UVA environmental student group: climate change skeptics unqualified to speak on campus
The President of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Environmental Sciences Organization (ESO) says that speakers who are “scientifically illiterate” shouldn’t be invited to campus.
In a President’s Day editorial, UVA student and ESO President Thomas Forman II scolded his campus's College Republicans for inviting nationally syndicated radio host Phil Valentine to campus last weekend to screen his global warming documentary, An Inconsistent Truth, which explores skeptics’ opinions ofAl Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
“Allowing individuals like Valentine to speak on Grounds — and then defending it by arguing that you allow individuals from all spectrums to come speak — is misguided.” - Thomas Forman II, UVA ESO president
“While we should always have an open dialogue and debate, we should also recognize that some debates simply give legitimacy to a group just pushing its own agenda by not accepting science,” Forman wrote. “Allowing individuals like Valentine to speak on Grounds — and then defending it by arguing that you allow individuals from all spectrums to come speak — is misguided.”
The Environmental Science Organization’s mission statement says that the group, “provides a link between the Environmental Sciences Department and the students of the University.”
Neither Valentine nor Peter Finocchio, the Chairman of the UVA College Republicans, took the charge lying down; both penned editorial responses.
“Forman’s display of arrogance is breathtaking,” Valentine wrote. “His description of anyone who disagrees with him on climate change as being scientifically illiterate is the kind of scorched-earth policy the proponents of man-made global warming employ when they sense the truth is knocking down their door.”
Finocchio charged that if Forman had attended the screening, he would have realized that Valentine did not interview “conservative radio show hosts or a random assortment of CPAC attendees, but accredited scientists who have worked on committees organized by the United Nations or who have completed doctoral research at highly prestigious universities.”
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