Cleveland-area TV meteorologists disagree with prevailing attitude about climate change

Clearly, I’m not the only TV meteorologist (former) with doubts. Here is a story out of Cleveland that shows how others think about the issues. – Anthony

Cleveland-area TV meteorologists disagree with prevailing attitude about climate change

Posted by Michael Scott/Cleveland Plain Dealer Reporter

December 02, 2008 22:35PM Categories: Environment, Real Time News

They will tell you when the skies might rain or snow in fickle Northeast Ohio, when to bundle up the kids in a cold snap and when to make weekend plans if steady sunshine spans the five-day forecast.  They also will tell you that human-caused global warming is hogwash.  They’re your local TV meteorologists.

Andre Bernier, Courtesy of WJW Fox 8

“This cry that ‘We’re all going to die’ is an overreaction and just not good science,” said Andre Bernier, a meteorologist at WJW Channel 8. “I don’t think I personally know any meteorologists — here in Cleveland or anywhere else I’ve worked — who agree with the hype over human-induced warming.”

The local TV weatherscape is indeed populated with on-air personalities who are pushing hard against the prevailing winds of climate science.  That prevailing thought — supported by the United Nations’ 1,200-member Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society and others — is this:

The Earth’s climate overall is warming and the human burning of fossil fuels in cars and industry — which release carbon dioxide — is helping to accelerate that change.  Further, climate experts say, there could be dire consequences if humanity doesn’t quickly lessen the accumulation of greenhouse gases and adequately adapt to a warming globe.

The American Meteorological Society has strongly affirmed that stance, but accredits even the on-air meteorologists who rail against it.

“Our stance is pretty clear on this and we’re in agreement with the global warming scenario as set out by the international panel,” said Keith Seitter, AMS executive director.

“Still, we think they should research all that they can,” he said. “And really, there should be less and less skepticism out there as the science improves each year — not more.”

Prime-time doubters

But, there are doubters — all AMS certified — in prominent on-air positions at each of the four Cleveland television stations.

, Dick Goddard

Bernier and Dick Goddard — the patriarch of Cleveland weather forecasters — predict the weather at WJW Channel 8. Both cite natural fluctuations in the Earth’s climate and dismiss the industrialization of the 20th century and the subsequent spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide as the cause for warming.

Goddard compared the current anxiety over warming with the global cooling concerns of the 1970s, which have since dissipated. He and Bernier both point to solar cycles as the key ingredient in climate change.  Bernier also said he believes the climate is no longer warming — but, rather, cooling again.  “I have a hunch that in 10 years we’re all going to be longing for global warming because it will be so cold,” Bernier said. His Web site,, links to a Canadian documentary that suggests the same.  Others in the skeptic camp include meteorologists Jon Loufman at WOIO Channel 19, Mark Johnson at WEWS Channel 5 and Mark Nolan at WKYC Channel 3. Nolan has since moved to the news desk, but he said he still gets questions about his skeptic’s stance.

“Climate records also show that long before industrialization, the Vikings had settled in Greenland because it was warm enough,” said Loufman, who has taught meteorology courses at both Case Western Reserve University and Lakeland Community College. “I think the jury is still out on this.”  So what in the name of the National Weather Service is going on here?

Do the local weather guys know more than an international committee of several thousand climate scientists? Or are they too blinded by lake-effect snow squalls to see the big picture?

Widening rift?

For starters, the drift away from global warming among TV weather forecasters is hardly limited to Cleveland.  “This is nationwide,” said Stu Ostro, meteorologist and director of weather communications for the Weather Channel in Atlanta.  AMS chief Seitter agreed: “I’ve seen the trend, too,” he said. “But I still don’t understand why there would be more skepticism among the TV meteorologists than in the field overall — but there is.”

The most notable example of dissent among meteorologists has been the Weather Channel’s founder, John Coleman, now a TV forecaster in San Diego.  Coleman — whom Seitter quickly points out remained with the Weather Channel for only a year in the early 1980s — has said human-induced warming is “the greatest scam in history.”

There have been others, from the longtime director of the National Hurricane Center to’s long-range forecaster, who told The Plain Dealer that “global warming is being forced down the throats of the public.”

Source of dissent

So what’s behind all of this?  Dick Goddard said the answer is that weather forecasters appreciate better the lack of reliable records.  “There’s only one constant, and that’s change,” he said. “We’ve only got accurate weather records back to 1874 and things have been changing back and forth since long before that.”  Bernier said local meteorologists “are just more practical” and not swayed by the opportunity for more grant money to do more research proving climate change.

But Seitter, a former skeptic himself, said meteorologists who make daily weather calls have a natural rivalry with climatologists who look at longer-range trends.  “Those of us in weather are used to seeing extremes all the time,” he said. “Why should we think that anything is different today just because one day is hot, another day has heavy rains? Meteorologists often see those things as natural variability.”  Seitter said many meteorologists also don’t trust models — “because we’ve seen how wrong they can be in predicting weather” — and that most don’t interact with other scientists beyond other meteorologists.  “We sort of live in our own world and haven’t been exposed to the same volumes of research that the climatologists have,” he said.  “And that can sometimes lead to a rivalry among the two groups — where some meteorologists are defensive and some climatologists might be condescending, or at least come off that way.”

Jay Hobgood, head of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at Ohio State University, agreed. He said the university teaches the IPCC findings on global warming, but allows for debate.  “The day-to-day meteorologists are seeing anecdotal evidence, but not the research that goes back thousands of years,” he said. “The two disciplines are very related, but the time span being looked at is very different.  “Looking at the daily weather doesn’t necessarily tell you the climate is changing.”

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
anna v
December 3, 2008 7:58 am

I think it is the grants, myself.
If you depend on a “peer”committee to get a grant for your research and to finance your graduate students, you have to tow the line of the peers.
TV meteorologists are payed by the TV and the better people like them, the more secure their job. Thus, if they are influenced, they are influenced by audience feedback. The audience has been there before.

December 3, 2008 8:04 am

“Looking at the daily weather doesn’t necessarily tell you the climate is changing.”
Let me get this straight, people who don’t look at long term weather trends as part of a paid job are incapable of understanding the nuances of climatology.
Not much hope for a simple aeronautical engineer then is there. I guess I should quit trying.
This other quote is pretty clear about it.
“here some meteorologists are defensive and some climatologists might be condescending, or at least come off that way.””
We need climatologists to tell us what tree rings mean. And the obviously completely unbiased IPCC to sort out what we should believe for us.

December 3, 2008 8:06 am

Alright Cleveland!!! I got to visit with Andre Bernier for a day in high school. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m actually quite surprised that he put himself out there with this stance. He must feel quite strongly. I hope he reads this blog!

