An Indiana assistant commissioner who works for the state’s Department of Environmental Management has learned a harsh lesson from colleagues who are fast in the middle of the climate change crowd: Don’t make jokes about global warming.
Keith Baugues, who works for the state’s Office of Air Quality — but is not a scientist — said he was sick and tired of the weeks of heavy snow and freezing temperatures and to let off steam, took to the government message board to fire off a complaint: “Anyone who says global warming is obviously suffering from frostbite,” he wrote, The Indianapolis Star reported.
The response was swift — and sharp.
His fellow environmental office colleagues wrote in that Mr. Baugues had offended them with his comments.
One posted his rebuttal: “Either support consensus science or please keep your opinions to yourself. The rest of us are embarrassed by your unwillingness to accept what is happening” in the climate change field, The Indianapolis Star said.
Another posted: “[You] should not speak on such matters until [you’re] better informed.” That poster also took time to write that scientists have concluded that recent cold weather extremes are actually caused by warming global temperatures, the newspaper reported.
“The fact that [Baugues] disparages the exact kind of science that disproves his statement only further illustrated how out of touch this [Indiana] administration is with the current environmental crisis facing not only Hoosiers, but the entire world,” that person, who posted anonymously, went on to say, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Mr. Baugues then followed up his brief post with a message to his staff aimed at cooling the tensions. But he stood by his view: “I am a skeptic on global warming,” he wrote, The Indianapolis Star reported. “It seems silly to be talking about global warming at a time when we were having extremely cold unseasonable weather.”