There are many murmurings on the Wellington grapevine about managers on powertrips ... It seems to me right now that this may be the most likely reason for JS's sacking. (Although I remain open to changing my mind.)
Nonetheless, it's a very bad look for NIWA management politically. Given the current political context, they are going to have a hard job quelling talk of similarities between 'our Jim's' predicament and that of the other outspoken Jim in the United States.
The reasons for the sacking aside, perhaps an important question to ask at the moment is - will the net result of Jim Salinger's sacking be to reduce the quality or quantity of information on climate change that the general public receives?
If it does, then in some ways it doesn't matter whether that's what the people who sacked him intended or not.
Okay, it seems that even once I thought I had sorted out the semantics of flu I still had it wrong!
H1N1 is a subtype, not a strain, and has been around for a while. This new one they are worried about is a strain of H1N1 - and seems currently to be just being referred to as 'swine flu' - even though there are many other swine flus ...
At a time when the new National government is doing away with all sorts of projects (and positions) that relate to environmental stewardship, this looks kinda bad.
I hope someone gets to the bottom of this.
Oh, and then there's the swine flu outbreak. What's really bugging me at this stage is the quality of a lot of NZ reporting on the subject. If you just skim-read the articles on Stuff this morning, you could be forgiven for thinking that we actually already have confirmed cases of the H1N1 strain of swine flu here in NZ - which of course we don't. (Although a few days will tell.)
Stuff even ran a headline on their front page screaming 'Swine Flu is Here!' - and the ensuing article was hopelessly disorganised, making little distinction between flu, swine flu, and the specific strain of swine flu that's causing concern at the moment - H1N1.
I noticed when I looked at Stuff an hour later that the headline had at least been changed to something like 'Swine Flu Fears Grow'.
The outbreak of a new and lethal strain of flu is obviously not to be taken lightly, but I hope the reporting gets more accurate and organised soon.