December 3, 2008 8:07 am

Come on, let’s get a grip. These are TV presenters, after all — presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions.
All too often, these TV weather types are little more than cheesy toothpaste smiles and inanity-breathing media wannabes. I couldn’t really care less about their ‘scientific’ opinion. Because they clearly don’t have one.
But whatever. Why not rename this blog State of Denial? It would be a lot more accurate in summing up the mentality on show of collecting so many pointless negativities.
Ice falls on Peterborough, UK, as killer wind turbine goes on rampage shock. Well, exactly. That’s the sort of line that comes from the Illegal immigrant ate my hamster school of journalism.
It’s hardly ever below zero in Peterborough, for a start. And frankly, you might as well say power lines should be banned for ever, all across Canada, because occasionally they fall down in ice storms.
State of denial. That really sums it up. Politely.
REPLY: Ice falls on Peterborough, UK, as killer wind turbine goes on rampage shock. Golly! Why must you embellish a title with words that never appeared? No one denies temperature has risen in the last century, but the cause is questioned. As for alternative energy, read my about page (click link) and then look at the links and pictures of my vehicle, home, and local school. I like windmills, but I happen to think they shouldn’t be near people’s homes for reasons illustrated in this newspaper article.
Such anger and labeling over such a simple point, without really bothering to investigate what I really think about alternative energy smacks more of emotionalism than reason. – Anthony

Denis Hopkins
December 3, 2008 8:08 am

Interesting that we are told short time scale events do not show trends. Yet AGW is mentioned with any news story (together with Climate scientists explanation as to how AGW is to blame) about slightly extreme weather happenings. Should they not just keep quiet and say it is part of the natural variation of weather. Why do the modellers not disown such ignorant commentaries from their colleagues?
If that happened we might respect their views more.

Pete Yodis
December 3, 2008 8:14 am

“We’ve only got accurate weather records back to 1874 ”
Anthony has been showing us that even this is in question…

December 3, 2008 8:19 am

The American Meteorological Society has strongly affirmed that stance, but accredits even the on-air meteorologists who rail against it.

But, there are doubters — all AMS certified

Is it just me or does this look like a veiled threat – toe the line or lose your AMS accreditation?

Leon Brozyna
December 3, 2008 8:27 am

Meteorologists deal with reality; climatologists with climate models. Reality trumps fantasy every day of the week.
REPLY: Before computer models, climatologists dealt mainly with records of past weather. Many still do. -Anthony

Adam Sullivan
December 3, 2008 8:32 am

Look carefully at what is quoted.
This is not a dismissal that there is any AGW. The quotes condemn the hype and panic mentality that has become the hallmark of an industry seeking more public money.
But any such criticism is taken by journalists in general as “denial” of AGW.
Bad journalism is a more immediate threat to the welfare of humanity than AGW.

December 3, 2008 8:39 am

What a poorly written article! I’ll bet these weather people are frustrated with how little of their explanations made it into the article. Instead of stupid amateur psychoanalysis, it would have been a better use of news space to discuss some facts. Of course, since the weather guys work for TV news, they aren’t in a position to complain.

December 3, 2008 8:42 am

I think that anna v nailed it. The publish or perish mentality combined with funding tied to the AGW agenda creates an environment where untenable conclusions are accepted to keep the money flowing.

Richard Hegarty
December 3, 2008 8:43 am

Sorry to go off topic but i could not resist, it looks like we are all doomed unless we totally shut down the modern world!!!!
From new scientist:
“EVEN if we turn to clean energy to reduce carbon emissions, the planet might carry on warming anyway due to the heat released into the environment by our ever-increasing consumption of energy.”

December 3, 2008 8:43 am

‘All too often, these TV weather types are little more than cheesy toothpaste smiles and inanity-breathing media wannabes. I couldn’t really care less about their ’scientific’ opinion. Because they clearly don’t have one.”
Wow, that’s a scientific, well-founded argument.

Paul Shanahan
December 3, 2008 8:49 am

Leon Brozyna (08:27:28) :
Meteorologists deal with reality; climatologists with climate models.
…And I thought computer modelers dealt with computer models and that IPCC politicians told them what the end result should be. You live and learn.
Sarcasm ends…

December 3, 2008 8:56 am

Money quote for me… ““Still, we think they should research all that they can,” he said. “And really, there should be less and less skepticism out there as the science improves each year — not more.””
You think? Why would that be?

Arthur Glass
December 3, 2008 8:57 am

How long will the would-be commissariat tolerate such dissent? The apparatchiks at the AMS want to decertify any met who gets out of line. State climatologists with doubts have been harried out of office in Delaware and Oregon. I forget the name of the Oregonian, but it is fitting that he had done, as any Oregonian climate scientist should, significant research on the PDO, and that a few weeks after he was air-brushed out of the picture, NASA issued a Bull declaring regime change in the Pacific.
Interesting article on Climate Progress that seems to be preparing the Faithful for lowered expectations on the prospect of early cap-and-trade legislation under the Obama administration
“[Michael]Oppenheimer[lead co-author of the IPCC 2007 report] said it is most important for U.S. lawmakers to have public support at home for their policy. That, in turn, will lead to a successful treaty.
“In the ideal world, Obama would press this issue immediately after inauguration, and Congress and the public would buy in immediately and settle all the details and pass legislation quickly enough so that the international negotiations could move forward and complete by Copenhagen,” Oppenheimer said. “In the real world, I don’t think this is in the cards.”
How inconvenient it must be for the Anointed , who live in the ‘ideal world’ where the Ignorant do not have to be consulted, that in a democratic political process, real people must be persuaded by rational and truthful presentation of a case. They must, of course, the poor silly dears, acknowledge their own nescience and accept on faith that the ‘consensus’ of the Sacred College of the IPCC is infallibly true, and that dissent is dangerous heresy.
The totalitarian implications of the AGW scam are manifold.

Ron de Haan
December 3, 2008 9:02 am

It’s quite a relief that not all public weather prophets have jumped the AGW/Climate Change bandwagon.
This is really nice to hear.
In the mean time there is “Green” Panic at the UN Climate Conference.
The Greens fear the possibility of a collapse of the UN talks because they believe Obama prepares for a climate bill that won’t make it through the Senate.
The wild card is held by the Chinese!
The story and the link was published on today and the full story can be found here:
If the UN talks fail they still win. It won’t take much more time before we meet the 1990 Kyoto Target without spending a single dime. That’s in regard to the 1990 temperatures. Not the 1990 CO2 levels.
But who cares about CO2? It’s just an innocent trace gas not worth the attention nor the money spend on.
And money my friends, money is scarce these days.

Ed Scott
December 3, 2008 9:10 am

“…the United Nations’ 1,200-member Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…”
It is past the time for examining the credentials of the 1,200 members of the IPCC Panel.
SEPP: IPCC Chairman Says Current Weather Extremes Not Linked to any Global Warming; Claims by Gore, Environmental Activists Cause for Mistrust, Says Bolin
Bolin, chairman of the IPCC for eight years and a respected Swedish meteorologist, raised this point on June 2 in Stockholm, Sweden, during the first of two debates on the global warming issue with University of Virginia atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, former director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service. Speaking before an audience of scientists, journalists, and industry representatives, Bolin remained adamant that there has been some human influence on climate, but conceded that “man-made increases in temperature arc so small as to be barely detectable.”
At one point during the question-and-answer period, Holopainen held the latest IPCC Climate Change Report aloft and said simply, “How can you question this bible?”
The Gorites continue to cling to their computer models and the IPCC bible..

