AMS/NWA sponsored survey of TV weathercasters: 63% Believe Global Warming is Mostly Natural

- Only 4% trust politicians on climate change information.

In January and February 2010, using a web-based method, we surveyed all broadcast TV members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA) using member email lists provided by the two professional associations. All participants were offered $30 to complete the approximately 20-minute survey. Of the 1,408 names and email addresses provided by AMS and NWA, 35 people were ineligible because we determined that they no longer worked as TV meteorologists, and 44 email addresses proved to be incorrect (and despite an active search, correct email addresses could not be located).

Therefore, the valid initial denominator of our sample was 1,373. Fifty-nine of these people refused to participate, 743 did not respond, and 571 completed at least some portion of the survey, yielding a minimum response rate of 41.6% (which assumes that all non-respondents were eligible to participate).

Selected excerpts:

Summary of Findings and Interpretation
This study was the largest and most representative survey of television weathercasters conducted to date. The on-line survey of broadcast television members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and National Weather Association (NWA) was intended to be a census of the nation’s TV weathercasters. A total of 571 respondents completed at least some portion of the survey, a minimum response rate of 42%, and an adjusted response rate of 52%.

While consultant research on TV weather and weathercasters abounds, most of that research is proprietary and often the weathercasters themselves don’t know the results of that research. Our top-line findings are being distributed directly to survey respondents and their professional associations, and additional detailed analyses are being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

Our findings confirm that TV weathercasters play – or can play – an important role as informal science educators. Nearly all of our respondents (94%) said they work at stations that do not have anyone else covering science or environmental issues full-time. This number verifies other research showing that only about 10% of TV stations have a dedicated specialist to cover these topics. By default, and in many cases by choice, science stories become the domain of the only scientifically trained person in the newsroom—weathercasters.

Two-thirds of our respondents report on science issues once per month or more frequently and one-third would like to report on science issues more frequently. Topics they cover range from astronomy to zoology, and many weathercasters have become the point person for expertise on plate tectonics in local TV newsrooms on the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

TV weathercasters embrace the idea of expanding their role beyond forecasting to becoming “station scientists,” a proposal advanced by the AMS to make the weathercasters the “go to” person in a TV newsroom on a variety of science topics. Four out of five of our respondents (79%) indicated they were comfortable serving in this role and only 9% indicated they weren’t. In many cases this means weathercasters will need to seek out more resources and training in order to cover issues outside their own specialty of meteorology.

Climate change is already one of the most common science topics TV weathercasters discuss. Nearly all of our respondents (87%) had in some way discussed climate change as part of their duties. The most common venue in which they discuss climate change is in community speaking
events (87%), which is also the venue they say is the most appropriate place for them to do so (82%). The second most common way weathercasters discuss the topic is in anchor “chit-chat” (49%), usually going into or out of the on-air weather segment.

Often a news producer stacks another weather related story before or after the weather forecast and this is a place weathercasters can face climate change questions or comments from an anchor. Only about a third of weathercasters say they discuss climate change during the on-air weathercast (37%), or in reporter packages (33%), the most important reason being lack of time (79% and 75%, respectively). Only about two-thirds felt that it is appropriate to discuss climate change on-air (62%), and approximately three-quarters felt it appropriate on-line (72%), as many report a concern about audience “backlash.” Many weathercasters also use other avenues to discuss climate change including the news station’s blog (31%) and station’s web site (28%), on the radio (29%), in personal blogs (25%), and in newspaper columns (14%).

Weathercasters hold a wide range of beliefs about global warming.
Survey participants responded to a variety of questions assessing their beliefs in and attitudes about “global warming,” questions that have been used previously in our public opinion research.2 More than half of our respondent (54%) indicated that global warming is happening, 25% indicated it isn’t, and 21% say they don’t know yet. About one-third (31%) reported that global warming is caused mostly by human activities, while almost two-thirds (63%) reported it is caused mostly by natural changes in
the environment. Half indicated that they have thought “a lot” about global warming, and a large majority said they are fairly or very well informed about the causes of global warming (93%), the consequences of global warming (89%), and the ways to reduce global warming (86%)—numbers that are much higher than public responses to the same questions. Over half of weathercasters indicated that humans could reduce global warming (58%), and that the U.S. should reduce greenhouse gas emissions regardless of what other countries do (63%). Almost half (47%) felt they needed some or a lot more information before forming a firm opinion about global warming, and almost one-third (30%) said they could easily change their mind about global warming.

