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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 04/ 5/2010

TV weathermen should re-think climate coverage

By Andrew Freedman

Science journalists provide a good model

* Summer heat? CWG's Full Forecast | Pleasant opener: NatCast *


According to a recent George Mason University-led survey, the majority of TV meteorologists (about 63%) think global warming is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment. In contrast, the vast majority of climate scientists say human activities are most likely largely to blame.

It's no secret that weather forecasters and climate scientists don't see eye-to-eye about global climate change. Weather geeks, including TV meteorologists ('TV mets,' in media lingo), tend to be far more skeptical that human activities are changing Earth's climate than climate scientists, the vast majority of whom view the human influence as a near certainty.

The rift between meteorologists and climate scientists wouldn't be as serious of an issue if it weren't for the fact that TV mets, unlike climate scientists, have access to America's living rooms on a daily basis, and therefore play a unique role in shaping public opinion about the reality and risks of manmade climate change.

A survey released last week by George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication shows that, on average, TV mets view climate change as primarily a natural phenomenon, and think the media should cover climate science as a topic of intense debate, rather than hinging stories on the scientific consensus that human activities are the main cause of recent climate change.

Keep reading for more commentary on the survey and its implications...


Video of CNN meteorologist Chad Myers talking about the disagreements between TV mets and climate scientists regarding climate change. Near the end of the video Myers accuses climate scientists of hyping climate change in order to obtain research funding.

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) articulated the consensus view, which has been endorsed by virtually every national science academy and relevant scientific society on the planet, in its 2007 report, assigning a greater than 90% chance that emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have caused "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century."

According to the survey, about two-thirds of TV mets think there is a lot of disagreement in the scientific community regarding whether or not manmade global warming is occurring. "Perhaps partly as a result, 79% of our respondents indicated that coverage of climate change science must reflect a 'balance' of viewpoints just as coverage of political or social issues are covered," the survey summary stated.

In my view, the perception that there is significant scientific disagreement about the causes of climate change can be traced in part to the rise of the blogosphere as a medium of scientific communication (and misinformation). Climate skeptics dominate this medium, and many are current or former weather forecasters, such as former TV met Anthony Watts of the popular "Watts Up With That" blog, and Joe D'Aleo, who runs icecap.us.

By contrast, the scientific consensus rules the day in the scientific literature, but it's a safe bet that many TV mets don't devour the latest issues of journals like Geophysical Research Letters with the same gusto as they read and engage with blog discussions, which often present a unique spin on scientific studies and provide a forum for forecasters to interact with their viewers.

It's disturbing that the majority of TV mets want to return to the manner in which climate change was covered from the 1980s to early 2000s, when most reporters approached the science from a point/counterpoint perspective that left readers with the impression that the fundamental aspects of the science were highly uncertain. Abundant research, such as the work of Max Boycoff of the University of Colorado, indicates that such so-called 'balanced' coverage of scientific topics can significantly distort public understanding of scientific reality.

While there are many uncertainties in climate science, the basic question of whether human emissions of greenhouse gases are warming the planet is extremely well-established. A recent article in the journal Nature provides a solid rundown of the key remaining scientific uncertainties (hint: they aren't what you might think).

The finding that TV meteorologists favor treating climate science the same way that journalists treat political stories also indicates that they perceive climate science findings themselves to be politicized. In reality, it's the policy responses to those findings where politics actually comes into play.

It also suggests that ongoing efforts to bridge gaps between climate scientists and weather communicators should teach science journalism concepts, which both TV mets and climate scientists would benefit from, and should highlight the disservice done to public understanding by casting virtually all of climate science as up for debate.

In a blog post on April 3, Dan Satterfield of WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Ala., said it's important for TV mets to approach their climate coverage as dispassionate journalists, and to recognize where the political part of the climate story truly lies.

"What we DO about climate change is a political issue. The reality of the threat and its magnitude is a scientific question," Satterfield wrote.

