will inspire listeners to think more deeply about the matter. Thank you for commenting, but, please try to use the comment section in a more empowering way. If I have invited them on as our guest, I have already made the decision that they have something of vital importance to share with us. You may want to listen to The Whole Enchilada of work we have done on Climate.

  • Paul Kenyon Sep 19, 2012 @ 9:39

    Hey…guys, how the heck do I save this podcast to my computer. I have downloaded it 3 tmes now and can not find it on my computer. I’ve looked using search and looked physically. the computer can’t find it either by the number 091114ClimatgeMP3 or Ranimaking time or anything else I can think of. I can’t listen to it now. I want to listen to it this evening. I will not be on-line this evening. How do I do it?

    • Site Admin Sep 19, 2012 @ 12:04

      Hi Paul,

      If you’re using a mouse, you can right click on the link below the audio player (“click here to download as a podcast”) and choose “save file as” from the menu that appears. I recommend saving it to your desktop so it is easy to find. Your browser should also have a “downloads” window that lists files you’ve downloaded – have you checked there?

      If it’s easier, you can also listen to the interview on YouTube by clicking here. Enjoy!

  • max Oct 1, 2012 @ 23:18

    A transformer is basically an electrical device that either steps up or steps down voltage. Power companies raise the voltage being applied to long distance transmission lines then lower it back down at the destination. This is done so they can use smaller diameter wire. P=EI They are protected by fuses and spark gaps. Lightning destroys many transformers daily and some worry about an EMP or electromagnetic radiation from space doing the same.

    • Site Admin Oct 2, 2012 @ 8:54


      Kim actually did a couple of interviews about EMP in 2010. You may be interested in checking them out as well – the guests are John Kappenman and Bill Radasky.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • max Oct 2, 2012 @ 12:42

        I know. Just more scare tactics. This stuff should be filed in the round file with Y2K.

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