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Posted by on Jan 8, 2010 in Science & Technology | 27 comments

TV Weathermen – Mainly Meteorologists – Think Climate Change A Scam


As we awake to national news and preempted programs held hostage to the weather, it’s worth noting one finding that barely half of TV weatherman hold a college degree in meteorology or another atmospheric science.

There’s a difference between accredited meteorologists and those schooled in the science of climatology. TV weatherman are largely meteorologists. (ABC’s Sam Champion is not even that. He’s got a B.A. in broadcast news from Eastern Kentucky University.) CJR:

Kris Wilson, an Emory University journalism lecturer and a former TV news director and weatherman himself…surveyed a group of TV meteorologists, asking them to respond to Coleman’s claim [link] that global warming was a scam. The responses stunned him. Twenty-nine percent of the 121 meteorologists who replied agreed with Coleman—not that global warming was unproven, or unlikely, but that it was a scam.* Just 24 percent of them believed that humans were responsible for most of the change in climate over the past half century—half were sure this wasn’t true, and another quarter were “neutral” on the issue. “I think it scares and disturbs a lot of people in the science community,” Wilson told me recently. This was the most important scientific question of the twenty-first century thus far, and a matter on which more than eight out of ten climate researchers were thoroughly convinced. And three quarters of the TV meteorologists Wilson surveyed believe the climatologists were wrong. [….]

More striking is the fact that the weathercasters became outspoken in their rejection of climate science right around the time the rest of the media began to abandon the on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand approach that had dominated their coverage of the issue for years, and started to acknowledge that the preponderance of evidence lay with those who believed climate change was both real and man-made. If anything, that shift radicalized the weathermen. “I think the media is almost sleeping with the enemy,” one meteorologist told me. “The way it is now, there is just such a bias as to what gets out.”

Free-market think tanks like the Heartland Institute, knowing an opportunity when they see one, now woo weathercasters with invitations to skeptics’ conferences. The National Science Foundation and the Congress-funded National Environmental Education Foundation, meanwhile, are pouring money into efforts to figure out where exactly the climate scientists lost the meteorologists, and how to win them back. The American Meteorological Society (AMS)—which formally endorsed the scientific consensus on climate change years ago, but counts many of the skeptics among its members, to its chagrin—has started including climate-change workshops for weathercasters in its conferences.

No wonder Americans are skeptical. When asked whom they trusted for information about global warming, 66 percent of the respondents named television weather reporters.

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Copyright 2010 The Moderate Voice
  • DaMav

    You don’t need a PhD in anything to know a scam when you see one. And I wouldn’t be surprised if almost every one of those weather reporters have at least as much formal training in climate and science as Al Gore who is routinely held to be an expert on the subject by the warming crowd and media.

  • HemmD

    Come on JoeWhy not write an analysis of the unethical practices of your “expert” scientists? Even these lowly weathermen don’t “adjust” temperatures to fit their forecasts. That is known as bad science just like hit jobs like this post are known as bad journalism. Why do you feel compelled to ignore direct quotes from Jones, Mann, et. al. that demonstrate the manipulation of data and quelling of scientific rebuttal to their work? Why not examine the fact that these guys received millions in grants to convince the world that the MWP and LIA didn’t exist? Step up to the plate or sit back down on the bench; just don’t drink the kool-aid from the cheap seats.

  • casualobserver

    What was it again that the liberals said about HemmD’s views on the other thread? Oh yeah………HemmD OWNS this thread!

    • HemmD


      haven’t you figured out yet that my opinions are not based upon political philosophy? Rovian party line analysis and junk science are of the same intellectual cloth and equally thread-bare.

      If you think the truth falls along party lines, you should look again. Thinking that AGW is a political issue is the same as thinking gravity leans left or right in the polls.

  • merkin

    I assume that 75% of all TV Weathermen feel it is also alright to smoke three packs of cigarettes a day, have unprotected gay sex, treat skin cancer with UV light, have never vaccinated their children and have no need for no damn ozone layer.. Because they know, in their gut, that these are all scientific scams too. And don’t even get them started on those damn Darwinists’ crazy ideas and the Heliocentric conspiracy.