In addition to learning more about the differences between weather and climate, Satterfield said TV mets also need to borrow the philosophy of their colleagues in the newsroom: "Weathercasters on the other hand need to take a page from good journalists and learn to set aside political beliefs and really study the science. Especially if they are going to talk about it on air. They have an obligation to do so."

Satterfield served on an advisory panel for the George Mason University-led survey, and also recently reported from Antarctica with CWG's own Ann Posegate. His views echo those of former NBC4 meteorologist Bob Ryan, who discussed climate change in an online series and sparred with climate science skeptics here at CWG last year.

The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

By Andrew Freedman  | April 5, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Media, News & Notes  
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Comments

Meteorologists aren't the only ones who disagree with the IPCC and their activists/scientists.

--begin quote--
The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA.
--end quote--

Source of the above quote.

Do you ever worry that you have wasted the incredible opportunity that you were given? You had an opportunity to encourage openness and transparency in climate science, but you have steadfastly ignored the problem. How many times did I ask you to use your position to get scientists to open up their data? You ignored each and every request.

Rather than use your column as an opportunity to encourage scientists to strictly adhere to scientific principles, you use it to attack those with whom you disagree and defend some truly outlandish and disgusting behavior from those with whom you agree.

You have grossly squandered a unique opportunity.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | April 5, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I wrote, "Rather than use your column as an opportunity to encourage scientists to strictly adhere to scientific principles, you use it to attack those with whom you disagree and defend some truly outlandish and disgusting behavior from those with whom you agree."

I should have written, "Rather than use your column as an opportunity to encourage scientists to strictly adhere to scientific principles, you use it to attack those with whom you disagree and defend some scientists who have committed some truly outlandish, disgusting, and very unscientific behavior."

Mea culpa.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | April 5, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of TV mets...Channel 9 seems to have hired TWO women to "replace" Kim Martucci [whom I've regarded as "irreplaceable"!], and Channel 4 also has a new guy...they are adding new weathercasters rather than keeping the jobs vacant.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | April 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Andrew, that Nature article you linked is excellent. I think you would agree that forecasting ENSO is a key component in determining global temperature trends. El Niño events are tied to warming globally and as we saw in 07-08, La Niña events tend to pull global temps lower. So when the Nature article cites the inability to properly estimate tropical convection, which is an ENSO driver, wouldn't you think that is a significant problem? Here is the paragraph I'm citing:

Climate scientists think that a main weakness of their models is their limited ability to simulate vertical air movement, such as convection in the tropics that lifts humid air into the atmosphere. The same problem can trip up the models for areas near steep mountain ranges. The simulations may also lose accuracy because scientists do not completely understand how natural and anthropogenic aerosol particles in the atmosphere influence clouds. Data on past precipitation patterns around the globe could help modellers to solve some of these issues, but such measurements are scant in many areas. "We really don't know natural variability that well, particularly in the tropics," says Hegerl.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Also in the last quote it mentions mountain range deficiencies. The extra snow in Eurasia last winter really ramped up the mountain torque, which led to our super negative AO events this past winter. Again, another deficiency that could impact climate "projections" 50 years from now. The list of variables that are uncertain is fairly long, which makes meteorologists a bit more skeptical of the broad strokes offered by climate scientists.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What’s happening now is nothing new.

In the 1980’s, scientists were concerned about the ozone layer when most of the world didn’t have the slightest clue about what ozone was. Scientists were saying that a compound best known by the DuPont brand name “Freon” was harming the planet. They said that certain chemicals were destroying part of the atmosphere that is essential for human life because it blocks out harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes cancer.

Read: Opinions that Matter

http://harryhammer.wordpress.com/

Posted by: HarryBraun | April 5, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Matt - yes, ENSO is a key driver of climate variability, and improving the understanding of both ENSO drivers and its consequences (and tropical convection falls into both categories) is important. However, the timescales on which ENSO acts is very different from GHG-forcing, so to some extent climate scientists downplay ENSO uncertainties when looking at long-term projections (multidecadal), but consider them more when looking at year-to-year variability.