Just over one quarter (27%) agreed with the statement by a prominent TV weathercaster: “global warming is a scam.”

Only one third of TV weathercasters believe that there is a scientific consensus on climate change.

Despite the strong scientific consensus among climate scientists, almost two-thirds (61%) of TV weathercasters think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening. Perhaps partly as a result, 79% of our respondents indicated that coverage of climate change science must reflect a “balance” of viewpoints just as coverage of political or social issues are covered. Prior research conducted by others, however, has shown that “balanced” news coverage about climate change is misleading in that it tends to give audience members the false impression that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.

Weathercasters express varying degrees of trust in sources of climate change information.
Overall the most trusted sources of climate change information are state climatologists (85%), the NWA (83%), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service (82%), peer-reviewed journals (80%), the AMS (79%) and climate scientists (73%).

The least trusted climate sources were politicians (4%), religious leaders (11%), mainstream news media (18%), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (44%), and other TV weathercasters (53%).

Full report here as PDF file: TV_Meteorologists_Survey_Findings_(March_2010)

h/t to Mark Johnson

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69 thoughts on “AMS/NWA sponsored survey of TV weathercasters: 63% Believe Global Warming is Mostly Natural

  1. “We wish to find the truth, no matter where it lies. But to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact.”
    – Carl Sagan (May 24-28)

  2. Should the respondents that filled out responses that fit the hypotheses be counted more times?

    Joe Romm on climate progress is begging his 12 regulars to vote for him every day so he can win the award for best science/climate blog (tree hugger is running the poll)

    Convergence. People that spring for 30 bucks also sprung for the notion that global warming is natural.
    I still think it is a strong response rate.

    Should we give this study more weight than that one tree up north in Siberia? That tree let out some heavy duty inferences.

    Off topic. Would the Catlin troubadors be elgible to be classified as “weathercasters” since they are cutting edge new media bloggers. They had all these hair raising encounters with frostbite and all the cold stuff including rapido melting under their feet at 75 below wind chill.

  3. Another important question I have: Why did 800+ TV Mets NOT participate in the survey? If there are any TV Mets reading this who did NOT answer the survey, please tell us why in a sentence or less.
    Mark Johnson

  4. Sorry, off topic but… this story from The Guardian is posted at Climatedepot.

    A watermelon finally admits what promoting crises is about:

    “Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory…

    “I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

    One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

  5. A:) “More than half of our respondent (54%) indicated that global warming is happening”

    B:) “Over half of weathercasters indicated that humans could reduce global warming (58%)”

    C:) “About one-third (31%) reported that global warming is caused mostly by human activities”

    A net 4% of weathermen believe we can slow global warming, and also believe that it is not happening. (It does not exist, but I can control it)

    A net 27% of weathermen believe we can slow global warming, and also that we are not causing it. (Humans are not driving it, but we could if we wanted to)

    Very strange indeed.

  6. “Despite the strong scientific consensus among climate scientists, almost two-thirds (61%) of TV weathercasters think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening. ”

    No, there’s no bias at all in the survey itself and its analysis…

  7. The bias of the poll is shown in this sentence:

    “Despite the strong scientific consensus among climate scientists, almost two-thirds (61%) of TV weathercasters think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.”

    The writer of the poll summary seems to think that science is amenable to consensus, or maybe is confused by the difference between statistics and consensus.

  8. Well I am not at all surprised to see such a study come from the halls of that great Institution.

    If you don’t like the climate change center lectures; you can always drop in on some words of wisdom (if you can get in) from Professor Walter E. Williams; one of the great voices of sanity in the 20th Century; and now moving on to his second century of wisdom.

    Besides he’s a very handsome man too. And did I say bloody smart.

  9. The agenda

    Mission and overview
    While the scientific evidence of climate change has never been clearer, exactly how to foster widespread policy and behavior change -– to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to inevitable changes in the climate -– is less well understood.

    Using communication to promote civic engagement and behavior change requires deep insight into audiences, their motivations, the barriers they face, and the best methods of reaching them with information they value. Our center is dedicated to uncovering, exploring and applying these insights.

    Our mission therefore is to conduct public engagement and behavior change research that can be used to improve climate change communication and social marketing programs. To help translate research into practice, we assist other organizations -– government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses -– in developing and refining their climate change prevention and adaptation programs.