    • gored

      the climate is always changing and anyone who reads the east anglia emails will see the science is bogus

      hide the decline baby

      • merkin

        ‘Hide the decline’ referred to loss of correlation of tree ring data from 1961 on to today. Feel free to ignore tree ring data. There were other instruments that show the increase in global average temperatures since 1961 and the tree ring data is not needed. The other instruments are called thermometers.

        My post was about other scientific findings many people considered scams or conspiracies. Care to tell us which ones you consider to be scams and which you consider to be true? I will list them for you.

        1. Smoking causes lung cancer.

        2. The HIV (virus) causes AIDs.

        3. Alternative medicine that works becomes simply medicine

        4. and UV light causes skin cancer.

        5. Vaccines don’t cause autism.

        6. Certain fluorocarbons erode the ozone layer which blocks UV light.

        • mikeeee

          yes, “hide the decline” referred to moving from tree ring data to other measures because tree ring data suddenly became unreliable. ha ha. sunspots also ‘became’ unreliable as well. the only reliable measure is the ones that agree with the “scientists” preconceived notions. the cooked data from urban thermometers on airline tarmacs tell the ‘real’ story, the story you want to believe.
          no no no, mr. scientist- you don’t throw out a data set that served you well for hundreds of years because it doesn’t agree with your preconceived notions.
          you don’t need a weatherman to know that’s bs.

  • casualobserver

    My apologies for my lack of correct perception…….I was lead to my false conclusion based on elementary level correlations developed from reading this website over the last couple of years.

  • wfzlsster

    Given their close association with the subject matter and their scientific education weathermen should have a say on this matter. Since their incomes are not tied to grant money being received to study global warming or by oil companies to refute it they should provide an independent opinion.

    I’ve been on both sides of the issue and I am no expert. What put me firmly against the man made global warming theory were three simply facts anyone can check: The climate is always changing and has been warming since the last ice age. The man made global warming scientists say that variations in solar output have no effect on temperatures but a clear correlation does exist. CO2, the alleged culprit heating the planet is a minuscule component of the Earths atmosphere measured in parts per million, not even by percentage since it is so small. I’m going with common sense as opposed to expert knowledge.

  • casualobserver

    “‘Hide the decline’ referred to loss of correlation of tree ring data from 1961 on to today”

    You guys need to remember there this thing called “google”

    “Mann has recently claimed that the available proxy data ended in 1980, but even his coconspirators at RealClimate admit that’s nonsense.* The truth is that the proxy data was scrapped because unlike those measured, reconstructed temperatures showed a marked decline after 1980.* And, as the chart plotted temperature anomalies against what the plotters selected as the “normal” period and temperatures of 1961 to 1990, the reconstruction would have been quite unremarkable otherwise.* So at the 1980 mark, the actual post-1980 measurements were actually attached to the truncated proxy series to create the illusion they were one.”

    That’s the “decline” that was hidden.

    • merkin

      The tree ring temperature data did correlate well to thermometer measured temperatures from the 1850’s up until 1961. They didn’t throw out data after 1961 because it didn’t fit their theory or their preconceived notions, they threw it out because it didn’t agree with the actual measurements. In fact it deviated wildly, enough cold to throw us into an ice age, 6 to 8 degrees.

      They were looking for confirmation that tree ring data could be used to tell the average temperatures before 1850. They checked the tree ring data against measured temperatures from 1850 on to see if indeed it was a valid form of measurement. They found that it was until 1961.

      If you feel that they were wrong you have a channel to prove it, science itself! Turn it back on them. Develop an hypothesis and experiments to test it. Here, I will help. Today your skeptic hypothesis is that the tree ring temperature measurement scheme over the last fifty years is more accurate than all other forms of average temperature measurement. And that the global average temperature in that time has actually dropped from 14 degrees to somewhere in the range of 4 to 6 degrees. (All temperatures are Celsius, of course, this is real science!) Now how can we check our hypothesis? Well, we could ask the weathermen! We seem to trust them!

      So here is what you do. Go to your trusted weatherman ask him if he believes it is true. Tell your story about the devious scientists who threw away data proving that we are actually entering an ice age. That the ice fields and glaciers must be growing rather than shrinking (wait, I see a glacier coming down the street! No sorry, it was a FedEx truck). All because of tree ring temperature measurements. I could guess what he would say, but it is your experiment and I don’t want to prejudge it.

