Skeptical Instructor Fired From Oregon State University

In case you were under the false impression that we had defeated the Evil Empire when the Berlin Wall came down.

Hello Everyone,

In theory at least Oregon State University (OSU) seems to be a bastion of academic freedom, diversity, and tolerance.  A wide range of ideas are openly discussed.  The most viable rise to the top and the least viable fade away.  But it is all a fairy tale, because OSU operates under a politically correct regimen that dictates what is acceptable to say and what is not. Transgressors who dare to be different are eventually weeded out so that the campus maintains its ideological purity.

OSU is not yet as swift or efficient as the Soviet system when Joseph Stalin was trying to quash dissent among biologists who refused to go along with Trofim Lysenko.  If warnings to compromise their integrity were not followed, Stalin simply had biologists shot.  That quickly thinned the ranks of all biologists and persuaded the remaining ones to comply with Stalin’s wishes.  Of course, it also destroyed Soviet biology, because Lysenko was pedaling nonsense.  And Russian biology has never recovered.

We learned over the weekend that chemist Nickolas Drapela, PhD has been summarily fired from his position as a “Senior Instructor” in the Department of Chemistry.  The department chairman Richard Carter told him that he was fired but would not provide any reason.  Subsequent attempts to extract a reason from the OSU administration have been stonewalled.  Drapela appears to have been highly competent and well-liked by his students.  Some have even taken up the fight to have him reinstated.

What could possibly have provoked the OSU administration to take precipitous action against one of their academics who has been on their staff for ten years, just bought a house in Corvallis, and has four young children (one with severe medical problems)?  Dr. Drapela is an outspoken critic of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, the official religion of the State of Oregon, the Oregon Democratic Party, and Governor John Kitzhaber.

Five years ago, Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor went around quietly saying that he was not a believer.  Then Governor Ted Kulongoski and many faculty at OSU including Dr. Jane Lubchenco made life impossible for Taylor, and he retired.  (Lubchenco is now head of NOAA in the Obama administration.)  Under those currently in charge, OSU climate research has grown to be a huge business, reportedly $90 million per year with no real deliverables beyond solid academic support for climate hysteria.  A small army of researchers ponder the effects of Global Warming on all sorts of things from tube worms living along the Oregon Coast to butterflies inland.  When the climate refuses to warm (as it has for the last twenty years), they just study ‘warming in reverse!’  Most of us call that “cooling,” but they are very careful not to upset their Obama administration contract monitors with politically incorrect terminology.

Skeptics of Global Warming who oppose the OSU approach and oppose the politicians who make it all possible but do not work for OSU also find themselves attacked.  Dr. Art Robinson who is running against Peter DeFazio for an Oregon Congressional seat found three of his children under attack at OSU.  All were attempting to obtain advanced degrees in the Nuclear Engineering Department and were threatened with dismissal.  Because Robinson fought back, we understand that the OSU administration backed down.

As to the latest victim of political correctness at OSU, Dr. Nickolas Drapela gives us an excellent synopsis of what is going on:

“The fact of the matter is that it is now two weeks since I was fired and no one has had the cajones or the common courtesy to even tell me why.  I have spoken with the Dept. Chair (Rich Carter) who fired me, and he refused to tell me why.  I spoke to the Dean of Science (Vince Remcho) and he couldn’t tell me why.  I spoke to HR who set up a meeting with me, then cancelled it an hour before.  Then I went to the Vice President of Academic Affairs (Becky Warner) and she sent me back to Rich Carter, the chemistry chair.