    Our efforts are focused on four strategic areas:

    Engaging a broad range of research experts and business, non-profit and government leaders to identify the most pressing communication and behavior change research questions.

    Conducting communication and behavior change research to learn how best to educate, motivate and assist people and organizations in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the risk of a changing climate.

    Providing technical assistance to a broad range of organizations (in the public, non-profit and private sectors) so as to improve their climate change education, communication, advocacy and behavior change programs.

    Encouraging the development of similar initiatives abroad, especially in nations where effective societal responses are urgently needed to avert climate change (such as China, India, Brazil and Russia).

    I respond to some of this stuff and then the later responses I dig a little deeper.

    This school is merely all about evangelizing for the cause. It is NOT about studying if there is climate change. It is about measuring how much people are buying the spin.

    http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/mission.cfm

    The word Joe Romm uses is “NArrative”

    Like the one “trooo Scottsman falacy”

    The only reason any one may possibly not gobble up the dogma is because of shortcomings in the narrative or subnormal intelligence.

    More baloney:

    We are joined by a spectacular group of Affiliate Researchers, research professionals who work in various universities and other organizations around the country – and around the world – to improve climate change communication.

    So it appears these zealots take this little survey as a call to arms to “educate” and convert these poor weathercasters.

    Surely Mann and his models and James Hansen and his feelings/fears must know more than a Weathercaster” that watches a blizzard bearing down with a large amount of moisture.

    http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/team.cfm

    Our Research Team is expert in the uses of communication and social marketing to help people, organizations, communities and nations achieve their “goals”

    Brainwashing is now a methods course.

  10. I would guess the results are somewhat biased by the participants having been heavily involved in trying to predict their regional weather on a daily basis. Follow that with several thousand people grading them on a daily to weekly basis on those predictions.

    Do you recon they understand the problems with weather prediction?

  11. More from their propaganda site

    Click here to see some of the key questions our team is investigating.

    What makes people care – or not – about climate change?

    What factors predispose people to take action to reduce their own energy use and greenhouse gas emissions?

    What makes some people care enough to call or write elected officials, urging them to enact prudent policies or legislation?

    How can the influence of “popular opinion leaders” in a community be harnessed to promote “new social norms”?

    How do family dynamics (e.g., parent-child interactions) influence conservation behavior and political action?

    What is the best way to structure a list of “things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint?”

    And perhaps most importantly, how can communication and social marketing campaigns be used to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution?

    Force new “social norms?”

    Indoctrinate the kids?

    So should parents lose custody of their children to the State if they drive a SUV, van or old pick up trucK? This is why my great grand parents left Russia.We knew real conservation.

  12. willis –
    thanx for clearing up my misunderstanding re carbon = development. funny how words confuse us sometimes.

    funny how the MSM, apart from BBC, are not picking up this story so far!

    29 March: BBC: Struggling to survive Mongolia’s freezing winter
    It is supposed to be spring in Mongolia, but you would not know it.,,
    Mongolia is suffering the worst winter most people here can remember…
    The government says more than four-and-a-half million livestock have died…
    The harsh conditions have been affecting 19 of Mongolia’s 21 provinces since last December…
    He admits the authorities did not see this coming. They did not do enough to prepare for the severe winter. ..
    Dr Orkhon Gonchigdorj runs the facility. “We’ve never seen a winter like this,” she says. “So many sick people – there’s not enough room to look after them.”..

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8592408.stm

  13. George E. Smith (13:52:07) :

    Are you Walter Williams in disguise? He speaks like that… :p I say this lovingly, love both hearing and reading him.

  14. OT, but can we have an update on the amusing Catlin jollyboys outing? I have tried finding it myself on their site, but the ‘Google Earth Plugin’ doesn’t work (and no, my firewall isn’t the problem).
    ‘Technology’ – the name given to something that doesn’t work properly yet.

  15. ““Despite the strong scientific consensus among climate scientists, almost two-thirds (61%) of TV weathercasters think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.””

    This reads wrong, on purpose.

    Says two-thirds of weathercasters are stupid.

  16. So how many of these “weatherpersons” actually have university training in meteorology or climatology, or for that matter any other earth sciences?

    From my experience, most (but not all) TV weathercasters do not understand weather or climate particularly well, as evidenced by the odd things they say from time to time. Rather their expertise seem to lie in public speaking /presentation skills, physical appearance or just plain charisma.

