The scientific establishment is closing ranks and now portraying Pianka as a benefactor of humanity despite his recommendation that 90% of humans be eliminated by airborne Ebola (see previous entries about Pianka on this blog). For an example of the spin, look here. Interestingly, a video interview with Pianka that is available at that site has now been doctored. At the close of the interview (before it was doctored, and which was available earlier today), Pianka is heard saying: "We need to plan our collapse rather than just let it happen to us." One could almost think this is an invitation to bioterrorism.
Before you buy the upcoming media spin on Pianka ("he's just a kindly, saintly old biologist deeply concerned about overpopulation who is being misrepresented by right-wing extremists"), ask yourself if it doesn't strike you as odd that prior to making his speech before the Texas Academy of Sciences (the speech that led to all the uproar), Pianka requested cameras and tape recorders be switched off because folks aren't ready to hear what he has to say. And now, when word of what he said gets out, he wants to play the part of the injured, misunderstood party.
Let's be clear: Pianka has not recanted anything. But he is now overtly denying what he said. Not to worry. The local newspaper and Texas Monthly have tapes of a second speech in which he made essentially the same points about ridding the earth of humans. Transcripts of the second speech are being made and will be available shortly.
Professor Pianka, according to the local paper linked to at the beiginning of this post, seems to have cleaned from his web-site a lot of information that could reasonably be interpreted as inculpating. We'll be interested to see what the afore-mentioned transcripts have to say.