Should tv weather forecasters know about global warming?

Big brouhaha in the US at the moment, after Dr Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert of the Weather Channel, had temerity to make blog post suggesting tv weather forecasters with Seal of Approval from American Meteorology Society should actually know about science of global warming. (Didn't say, notice, that they should say it's underway or dangerous or whatever: they shoudl know about it.)

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. ... 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.

This suggestion made partly after a tv meteorologist quoted by Cullen was asked about climate change science, and spouted waffle including "weather patterns are cyclical" - which as Cullen notes is note AMS position - and ending "That's all I will say about this."

The post is at: JUNK">http://www.weather.com/blog/weather/8_11392.html#comment]JUNK CONTROVERSY NOT JUNK SCIENCE...

There's been veritable blizzard of criticism, chiefly from right-wingers - to whom it's clearly ok to have AMS approval and yet be ignoramus when it comes to cimate change.

I've posted comment to the blog:

Only just learned of this post, and the way it's stirred up a hornets' nest.

As a Brit, I'm baffled by the way climate change is viewed as a political issue in North America. Once had someone tell me she didn't believe in climate change as she was a conservative; to me, this notion barking mad. Different when it comes to judging what, if anything, should be done about change; or even if have assessed all available info on the issue and yet don't believe in man-induced change. Really knowing about global warming issue - rather than spouting puff and "That's all I will say about it" - would indeed seem important should anyone want something like AMS Seal of Approval. Those who deny warming is happening increasingly looking like Comical Ali of the Iraq war ("There are no tanks in Baghdad" etc). Their audiences will dwindle further. What we need is action; and to show that action won't impoverish the wealthy and the greedy, but will help safeguard our future.

News items on the arguments sitrred include on on Fox website, quoting Dr Cullen: "The point of my post was never to stifle discussion. It was to raise it to a level that doesn't confuse science and politics. Freedom of scientific expression is essential." Storm">http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,245581,00.html]Storm Hits Weather Community Over Climate Expert's Global Warming Claims Which to all but rabid right-wingers, would surely seem reasonable.

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/23 01:44

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/01/23 01:45

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