Weather Channel Climatologist Wants Global Warming Skeptics Decertified

January 18th, 2007 9:04 AM

If you had any doubt concerning just how hot the global warming debate is going to get, this item should convince you about the seriousness of the pending war over the value of junk science. A prominent climatologist working for The Weather Channel has suggested that on air meteorologists be stripped of their credentials if they express any skepticism concerning global climate change.

Think I’m kidding? Read the following from the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works blog: ‘The Weather Channel’s (TWC) Heidi Cullen, who hosts the weekly global warming program ‘The Climate Code,’ is advocating that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revoke their ‘Seal of Approval’ for any television weatherman who expresses skepticism that human activity is creating a climate catastrophe."

Here’s what Cullen frighteningly wrote on December 21 at The Weather Channel’s blog (emphasis mine throughout):

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's just an incorrect statement.

Here’s a bio on Cullen posted at The Weather Channel’s website:

Dr. Heidi Cullen is the climate expert at The Weather Channel® and host of the program The Climate Code with Dr. Heidi Cullen. Since the program’s launch in October, Dr. Cullen has interviewed leading scientists and environmentalists including Ted Turner, Virgin-founder and Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, and Professor Jeff Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia. Features have included a tour through an “Eco-Manor” home, a “Green Makeover” house project, and a close-up of Dartmouth students who crossed the country in the “Big Green Bus” fueled by waste vegetable oil from fast food restaurants.

Since joining The Weather Channel in 2003, she has had the key responsibility of adding explanation, depth, and perspective to climate stories for The Weather Channel network and other platforms. Dr. Cullen, a scientist of international standing in climate research, has helped build the climate program at The Weather Channel and has strengthened the network’s relationships within the scientific community. In addition to her weekly program, Dr. Cullen appears on the air frequently, providing updates on current climate-related topics and as commentator on the network’s long-form environmental series, Forecast Earth. In 2004, she went to Alaska to interview residents for a special report called “Alaska Meltdown” which investigated the effects of global warming already in evidence in Alaska. In addition, Dr. Cullen oversees the content of the TWC broadband channel – One Degree -- devoted to topics that deal with the climate and environment.

Isn’t that wonderful? The person largely responsible for content at The Weather Channel is such a strong proponent of global warming theory that she actually wants meteorologists that are skeptical about this junk science to not be approved by the AMS.

Interesting line in the sand, dontcha think?