Under the Dome

Dome: John Skvarla gives hint to views on global warming

cjarvis@newsobserver.comFebruary 9, 2013 

John Skvarla, the new secretary of the state’s environmental-protection agency, has been hard to pin down on the question of just what he thinks about global warming. Perhaps the fact that he suggests it’s still an open question provides the answer.

Here’s another clue.

His executive secretary emailed Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division directors and senior managers advising them of a presentation that global-warming skeptic John Droz would give to a few dozen members of the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“Secretary Skvarla asked that I pass this along to you for your consideration as an ‘optional’ event,” the email read.

Droz, who has degrees in physics, mathematics and solid state science, also believes the global warming question is unsettled because scientists still argue both sides of the issue. The predominant view, however, is that climate change is real and that the world’s use of carbon dioxide and methane play a big role in that.

Droz was scientific adviser to the group of 20 counties that last session tried to tie sea-level rise predictions to historic trends rather than climate science that predicts a faster rise and a bigger influence on coastal development. Droz, whose main cause is to discredit wind power as a false alternative energy source, told legislators that science is being manipulated by special interest groups, which is an argument that some have used against him.

Before taking up this cause, Droz made his living as a real estate investor. As the Institute for Southern Studies Facing South project first reported, Droz owns property on the coast. Dome finds in Carteret County he owns a half-million-dollar home in Morehead City, where he lives, and a $290,000 home on Emerald Isle.

Facing South’s Sue Sturgis also reported this about Droz’s Wednesday presentation:

“Among the publications Droz cited to make his case were Whistleblower, the monthly magazine companion of WorldNetDaily, a website that promotes conspiracy theories about topics such as President Obama’s citizenship; Quadrant, a conservative Australian magazine that was involved in a scandal over publishing fraudulent science; and the Institute for Creation Research, a Texas outfit that rejects evolution and promotes Biblical creationism and the notion that “All things in the universe were created and made by God in the six literal days of the Creation Week.’ ”

BWOC: Perdue

Bev Perdue will need to stock up on a few more text books.

The former governor, whose already headed to Harvard this spring, now has a gig at Duke this fall.

Perdue will be a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., where she will interact with students and help lead weekly study groups. Now Duke University has announced she will spend the fall in Durham as a distinguished visiting fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Duke Dean Bruce Kuniholm made the announcement Friday in a news release. Perdue will be able to engage with students and faculty and share her insights from a life in politics, Kuniholm says. She will also be an adviser with the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.

“I had always hoped my professional career could end the way it began. So, this is a dream come true for me,” Perdue is quoted as saying in the release. She was a public school teacher before she was a politician.

Perdue has a doctorate in education administration and a master’s degree in community college administration, both from the University of Florida. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Kentucky.

How others view us

From the Washington Post: “There’s a new voice in the continued and rather tired trashing of higher education and the liberal arts by conservatives: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.”

Staff writers Craig Jarvis and John Frank

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