December 3, 2008 9:13 am

Personally, I am all for alternative sources of energy. I was looking into “off grid” living back in the 1970’s and was particularly interested in methane digesters as there were a considerable number of chicken farms near where I grew up.
But we can’t “make up facts” in order to push technology. In fact, it probably hurts the technology in the long run. If the government were to subsidize solar energy, more would get sold but development would probably suffer. Why? Because if solar is more expensive, people will do a lot of research and development to drive the costs down and efficiencies up. If government makes solar artificially competitive, capital expenditures are shifted from research to production. And when the subsidy ends, the technology is little more competitive than it was before and sales collapse.
Government subsidy of alternative energy isn’t sustainable in the long run. It must be competitive in its own right. When it actually is cheaper to use the alternatives than the conventional without government creating artificial market inefficiencies, the use of them will increase. Now we face a situation in California where many subsidies are expiring and the companies that install end-user systems are crying the blues because the equipment is still not competitive without the subsidy and we are talking about 15 years of subsidies.
So rather than create market inefficiencies, certain people have created an irrational fear using “global warming” to increase the demand for products they themselves are invested in. It is designed to make people willing to pay extra because they are scared or think they are doing some kind of service to the world community. The trouble is that the fear and the rhetoric lie on a foundation of inaccurate information and when people attempt to stand up and announce that “the emperor has no clothes” they are chastised for it. It is coercion and intimidation. Basically it is corruption. Using government to advance certain business entities and research careers based on faulty information provided by the people whose interests are based on that faulty information is criminal. It is stealing.
Yes, climate warmed until the mid 1930’s while recovering from the LIA. Then it cooled until the mid 1970’s. Then it warmed until about 2000, now it is cooling again. Global climate changes and there is little we can do about it.
What we CAN do is change the land use problems that cause local climate changes such as deforestation and ground cover changes, heat islands, etc.
There is no evidence that CO2 is bad for the environment, there is no evidence that on a global atmospheric level that humans are changing the climate in any significant way but there IS ample evidence that the current warming and cooling follow natural decadal cycles and that we ARE changing local microclimates through land use change.
My first advice to someone who really wants to make a difference would be to get a ceramic insulated elastomeric roof coating put on their roof. That white roof would do more to “fight” warming than anything else they could do. If everyone did it, it could lower temperatures in major cities by a degree or two. That one simple thing would result in greater energy savings and reduced local heating than anything else they could do besides maybe making sure their car was always parked in the shade and not acting as a local solar convection heater.

December 3, 2008 9:15 am

Roads, just so I’m clear, all TV meteorologists are circus dropouts with no scientific background. Correct?

December 3, 2008 9:20 am

“And really, there should be less and less skepticism out there as the science improves each year — not more.”
A statement of faith!

December 3, 2008 9:20 am

Jeff Id (08:04:41) :
Not much hope for a simple aeronautical engineer then is there.

Oh, I’m sure you can help an airplane fly. But there are many more factors than the engineering which affect for how many years the airplane will be flying and how well it flies during all that time. When we are getting on the bird in twenty years we hope that the logbooks truthfully told the flight crew and maintenance staff what has happened, that the maintenance staff has been working on the pieces which exist rather than what their politically correct personuals describe, and that the pilot knows how to move us around actual weather rather than what the weather agencies are aware of.

P Folkens
December 3, 2008 9:25 am

I agree with “truthsword.” The money quote was by Keith Seitter, AMS executive director. “And really, there should be less and less skepticism out there as the science improves each year — not more.”
As the science improves, there IS more skepticism because of the improving science and knowledge gained based on empirical observations. As time advances, the models from the late 80s and early 90s are proven grotesquely wrong.
Seitter’s enthusiastic support for AGW hints at an agenda outside the realm of rigorous science and invites scrutiny of his motives.
Then there’s Roads’ apple (08:07:44). It appears he doesn’t care for the message, so he attacks the messenger. Apparently, he is the one in a state of denial.

George E. Smith
December 3, 2008 9:25 am

Roads presumably IS an AMS acredited Climatologist; but evidently prefers to anonymously dismiss Meteorologists particularly the ‘TV types’; which is a very safe position to defend.
I know indirectly only one (ex) tv meteor type (well Anthony says he’s one), but I do know personally one very real working Meteorologist; no he’s not a climatologist.
But he most certqainly knows ENSOs and AMOs and PDOs and he most certainly knows how those things affect the weather as well as how they effetc the climate.
And since he is not a “cheesy toothpast smile” type, he can’t get a way, with a five minute prediction of 18 inches of “partly cloudy” to be shovelled up by the overweight TV viewer tomorrow.
He actually works for a living, for people with real money, who really want to know in a big way, what the weather really will be tomorrow, in three days, or maybe two weeks. They have big money riding on what he says; a lot more than just closing down the late night TV news, so he has to know what is really going on out there.
If anybody seems to be avoiding reality, I would say the “climate science” people have more to answer for than the “weather science” people do.
One thing that seems to be a fixed feature of the authoritarian pronouncements of climatologists especially the modellers among them is the omnipresence of a 3:1 fudge factor in their predictions.
In one hundred years the temperature will have risen 3 deg C or maybe it will be 10 deg C, and the oceans will rise 20 feet, or maybe 20 meters, and they never say that the precictions (excuse me; projections) of their models agree with the real world observed data; it is always that the observed data is within the range of their models.
I would like to suggest a simple task that maybe “Roads” might like to tackle. Well any climatologist visiting here might like to try.
Take one of the weirdo official weather stations that Anthony has made famous here; one of the ones for which he published a temperature (anomaly) record.
Now take that graphed data, and create a mathematical function which replicates that data set. No need to beat say 5% error in any data point from its given value; but please give me a function with fewer parameters in it than the number of data points.
Once you have such a funtion explaining that data set, then you might use it to compute the next data point that should appear on that graph.
So I’m not looking for a GCM that explains the whole planet; just a single official weather station will do. That should be easy for Roads to do. TV cheesy Toothpaste types are excused from attempting something that is clearly not in their league.

December 3, 2008 9:29 am

As an example … what do you think would happen to Hansen’s career or Gore’s career if we were to go into a period of deep significant cooling with CO2 levels continuing to rise as they have been? Do you think they might have a vested personal interest in keeping the charade going? They have staked their reputation on a hypothesis derived from incorrect input data and climate models built by the advocates of the hypothesis (and the model “verified” by temperature data “adjusted” by the builder of the model).
And why is the information that climate cooled when CO2 levels increased at the fastest rate suppressed? And why aren’t people informed that the impact of CO2 is logarithmic and not linear in response in that the initial increase in CO2 has the most impact? You need to have a logarithmic increase in CO2 concentration to create a linear rise in “greenhouse” temperature. That is why when CO2 levels were 20x today’s levels, global temperatures were only about 5C higher than today.

