Heretic

For the second time in a week, I’m struck by the religious fervor and passion of those who are truly committed to their goals.  But let us speak of the mixing of science and religion.  Question the beliefs of the true believer and you are labelled a heretic!

By pioneering the science of seasonal hurricane forecasting and teaching 70 graduate students who now populate the National Hurricane Center and other research outposts, William Gray turned a city far from the stormy seas into a hurricane research mecca.

But now the institution in Fort Collins, Colo., where he has worked for nearly half a century, has told Gray it may end its support of his seasonal forecasting.

As he enters his 25th year of predicting hurricane season activity, Colorado State University officials say handling media inquiries related to Gray’s forecasting requires too much time and detracts from efforts to promote other professors’ work.

But Gray, a highly visible and sometimes acerbic skeptic of climate change, says that’s a “flimsy excuse” for the real motivation — a desire to push him aside because of his global warming criticism.

Among other comments, Gray has said global warming scientists are “brainwashing our children.”

Well, that’s harsh.

“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,” Gray wrote to Dick Johnson, head of CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and others.

Wait, wait!  Are we to understand that some unknown academic who sits and looks at charts all day is in the news because he’s got some beef with his school?  Not exactly.  If you don’t know the man’s name, I guarantee that your local channel 4 weatherman does.

A professor of public relations at Boston University, Donald Wright, questioned why the university would want to pull back its support for Gray now, after he has published his forecasts for a quarter-century.

“It’s seems peculiar that this is happening now,” Wright said. “Given the national reputation that these reports have, you would think the university would want to continue to promote these forecasts.”

Gray, he said, seems to deliver a lot of publicity bang for the buck. The seasonal forecasts are printed in newspapers around the country and splashed across the World Wide Web.

There also seems to be little question that prominent climate scientists have complained to CSU about Gray’s vocal skepticism. The head of CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Dick Johnson, said he has received many comments during recent years about Gray — some supportive, and some not.

The complaints have come as Gray became increasingly involved in the global warming debate. His comments toward adversaries often are biting and adversarial.

You know.  Sort of like John the Baptist.

Hat tip to the Instapundit for the link.

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