And yes, the list of uncertainties is fairly long indeed. But an interesting question is: what are the odds that all the uncertainties will work out in a way to cause cooling, or at least not add to warming? And if so, will that overwhelm manmade forcing?

I think meteorologists sometimes forget that what they do is rather different from what most climate scientists do. Mets forecast the (hopefully) exact weather conditions in the near future, whereas climate scientists project general climate parameters in the long-term. The uncertainties in climate projection really get heightened when you start to try to do regional predictions, as the Nature article indicates, but even there progress is being made.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Elizabeth Kolbert of The New Yorker has a piece out now on TV weathercasters and climate change that is harshly critical of the TV folks, particularly Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/04/12/100412taco_talk_kolbert

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Andrew. I agree with you on the regional projections, which was why I was shocked by the 2050s August 90-degree projection offered by Climate Central last summer.

But yes, a higher number of uncertainties inherently increases the risk of an inaccurate projection. That is statistics certainly.

Take the Arctic ice story for example. Three years ago (2007) we had a record low and some climate scientists suggested that we would be ice-free in the summer in five years' time (and folks like Al Gore and John Kerry repeated this for maximum effect) based on the accelerated trend. But since then, we've learned that wind patterns make a huge difference and now we are very close to the 1971-2000 normal level...an amazing turnaround...but also evidence that we do not fully understand so many variables yet.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least a majority of the TV meteorologists are right about one thing (man made global warming is a farce). Now, if they could only predict the weather....

Posted by: capsnumber1 | April 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Andrew...just a few points here: 1. Most of the news coverage on Global Warming is NOT done by the weathercasters. The stories are mostly generated by the newsroom, and are just taken from the public information statements from groups like the IPCC. You made it sound like the weathercasters were the primary source of information for the public...that's not true.
2. Looking at this from a forecasting perspective, the forecasts issued at the beginning of this decade by the IPCC for global temperature and sea level rise have NOT come to fruition, so there obviously needs to be some adjustments made in the climate modeling. A busted forecast is a busted forecast whether it comes from me or a climatologist with a PHD.

Posted by: TonyPann | April 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Tony, my sense from the original article on last week's survey release is that the "industry" is looking for a scapegoat to explain the downturn in public concern on the issue.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Matt - It's long been known that sea ice trends are driven by a mix of natural and manmade factors, especially GHG and aerosol forcing and the AO. The huge negative dive in the AO this winter has likely helped retain some older ice in the Arctic by changing the mean wind patterns and reducing sea ice export away from the Arctic Ocean. This has increased ice extent (but thickness has not recovered to healthier levels), and may lead to a higher extent at the end of this melt season. But the variability does not contradict the long-term 11.2 percent decline per decade, as noted by the NSIDC. In fact, some studies show that as sea ice declines, variability (including spikes to near-normal ice extent) will increase. So, yes, there is a lot we don't yet know. Yes, it's foolish to say that by 2020 we will have an ice-free Arctic in the summer. But most Arctic ice experts still believe the sea ice is in a heck of a lot of trouble, and will disappear in summertime sometime during this century, with huge consequences for natural systems and geopolitics.

Tony: Great to hear from you, hope you're doing well. I agree that most news coverage comes from elsewhere within newsrooms, not TV weathercasters. But on the local station level, TV weathercasters are increasingly being asked to cover it, and according to the survey are eager to do so. How they cover it is an important consideration. I didn't mean to imply that the weather folks are the lead people on all climate stories, so thx for pointing that out.

As to your second pt., yes, the IPCC projections are not spot on, (in many ways they've been too conservative), but they are projections, not forecasts in the same sense as your forecast for tomorrow's weather might be judged. They should be as accurate as possible, but projections and forecasts are not quite the same thing. That's not a 'get out of jail free card' for any busted projections, just a clarification.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What percentage of TV weather broadcasters are actually meteorologists?