    So the implied authority of these people is likely just not there at all, and the results would therefore be reflective of public opinion much more than of scientific credibility.

    In fact I’d go so far as to suggest that the primary conclusion of this study ought to be completely reframed. What it actually shows is how amazingly unrepresentative TV weathercasters are of scientific consensus.

  17. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (14:11:49) :

    OT, but can we have an update on the amusing Catlin jollyboys outing? I have tried finding it myself on their site, but the ‘Google Earth Plugin’ doesn’t work (and no, my firewall isn’t the problem).
    ‘Technology’ – the name given to something that doesn’t work properly yet.

    It was 45 below zero, wind chill 75 below and ice melting rapidly
    There may not be enough ice to do this on foot ever again. Maybe their laptop computors were soaked in the seawater.

    More seriously, they may be in trouble. That means they relied on proven models that were peer reviewed and not on “weathercasters” like as have doubts about this warming craziness. It seems I recall they had a full time worker in the base camp that performed “communication” for them. Buzz word generators come in handy like “flip/flop” ice.

  18. “The least trusted climate sources were politicians (4%), religious leaders (11%), ”

    Would that distrust include apocalyptic and quasi-religious former politicians who are now the owners of global warming financial firms where 16 of the 20 partners come from Goldman Sachs, and who by the way also burn 20 times the national average for electricity consumption in their personal homes?

    I am referring, of course, to Manbearpig.

  19. Too many statistics, my brain just can’t cope.

    I did meet a radio journalist last week though in Oz and was very impressed with his attitude.

  20. @KevinM (13:39:21)

    “Humans are not driving it, but we could if we wanted to”

    I don’t find this concept very strange in the least. Regardless of whether we control the weather or not I feel quite confident that we could cool the planet if we really wanted to. The consequences might be terrible but it doesn’t stop it being within our capability. I would suggest that the context of the questions have been poorly defined as is the case in many questionares.

  21. Richard Black ends this piece in a somewhat bizarre fashion!

    29 March: BBC: Richard Black: Gulf Stream ‘is not slowing down’
    Confirming work by other scientists using different methodologies, they found dramatic short-term variability but no longer-term trend.
    A slow-down – dramatised in the movie The Day After Tomorrow – is projected by some models of climate change.
    The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters..

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8589512.stm

  22. 29 March: Senators form bipartisan climate bill
    By Kevin Sieff in Washington
    The bill’s sponsors – John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, the Independent from Connecticut, and Lindsay Graham, the South Carolina Republican – said the new sectoral approach would begin imposing carbon caps on utilities in 2012 and manufacturers in 2016.
    The bill includes a new petrol tax, which would be passed on to consumers, though this could be vulnerable in the efforts to reach a compromise..
    Mr Graham, distinguishing his legislation from last year’s bill, told reporters this month “the cap-and-trade bills in the House and Senate are dead” and would be replaced.
    He hopes his sector-by-sector approach to regulation, unlike Waxman-Markey’s economy-wide cap, will help him save face among conservatives. His role in the bill’s formulation was itself in doubt after he said the Democrats’ handling of healthcare reform “poisoned the well” for bipartisan co-operation…
    Meanwhile some environmentalists said the bill would curb the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a28df5a6-3b71-11df-b622-00144feabdc0.html

  23. “latitude (14:14:29) :

    ““Despite the strong scientific consensus among climate scientists, almost two-thirds (61%) of TV weathercasters think there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.””

    This reads wrong, on purpose.

    Says two-thirds of weathercasters are stupid.”

    Notice that the sentence talks about the consensus among CLIMATE scientists (who are paid to deliver material for the IPCC whose express purpose it is to analyze antropogenic climate change) versus disagreement among SCIENTISTS (whose majority is paid to do what a scientist does).

  24. A weather forecaster/meteorologist is in a position to observe and follow closely regional weather over the course of years. That 2/3 of them cannot see any evidence of global warming does not surprise me. The overall progression is either neutral or towards a colder climate. It takes time to change over from a decidedly warming era to one where it is obviously the opposite.

  25. I see no effort to differentiate between the concepts “human caused global warming” and “natural global warming”, so we don’t have any way to interpret this.

