Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Storm over global-warming sceptic hurricane man

Earlier this month we noted the controversy that greeted this year’s hurricane predictions from Colorado State University academic William Gray. Now it seems Gray’s future is in jeopardy.

According to a story in the Houston Chronicle, CSU feels all the media curfuffle around the annual predictions is taking too much staff time. Gray thinks otherwise.

“This is obviously a flimsy excuse and seems to me to be a cover for the Department’s capitulation to the desires of some (in their own interest) who want to reign [sic] in my global warming and global warming-hurricane criticisms,” said Gray in a memo written when he was informed of the decision last year (read the memo).

Wikipedia has a whole section on his climate change position, which he’s also outlined in a BBC opinion piece. And as the Chronicle’s science blog notes, CSU’s excuse is slightly strange:

I contacted a handful of public relations professionals who found that excuse to be, at best, questionable. University media offices exist to get press for their schools. Gray delivered that in spades with his hurricane forecasts.

CSU denies that Gray’s views on global warming have anything to do with it. Most of the forecasting work is currently done by Gray’s former student Phil Klotzbach and CSU says it will continue to support the forecasts as long as is involved.

Still, by the time the story had reached FoxNews, it had become “a pioneering expert on hurricane forecasting may be out of a job due to the debate over global warming”.

Gray has been semi-retired for some time now anyway. Still, here comes the outrage:
Kaos Radio sees parallels with Expelled:

Ben Stein is a genius. Not only that, but liberals can’t help themselves proving him right.

‘Enviro-Nuts attack Hurricane Pioneer’, says the Mark’s Soap Box blog:

They hate people who speak out against their Dogma, and they attack when you don’t bow down at the alter [sic] of “global warming”. Their target now is the founder of Hurricane prediction, Dr William Gray.

The Secondhand Smoke blog also sees it in terms of stifling scientific orthodoxy:

All around the country and the world, scientists who don't fall in line on human cloning, global warming, neo-Darwinism, and other issues in which the Science Establishment demands lockstep thinking, find themselves being pushed aside--ironically, by the very types who vociferously criticize the Catholic Church for its treatment of Galileo.

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