December 3, 2008 9:43 am

My first advice to someone who really wants to make a difference would be to get a ceramic insulated elastomeric roof coating put on their roof. That white roof would do more to “fight” warming than anything else they could do.

It’s not that simple. If I have a white roof then I have to burn more fossil fuels to heat my house in winter. Although those who live further from the equator might benefit more from dark outer walls with a reflective ground cover on the side toward the equator.

December 3, 2008 9:53 am

The name of the Oregon State Climatologist was George Taylor. Taylor was forced to retire this past year under pressure from Oregon Govenor Ted Kulongoski. Kulongoski considered Taylor, a faculty member at Oregon State University, to be global warming denier and wanted him out of the office. Taylor did not dispute that temperatures had risen in Oregon since record-keeping began in the 1800s, but did question the degree of human involvement in this change. As a non-tenured faculty member, it was easy for his dean and department chair to accomodate the wishes of Govenor Kulongoski and to show Taylor the door.
Taylor’s critics here at Oregon State University included noted environmental scientist Jane Lubchenco. Lubchenco considered Taylor to be dangerous because many in the lay community eagerly listened to the articulate arguments made by Tayor and that he had muddied the waters of the climate change debate with his use of factual long-term climate records.
The real irony is that Taylor is a vegetarian who rode his bike to work every day of the year while Lubchenco drives to work daily from her rural country estate. Guess who has the biggest carbon footprint?
In case you’re wondering, all of the information that I’ve supplied here is available in the public domain.

Doug Werme
December 3, 2008 10:02 am

We knew Dick Goddard was among the best of the meteorologists when we lived near Cleveland in the 60’s. Good to see he is still around and as sharp as ever.

December 3, 2008 10:08 am

“There is no evidence that CO2 is bad for the environment”
Isn’t there evidence that higher CO2 levels are good for the enviroment? I remember some pictures recently of earth’s vegetation compared to other time period. Earth is more “green” now. Plants thrive in high CO2 levels.
“Come on, let’s get a grip. These are TV presenters, after all — presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions.”
Sorry, to the meteoroligists out there, but I would concede to this logic if we could apply it to all of the other TV presenters. You know the “unbiased” ones like Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Gwen Ifill and such.
If we could also throw in some movie presenters like Al Gore and Michael Moore, I wouldn’t even hesitate.
; – )

Richard deSousa
December 3, 2008 10:22 am

I hope the rank and file meteorologists, especially those who have TV news programs, stick together. They’re high profile personnel and can provide some diverse and sane voices to counter the idiotic scaremongering AWG proponents.

J. Peden
December 3, 2008 10:24 am

~I forget the name of the Oregonian [State Meterologist]…harried out of office
George Taylor. Gov. Ted Kulongowski[sp] stated that he wanted a State Meteorologist who reflected his AGW political position. So he fired Taylor. So much for Gov’t “science”, eh?
source: memory of events as described in Media – mainly the Lars Larsen talk radio show. I live in Oregon, follow events, have heard Taylor interviewed a few times and read his statements. I pretty much knew that Taylor was going to get cashiered as soon as I heard him talk.

December 3, 2008 10:27 am

As a Cleveland boy I’m proud of the fact that folks there value the truth over grant money. But money is a powerful and corrupting influence, and not everyone is immune to its effects. James Hansen’s huge grant income is a case in point.
I also question the AMS’ position on AGW. They never allowed their membership a secret ballot vote on the question; Seitter and the Board simply took a position that the AGW/CO2/disaster hypothesis is a fact. How honest is that?
Finally, Mr. Roads owes Anthony and the readers here an apology for his scurrilous ad hominem attack — which contained not one scientific fact, while stating that professional meteorologists don’t have scientific opinions. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?? This site is all about scientific facts and opinions.
So will Roads man-up and apologize?
Don’t hold your breath.

December 3, 2008 10:30 am

“If I have a white roof then I have to burn more fossil fuels to heat my house in winter”
Not really. Can you find any evidence that a dark roof will warm the living space under it to any significant degree? All it generally does is radiate the heat off into space or melt the snow on it. If you have a well-insulated attic, a roof in very cold climates is likely to be snow covered in winter anyway. If it isn’t, the heat is probably moving from the living space, to the attic, too the roof and out.
The coating I linked to is also insulated. It contains ceramic spheres that add insulation (R) value to the roof and will actually decrease the expense of heating the house.
And finally, the farther North one goes, the shorter the day in winter. In Minnesota today the length of daylight is about 9 hours. Considering that very little heating will be done in the first and last hour, that gives 7 hours of any useful heat absorption from the Sun and 17 hours of net heat loss through the roof. A black roof is a much better radiator of energy than a white roof.
That black roof actually costs you in additional heating bills.

December 3, 2008 10:35 am

I notice a pattern here that’s typical of most organizations: the guys on the ground (in the field, shop, back office, etc.) understand what’s going on, but management misses the details and draws erroneous conclusion. The meteorologists deal with weather and climate data and understand it, the AMS and Weather Channel executives deal with budgets. The essence of bad management is to ignore your own local experts and rely on consultants who are presumed experts because of their self-marketing skills and sometimes the fees they charge.
Roads appears to be a troll.
Don’t feed the trolls.

December 3, 2008 10:41 am

We’ve only got accurate weather records back to 1874
This statement would be more correct if the “accurate” were dropped from it.

December 3, 2008 10:44 am

Delaware’s “state climatologist” had the same problem. This isn’t new.

December 3, 2008 10:50 am

Roads wrote: “These are TV presenters, after all — presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions. ”
On the same token, who are those often cited “leading” climate scientists and computer modelers? Fellows who are not bright enough and failed to qualify to enter real (not soft) science and math fields?

December 3, 2008 10:50 am

It’s not that simple. If I have a white roof then I have to burn more fossil fuels to heat my house in winter.
My roof has snow on it for most of the winter.

December 3, 2008 10:53 am

Not everyone wants to be a researcher.
I find it interesting that certain types (especially academic types) just assume that everyone wants a research position and that those who don’t have one are just not as smart as those who do.

December 3, 2008 10:55 am

“We’ve only got accurate weather records back to 1874”
Considering that modern mercury thermometers were not in widespread use until the late 1700’s, that isn’t surprising. I don’t believe there was a single accurate weather observatory anywhere on the planet before the 1750’s.
The thermometer (then called a thermoscope) came into widespread use, we were at the tail end of the LIA so it would be expected that all temperature observations recorded through history would show a general warming trend until that recovery ended in the 1930’s.
It is also interesting to note that over the past 3000 years or so, it appears that each warm period is slightly cooler than the previous. We have been in a general cooling trend for at least that long from looking at the various proxies such as ice cores, etc.