  26. My son and I did an experiment a few years ago and kept the five day forcast out of the newspaper fo a two month period from May through June and NOT ONCE in two months was the five day out forcast right on the money on the fifth day…nope not once?!? So who said this is sience, more like chaos theory and unpredictability…Yet we trust them to tell us about…well…the global climate…or as the study says…

    “In many cases this means weathercasters will need to seek out more resources and training in order to cover issues outside their own specialty of meteorology”

  27. I’m honestly looking forward to this read but though the skim revealed wonderful response stats the results didn’t appear to signal a chi. Frequency is always fun but rarely as insightful as a chi.
    One of the best questions I ever asked in a market research study was “how do you define your neighborhood?”
    Congrats on the study response and the potential analysis.

  28. Al Gored (13:38:56) :
    “This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory…
    I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

    This is really alarming and is a green light to those who might think an end justifies the means. From this statement my opinion is he is not a great thinker. The allies in the WWII were still functioning democracies even with war time restrictions. The exception would be Soviet Russia, but they simply threw people at the invaders, or shot them if they turned back. Hitler’s rule over his military ensured defeat and with a hideous loss of life. It was the allies ability to organise and harness what were essentially volunteers that increased the odds of winning.
    I have not put this well but Mr Lovelock is wrong, very wrong.

  29. Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    REPLY: Neither does being Al Gore. – Anthony

  30. “how do you define your neighborhood?” : )
    Really struck a chord, over 20 years ago only 1 response from a 20 page research study that received 70% response from a 25% sampling of an 80,000 population in the “heartland” stated “my neighborhood is the world”.

    Sadly, the response 20 years ago indicated a character who was attempting to alter the study yet it would be interesting to ask the same question today.

  31. It’s really a disgrace that the AGW’ers haven’t realized long before now that trying to bully the meteorologists instead of woo them to their side is a losing proposition. These people (the weather guys) have a far more immediate and longterm trust relationship with the public than the climatologists will ever have.

  32. “”” bikermailman (14:11:10) :

    George E. Smith (13:52:07) :

    Are you Walter Williams in disguise? He speaks like that… :p I say this lovingly, love both hearing and reading him. “””

    Well it takes quite a man to get stuff to rub off on this crusty old codger; and Walter E. (to differentiate him from that “other” one) is one such; as is his erstwhile mentor Thomas Sowell.

    This old codger picks up smarts wherever it is available from wise men.

  33. The idea that the TV weatherman should be the “station scientist” is a bit scary – especially if the general public is looking to that person as an authority figure on the subject. Could be generally detrimental & further erode credibility as poorly researched science info is dispersed. That being said, I am sure they would do a better job than the non-scientifically trained reporter. All those stories should start with the disclaimer , ” We have absolutely no idea what we are talking about, so take it for what it’s worth”.

  34. Icarus (16:10:22) :

    Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    Let’s say they aren’t. Let’s say they’re just a sample of the non-expert but well-spoken population. They say they’ve studied the AGW issue. The fact that they’re often unpersuaded implies that the warmists’ case doesn’t gain strength in the public mind upon deeper acquaintance.

  35. We have five television meteorologists (All University of Oklahoma). I’m a member of both the AMS and the NWA. I was never contacted about any such survey. Since I’ve been called outspoken (and a few other things), they probably know where I stand.
    Gary England, Director of Meteorology, KWTV

  36. Icarus (16:10:22) :

    Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Your opinion doesn’t qualify as an authority.

  37. So since polling of the general population shows that most aren’t concerned about global warming and since this poll shows most that understand climate and weather don’t think it’s mamnade that would mean the Weather Channel can change its song on global warming.

    So no more looks of gloom and doom from Jim Cantore, right?

  38. Icarus (16:10:22) :

    Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    And, significantly more important … being a climate scientist “clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on” statistics. However, that has not stopped them from abusing this field over and over again. Maybe you should be more concerned with the statistical nonsense in peer reviewed journals rather than a simple survey.

  39. Phillep Harding — I see no effort to differentiate between the concepts “human caused global warming” and “natural global warming”, so we don’t have any way to interpret this.

    Yes. Poll bias makes the answers almost undecipherable. Written records show us the Hudson used to freeze. No longer. Obviously it’s warmer, and no serious adult would say otherwise. The only question is the claim of it being (solely!) anthropogenic. The poll is biased so as to make it appear to imbeciles that weather forecasters are in need of re-education and not to be listened to. (This has Heidi Cullen all over it.)

    And for your entertainment, just in time —

    Graham Dawson — So the implied authority of these people is likely just not there at all, and the results would therefore be reflective of public opinion much more than of scientific credibility.

