David Legates announced this week that he was asked to step down as Delaware State Climatologist, a position he held for seven years. A long-time denier of the human contribution to climate change, Legates’ tenure as State Climatologist has always been a controversial one.
Back in 2007, because of his stance on climate, then-governor Ruth Ann Minner insisted that Legates stop using the formal title in any public statements on climate change policy. Minner wrote to Legates
“Your views on climate change, as I understand them, are not aligned with those of my administration. In light of my position and due to the confusion surrounding your role with the state, I am directing you to offer any future statements on this or other public policy matters only on behalf of yourself or the University of Delaware, and not as state climatologist.”
Legates maintained the title, however, which is designated by the Dean of the public university’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.
But this week, according to Legates himself, the Dean asked him to “step down.”
Legates sent the following note to his email list:
From: David R. Legates
Date: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM
Subject: New State Climatologist
I want to notify you of a change in the Office of the Delaware State
Climatologist. I have been asked by our Dean’s office to step down and
the former Deputy Dean, Dr. Daniel J. Leathers, will be reassuming the
title of the Delaware State Climatologist. He will be representing the
Office in Asheville and I hope you will welcome him.
I thank you for the opportunity to serve as the Delaware State
Climatologist for the last seven years and to work alongside each of you.
David R. Legates
The obvious question becomes: why now? Legates had endured as a denier in the role of official Delaware State Climatologist through seven years under Democratic governors who openly support action on climate change.
I placed multiple calls to both the University of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), and was unable to find anyone willing or able to go on the record to explain why Legates was asked to step down from the position.
via Ben Jervey | David Legates Asked To Step Down As Delaware State Climatologist.