December 3, 2008 11:00 am

“If I have a white roof then I have to burn more fossil fuels to heat my house in winter.”
If your roof is covered with snow in winter, it is white anyway.
A black roof is a better RADIATOR of heat than a white roof. In other words, a black roof is doing a better job of radiating attic heat and trying to melt that snow than a white roof would. Remember the paint will reflect in both directions. It impedes energy transfer. Why do you think a car radiator or any other radiator (heatsinks, for example) is black? Because they RADIATE heat better. You do not want your roof to radiate heat.
At night, a house with a white roof will have a warmer attic temperature than an identical house with a black roof. If your roof is covered with snow, you get NONE of the benefits of the black roof and all of the drawbacks. All it is doing is radiating heat from the attic into the snow and melting it.

Leon Brozyna
December 3, 2008 11:20 am

Leon Brozyna (08:27:28) :
Meteorologists deal with reality; climatologists with climate models. Reality trumps fantasy every day of the week.
REPLY: Before computer models, climatologists dealt mainly with records of past weather. Many still do. -Anthony

That was my rather lame attempt at a little witticism. Isn’t that field of climatology called paleoclimatology, such as the work done by Dr. Mann in reconstructing past climate, especially before the era of instrumentation? Interesting controversy on that endeavor.

J. Peden
December 3, 2008 11:26 am

So will Roads man-up and apologize?
Roads doesn’t understand that from a scientific or analytical standpoint, his/her whole post is a type or kind that can be quickly dismissed – except for the obligatory rebuttal which lets Roads know that s/he doesn’t get to presume victory simply because “no one could even muster a comeback”, and it only take one of these, really.
So, no, Roads will only reappear to make similar posts, that is, if Roads holds true to the kind or type represented by the original post. Roads doesn’t understand that we are observing Road’s behavior.

December 3, 2008 11:28 am

Also keep in mind that the only reason roofs are mainly black is because for many years we used bitumen or tar to seal them. We have become used to seeing black roofs. We aren’t (yet) used to seeing white roofs and it takes a little getting used to.
The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley California now has a “cool” white roof instead of the traditional red shingles it sported for about a century. In addition to saving oodles of energy and not heating up the neighborhood, these coatings can be applied right over the existing shingles and will make most roofs last much longer. There is no reason a coated roof of conventional shingles shouldn’t last a century or more if the coating is kept in good repair.

Jeff L
December 3, 2008 11:33 am

“These are TV presenters, after all — presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions. ”
Nice Ad Hom, Roads. In my experience though, just because you are a brilliant researcher doesn’t mean by definition you have a lock on good ideas. In fact, I have commonly seen the opposite – with those you would catorgorize as less than brilliant generally having much better common sense problem solving abilities.
If I was assessing the validity of an AGW opinion from these groups based just on group status – between a group who is largely funded by research grants based on the party line of “AWG is fact” vs a group paid to get it right (people will not trust / believe / watch the bad forecaster), I will put my money with the TV mets.

December 3, 2008 11:56 am

Mr. Roads has a blog. But not many folks seem to be visiting it. He’s probably trying to generate hits by his nasty comments, so best not to visit his site.
Roads is probably suffering from blog envy [I also threw in RealClimate for comparison].

david geering
December 3, 2008 12:12 pm

mr hopgood states that the research into agw “goes back thousands of years”.is this the same research that announced on global cooling,a mere thirty years ago? why the 180?

December 3, 2008 12:24 pm

Let me correct a fallacy that seems to permeate some of these remarks. ALL meteorologists are climatologists to some degree. In order to effectively forecast weather you need to have an appreciation and understanding of how the climate has behaved. The first thing any meteorologist does is delve into the history of the station for which he/she is forecasting, checking significant past events, daily, monthly and yearly records. Then more of the same with other local area and state records. A working meteorologist with a number of years under their belt has a pretty good handle on climate and will be one of the first to notice if something is unusual or out of the norm. That’s why a large number( if not an overwhelming majority) of weather forecasters recognize scientific bull$hi! hype when they see it.
Having dedicated many of my years to meteorology, it really knots my knickers to read the garbage that is foisted on the general public. I especially have a strong dislike and zero respect for those programmers/modelers who think their product can actually give meaningful insight into the distant future.
Computer programs are much improved in the past couple of decades but the original truism of GIGO still applies. Take a seven day forecast and verify the positions of major systems, and the forecast pressures and wind direction for a particular point for the seventh day. If it resembles anything approaching reality its a lucky mistake and the odds of repeating it twice in a row are astronomical. Run a program out 100 years with “slight” errors and missing and unknown factors and what do you get: pure unadulterated crap. We seem to have a lot of that going around lately.

Ed Scott
December 3, 2008 12:31 pm

In regard to Mr. Roads: “…best not to visit his site.”
There is an analogous saying in Trad-Dixie: Don’t look at the trombone player, it only encourages him.

December 3, 2008 1:51 pm

Richard Hegarty,
that New Scientist article has me shaking my head. Don’t these people do any order of magnitude calculations? I can’t give the reference but total human generated energy use is apparently about 1/10,000 of total solar input to the planet.
So take the fourth root of 1.0001 and multiply by 288 for a rough number on the temperature increase due to human inputs. I get 288.0072. So we have warmed the planet by 0.0072 deg C due to this cause. Then look at the next 100 years with 1% increase per year and the energy use is about 2.7 times current. So we now take the fourth root of 1.00027 and multiply by 288 and get 288.0194. Less than 0.02 deg C. I suggest this is negligible on the global scale but as Anthony has shown there are significant local effects of UHI.
Reading between the lines, that article was just a thinly veiled attack on nuclear energy by some very stupid and incompetent people. New Scientist ceased to be anything but PC gobbledegook quite some time ago and should probably be hauled in front of a trade practices commission for false and misleading advertising for using the word “scientist” in its title.

Wondering Aloud
December 3, 2008 1:59 pm

I agree with Anna v in first comment. It seems to me that it takes a lot of courage to question the scenario of catastrophic global warming as jobs and grants have definitely been lost. This tends to make those who do stand up to the exageration and hype to perhaps over react and be more certain than their position merits. This is met by over reaction and expressions of certainty where none exists on the part of the “believers”. Frankly their jobs and grants are on the line too. Where do they go to get funding if they admit now that the case is exaggerated.
This quote is interesting:
“I don’t think I personally know any meteorologists — here in Cleveland or anywhere else I’ve worked — who agree with the hype over human-induced warming.”
Is he lying? I don’t think so. In my own professional circle the divide seems to be between those who agree with Bernier and people who want to stay very very quiet on the issue. But, meteorology is not my circle, for me they are Physicists and Astronomers.
I remember a long time colleague dodging a question from me at a seminar in 2006 when it appeared that the cosmic ray data he had was strongly supportive of solar variability correlating with temperature. I believe his group refused to publish for fear of funding loss and as this was not the focus of the research they could avoid it. It wasn’t that they didn’t notice it was that they didn’t want their project to be associated with “Deniers”

Jeff Alberts
December 3, 2008 2:12 pm

I don’t think the IPCC is made up of 1200 anything, much loess climate scientists. it’s made up of a handful of politicians. If they’re referring to the expert reviewers and lead authors, they are no IPCC members or employees or anything like that, they simply provide expert opinion, and as far as I know are appointed by countries who are asked to provide the experts by the IPCC.
So the article was poorly researched, to say the least.