    Same argument, variation #456, of the theme where WUWT gets mentioned somewhere and some know-it-all will invariably use the putdown of “oh, that Watts guy, he’s just a weatherman.

    Hook. Line. Sinker.

  40. It may have something to do with the fact that meteorologists work with model output day-in/day-out. They’ve often found out “the hard way” (“10 inches of partly cloudy”) that models are are crude approximations of reality, and are *NOT* perfect. To get the same exposure to reality as a meteorologist gets in a year of 5-day forecasts, a climatologist would need to spend several centuries watching individual 5-decade climate forecasts. Our lifespan isn’t that long, so the validity of climate models is almost as difficult to refute as a religion.

  41. Just putting this into the wider context of real world problems and my grocery shopping list, whenever I see a story, no matter its slant, that reports on any survey, I’m immediately reminded of Family Feud with host Richard Dawson yelling out, “survey said…”

  42. Icarus (16:10:22) :
    “Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.”

    Just to set the record straight: a large majority of TV “Weathercasters” are degreed Meteorologists (or have the equivalent college credits). The idea that these folks are just weather bunnies reading what someone else tells them is just plain wrong.

  43. My TV weather person can’t even get the 12 hour forecast right…I should take them as an authority on the subject?

  44. Graham Dawson (14:24:45) :

    So how many of these “weatherpersons” actually have university training in meteorology or climatology, or for that matter any other earth sciences?

    How many those so called earth scientists and climatologists have qualifications in any of the real sciences?

  45. tornadomark (21:19:53)

    “Just to set the record straight: a large majority of TV “Weathercasters” are degreed Meteorologists”

    Can you back that up, Mark? according to the New York Times, only about half have Meteorological degrees:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/science/earth/30warming.html?ref=science

    I imagine the other half got their TV jobs because they looked good in front of a camera, and know about as much science as Paris Hilton. Take Mark Mathis for instance:

  46. Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    REPLY: Neither does being Al Gore. – Anthony

    I agree, but no-one’s suggesting that he is. For climate science we go to climate scientists, not politicians or TV weather forecasters.

  47. Roger Knights (18:00:47) :

    Icarus (16:10:22) :
    “Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.”

    Let’s say they aren’t. Let’s say they’re just a sample of the non-expert but well-spoken population. They say they’ve studied the AGW issue. The fact that they’re often unpersuaded implies that the warmists’ case doesn’t gain strength in the public mind upon deeper acquaintance.

    Whether or not they’re persuaded has precisely zero significance as far as the science is concerned. Only a few decades ago, virtually no earth scientists believed that the continents move across the face of the Earth. Nevertheless, they move.

  48. Amino Acids in Meteorites (18:28:10) :

    Icarus (16:10:22) :
    “Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.”

    Your opinion doesn’t qualify as an authority.

    It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Weather is not climate.

  49. My very unscientific opinion about about James Lovelock is that he is an intelligent loony. His comments about democracy being suspended during wartime is proof enough for me that he has rainbows in his head.
    On the other hand, I am still wonderfully impressed that in writing ‘The Origins of Man’ Darwin laid out honestly and forthrightly what evidence was mising to prove his theory; I am equally awed that the missing proof (Pre-Cambrian fossils) were discovered in England in 1957.

  50. tornadomark (21:19:53) :

    Icarus (16:10:22) :
    “Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.”

    Just to set the record straight: a large majority of TV “Weathercasters” are degreed Meteorologists (or have the equivalent college credits). The idea that these folks are just weather bunnies reading what someone else tells them is just plain wrong.

    So how does being a meteorologist qualify someone as an authority on climate science?

  51. Icarus (04:07:28) :

    “So how does being a meteorologist qualify someone as an authority on climate science?”

    Taking it one step further, what qualifies you to be an authority on who is an authority?

    You should keep in mind that what brought Icarus crashing down to Earth was hubris.

  52. ************
    Icarus (03:50:55) :

    Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    REPLY: Neither does being Al Gore. – Anthony

    I agree, but no one’s suggesting that he is. For climate science we go to climate scientists, not politicians or TV weather forecasters.
    ****************
    Could you point out someone who has a degree in “climate science?” Jim Hansen doesn’t and neither does Michael Mann.

  53. Jim (04:34:04) :
    “Could you point out someone who has a degree in “climate science?”

    Check here:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=climatologists

    If that doesn’t work, try wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_climate_scientists

    Keep in mind that a “climate scientist” would be a scientist who studies climate for a living. You know, I think Jim Hansen may actually fit the bill! (TV meteorologists manifestly do not, as they do not study climate, nor are most of them scientists.)

