Well, this is good to see. Prof. Richard Parncutt, who previously advocated the execution of ‘prominent global warming ‘deniers” on one of his personal pages at the University of Graz website has retracted his article and replaced it with the text below the update.
UPDATE: The University of Graz has issued the following statement:
Die Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz ist bestürzt und entsetzt über die Ansicht und distanziert sich davon klar und deutlich. Die Universität legt größten Wert, dass die Wahrung aller Menschenrechte zu den obersten Prinzipien der Universität Graz gehört und menschenverachtende Aussagen mit aller Entschiedenheit zurückgewiesen werden. Die Universität weist zusätzlich mit Nachdruck darauf hin, dass eine rein persönliche Ansicht, die nicht im Zusammenhang mit der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit steht, auf universitären Webseiten nicht toleriert wird.
The University of Graz is shocked and appalled by the article und rejects its arguments entirely. The University places considerable importance on respecting all human rights and does not accept inhuman statements. Furthermore, the University of Graz points out clearly that a personal and individual opinion which is not related to scientific work cannot be tolerated on websites of the University.
Dean, Faculty of Humanities and the Arts
I wish to apologize publicly to all those who were offended by texts that were previously posted at this address. I made claims that were incorrect and comparisons that were completely inappropriate, which I deeply regret. I alone am entirely responsible for the content of those texts, which I hereby withdraw in their entirety. I would also like to thank all those who took the time and trouble to share their thoughts in emails.
In October 2012, I wrote the following on this page: “I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases, and I have always supported the clear and consistent stand of Amnesty International on this issue. The death penalty is barbaric, racist, expensive, and is often applied by mistake.” I wish to confirm that this is indeed my opinion. More generally, all human beings in all places and at all times have equal rights. I have been a member and financial supporter of Amnesty International for at least 18 years, and I admire and support their universal, altruistic approach to defending human rights.
Richard Parncutt, 27-28 December 2012
The opinions expressed on this page are the personal opinions of the author.
I don’t think the content of his second paragraph is what caused people to be offended, but anyway, I regard this as a victory for the power of climate sceptical opinion, which is shared by the majority of people in many countries. Richard Tol messaged me the other day to say that he’d had a response from the University of Graz saying they were “horrified” by Prof. Parncutt’s article. I assume they are prime movers behind this sudden turnabout of his views, given the first rewrite wasn’t much less provocative than his original article.
Now that Prof. Parncutt has decided to enter into the spirit of the season of goodwill towards all men and women, I hope he’ll have a happy and more productive New Year.