Commentary

Call For Climate Skeptics To Be 'Treated' Was 'Play-On-Words,' U. Of Oregon Says

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | April 3, 2012 | 1:06 PM EDT

Last week, environment and sociology Prof. Kari Norgaard’s press statement on the University of Oregon’s website said that skeptics of the man-made global warming theory should be “treated” for their skepticism.

But, now that a story about the comment has gained nation media attention after being posted on The Drudge Report last week, the statement has been changed to delete the call for climate skeptics to be given treatment for their beliefs.

As originally posted (and reported by the States News Service, March 26, 2012), the press statement, Simultaneous action needed to break cultural inertia in climate-change response,” read:

“Resistance at individual and societal levels must be recognized and treated before real action can be taken to effectively address threats facing the planet from human-caused contributions to climate change.”

Today, however, the release on the university’s website now reads:

“Resistance at individual and societal levels must be recognized before real action can be taken to effectively address threats facing the planet from human-caused contributions to climate change.”

Note that “and treated” has been removed. Now, “resistance” must simply be “recognized.”

I asked Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, University of Oregon when and why the sentence was changed. Here’s his response:

“I intended the original first sentence of the news release to function as a play-on-words on our researcher's message about recognizing and addressing cultural inertia. Unfortunately, the word "treated" became the focus of the story, leading to inaccurate portrayals. In an effort to shift the focus back to the actual topic of the conference presentation, I chose at midday Monday to remove the word from the version of the news release that appears on our website."

So, hopefully, this is merely the deletion of wording that could be misconstrued, and not the cloaking of Warmists’ true opinion of – and solution for – people who don’t share their views.

Unfortunately, though, Prof. Norgaard isn’t the only Warmist to have suggested that we need to probe the brains of skeptics to find out what’s causing their “resistance.”

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