    Glad to help.

  54. From an OLD Weatherman –

    “Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.”

    And

    “Lovelock says the events of the recent months have seen him warming to the efforts of the “good” climate sceptics: “What I like about sceptics is that in good science you need critics that make you think: ‘Crumbs, have I made a mistake here?’ If you don’t have that continuously, you really are up the creek. The good sceptics have done a good service, but some of the mad ones I think have not done anyone any favours. You need sceptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock-climate-change

  55. Henry chance (14:27:15)

    ‘Technology’ the name given to something that doesn’t work properly yet”

    “Climate change” What is written on the cover of the textbook with blank pages.

  56. Icarus:
    So how does being a meteorologist qualify someone as an authority on climate science?

    Michael E. Mann:
    Dr. Michael E. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University.

    http://www.met.psu.edu/people/mem45

    Gavin Schmidt:
    He was educated at Corsham Comprehensive School, earned a BA (Hons) in Mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford University, and attained a PhD in Applied Mathematics at University College London.[4]

    Tell me what qualifies the previous to comment on the climate?

    On the other hand from http://www.ametsoc.org/amscert/index.html :

    In order to acquire a CBM, new applicants must hold a degree in meteorology (or equivalent) from an accredited college/university, pass a written examination, and have their work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills. All CBMs may retain their certification and display the CBM logo as long as they pay their membership and renewal fees each year and complete a 28 point professional development requirements every five years.

    Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.

    The questions went to AMS/NWS certified people…not “weathercasters.” I hope professional certification means they at least have meteorological degrees.

  57. After reading this article yesterday, I emailed a local leading senior meteorologist here in Atlanta, asking his opinion of the survey and AGW. Surprisingly, I received an answer back (352 words) in less than 3 hours. I told him I would be writing a comment here about his response but would not use his name since I didn’t have permission.

    I was going to do partial quotes but I’ll just post the whole email edited a little bit for ID purposes.

    “Hey Chris, was a little disappointed. I find it amazing that we who have been forecasting for a very long time (edit) and know about weather patterns and have seen changes based on the cycles of the oceans, the sun, and the natural cycles of the earth, are basically dismissed. Instead, we are relying on climatologists, who for the most part, are more concerned about slanting their findings in hopes of getting more grant money. A huge study was recently done on the accuracy of the weather stations around the country that feed data into the global climate models. It was determined that 87% of these reporting stations were not in compliance with NWS standards. We have the best in the world so can you imagine how accurate the data is coming in from the rest of the planet? Bad data in means bad data out. We see that a small error can magnify through our computer models just in a 24 hour period. In addition, there were no sunspots this past year. Most of Canada, the upper Midwest, and New England had no summer at all. Have you heard anything about that? So, the result with air that was already chilled, got even colder during the winter. Since 1995 there has been global cooling and not global warming. I certainly believe in climate change, as our climate has been changing since the beginning of time. As the climate warms, CO2 levels increase, but 100 or 200 years later! It should be the other way around but you won’t hear that from Al Gore. You no doubt heard about “Climategate” this past winter when some of the major scientists got nailed for falsifying global warming data. The bottom line in my opinion is that our climate will always continue to change and we should learn how to deal with it instead of trying to fight it. It just brings back memories of the 1970s and early 1980s when all the climate scientists were predicting another ice age. There was no disputing that fact. And of course, they were wrong….again!”

    Wonder where he got that bit about reporting stations hmmm…

    An important point as I responded back to him is that since he spends quite a bit of time in schools talking to children (and I still have one left in school), I was relieved to hear he presented a balanced viewpoint in the face of all the AGW propaganda that is so pervasive.

    I also mailed the same question to the other local network meteorologists around here – waiting on them.

  58. Icarus (03:50:55) :
    For climate science we go to climate scientists, not politicians or TV weather forecasters.

    Define “we” please. The media doesn’t limit itself in this fashion, and neither do politicians, community organizers, professors, or anyone other advocate of AGW.

    Anyone who parrots the “settled science” gets a pass on the credibility of the entirety of their claim whatever it might be. In this vein, we get a constant stream of stories from the Mainstream Media in which we can’t have a warm day, a cold day, or and earthquake without it being an indicator of impending global catastrophe, and nary an eyelash is stirred from these defenders of science. Conversely, question any portion of the climate creed, and witness the bombastic speeches decrying the general public’s woeful lack of basic scientific precepts (complete with name-calling).