Posted by: elizestrada | April 5, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

You must be hoping to increase the volume of comments.

Thanks but no thanks. I don't want a climate lecture with my weather report. There is plenty of climate information available. Turning the weather report into a long editorial comment session is not what people want or need. We can read - leave the science to speak for itself. Real science not Al Gore science. The climate discussion is anything but simple no matter what you believe.

Posted by: Rmjw | April 5, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The weather forecasting community should take the lead
In urging NOAA to compute daily and make available for the nightly weather report,
The "average of local '24-hour high-low, surface temperature' observations for stations around the globe"'
That with all standards for reliability and validity comport.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | April 5, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Virtually all climate scientists are highly educated, advanced degree meteorologists (or related discipline), but far from all meteorologists who focus on routine weather forecasting could be described rationally as climate scientists – no more so than an internist could be classified as a brain surgeon. Personally, I would not go to an internist if brain surgery were required, nor should the public generally look to weather forecasters for the most qualified insights on climate change. They are just different specialties. To pretend otherwise is a fundamental fallacy in much of the discussion. And, by the way, it’s very unlikely you could get reliable weather forecasts from those specializing in climate science.

Most importantly, whether a forecaster or climate scientist, science must be distinguished from political considerations. Unfortunately, on both sides it seems more and more that politics is the driving force of the “debate”, not science.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Matt - what do you mean by "industry?" Also, I think the downturn in public concern has been rather clearly articulated as due to a combo of economic troubles (which traditionally overrules environmental concerns), climategate, chaos in Copenhagen, and the health care debate in the US. If you're implying that weather forecasters are being used as a scapegoat for a drop in public concern, that is far-fetched, especially considering that the GMU poll was planned before the drop in concern occurred.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Steve - I disagree with the internist vs. brain surgeon analogy, since that implies that climate scientists are somehow smarter than meteorologists, which they aren't (unless we're comparing totally unqualified TV weathercasters to PhDs, but I'm thinking of degreed meteorologists here). Can you, or any readers, come up with a better analogy to describe the differences between meteorologists and climate scientists?

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, I think Steve was pointing at a medical intern versus a brain surgeon, pointing out that while both have completed many years of medical school and study, the surgeon has chosen and gone into a specialized field of study, where as the intern has not.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, those dots were connected (albeit implicitly?) in a recent New York Times article on this topic linked here http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/science/earth/30warming.html They key paragraph:

The split between climate scientists and meteorologists is gaining attention in political and academic circles because polls show that public skepticism about global warming is increasing, and weather forecasters — especially those on television — dominate communications channels to the public. A study released this year by researchers at Yale and George Mason found that 56 percent of Americans trusted weathercasters to tell them about global warming far more than they trusted other news media or public figures like former Vice President Al Gore or Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that of Mr. Q's 700 dissenting "scientists" (quotes deliberate):

- At least 3% are not climate skeptics
- At least 8% are not scientists at all
- Fewer than 35% work in a relevant field
- Fewer than 22% are meteorologists
- Fewer than 20% have peer-reviewed publications related to climate science

Source for the above data.

Posted by: kevinwparker | April 5, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with TonyPann's point. From my experience, I rarely (if ever) hear AGW stories or even tidbits from tv meteorologists...

And I do like it when they share info from outside their expertise (like interesting astronomical events to look at). My dad reports that Mercury and Venus are now visible shortly after sunset.

Posted by: spgass1 | April 5, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Matt: the implicit linking of those two dots (recent public opinion shift and TV weathercasters) is wrong. In my view, there is no link, because the split between TV mets and climate scientists has been an issue for a while, much longer than the period in which the public opinion change has taken place.

Re: your use of "industry" earlier, were you agreeing with Chad Myers' comment regarding "follow the money" to research funding? I may have misunderstood completely.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"Weather geeks, including TV meteorologists..."

Always with the ad hominem attacks on anyone that doesn't toe the warmist orthodoxy line.