Jeff Alberts
December 3, 2008 2:14 pm

Speaking of TV weatherpersons. CNN has now stooped to having an “EXTREME WEATHER” spot in the lower right corner when the weather person is on. It seems to show temps for places which they apparently deem to be warmer than “normal”, since there was no showing of places that were very cold or getting a foot of snow. I guess this is in line with their alarmingly alarmist “Planet In Peril” pieces, which tend to be nothing but alarmist pap, totally ignoring most of the actual facts about climate.

December 3, 2008 2:23 pm

If a survey on the levels of belief or skepticism in global warming was done on the basis of by professions there might be some surprising conclusions.
Amongst Australian farmers and I would suggest farmers everywhere, a type of profession that is totally outdoors based and totally weather reliant both short term and long term, you would be hard pressed to find more than a tiny percentage that believe in global warming.
They all believe in climate change, that is real climate change, not the pseudo variety that is now passed off as a dangerous phenomena in place of the non provable CO2 induced global warming.
Farmers and other outdoor, weather and climate reliant professions have watched the weather and climate come and go all their lives.
The vagaries of the weather changes and the changes in the longer term climate as distinct from weather changes is a part of the folklore of succeeding generations of farmers.
Farmers simply do not swallow the simplistic and arrant nonsense on global warming / climate change that is promulgated by so many academics who should know a lot better.
In our modern western society so many people now work all day in air conditioned offices, then feel the effects of the weather for only a few minutes while heading for their transport home be it a public transport or auto, and on reaching their home they immediately move into an airconditioned or a warmed building.
Most of our population is now remarkably isolated from the effects of weather and climate on their personal lives and even more isolated on the effects of weather and climate on their needs in food, clothing and shelter.
It becomes reasonably easy to convince these people by a constant propaganda bombardment on global warming and its alter ego, the so called climate change, that the world is going to hell in the proverbial bread basket unless the true path is followed as laid down by the high priests of global warming.

December 3, 2008 3:48 pm

““The day-to-day meteorologists are seeing anecdotal evidence, but not the research that goes back thousands of years,” he said.”
LOL. The research that goes back thousands of years show the same thing, if you ignore the rigged, pseudo-scientific hockey-stick crapola. Warming and cooling over decades and centuries. There is pretty unequivocal evidence that the Medieval Warm Period was at least as warm as the present period.

Tom in Florida
December 3, 2008 5:17 pm

Just a question on the ceramic roof paint. Can you walk on it without doing any damage to it’s properties?

George M
December 3, 2008 5:57 pm

Tom in Florida:
Generally, no, if the underlayment is even the tiniest bit flexible.

December 3, 2008 6:35 pm

The coating is basically like rubber. You can walk on it. It is like a rubber coating that goes right over top of the shingles.

December 3, 2008 6:48 pm

Note that the coatings are not ceramic, they contain very tiny ceramic spheres (about the size of dust) in an elastomeric binder that can expand and contract quite a lot, it is designed to be flexible. If it is applied properly on a properly prepared surface, it is no less durable than the shingles it is covering.

December 3, 2008 6:59 pm

TerryS (08:19:23) :
The American Meteorological Society has strongly affirmed that stance, but accredits even the on-air meteorologists who rail against it.
But, there are doubters — all AMS certified
Is it just me or does this look like a veiled threat – toe the line or lose your AMS accreditation?
At a “public listening session” held by the NH climate change task force, A Union of Concerned Scientists member mentioned the AMS document, which led Joe D’Aleo to bitterly criticize the way the AMS Council developed and forced it past the more technical members. Then Fred Ward, long time Boston TV met, pointed out that not only did the membership not have a say in it, but many members can’t get the satisfaction of leaving the AMS because the AMS certification is very important in some TV markets.
(An Associate of Joe’s said very similar things about the National Academy of Science’s statement.)
I don’t personally know how important the AMS certificate is these days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on screen in New England, where you pretty much need to qualify to describe the region’s weather. Before moving here and before college, I grew up in northeast Ohio and a lot about weather from Dick Goddard on Ch 3, KYW. After KYW and WKYC were forced to trade locales, WKYC came with Wally Kinnan. Eventually Dick Goddard came back, this time on Ch 8 and we had two AMS-certified weathermen. Such a deal! The weather person on Ch 5 also did the kiddie show in the afternoon.
At any rate, Heidi Cullen isn’t on the AMS council, so certificate holders are probably safe as long as keep sending in the dues.

Roads (08:07:44) :
Come on, let’s get a grip. These are TV presenters, after all – presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions.

Perhaps that’s true in your market, but I’ve watched Todd Gross a couple times prepare his segment for the 11 PM news when he was at WHDH in Boston. He doesn’t begin to look at the models until he’s looked at current conditions, steering currents (and noting where new lows will form and where the surface manifestation will be), and basically leave me completely in the dust. After all that, he doesn’t look at other people’s forecasts to avoid the distractions of where they may have misread stuff.
When I moved to New England, my search for the best weatherman ended when Bruce Schwoegler warned that his forecast for the night’s snow storm would disagree with the NWS. He based it on one off-shore buoy’s wind report that showed the storm had passed the buoy so the snow would stop hours before the NWS expected. He was exactly right, and I watched him for the next decade.
TV mets in New England are not mere presenters….

Tim L
December 3, 2008 9:12 pm

George E. Smith (09:25:32) :
COOL daddy ohs so cool!!!!!!
I would bet one hundred he can not do it.
lol just one station and predict temps.

Chuck Bradley
December 3, 2008 9:17 pm

And Bruce Schwoegler is one of the 31,000 signers of the AGW is false petition, but I did not notice any Boston on-air weather reporters joining him.

December 3, 2008 9:33 pm

The article says this is a country wide phenomina – with TV meteorologists overwhelmingly calling BS on global warming.
You know what would be fun?
A petition, signed just by TV, Radio, meteorologists.
Sort of an Oregon petition for weathermen.
If Tom Laughlin says it’s bunk, I’ll believe him. If Mark Finan said it’s bumkiss, you can take that to the bank.

December 3, 2008 9:37 pm

About roofs, my house in So. Cal had a hip roof and an attic space not big enough to stand up in. The strip shingles were dark green. That thing was an oven, even in winter. I would have loved to put in soffit vents and a ceiling fan to bring that heat down into the house from fall through spring. What stopped me was the naked fibreglass batts I had installed between the ceiling joists to qualify for a $300 rebate from So. Cal. Edison when I went all electric back in 1968.