  59. “Only 4% trust politicians on climate change information.”

    Is there some reason why it is exactly the gays who trust politicians on AGW? ;-)

  60. **************
    ac patriot (05:27:38) :

    Jim (04:34:04) :
    “Could you point out someone who has a degree in “climate science?”

    Check here:

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=climatologists

    If that doesn’t work, try wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_climate_scientists

    Keep in mind that a “climate scientist” would be a scientist who studies climate for a living. You know, I think Jim Hansen may actually fit the bill! (TV meteorologists manifestly do not, as they do not study climate, nor are most of them scientists.)

    Glad to help.
    *****************
    Keep in mind that just because Jim Hansen gets paid to study climate does not in any way imply he is any good at it. In fact, his environmental zeal pretty much removes him from the arena of science. He is a shill.

  61. Seems to be a lot of discourse about what qualifications are necessary to be a “Climate Scientist”.
    A lot of people who think they are, are actually statistical mathematicians. Some are computer programmers. Still others study prehistoric pollens, or sea shells.
    Heck, some are even Physicists or Chemists; what do they know about “Climate Science” ?

    When I was in school (we called it University; college was a high school), I had a choice of four Science Degree courses (well in my fields of interest) I could get a mathematics degree, which required majors in both Pure and Applied Mathematics; I could do (pure)Physics, or Mathematical Physics; and there was even a degree in Radio-Physics, which involved electronics, Electromagnetic propagation theory; ionospheres and all that stuff. Or I could have done an EE degree if I wanted to become an engineer. There were of course other sciences like Chemistry and the various Biology and other disciplines; but I was interested in the Physics and Mathematics ones, which as I said were four different Majors.

    So i did all four of them. Don’t think I ever heard or wrote the word “climate” during the whole experience.

    The first 30 years of my subsequent Industrial career, were mostly in electronics, or Optics; or Opto-Electronics, including early LED technologies (material science etc). Don’t recall ever hearing or writing the word “Climate” during those years either; even when thinking about the ionosphere.

    So I would guess, that I am not a “Climate Scientist”; or a meteorologist either; so to me, weather just happens and I can’t do anything about it.

    None of my employers have ever complained that I don’t have any kind of EE background; but they have been happy to file EE patents with my name on them. Tektronix was happy to manufacture the first Horizontal Sweep Switching Oscilloscope (Type 547) using some circuits that I developed for that purpose; without any EE degree. I certainly did not invent the concept of sweep switching; but I did make the first workable circuits; after having designed some hilariously unworkable circuits to do that. But that does not lead naturally into getting involved in “Climatology”.

    Maybe I’m a fraud ?

  62. Icarus (03:59:55) :

    Roger Knights (18:00:47) :

    Icarus (16:10:22) :
    “Being a ‘weathercaster’ clearly doesn’t qualify anyone as an authority on climate science.”

    Let’s say they aren’t. Let’s say they’re just a sample of the non-expert but well-spoken population. They say they’ve studied the AGW issue. The fact that they’re often unpersuaded implies that the warmists’ case doesn’t gain strength in the public mind upon deeper acquaintance.

    Whether or not they’re persuaded has precisely zero significance as far as the science is concerned. …

    I didn’t say it did. My implication was that skepticism about alarmism is not due to ignorance of the warmist case, but to awareness; and further that “better communication of the science” will not raise the public’s consciousness in the direction of alarmism, as alarmists are hoping, but away from it.

    Also, I don’t buy the idea that climatologists are scientifically trustworthy. It’s a jumped-up, immature field that has been disproportionately populated by environmental types who “want to make a difference”; whose leading institutions have been funded on the basis of the potential threat of AGW (hence, no threat = less funding); that has been swayed and shaped by social pressures not to rock the alarmist boat; that has been hijacked to some extent by sharp-elbowed, politically sophisticated activist types; that has used shoddy statistical techniques in much of its work; that has displayed a groupthink resistance to ordinary scientific give-and-take and correction of its errors (see the IPCC); that unsophisticatedly places unwonted reliance on computer modeling; etc., etc.

    Therefore, the opinion of reasonably sophisticated laymen has relatively more weight vis-a-vis the experts than it would in some other scientific controversy. The experts can be badly wrong.

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