Meteorology is a far more mature science than climatology, and furthermore, the models used by both are essentially the same. Inflate away, but this is by no means a case of doctors to dentists, all positioning statements to the contrary notwithstanding.

It was a meteorologist, or "weather geek", Alfred Wegener, who fathered our current theory on plate tectonics. He was seen as an unwelcome interloper in someone else's field, and constantly derided with the same kind of ad hominem portrayals seen here.

Warmists say "look at the science!", until those who do look at the science don't come to the same so-called "consensus" conclusion (or interpretation of the data, which is not "the science"). Then they say, "No, but look at the person! The person!"

You know what the nasty rub is here? You don't hear meteorologists using TV time to campaign AGAINST global warming alarmism. Andy is upset because they don't believe in it enough to use their air time to actively PROMOTE IT. And that's where a where a well-deserved political slapdown needs to occur.

Posted by: sdlawrence | April 5, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Ed Lorenz was a famous meteorologist as well, and meteorology students are taught his revolutionary chaos theory. The theory argues that systems have predictability barriers, especially large complex systems.

And Andrew, yes, I was referring to the very lucrative climate change industry. http://www.climatechangebusiness.com/first_annual_overview_climate_change_industry

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, internists and brain surgeons are equally intelligent - why would you assume I meant otherwise?? They are both doctors but chose different specialties which defines their respective areas of expertise, not that one is more or less smart than the other.

I certainly make no distinction in the intelligence of forecasters and climate scientists. They do differ in their relative levels of expertise, and to presume otherwise is misleading.

Matt, what's your point about predictability? Predictability of what at what time range, over what area, with what level of confidence?? The answer makes a big difference. Thus, I can accurately predict that summer will be warmer than winter with complete confidence, but not the temperature at your location on a particular day next month.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Steve - didn't mean to assume, but "brain surgeon", like "rocket scientist" is often used in colloquial expressions to mean 'really smart.' Internist is not used in the same way. But that may just be my perception.

Matt, stick to the science. The attempt to explain why thousands of scientists from institutions all over the world would independently arrive at similar conclusions about climate change by saying they are all after research grants that are predicated on them confirming manmade climate change is bogus. It's a conspiracy theory. All the data shows that the "industry" is on the other side of the climate change debate, as demonstrated by this report last week: http://www.greenpeace.org/kochindustries/. (I can't verify its contents, but it definitely made news).

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, I didn't say any of that anywhere in my comments. I didn't reference research grants or motive to gain research dollars. You just did. I referenced the climate change industry's (which does exist as documented by various independent assessments) unhappiness with recent trends in public perception. And the lines being connected by referenced journalism to meteorological-based skepticism. I'm glad you disagree with that though.

Posted by: MattRogers | April 5, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Myself when young, did eagerly frequent
doctor and saint and heard great argument,
about it and about, but evermore
came out by the same door wherein I went."

Omar may not have anticipated discussions such as these when he wrote the lines, above, but he sure hit the nail on the head, anyway.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | April 5, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Heh, judging by this blog post and the accompanying commentary, I'd say that the CNN caption from the embedded clip "Climatologists vs. Meteorologists: Some tensions over global warming issue" is a bit of an understatement.

These kinds of posts always seem self-defeating. While I think Andrew was very careful to avoid any mean-spiritedness in the post, there is an underlying tone of condescension. Whether that's deserved or not, I'm not sure, but it will serve to only embolden those who disagree.

Beyond that, though, I have to wonder what the practical effect is of this disagreement between the climatologists and the meteorologists. For one, the only TV weatherman I can recall ever discussing global warming was Bob Ryan, and he only did so very infrequently. I have to imagine it's the same across most of the country; the time allotted to weather on the news doesn't allow for much discussion beyond the 5 day forecast.

For another, fewer and fewer people actually get their weather from the news. Nowadays you get it online. Waiting around for the weather report to come on is becoming to seem quite quaint. The TV weatherman just doesn't have the same stature the job once held.

Or perhaps I'm just missing something completely. Wouldn't be the first time. But it does seem to me to be a much ado about nothing.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | April 5, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Matt - the term climate change "industry" is most often used to refer to scientific research and the financial support of such research. That is why I assumed that is what you meant, apologies for putting words in your mouth.

I am still confused, however, about precisely what you mean when you say climate change industry? I don't dispute its existence, necessarily, I just don't know what you mean. (The report you referenced characterizes renewable energy and efficiency as part of such an industry, which doesn't make much sense to me, since we were pursuing both of those things before climate change was even a concern, and there are many reasons to keep doing so regardless of climate change).

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 5, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The TV meterologists are actually in a better position to speak on so-called global "warming" than the so-called climate "scientists". The TV people don't have an agenda to push.....they can state their own honest findings, unlike climate scientists, who often work in organizations that not only have a scientific role but are under political pressure as well.

So, if almost 70% of TV weather forecasters believe that climate warming is either not happening or, if it is, that human activities are not to blame, they come out as far more credible, overall, than the so-called "scientific" community, which has not only their so-called "science" but politics as well.

I don't always approve of Mr. Q's language or public debate style, but, like it or not, it does seem like he has got the facts on his side.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | April 5, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

nlcaldwell: I didn't intend any condescension towards climate scientists or TV mets. I have a lot of respect for both. For clearly intentional condescension/satire on this topic, check out Kolbert's piece in the New Yorker (linked to in an earlier comment).

The decline in the TV audience for local newscasts is not as significant as national and cable newscasts, although young people watch the news less frequently on TV than they access it online, according to many surveys. So I agree that technological trends/media use trends may make this disagreement somewhat moot, eventually. But not yet.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | April 6, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Just amazing how a so-called scientist is determined to repress and censor opposing views and allow only groupthink. This is something from the Stalin era. "Only those who think alike can think."

Posted by: WashingtonDame | April 6, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

The claim that there is a scientific consensus" on catastrophic warming is totally false.

I have asked journalists, politicians & alarmist lobbyists now totalling in the tens of thousands to name 2 prominent scientists, not funded by government or an alarmist lobby who have said that we are seeing a catastrophic degree of warming & none of them have yet been able to do so. I extend this same invitation here.

There is not & never was a genuine scientific consensus on this, though scientists seeking government funds have been understandably reluctant to speak. If there were anything approaching a consensus it with over 31,000 scientists having signed the Oregon petition saying it is bunk, it would be easy to find a similar number of independent scientists saying it was true, let alone 2. The whole thing depends on a very small number of people & a massive government publicity machine, both very well funded by the innocent taxpayer.

Of course the author, or editor of this article can easily prove they are telling the truth simply by naming some indepedent scientists who accept this scam.


Posted by: NeilCraig | April 6, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Andrew -- I think you're reading too much malign intent into Myers' discussion of research grants and their connection to climate change reports. The argument that Myers is making is that the "climate change community" lives off of government grants -- grants which would disappear if the community were to find that humans are in fact not significantly responsible for global warming. The charge is NOT that the community is cooking the books to get funding, but rather than such a funding situation passively hinders scientific objectivity. Climate scientists--without even realizing it--might very well be disinclined to value disconfirming evidence of climate change since such evidence would destroy the very scientific community they are a member of. This is not conspiracy theorizing . . . it comes from a long line of organizational theory work in the social sciences.

Posted by: grlb | April 6, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

NeilCraig has posted this same comment, word for word, all over the blogosphere, including his own blog ( http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/ ). He, as well as anyone, knows his personal survey means positively nothing, and that the Oregon petition itself is bunk - a discredited hoax which has nothing to do with the National Academy of Science as it claims - a lie which NeilCraig is purposely continuing to spread.

I need not say more. To find out more of where NeilCraig is coming from, just check out his blog. It will not be difficult to find his motivations are totally political, not science! On the plus side, at least he's willing to identify himself rather than use a pseudonym (unlike, well you know who!)

