A few weeks ago, climatologist and Weather Channel blogger Heidi Cullen suggested that:
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…
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. Clearly, the AMS doesn’t agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It’s like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It’s not a political statement…it’s just an incorrect statement.
I agree with every meteorologist who says the topic of global warming has gotten too political. But that’s why talking about the science is so important!
Well, at a follow up post, the right wingers all showed up (since many accused the Weather Channel of being ‘liberal’, I think the description is apt. Besides, as a liberal, I know for a fact that the Weather Channel is part of our conspiracy to turn everyone into TEH GAY AL-QUEDA!).
The arguments were ridiculous, even to a non-meterologist. For example, both methane emissions and carbon dioxide emissions can add to the greenhouse effect–it’s not either-or (there are no permalinks to comments). Other comments also show that a scientist can be very ignorant of certain disciplines (particularly when there’s a financial incentive). One commentor, “Ronald A. Newcomb”, who if he is this Ronald A. Newcomb, should know better, argues that there is no temperature data before 1854, so we don’t know what we’re talking about. Erm, ice cores…
The comments are fascinating, in a bizarre way. They’re worth reading. It’s as crazy as the creationists.
Related post: It looks like the freeping might be partially orchestrated. Christopher Mims has the details.