Update: Get this… From Anthony Watts:
———————-original post below (1/19/2007)———————
In a letter to Steve Milloy (Junk Science.com) I wrote the following:
OK, so you guys probably already saw this video “apology” by Heidi Cullen?
Talk about a loaded presentation, good grief! First she re-states her belief (and assumes everyone at TWC sees it her way) that man-contributed CO2 is the primary cause of global warming and all the ills we see and will be seeing in the not too distant future (seas rising, ice melting, polar bears perishing, etc.) are by association our fault. Please note, she did not mention anything about oranges freezing in California, or cows freezing in the American midwest and, recently, in Great Britain.
Then, after setting the apology up with the above restatement of her bias, she denies she engaged in attempting or suggesting the silencing of “non-conforming meteorologists.” Well, excuse me but here is what she actually wrote on her blog:
Dr. Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert
Capitalweather.com, a website for hard-core weather junkies in the DC area, recently published an interview with a local meteorologist that highlights the unfortunate divide that exists right now between the climate and weather communities. Yup, that divide is global warming. When asked about the science of global warming, the meteorologist responded:
“The subject of global warming definitely makes headlines in the media and is a topic of much debate. I try to read up on the subject to have a better understanding, but it is complex. Often, it is so politicized and those on both sides don’t always appear to have their facts straight. History has taught us that weather patterns are cyclical and although we have noticed a warming pattern in recent time, I don’t know what generalizations can be made from this with the lack of long-term scientific data. That’s all I will say about this.”
In an interesting follow-up blog on the reason for this all too common global warming contrarianism within the broadcast meteorology community, journalist Andrew Freedman suggests local TV meteorologist may want to look to the American Meteorological Society for guidance. Freedman goes on to point out that the AMS has in fact, issued a statement on climate change that reads:
“There is convincing evidence that since the industrial revolution, human activities, resulting in increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents in the atmosphere, have become a major agent of climate change.”
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.)
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!
I do find it interesting to note that, in the southern hemisphere, hurricanes do rotate clockwise … Oh, and one other thing – seems to me she is beaming into far more homes on a broader scale than any local meteorologist. Clearly, this hypocrit wants it her way and only her way.
Her video “apology” then proceeds as she regurgitates the standard claptrap about “I am a scientist and as a scientist I would never suggest stifling scientific debate, bla bla bla.” The problem with Heidi Cullen (and her ilk) is that the only scientific debate she is interested in is the one which fits her preconceived views and, most likely, her political views. A viewpoint that apparently, according to Cullen, is shared by management and ownership of The Weather Channel.
Ironically, Cullen isn’t even living up to the AMS statement she used in her quote and is pathetically attempting to cover her hygrometer… Nowhere in her commentary do you find a mention of the most prolific and important greenhouse gas of all – water vapor. Moreover, she claims she is a scientist. Well, according to an article written in early January
Cullen’s supposed expertise on climatology includes, among other things, earning a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern religions and history from Juniata College. One must indeed have to believe in the mystical to accept anything Ms. Cullen has to say about climatology.
Precisely. Notwithstanding the fact that virtually zero scientists dispute that fact, she blathers on that it’s CO2! Just like most socialists who attempt to hide their philosophy, Cullen is obfuscating with a straw-man. Sort of like the government planner who says, “Oh yes, we believe in the free market – but of course the free market must have government controls and safeguards so that it is fair.”
In Cullen’s case, she believes in scientific inquiry regarding the biosphere – but of course it must assume CO2, and not anything else (such as increased cosmic radiation) is the reason for an ‘indisputable and known’ amount of warming (that apparently is settled science, which it clearly is not) and that man’s activities are the primary cause. As my grandmother would say, “ooofff-da.”
The Weather Channel completely lost any and all credibility with me due to her speaking on their behalf in this way. She could have simply stated she was sorry (real contrition) for the comments she made on her blog and that she was wrong to have done it. That although she believes differently than some, she will attempt to remain objective regarding the degree to which man-contributed CO2 has impacted whatever degree of warming the earth has experienced… and will further investigate the concerns of those whom she calls “global warming contrarians.”
I have seen some lousy CYA’s in my life, but this one took the cake that she wants to have and eat at the same time… Talk about friends not letting friends drink Starbucks – how about not letting them watch The Weather Channel!