Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Science and Academic Freedom are Irrelevant in Oregon

Recently I posted about the Weather Channel meteorologist who wanted all "global warming deniers" who happen to be certified meteorologists to lose their certifications. Now the state of Oregon has joined the cause.

Years ago, the state of Oregon created the state climate office at Oregon State University. The position, then created by the university, of state climatologist was filled and has been held by George Taylor since 1991. George holds a very radical view - he believes that global warming is a result of natural climate cycles. He disagrees with the "wide scientific consensus" and presents his evidence to the contrary in speeches and debates.

Because Taylor doesn't believe in global warming, the governor of Oregon wants to take away his title and personally appoint his successor - someone who will believe in man-made global warming. Whether or not Taylor would be fired is unclear.

His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon's policies.

So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint.

In an exclusive interview with KGW-TV, Governor Ted Kulongoski confirmed he wants to take that title from Taylor. The governor said Taylor's contradictions interfere with the state's stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists.


Sen. Brad Avakian, (D) Washington County, is sponsoring the bill. He said global warming is so important to state policy it's important to have a climatologist as a consultant to the governor. He denied this is targeted personally at Taylor. "Absolutely not," Avakian said, "I've never met Mr. Taylor and if he's got opinions I hope he comes to the hearing and testifies."

Of course they're not targeting Taylor personally - they are targeting any academic that dares disagree with them. Can you believe this logic? Your academic opinion as a university official contradicts our stated goals and therefore you need to be pushed out of the way. Science doesn't matter when it conflicts with policy.

[Governor] Kulongoski said the state needs a consistent message on reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change.

Indeed they do - and anyone who contradicts that status quo is expendable.

No comments: