Attack Orchestrated

My inbox has been filling up with emails from anti-science warrior Marc Morano furiously denouncing the suggestion by Hedi Cullen that meteorologists should understand the basic science of climate change and

I’d like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don’t have a lot of time is the Pew Center’s Climate Change 101.)

Morano managed to orchestrate an outpouring of abuse and ignorance directed at Cullen. Eli Rabett has the details, with additional comments from mike and Christopher Mims.

Comments

  1. #1 Paul
    January 20, 2007

    From talking to friends up on the Hill, there is a good chance that Morano may lose his perch on the Senate Environment and Public Works. The Senate just flipped, which means the Republican will have to downsize their staff, and those positions will go to the Democrats. And the Democrats will not be looking to hire hacks like Morano.

    But if the Republicans keep Morano on the majority staff, then it’s a pretty clear signal that Inhofe plans to obstruct any meaningful climate change legislation.

    Inhofe hired someone like Morano, because he doesn’t need to fill that postion with a policy expert when he doesn’t plan on presenting any policy.

  2. #2 David Roberts
    January 20, 2007

    Andrew Dessler had some thoughts on this. Also, I just got done with an appearance on talk radio discussing it. It’s amazing how many minions Morano controls.

  3. #3 Eli Rabett
    January 20, 2007

    Yr. humble hare suggests that those interested in this matter (and US citizens, preferably from California) contact Senator Barbara Boxer and ask her why Morano’s blog appears to represent the full committee, not the dumber than a sack full of hammers position. I’ve added links over at my comfortably furnished burrow in an update, with a backlink to Deltoid

  4. #4 Andrew Dessler
    January 20, 2007

    I also blogged about this here.

  5. #5 David Graves
    January 20, 2007

    “educate themselves on the science”. Boy, that sure sounds like Stalinist orthodoxy to me. And Morano twists and spins the heck out of a quite reasonable proposal and invokes Nuremberg, thought control, censorship, etc. and then unleashes a crowd of how can I say this politely…uh, “people who are not card-carrying members of the reality-based community” to fill e-mail inboxes all over the net with bile-filled screeds. And all from a blog that carries a seal that looks like it denotes official US governmnent approval….

  6. #6 David Ball
    January 20, 2007

    I couldn’t agree more with the suggestion, however, let’s make the distinction between meteorologists and the caricatures of “meteorologists” that appear on the local TV station. While some of latter are very good, the majority wouldn’t last a day in a real operational environment. As a meteorologist I find being lumped in with the TV brand irritating.

    While Cullen’s suggest has merit, I would also suggest that there are many climatologists who would benefit from looking at climate change from a meteorological perspective. After all, climate change is about changes in local weather conditions. There is more to climate change than looking at gross patterns. That is the what of climate change. How about the why?

    And how about US State Climatologists? Have you ever seen a group who know so little about climate change? Maybe some so-called “climatologists” need to learn the basics of climatology? I can think of one self-styled “state climatologist” who would benefit from an honest look at reality.

  7. #7 ciel
    January 20, 2007

    Is it just me, or is anyone else just a little annoyed by the portrayal of Cullen’s entry as one to “remove the AMS seal from anyone who does not believe as she, or the other alarmists, do.”

    Such characterization, while not only essentially a misquote, strikes me as bordering on, if not outright, slander and defamation.

    I have been especially incensed by Morono & Friends’ (Faux News Nitworks, especially) misquoting and repackaging of what she actually has posted.

    I can not come close to arriving at their spin when I read the following:
    “If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don’t have a lot of time is the Pew Center’s Climate Change 101.)

    Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.”

  8. #8 z
    January 21, 2007

    Of course, when TV weathermen show some signs of belief in AGW, they get punished:

    “Wednesday’s Good Morning America started its weather forecast with,
    as he put it, “big, big, big news” that 2006 was the warmest year in
    112 years of recording weather. Weatherman Sam Champion asserted the
    politically correct belief of global warming ”
    http://newsbusters.org/taxonomy/term/525

    “It is very difficult for us to report on climate change issues,” says
    John Toohey-Morales, chief meteorologist at WSCV, an NBC Telemundo
    station in Miami. “We ask, but the news directors are not inclined to
    do it, or they put it in on a weekend news report with the lowest
    ratings.”
    Last year, M.J. McDermott, chief meteorologist for KCPQ 13, a Fox
    affiliate in Seattle, pitched her news director a story about global
    warming in the Northwest.
    “I pitched it a couple of times, and the director said, ‘Yeah, yeah,’
    and it never happened,” says McDermott. It wasn’t until the Seattle
    Times published a report on the subject months later that the station
    decided to have a news reporter cover the issue.
    “We could have been ahead of everybody,” says McDermott, who once, on
    air, held up an article about global warming, only to receive angry
    e-mails in response. “But it’s not news until it’s news — until some
    report comes out, or until the White House is looking into it. And that
    hasn’t happened since Clinton.”
    “We have a burden to educate the public about climate change,” says
    Phil Ferro, chief meteorologist for WSVN, a Fox affiliate in Miami.
    “But the TV industry is so competitive,” he says. “Time constraints
    keep me from discussing it, even here in Miami, where folks are seeing
    the effects of global warming with the hurricanes.”
    “People say the world is going to get one degree warmer; what the hell
    is that going to do?” asks Bellis. “You can’t link the drought to
    global warming because then people say, ‘Well what about last year, we
    had record rainfall?’ Global temperatures are rising, but it’s not
    affecting the local aspect, and people get really touchy if you bring
    it up.
    Viewer feedback runs against global warming coverage, says Shannon
    Richards, KNXV’s weather producer.
    “We did a story on Mount Kilimanjaro, and people wrote in saying we’re
    not covering the fact that the ice melting will help some creatures or
    vegetation,” she says. “Because of the negative e-mail, we’re hesitant
    to do more on the air. We hate to run things that turn off viewers.”
    Then there are the contrarian meteorologists — a minority, but
    not an uncommon breed in the newsroom.
    http://cesp.stanford.edu/news/there_are_plenty_of_opportunities_for_tv_weather_forecasters_to_raise_public_awareness_on_the_issue_of_climate_change_says_stephen_schneider_20060412/

    “[Global warming] is one of the most complex issues of our time, and it
    doesn’t lend itself well to ten-second sound bytes,” Douglas, the
    WCCO-TV meteorologist, said. “It’s hard to give this the context and
    perspective it deserves, certainly, in a regular two- or three-minute
    weather window.”
    Recently, though, Douglas has been doing longer pieces. He said he has
    been getting out from in front of the weather map, tromping into the
    field to tell stories about the tangible effects of climate change. He
    tries to show how things are changing.
    So far, he said, viewers have responded well to the coverage
    http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=83&aid=116210

  9. #9 Eli Rabett
    January 24, 2007

    I think that Andrew Freedman at Capital Weather had the best take on this: If the AMS is certifying meteorologists it has a responsibility to check if they understand climate issues

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