It’s just a sad, sad state of affairs that an institution like OSU would fire a good employee for (ostensibly) no reason and then run around and hide from the person they fired.  I had stellar teaching evaluations, I won College of Science awards for teaching, and published textbooks.  My class sections were always full and I was well-liked by students (see ratemyprofessors.com).  I was doing my job very well.  But I guess I didn’t march in step with their philosophies.
There were quite a few student protests over this at OSU (Barometer, Facebook, etc.) but to no avail.
I was given no severance and had no warning this was about to happen.  In fact, I was lured into the chair’s office under the guise of a fallacious story before being fired.
As you know, I was probably the most visibly-outspoken critic of the Global Warming doctrine at OSU.  I gave several public talks on the topic and did research in the area which I regularly posted on the web.  I was also on a few talk radio shows in the area.  I think they finally just said, we can’t have this.
Can it be that a university whose motto is “Open minds. Open doors” cannot abide even one faculty member who disagrees with their dogma?  I suppose I am too naive, but I’m still reeling from it.  Unbelievable.
I should say that they regularly read all my email communications, which is why I am writing from this private email address.  That has been going on for quite some time now.
As far as my options at this point, like I said I haven’t even really grasped what has just happened.  I don’t know what I’m going to do, or what options I have yet.  I’m sure OSU wants their story to be tight and perfectly identical among all administration before coming out with an official reason why I was fired, hence the long wait and refusal to speak to me.
I truly thank you for your concern, and I hope there is some recourse, even just for the sake of exposing what is happening at OSU.”
In a separate e-mail Drapela went on to say:

“Thanks so much for your support and your concern.  That’s really nice.  My students were all really upset about it.  They started an email writing campaign to have me re-hired but I guess no one cares what they think.


I find that the people who want to keep things secret all the time are usually the people that have something to hide.  It is certainly ok by me for you to disseminate this story.  But I’m sure OSU would be horrified.

I’m not sure how I will support my family at this point.  We just bought a house in Corvallis.  I have four kids, one of whom has a rare, blood disorder and requires regular trips to Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital for treatment.  Now we will be without health insurance.”

We can only speculate as to how the decision to fire Drapela was made.  Unlike the decision to force Taylor out (which came from the governor’s office), this decision was likely internal to OSU with the implicit backing of Governor Kitzhaber and NOAA administrator Lubchenco.  I would suspect that Dr. Phil Mote (Director of their Climate Change Research Institute) had a hand in the decision, because he has previously been highly intolerant of those who oppose his ideas and could potentially threaten his business empire.

Please join with me in supporting Nick Drapela.  Please join with me in supporting objective science, as well as academic freedom, diversity, and tolerance.  The issues here go far beyond just Global Warming and strike at the very heart of who we are as scientists and Americans.

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
Corbett, Oregon USA

P.S. Please circulate this e-mail far and wide.  The world needs to know what is going on here.


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38 Responses to Skeptical Instructor Fired From Oregon State University

  1. Andy DC says:

    As you would expect in the Peoples Republic of Oregon!

  2. PA32R says:

    Really? In this day and age of endless litigation (I know from personal experience as an employer of 350 people) someone was simply fired with no explanation as to cause? I simply don’t believe it.

    • Billy Liar says:

      Are you a Saratoga or a Lance?

    • Gail Combs says:

      Believe it.

      I was also fired with ZERO explanation. Only mon-exempt employees are protected by law the rest of us have are rear ends waving in the breeze and have no recourse when fired.

  3. Joseph Bastardi says:

    The immorality of this ilk knows no bounds. The shackles being placed on the nation by the agw agenda combined with increasing episodes of silencing through intimidation is reaching levels that are similar to nazi Germany as they began their ramp up in brainwashing the German population. Read what happened there along with Italy and you can see it. This battle goes far beyond the simple fact that the earths temperatures are cyclical, it reaches into the very heart of what this nation is supposed to be about

    In the fertile field that freedom allows, weeds can grow as fast and strong as the crops desired, and destroy the what was sewn. Sadly it is becoming the case here. They are overtaking the fruit of the American dream and only those willing to fight for the truth will turn this tide back, or else what you see here will sweep the field

  4. leftinbrooklyn says:

    If all true, this is simply disgusting. An american university rejecting scientific debate in favor of religious warfare.

  5. omnologos says:

    They mean, anybody with an open mind will be shown open doors, then will be thrown oit

  6. nigelf says:

    And now they will destroy him. The left knows no bounds.

  7. Iggy Slanter says:

    Call your attorney!

  8. sunsettommy says:

    He should get a lawyer because they are supposed to tell him WHY he was fired.Since they refuse to tell him why he was fired they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit.

    • An employer in an at will state is not required to give the terminated employee a reason. A simple your services are no longer desired is perfectly legal. That does not make it right – think of it as a no fault divorce or as in come countries a simple we are divorced suffices -

  9. Someone, somewhere, some time, has to make the “Nelson Mandella” speech on behalf of oppressed skeptics. It may earn them a decade or two in prison but ultimately the simple statement of fact, that democratic means were proven to be useless, and that armed resistance was therefore justified, marked the beginning of the end of a ruthless, entrenched, oppressive regime.

    I think it was the late, murdered, Steve Biko who said, “show me what you can do with your other cheek and I’ll show you what I can do with half a brick”.

    Campus Nazis sweep email protests into the deleted file folder all the time. It is a lot harder to keep busted windows and trashed offices out of the headlines. Always has been.

  10. Scott says:

    This is why I don’t include my real/full name in online discussions on this topic…

    Too bad that Vince Remcho seems to be part of this, or at least not fighting it. I know that at least one of his graduates doesn’t buy the dogma.

    -Scott

  11. Owen says:

    The Climate Liars will do ANYTHING to advance their agenda. Their beliefs can’t be advanced using science because real science has demolished their hypothesis, so they are resorting to propaganda, political intimidation, smearing their opponents and any other dirty trick they can get away with. They will eventually resort to violence when all else fails. The Climate Liars are not rational human beings. Be very wary when dealing with these fools.

    I feel very badly about what has happened to Mr Fulks. The people who did this to him obviously have no ethics or conscience.

  12. Robert Austin says:

    A clear demonstration of why “97%” of climate scientists believe in CAGW.

  13. Owen says:

    errr I meant Mr Drapela, not Fulks.

  14. Eric Barnes says:

    got this link from watts site.

    http://www.slideshare.net/sholom770/global-warming-cracked-open

    its worth a look

  15. darrylb says:

    Well, If a site is set up, I would be willing to send a little cash and ask a few friends to do the same.—- if someone could handle the logistics. This is one item which should continue to receive top billing. Just one question, has Gordon Fulks put himself in harm’s way?
    –I will write of this in a local newspaper (circulation about 50,000) I would like to be sure of all information as it comes to light.
    As I recall, there has been other pathetic happenings of a similar nature in Oregon.
    Thanks, and please keep us posted

  16. It’s funny there are no comments from the usual trolls . Come back Tony Duncan – everything is forgiven!

    • Glacierman says:

      Tony Duncan – He can’t comment cause he is stuck in an endless Hansen never said that loop and can’t get out. Yea, really miss that.

  17. Scott says:

    A post on David Appell’s site says that it was justifiable that he was dismissed. He says there is “no evidence” of being fired for his beliefs on CAGW. Interesting that David would say there, as there is still no evidence of death threats and yet he keeps on acting as if they’re all over the place…

    -Scott

  18. mistersticky says:

    this post contradicts its self and has fallacies.

  19. Isn’t Oregon where the petition originated signed by ~32000 scientists who disagree with the AGW religion?

    • Gail Combs says:

      Yes that was Dr. Art Robinson. He is mention above as having OSU threaten his three children who were all going for advanced degrees because he was not ‘Politically Correct’ and running for public office.

      I hope Dr Robinson (chemist) has a place for Dr. Nickolas Drapela at Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
      See: http://www.oism.org/s32p21.htm

  20. ceegee says:

    I think Nick Drapela should set up a web site for people to send funds, so that he can get a lawyer. I am horrified that an institution (and this country) has come to this. I think Drapela and anyone else in a similar position needs to stand up and fight. It will only get worse if nothing is done about it.

  21. Seve says:

    Really?? You are on the Art Robinson program?? Right …. You have no credibility at all! And yes… lets all go see if we can still find the glaciers in Soldotna.
    That “professor” is a nut case. Always has been, and always will be..
    Just like the big oil company backer George Taylor. Get your facts first, then spout some opinions.

    • You are hysterical and incoherent.

    • Anyone who disagrees with me is evil I tell you! And those big evil oil companies giving us electricity and civilisation! They are evil too! Nobody has any credibility except me because I am morally good. We must deal in facts!

    • Oh, shit. He’s right. There’s also no glacier in Wisconsin. I’m pretty sure we’re doomed by our gunny sacks of Big Oil Money.

      On the other hand, those big cartoon sacks with the dollar signs stencilled on them are pretty comfortable to nap on while I dream about Evil Feats of Denialation.

    • Gail Combs says:

      I am old and have no offspring so am actually looking forward to watching the next glaciation descend and all the Progressives scramble for explanations while trying to dodge all the pitchforks, tar and Madame Guillotine. It isn’t so much that I think CO2 could prevent the next glacial inception (Ruddiman’s “Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis”), it’s the entertainment value in watching the most progressive of us either do the wrong thing or, at best, an intellectually impotent thing.

      The Holocene interglacial is now 11,717 years old. That’s two centuries or so beyond half the present precession cycle (or 23,000/2=11,500). Only one interglacial , MIS-11, since the Mid-Pleistocene Transition has lasted longer than about half a precession cycle.

      Any hope that the Holocene would go long was shot down by Lisiecki and Raymo in 2005 in their rebuttal of Loutre and Berger, 2003.
      No more recent paper has rebutted Lisiecki and Raymo in the decade since then.

      So go ahead! It’s alright by me if you want to strip the most vaunted GHG from the late Holocene atmosphere. If you are right, you just plunked-down on MIS-1 repeating the extended interglacial MIS-11, for however long you fancy. Please do note, however, that MIS-11 was not all that stable a climate ride………

      If you are wrong you have wasted vast amounts of money and resource making western civilization as vulnerable as possible to glaciation while China and Russia gear up to become the dominant countries.

      I hope you speak Mandarin Chinese.
      {:>D

    • Gail Combs says:

      Long term glaciers are advancing:

      href=”http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/MillerArctic.pdf”>Temperature and precipitation history of the Arctic It says: “Solar energy reached a summer maximum (9% higher than at present) ~11 ka ago and has been decreasing since then, primarily in response to the precession of the equinoxes. The extra energy elevated early Holocene summer temperatures throughout the Arctic 1-3°C above 20th century averages, enough to completely melt many small glaciers throughout the Arctic, although the Greenland Ice Sheet was only slightly smaller than at present.”

      Another, more recent study in Norway agrees:

      A new approach for reconstructing glacier variability based on lake sediments recording input from more than one glacier January 2012

      …. A multi-proxy numerical analysis demonstrates that it is possible to distinguish a glacier component in the ~ 8000-yr-long record, based on distinct changes in grain size, geochemistry, and magnetic composition…. This signal is …independently tested through a mineral magnetic provenance analysis of catchment samples. Minimum glacier input is indicated between 6700–5700 cal yr BP, probably reflecting a situation when most glaciers in the catchment had melted away, whereas the highest glacier activity is observed around 600 and 200 cal yr BP. During the local Neoglacial interval (~ 4200 cal yr BP until present), five individual periods of significantly reduced glacier extent are identified at ~ 3400, 3000–2700, 2100–2000, 1700–1500, and ~ 900 cal yr BP….

      And Sea level…

      Holocene sea-level change and ice-sheet history in the Vestfold
      Hills, East Antarctica
      Dan Zwartz ) , Michael Bird, John Stone, Kurt Lambeck

      Abstract
      A new Holocene sea-level record from the Vestfold Hills, Antarctica, has been obtained by dating the lacustrine–marine and marine–lacustrine transitions that occur in sediment cores from lakes which were formerly connected to the sea. From an elevation of ; 7.5 m 8000 yr ago, relative sea-level rose to a maximum ; 9 m above present sea-level 6200 yr ago. Since then, sea-level has fallen monotonically until the present….
      (wwwDOT)sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X97002045

      The Holocene sea level Highstand was also ~ 1.5 meter above todays sea-level 6,000 years ago in geologically stable South Vietnam.

      Southeast Vietnam beachrocks reveal that the mid-Holocene sea-level highstand slightly above + 1.4 m was reached between 6.7 and 5.0 ka, with a peak value close to + 1.5 m around 6.0 ka….
      (wwwDOT)ciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818113001859

      The authors of all these papers simply state that most small glaciers likely didn’t exist 6,000 years ago, but the highest period of the glacial increase has been in the past 600 years. This is hardly surprising with ~9% less solar energy.

    • Gail Combs says:

      The next threshold-induced planetary state shift is to glaciation not warming, unfortunately.

      To give you a feel for just how close to glaciation we are you can look at the calculations from NOAA:

      NOW (modern Warm Period) = 476 Wm-2
      Holocene peak insolation: 522.5 Wm-2 (a difference of 46.5 Wm-2)
      Depth of the last ice age – around 463 Wm−2 (a difference of 13 Wm-2)

      So we are a heck of a lot closer to the depths of the Wisconsin Glaciation than we are to the Holocene Optimum in terms of incoming solar insolation.
      A fall 2012 paper Can we predict the duration of an interglacial? gives the calculated solar insolation values of several glacial inceptions:
      For the Current value the insolation = 479W m−2 (from that paper)

      MIS 7e – insolation = 463 W m−2,
      MIS 11c – insolation = 466 W m−2,
      MIS 13a – insolation = 500 W m−2,
      MIS 15a – insolation = 480 W m−2,
      MIS 17 – insolation = 477 W m−2

      So the earth is certainly in the correct ballpark for glacial inception.

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the change in CO2 forcing between 1850 (start of the industrial age] and 1990 was 1.5 W/m 2 for forcing anthropogenic CO2 [cf., Reid, 1997]. The absolute forcing of atmospheric CO2 is estimated at about 32-34 W m–2 (see pp. 202–203 of Kiehl and Trenberth 1997). (A recent publication by Huang [2013, p. 1707], however, has calculated this value may be as high as 44.1 W m–2.)

      1.5 W/m 2 for anthropogenic CO2 forcing isn’t going to counteract the 46.5 Wm-2 fall in solar energy since the Holocene Optimum and likely is not going to keep the earth from glacial inception if the sun descends into another grand solar minimum.

      Also you get more volcanoes during solar minimums and volcanic ash is know to block incomming solar insolation. A preliminary study showed 80.6% of the largest eruptions took place during extended solar activity minimums.

      NASA: Sun’s Activity Linked to Largest Earthquakes and Volcanoes

      Space and Science Research Center
      P.O. Box 607841
      Orlando FL 32860
      Sun’s Activity Linked to Largest Earthquakes and Volcanoes
      Press Release – SSRC 1-2010
      8:00 AM March 1, 2010
      Today, the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) releases its preliminary findings of the incidence of major geophysical events including earthquakes and volcanoes tied to the Sun’s activity and climate change.
      The SSRC, the leading independent research center in the United States on the subject of the next climate change to a period of extended cold weather, has concluded a detailed comparison of solar activity with major earthquakes and volcanic activity. It has found a significant correlation exists between periods of reduced activity by the Sun, previously linked to cold climates are now identified with the most disastrous earthquakes in the United States and major volcanic eruptions around the globe…. http://cafe368.daum.net/_c21_/bbs_search_read?grpid=1FBty&fldid=N0WJ&datanum=1898&contentval=&docid=1FBtyN0WJ189820100616141523

  22. Glenn says:

    Where is the ACLU in this case? I guess it doesn’t make their list of rights violations. Just more liberal nutjobs.

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