Tim L
December 3, 2008 9:53 pm

Gary (10:35:18)
I seen this first hand at this company.
I have worked over a 30 year period there
and they had a meeting claiming to be bankrupt in two years
had they not done anything…. what they did was to hire a company
that did not know anything about the business to reorganize.
they did not ask any one at our level what might be done,
and they told us ” we don’t want to here about your problems with the new system”
we have lost a good place to shop and work, they have lost thousands of customers!
oh well

Richard Hegarty
December 4, 2008 12:59 am

To quote Bob Dylan “you dont need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”. Weather predictions are tested every day by a skeptical public where as climate predictions are accepted as unquestionable facts and can only be tested after decades if at all.
Here is an interesting interview on the most famous forecast ever made by the BBC which failed to predict the great storm of 1987 which hit southern England.

M White
December 4, 2008 2:56 am
Arthur Glass
December 4, 2008 5:17 am

“And really, there should be less and less skepticism out there as the science improves each year — not more.”
Just as, one presumes, skepticism about the Ptolemaic account of the movement of heavenly bodies was lessened as more accurate observations were mad in the 15th c.

james griffin
December 4, 2008 10:01 am

1) Graphs show the planet has cooled overall for the last decade.
2) Ice is returning to the Arctic and other areas.
3) Good snow last winter for skiers (even Scotland had a good season).
4) Early snow this year in US and many parts of Europe.
5) Cool summer in many parts of the southern hemisphere..some snow in Kenya I believe.
6) Aqua satellite launched in 2002 found no hot spots in the Troposhere and showed CO2/water vapour reaction took place at low altitude.
7) Warm Sun Cycle 23 has given way to a cooler cycle 24.
Cosmic rays affecting ozone layer so not out of the question that they do indeed stimulate cloud cover and rain fall.
8) Previou temp records, especailly the 90’s being down graded not just because Anthony corrected them but because Hansen has to show them on the increase….so put previous figs down.
Sad and pathetic.
Just how do we account for so many “experts” telling us the planet is warming?….probably because I did not get paid for offering this information, whilst AGW’s have their jobs, lifestylkes and reputations to protect.
As weil as trying hard not to undermine taxes and carbon offset trading that their bosses demand.

December 4, 2008 10:49 am

I grew up in Cleveland watching these two meteorologists on the news. And I agree with them. Global warming is hyped up more than what it should be. I mean, wasn’t it back in the 1970s that people were claiming there was a massive global cooling and that we were on the verge of another ice age?
I think it’s cycles of the earth’s climate; I am sure though that pollution doesn’t help things, however I don’t blame the “warming” all on humanity. I’m glad that there’s a significant number in the scientific community doubting its validity.

Pamela Gray
December 4, 2008 12:06 pm

Hey OSUprof!!! My Alma Marta! I was there as a 17 yr old in 1973. A bright but too young and not very smart feminist who wrote letters to the editor that resulted in a call from the PE department head. I was complaining that the money provided to the sports department for women was left over urine from the men’s sports program. Yes, I was a hothead. Go figure. Redhead. Just as a side note, because of my age, as a freshman I was assigned to Nun Hall (aka West Hall) without a door key and a 10:00 curfew. I was kicked out my second year due to very bad grades. I didn’t go to class because there was so much other stuff that I was interested in and freshman/sophomore classes were DULL. I just showed up for the tests. Didn’t even buy books. My GPA was a whopping 1.15. Lost all my college money. But I managed to convince the powers that be to take me back spring term and they took the bait. From then on I kept to my studies and just let the other stuff go by the way side. It was a hard lesson for a straight A girl from a small ranch who could pull a calf out of a cow’s rear end but couldn’t manage to pull a college class A out of her own. However, by the time I finished my masters, I ended up getting my research published in a major journal. It’s even on line. You can google it with “Fausti, Steven A, or Gray, Pamela S. The title is “Rise Time and Center-Frequency Effects on Auditory Brainstem Responses to High-Frequency Tone Bursts”.

December 4, 2008 1:35 pm

Pamela, if that were a personals ad I would already be stuttering.

Pamela Gray
December 4, 2008 2:28 pm

An on-line romance on a Weather blog. Now that’s titillating! We could have a steamy conversation about gating a signal! Or using filters to narrow a frequency band! LOL!

December 4, 2008 3:01 pm

I cannot abuse my position as moderator with such an impressionable young girl. I’m sorry, it’s not to be.

Pamela Gray
December 4, 2008 3:08 pm

Reminds me of a song, “…young girl get out of…”. (rushes to the store to get another box of “cover that gray” rinse).

Pamela Gray
December 4, 2008 3:23 pm

Funny how we change the way we think when we were young. Some get older and wiser. Some get older and forget that to get wiser, one must question one’s current beliefs. This site is from NASA from way back in 97. Very interesting read:

December 5, 2008 6:53 pm

I am not a meteorologist or a “weather” expert of any description. What I am is someone who’s been involved with computers, in one way or another, for more than 40 years.
I agree with Novoburgo (12:24:57) concerning the comments on computer models.
Having been involved with these ignorant machines since “telecommunications” meant handing a computer tape to a courier to drive over to the satellite uplink, I’ve got enough experience in my field to know that you can NOT dump a bunch of half-thought-out hypotheses into a machine and expect a correct answer. It isn’t possible except, as Novo put it, by accident.
Computers do all sorts of really neat things today by the standards of the paleolithic computers I started out on, but they still operate the same way– all they can do is add ones and zeros. Today, they’re simply doing it faster and in more complicated ways. If there is even ONE error in a given program, it will STILL give an incorrect answer. Today, those wrong answers come in faster and more complicated ways… and frequently snowballed WAY out of proportion. 😉 I recall an incident where I “moved” an entire Air Force base 200 miles further west and into the Pacific Ocean due to a misplaced decimal on a lat/long calculation. 🙂
Given that a computer program can have only one wrong calculation in it to turn the entire thing into garbage (or GIGO, as Novo so rightly pointed out!), how is it possible to model the entire world’s climate based upon what are primarily guesses about what the parameters should be?
It isn’t possible. And THAT is the correct answer.

December 5, 2008 7:04 pm

A clarification: While it is possible to be familiar with local weather patterns, it would be nice if the guys at NASA would look out their windows on occasion. 😉
It is presently possible to map local weather conditions for the next few days on a computer model. We are a LONG way away from accomplishing that on a global model for 100 years into the future.

