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Saturday, November 10, 2007
Outspoken ASU Professor Draws Ire

By Corinne Purtill, Arizona Republic

Arizona State University climatologist Robert Balling attended the premiere of Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. He served on the United Nations’ climate-change panel and studies how drought and warmer temperatures will affect the West. He bikes to work and eats organic food. But environmentalists hate him. Balling, 54, has spoken and written extensively against the widely held scientific view that the documented rise in global temperatures is the result of human activity and that serious consequences will result.


Despite his notoriety as a hero of the skeptic crowd, Balling’s research and lifestyle contain some surprising contradictions. He is in charge of climate studies at the Decision Center for a Desert City, an ambitious ASU program that looks at how drought will affect the Valley. He’s a registered independent and lives a lifestyle that the hardiest environmental activist would recognize as green. His outspoken views and the criticism they get have put ASU in an awkward position as it tries to shape itself as a leader in climate-change studies, ASU officials said. Balling seems bemused by his reputation among activists. “Somehow I’ve been branded this horrible person who belongs in the depths of hell,” he said. “There’s just no tolerance right now.” Read more here.

Posted on 11/10 at 03:49 PM
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