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | April 6, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

SteveT's personal denunciation of NeilCraig is the reason that I choose to go by Mr. Q.

The downside of NeilCraig identifying himself is that many of the advocates of the hypothesis of 'catastrophic, man made, someplace other than the United States warming' would rather attack the person than debate their arguments. And that takes the focus off of the argument.

I prefer to keep the focus on the arguments and the facts (unlike, well you know who!).

Have you read Daniel Henniger's oped, in today's Wall Street Journal. Eloquent and spot on.

--begin quote--
Climategate: Science Is Dying
Science is on the credibility bubble.

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science.
--end quote--

Now who do we know who saw this coming? ;)

Scientists are the only ones with their credibility on the line. And journalists have darn little credibility to spare. Just something to consider.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | April 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I wrote, "Scientists are the only ones with their credibility on the line."

I was thinking and meant to write, "Scientists are not the only ones with their credibility on the line."

Darn fingers can't keep up! Mea culpa.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | April 6, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

For those who don't have a clue, for pete's sake at least try to understand the science before pontificating......

Here's a climate tutorial including references.

http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddrj9jjs_0fsv8n9gw

Posted by: gofigure | April 6, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Fraudulent presentation, using faked "Hockey Sticks", openly and aggressively violating Freedom of Information requests and conspiring to squash dissenting views by corrupting the peer review process, that's the type of work that some climate scientists have done to mislead the public about the causes and affects of our ever changing climate. On top of all that comes the admission by the CRU that there tricked up temperature databases can’t be reproduced because they did not keep the notes of the analysis was completed. That is the "science" that this author would have us belive. Frankly, I'll go with the TV talking and pointing heads.

And the warmists call this irrefutable science.

Well, here is some real irrefutable science.

The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today.

However, the MWP deniers will never admit the existence of the MWP because it means that their religious-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

In total, climate change is complex and not well understood.

But this part is simple.

If the world was warmer when CO2 levels were lower, CO2 cannot be the earth's temperature regulator.

A thousand years ago, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly, ocean cleansing and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

Taxing carbon is not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

That is adaptation.

One of the many links to the overwhelming Paleoclimate evidence of the global nature of the MWP is below.

http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Posted by: orkneygal | April 6, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Fraudulent presentation, using faked "Hockey Sticks", openly and aggressively violating Freedom of Information requests and conspiring to squash dissenting views by corrupting the peer review process, that's the type of work that some climate scientists have done to mislead the public about the causes and affects of our ever changing climate. On top of all that comes the admission by the CRU that there tricked up temperature databases can’t be reproduced because they did not keep the notes of the analysis was completed. That is the "science" that this author would have us belive. Frankly, I'll go with the TV talking and pointing heads.

And the warmists call this irrefutable science.

Well, here is some real irrefutable science.

The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today.

However, the MWP deniers will never admit the existence of the MWP because it means that their religious-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

In total, climate change is complex and not well understood.

But this part is simple.

If the world was warmer when CO2 levels were lower, CO2 cannot be the earth's temperature regulator.

A thousand years ago, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly, ocean cleansing and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

Taxing carbon is not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

That is adaptation.

One of the many links to the overwhelming Paleoclimate evidence of the global nature of the MWP is below.

http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Posted by: orkneygal | April 6, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

That is an excellent link orkneygal. Thank you.

I would like to quote from that site's home page, regarding the link you provided.

--begin quote--
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 817 individual scientists from 486 separate research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting!
--end quote--

All of those scientists vs Michael "Hide The Decline" Mann. And whose opinion to we find in the IPCC report and Former Vice President Gore's Shockumentary?

They cherry pick and suppress science that doesn't support their hypothesis. The latest example of their disdain for science is their suppression of the law dome graphic.

It will eventually all catch up to them. The truth has a way of doing that.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | April 7, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Scientists depend on research grants, but news broadcasts never, ever depend on advertiser funding. The news is pure and factual, while science is corruptible.

Posted by: zyanna | April 7, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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