Saturday, January 16, 2010

Meteorologists as climate change deniers?

A recent piece in the Columbia Journalism Review ( examined the rise in global warming denial among the ranks of TV meteorologists.

It's not just that the climate change deniers (as clunky a label as you'll find) claim that the climate scientists got it wrong; it's not that there was a mistake somewhere, some statistician forgot to carry a two in an important calculation or neglected to convert feet to meters.

No, the accusation is more venomous than that: Human-caused global warming is not an error, it is a hoax. It is an intentional fraud, a worldwide conspiracy.As San Diego weatherman John Coleman wrote in a November 2007 opinion piece, "Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam." The climate scientists are liars and con men who have no qualms about faking data if it will help assure them funding and continued research grants. It's all about the money. (By this logic, doctors are secretly doing their best to make the public sick, thus ensuring a continued supply of patients and income.)

Curiously, Coleman is not alone; according to a survey conducted by an Emory University researcher, nearly one-third (29 percent) of the television meteorologists he asked responded that global warming was a "scam." That percentage may or many not be representative of all local TV station forecasters nationwide, but it should be cause for alarm.

Coleman's article, which has been widely disseminated and used by critics of global warming, reflects a curious anti-science, anti-academic position.

The complete article at is here.

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