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State Climatologist of Georgia Ousting: Was It Justified? ('Skepticism', not only alarmism, can get political)

By Chip Knappenberger -- September 19, 2011

The political battle to control the flavor of scientific discourse claims another victim. This time it was Dr. David Stooksbury, the 12-year veteran State Climatologist of Georgia whose middle-of-the-road opinions about climate change apparently ran afoul of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s more conservative views.

In an executive order issued last week, Governor Deal stripped Dr. Stooksbury of his title and conferred it to a current employee of the state’s Environmental Protection Division—a position under direct government control, unlike Stooksbury’s rather independent office at the University of Georgia.

Certainly, the Governor can do as he chooses. And the newly tapped Georgia State Climatologist, Bill Murphey is seemingly qualified for the job. But, the move has all the signs of haste, and none of an orderly, well-thought out and coordinated transition. Which hints of something fishy going on.…