December 5, 2008 7:44 pm

From Roads (08:07:44) :
Come on, let’s get a grip. These are TV presenters, after all — presumably the meteorologists who weren’t smart enough to get the research positions.
-end quote
No. They are the ones with the courage to stand in front of everyone and be held accountable, unlike the climatologists who can hide in an office… Oh, and they are also the ones with social skills, presentation skills, good stage presence, a sense of timing and showmanship, …

December 5, 2008 8:16 pm

From George E. Smith (09:25:32) :
He actually works for a living, for people with real money, who really want to know in a big way, what the weather really will be tomorrow, in three days, or maybe two weeks. They have big money riding on what he says; a lot more than just closing down the late night TV news, so he has to know what is really going on out there.
-end quote
George, well put. I’d only add that farmers and some other folks are interested in the long range weather too. For farmers it’s 3 to 6 months out (and can impact crop selection, yield, fertilizing, pesticide schedules, harvest plans, etc. I remember folks setting up contracts with crop dusters for sulphur dusting peaches when end of summer rain was possible…)
If the weatherman is very reliable and says a slightly longer indian summer is in the cards, farmers will sometimes harvest one crop a bit early at slightly reduced yield and plant a second fast one for a double crop. If early winter is forecast, you let the one crop run for max yield.
Right now I’m camped on the weather watching natural gas (UNG). The price is severely depressed due to the economic slowdown, but a long term very cold forecast would argue for an uptick in prices. The financial channels (Bloomberg, CNBC, FoxBiz) all go ApeSheesh during hurricane season with predictions about hurricane impacts on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. The start of season prediction moves the prices for oil and gas for the whole nation for weeks. Joe Bastardi at AccuWeather is a favorite because he is very very good (i.e. accurate) and doesn’t give a hoot about what’s PC.
There is no one on the news who is more important than the weatherman. Period. Sports? No way. What happened in Romania today? Or who slandered whom at the local City hall? Don’t make me laugh. My major complaint is local news managers who just want the weather to be about will it rain later today / early tomorrow. Give the guys room to run!

December 5, 2008 8:57 pm

From jeez (13:35:09) :
Pamela, if that were a personals ad I would already be stuttering.
-end quote
But I, Um, er, he, but, redhead!, I, urk. Coffee?

December 7, 2008 9:04 am

I’m quite interested in the topic of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or climate change, but I’m much more interested in human behaviour related to this topic.
There are two camps, the deniers of AGW and the apologists of AGW. While the deniers claim that “science is not settled” and a lot of questions have to be answered the apologists predicate that “science is settled” and all (sic!) questions are answered.
So far so good. There is a scientific debate and the apologists of AGW claim that they are right due to a so called scientific consensus.
In a common scientific dispute both parties would try to find proof and falsification for their hypotheses and would try to improve research to let the discussion go. Jürgen Habermas, a German philosopher of the so called “Frankfurter Schule”, additionally tought that social and scientific discussions calls for something as a basic condition: respect, even against the background of different interests of the debaters.
But the dispute about AGW is far away from this condition and different from every scientific discussion before, because the AGW-proponents refuse further discussion although their hypothesis still lacks proof and there is even no possibility of falsification for it. Instead of that all findings of the apologets of AGW provide just likelihood of things to happen due to human CO2-emissions. Additionally they introduced into discussion some doubtful computer graphs like the Hockeystick and curves of temperature anomalies which start to trouble them since 1980.
The definition of global climate and global temperature is the average of global “weather” of about 30 years. But since 1980 only 28 years passed and since about ten years of the passed 28 years we watch a lateral movement of temperatures with a little decrease since about 2001.
Against this weak background for a hypothesis it is funny to watch the quite arrogant behaviour of the thousands of proponents of AGW on the internet who claim that they are in possession of truth regarding global warming and condemn sceptics as human beings of lower morality. We know this behaviour very well. Normally it is related to ideology and ideologically exaggerated behaviour is the common attitude of devout believers who condemn everybody who doesn’t share their belief.
Probably this is a tactic of attack is the best form of defense and in order to cover, that the hypothesis of AGW logically can’t be truth because (regarding to theory of cognition) truth is unknowable by science. Science only can try to reach out for truth and may find or find not evidence. Basically every scientific finding is only acceptable under reserve. Even well tested theories like theory of relativity or quantum theory are subject to this reserve. Hence no science and no result of scientific research can and will stay for ever settled, it’s always questionable.
In case of AGW-hypothesis we are far away from truth or even positive proof and still remain on a level of likelihood (likely, most likely = 60 to 90 %) and dubiety. The aggressive and intolerant apologia of the hypothesis of AGW in the morally segregating way we watch worldwide therefore is advocacy of belief and not apology of significant knowledge.
For example: If you are a person suffering from an nasty chronic but not killing disease and a doctor offers you a drug that will heal you from this disease at a likelihood of 90 % but at a risk to die at 10 %; I guess, that you will need a strong belief in this doctor or the science providing this drug for to accept it, and even if you believe you probably will deny to take it.
Many AGW-followers are believers in a hypothesis but they want to suggest that they don’t believe but know absolute truth and condemn all who deny this doubtful “knowledge”.
Regarding the development of belief in AGW I recommend the study of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change” which you will find here.

December 8, 2008 5:11 am

From peter (09:04:04) :
I’m quite interested in the topic of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or climate change, but I’m much more interested in human behaviour related to this topic.
-end quote
It’s worse than you think… But first, a brief digression: I watch for the use of ‘deniers’ as a flag for the rabid AGW folks. The skeptics generally like to be called skeptics. ‘Denier’ is a propaganda tool intended to link questioning behaviour with deniers of the holocaust. Please avoid it’s use unless you intend to be cast in that light.
For you edification, this is from a thread over on
-begin quote
Eli Rabett Says:
November 28th, 2008 at 12:11 am
Joe, the way to get these guys is not straight on, but the Colbert way
“With reactionaries, never argue on content or with logic. The only thing that works is to make them feel really, really bad and really, really stupid.”
ridicule works.
cliff Says:
November 30th, 2008 at 11:39 pm
Eli Rabett, you are SO right. Ridicule will save the planet.
its just about the only way to convince a rethuglican of anything, put them into a logic chain that makes them realize they are a idiot, without having to tell them they are a idiot.
-end quote
I’ve never heard of a ‘logic chain’ before (despite a formal logic class!) but clearly you can see the problem here. Why indulge in intelligent debate when you can use ridicule?… What a way to think…
Notice also the deliberate use of insulting terms (of which ‘denier’ is one…) such as ‘rethuglican’ which took me a while to figure out since I don’t cast AGW as a republican / democrat issue but as a ‘careful thought’ vs ‘error of thinking’ issue (that is ‘is the science right’).
FWIW, you would also be well served to get a copy of “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. The AGW fervor clearly qualifies for this category.

December 31, 2008 4:11 pm

If the enviorn-mentalless are so concerned about global warming and man’s role in making it worse, wouldn’t it be prudent for them and the eco-terrorists to kill themselves. That would eliminate any future carbon footprints they would generate and produce some fertilizer for their precious trees to grow. (Of course, some would say they are already spreading fertilizer.)

%d bloggers like this: