Global Warming Skepticism Bites Another State Climatologist

This is getting ridiculous. For the second time in roughly two weeks, a governor had harsh criticism for a state climatologist over differing views of man’s responsibility for global warming.

After Oregon’s state climatologist received the bad news in early February, Delaware’s governor had similar sentiments as reported by The Daily Times (emphasis mine throughout):

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner has directed Delaware's state climatologist to stop using his title in public statements on climate change, citing a clash of views on global warming and confusion over the position's ties to the administration.

Minner, who made the directive in a letter, described the move as a way to "clarify" the role of David R. Legates, a prominent skeptic of views that human activities are warming the planet and triggering climate shifts.

In this instance, the governor in question was concerned about the state climatologist’s work when he wasn’t representing her state. However, it suggests that Minner’s views have been impacted by all the recent focus on this issue by the media:

But Minner said that reports of Legates' work with private groups and privately backed publications disputing climate change had "generated some confusion."

"Your views on climate change, as I understand them, are not aligned with those of my administration," Minner wrote.

Hmmm. Now, Minner has been governor since 2001. I haven’t been able to identify how long Legates has held this title, but it doesn’t appear to have been given to him by her. As such, why her sudden change of heart?

Well, Legates is a well-known global warming skeptic that has had articles published concerning his views including this one that was in the conservative Washington Times on August 26, 2003:

While most of official Washington was captivated with the fight on the Senate floor to pass an energy bill before Congress left town for its August vacation, a vicious campaign was under way behind the scenes to smear two leading scientists for pointing out serious flaws in the science behind the theory of human-caused climate change.

Starting to get the picture? Think that this might be all about knocking off one of the primary global warming skeptics? Let’s look at this Daily Times article further:

Last year, however, Legates used the "State Climatologist" title when he co-wrote a friend-of-the-court legal brief opposing an attempt by Delaware and other states to force federal regulation of greenhouse gases.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, linked by some environmental groups to an Exxon-Mobil-funded "misinformation" campaign, filed the brief. Exxon-Mobil has disputed the alleged connections as "deeply offensive and wrong," but one environmental group branded Legates as "a favorite scientist of the global warming denial machine."

Legates also served as an unpaid "adjunct scholar" with the
National Center for Policy Analysis, and had a paper published by that group arguing that science "does not support" claims of drastic warming or human influence on weather or climate shifts. He has previously referred to global warming arguments as "climate alarmism."

This raises an important question: Is anybody safe during this witch hunt?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.