      And now is anybody ready to answer my questions about other scientific scams and conspiracies through the years? Surely global warming is not the only time the bastards have tried to get away with pulling a fast one? Show us where else the mad scientists have gone off the rails in their evil plot to take over the world, lung cancer from smoking, HIV/AIDs, ozone layers, UV light skin cancer, theory of evolution, vac/autism, heliocentrism. Which do you believe are true and which are scams?

      • DaMav

        Not sure what your point is bringing up things like cigarette smoking. Many theories are found to be true or are discarded over time. In real science this is done on the basis of freely available data arising from repetitive research conducted by independent parties and reviewed by disinterested peers and skeptics. Eventually, usually over a period of decades, the theory which is able to run this gauntlet is accepted as “true”, although it can always be challenged.

        That is quite a different process than one in which a relatively very small group of collaborating researchers take raw data, process it extensively, then use computers to model it, create projections, and demand that those projections be accepted without question or else life as we know it will be destroyed. There is no question that they refused to release the original data on which their work was based, and in fact even destroyed much of the raw data. There is no question that they actively discouraged peer review and sought to punish journals who published articles conflicting with their theory.

        Science does not arise from taking a vote of people in a room and declaring a “consensus”. That’s called “politics”.

      • gored

        if tree ring samples aren’t accurate indicators of temperature past 1961, they aren’t accurate indicators of temperature…do you thnk the laws of nature suddenly changed in 1961?

      • HemmD

        “They didn’t throw out data after 1961 because it didn’t fit their theory or their preconceived notions, they threw it out because it didn’t agree with the actual measurements. In fact it deviated wildly, enough cold to throw us into an ice age, 6 to 8 degrees.”

        Your “peccable” logic is showing. If proxy data failed to agree with actual measurements after 1961, by what stretch of scientific logic do you then say that proxy data prior to 1961 has any reliability as a temperature proxy?

        Your assertion requires you to conclude it was either worthless after 1961 or it was worthless before 1961. It was this study that threw out the MWP and the LIA, fundamental variations minimized out of statistical significance by this study. If they did exist higher and lower than “adjusted” by Mann et. al. then the fundamental statement that temps have never been this high is equally false. If historic variations do in fact exist as was believed prior to Mann, then the current rise has nothing to do with AGW.

        Thanks for demonstrating the problem with CRU’s work. I didn’t know you were a denier.

  • DaMav

    The irony is that real people are dying right now of cold in the US and Britain, while our governments try to raise taxes and throttle the economy to make the world colder.

  • EEllis

    Even the most ardent believer of AGW can’t scientificly say that “most” of the change is due to man. That’s been one of the sticking points. Even the supporters can’t quantify the effects of man on the enviorment, or tell me for sure if it will rain on Sat.

  • carl62

    I’m not nearly as concerned about global warming as I am BREATHING. There is no debate about what has happened to the quality of the air we breath and the consequences it has on our lungs.

    And as far as these “weathermen” are concerned, I have watched them forecast fair and sunnywhen it was raining outside. There was a story in Atlanta about an old farmer that lived in Jonesboro, just south of Atlanta that never missed the weather. The weatherman in Atlanta was notorius for never getting the weather right. One day the weatherman decided he would go talk to the old farmer and see if he could figure out how he did it. Well he approaches the old farmer and says I’ve heard an amazing story about you that you never miss the weather. He says I would sure appreciate it if you would tell me the secret of how you do it. The old farmer says it really isn’t a secret at all. I just listen to what that damn fool weatherman in Atlanta says and I say the opposite.

  • DLS

    It’s an obvious scam, and the strongest current expression of a political movement, dishonestly decorated with “science” to rationalize it, as well as happening to include many in liberal academia (and elsewhere in the media, government, “green” parties and agents of all kind who benefit from it, et cetera).

  • DLS

    Hemm[ ]D is a heretic to the puritanical fundamentalist practicitioners of “climate change'” religion.

  • DLS

    “Even the most ardent believer of AGW can’t scientificly say that “most” of the change is due to man.”

    Many do, and others say it is the most important cause of change, and in any case they and many more rush illogically to conclude that “we” (especially the West, and most of all the Evil USA) “must” rush illogically and perversely to the same destructive, obvious, transparent political goals for economic, energy, and social policy that have been sought since the “population explosion” “crisis” [sic] in the 1960s. Their credibility as well as their objectives have been poor since then, and they struggle to rationalize or otherwise “justify” [sic] what they seek, in this case pushing it to the equivalent of a religion.

  • DLS

    “I’m not nearly as concerned about global warming as I am BREATHING.”

    [smile] Serious, i.e., real, pollution and its abatement is tainted by leftist politics (radicalism of Western liberalism, as more precisely identified), and is sacrified along with other legisimate environmental concerns on the alter of… PC eco–socialist fundamentalism. (The irony isunsurprising, though lamentable.)

  • DLS

    “You don’t need a PhD in anything to know a scam when you see one.”

    What’s funny is that ObamaCo isnotably failing in this regard. As with health care “reform” (federal takeover), he and his team (and in the health care “reform” case, the Congre-Dems, due to problems they created for themselves earlier with overreach) chose in the end a “blunted” and less-ambitious course of action than the demanding leftists wanted. The same is true with the energy and climate-politics decisions, as we see yet again. This isn’t just true with the choice of the “cap and trade” blatant scam, or with flirtations with similar PC-greenie-Mussolini-style industrial games with the Detroit dinos. (The “Cap and Trade” scam was deliberately sought instead of a “carbon tax,” just as “single-payer,” which the public rejected as too radical, then even th e”public option” partial universal approach was scrapped once the Dems had wrecked themselves.)

    Now what’s ObamaCo proposing? Tax credits (not “stimulus” [sic] spending, not even subsidies) for “green” industry (PC Mussolini Industry Policy, smiley-faced fascism) that promises new jobs.

    Note that one reason the Dems shipwrecked themselves with health care “reform” is that the public was already alarmed and repelled by their overreach, in large part (if not principally) by the House’s earlier climate-and-energy-related radical-politics game-playing. The public demanded the House not do it. W still await the Choice [tm] by the the Senate, if it will also be radical, stupid, destructive, and perverse, as liberals in the House were and which Boxer threatens to seek the Senate to do as well, or if they have learned their lesson with the health care failure. Remember, “climate” political leftist lunacy contributed greatly to the Dems’ failure, because it was a stellar example of oveerreach (as well as lunacy, period).

  • DLS

    “Not sure what your point is bringing up things like cigarette smoking”

    This was Friedman’s and others’ gimmick last year. It was a) a false analogy to science and a rationalization of alarmism; b) additional alarmism in and of itself.

    Note the hypocrisy, which is unsusprising, from such people. They are the first to shrisk about the “precautionary principle,” and suppress even the thought(!) of nuclear power on that basis, for example. But (as with another object of hypocrisy, “small is beautiful,” decentralization and localization, except that they want to vest aa much authority and production and everything in the public rather than the private sector, and centralize it in Washington, DC) they are the first to shrisk about the “need” [sic] to rush mindlessly, on no legitimate basis whatsoever, to do the most stupid and destructive things, because of the remotest possiblity that something (hyped incredibly or 100% fiction) might result if we don’t. (The only consistency is th e lack of reasoning and morality generally found on the Left.)

  • Daisym1

    The article said: “More striking is the fact that the weathercasters became outspoken in their rejection of climate science right around the time the rest of the media began to abandon the on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand approach that had dominated their coverage of the issue for years, and started to acknowledge that the preponderance of evidence lay with those who believed climate change was both real and man-made.”

    The media has only just recently began shifting towards presentling a more balanced coverage of global warming issues. Those who disagreed with the manmade warming orthodoxy had largely been excluded from media coverage because, as we all have been told, ” the debate is over, the science is settled.”

    With recent release of the hacked emails from the UK’s CRU, the media is now becoming more likely to present skeptical views on the global warming issues. The media can no longer shut out their voices. It is delusional to think otherwise. Remember Heidi Cullen, The Weather Channel expert who (in 2006): advocated that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming? This caused many meteorologists to keep his/her views to themslves. As the article says, only now are these meteorologists speaking out… in force! Publication of the hacked emails made this possible.

  • rudi

    Get out the Raid the crickets are chirping too loud…

  • dsfdadfgdfshahfhhf

    Weathermen can’t predict weather so it makes sense they would be upset with scientists(which they’re not) think they can predict climate.

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