Losers of the week: The Weather Channel and their pro-global warming agenda

Posted by: ST on January 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Losers of the WeekI’ve been meaning to blog about this recently but with the busy nature of the holiday season it slipped off my radar. Thanks to ST reader, JW, though, it’s back on my radar again. JW emailed this link to an opinion piece written by Move America Forward chairman Melanie Morgan in which she discusses the snow-job (pun intended) The Weather Channel is trying to pull on the American people regarding the issue of global warming. Morgan writes:

What had been nice about The Weather Channel is that through most of its history it stayed clear of political propaganda and focused on delivering weather forecasts to the nation, supplemented with riveting live reports from the front lines of hurricanes, winter blizzards and springtime floods.

But no more. The Weather Channel is now engaged in a con job on the American people, attempting to scare the public that their actions are destroying the planet by creating a global warming crisis.

The move away from scientific forecasting of the weather to sensationalized leftist political advocacy is in part due to the influence of Wonya Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Networks.

Lucas admitted in a recent interview with Media Village that the reprogramming of The Weather Channel was influenced by her tenure at CNN when that network shifted from presenting straight news to personality-driven programming.

Lucas decided that what was good for CNN was good for The Weather Channel, and the objectivity and respectability of the network has now been thrown out the window. It doesn’t matter that CNN’s turn to the left has caused their ratings to plummet; The Weather Channel’s embraced its model.

Media Village reported that the move by The Weather Channel “is intended to establish a broader perspective on the weather category and, says Lucas, to move the brand from functional to emotional.”

Emotional weather forecasting?

The Weather Channel is launching a new website and broadband channel dedicated solely to global warming called “One Degree” and has a weekly program called “The Climate Code,” devoted almost entirely to liberal advocacy on climate matters.

The network is running advertisements showcasing scared and confused Americans, including children and senior citizens, wondering about the coming apocalypse caused by global warming. (You can view the ad for yourself here.)

The chief martyr for the new “emotional” approach to broadcasting at The Weather Channel is Dr. Heidi Cullen, who serves as the network’s cheerleader for global warming hysteria. Cullen’s supposed expertise on climatology includes, among other things, earning a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern religions and history from Juniata College. One must indeed have to believe in the mystical to accept anything Ms. Cullen has to say about climatology.

Writing for the One Degree blog, Ms. Cullen recently threw a hissy fit that some meteorologists are openly questioning the conclusions drawn by the Greenpeace crowd about the nature, extent, causes and even existence of global warming.

Cullen’s diatribe, titled “Junk Controversy Not Junk Science,” called on the American Meteorological Society to start requiring all meteorologists to tow the line on liberal interpretation of global warming, or else lose the organization’s certification.

Yep. Here’s what Cullen wrote on December 21, 2006 (emphasis added):

I’d like to take that suggestion a step further. If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don’t have a lot of time is the Pew Center’s Climate Change 101.)

Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn’t agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It’s like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It’s not a political statement…it’s just an incorrect statement.

In other words: if you’re a meteorologist and you don’t swallow the liberal line on global warming, the AMS shouldn’t give you their seal of approval, effectively ruining (or at the very least making extremely difficult) your chances of having a successful career in meteorology.

How long before Dr. Cullen and the rest of the “progressives” at the Weather Channel start agreeing with and promoting the idea of Nuremburg-style trials for any “bastards” who don’t believe in global warming, a view expressed last year by Grist [Environmental] Magazine writer David Roberts last September? (Cullen, incidentally, was interviewed by Grist Magazine back in September 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina). I wonder when this requirement will be added to the how to become a metoerologist section on TWC’s classroom site for students? “You must believe in global warming.”

Not only is it frightening that Cullen (and possibly others at TWC) want to muzzle opposing opinions by threatening the careers of any meteorologist who doesn’t buy into the global warming hysteria, but equally as frightening is how TWC promotes Cullen’s show as if global warming has definitively been proven via a consensus of scientists when we know there is not a consensus and in fact the debate is raging on in the scientific community as to the merits or lack thereof of so-called “global warming.” In its quest to provide more “emotion-based” weather forecasting, TWC is committing a disservice to their viewers by pushing the idea of global warming as an Accepted Truth rather than informing them via presenting the other side of the argument on this highly and hotly debated controversial subject.

As Morgan wrote, TWC has gone from refreshingly staying out of the political arena in its near 25-year existence to jumping in head first and presenting very one-sided picture on possible explanations for weather patterns and trends, and it’s very damaging to their credibility. I’ve seen ads for Cullen’s show run several times and the first time I saw one of the ads my mouth dropped open in shock because I couldn’t believe that TWC was presenting global warming as if it weren’t even debatable, that global warming was an established fact, and that ‘you as a citizen of planet Earth must do your part to stop it from getting worse.’

I don’t have a problem with doing my part to help ‘conserve’ the Earth’s resources, but I DO have a problem with the attempts to scare and threaten skeptics on a belief which hasn’t been proven. TWC should be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating the idea that global warming does in fact exist, when in fact no such thing has been proven (or at least agreed on) by a consensus of scientists anywhere. If TWC wants to get involved in discussing global warming, then they need to discuss it, and include divergent viewpoints – not push it and threaten skeptics.

Contact Kathy Lane, VP of public relations for TWC to express your concerns with how TWC is presenting the issue of global warming:

klane@weather.com

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  • 24 Responses to “Losers of the week: The Weather Channel and their pro-global warming agenda”

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    1. Mark says:

      A closer look at the proponents of the ‘global warming due to human influence’ theory should be enough to sound a warning to any rational mind.
      No mention is made in their propaganda of factors such as sunspot cycles, the global ‘warm period’ of roughly 400 years ago, and factoids such as the warming trend that Mars is currently experiencing.

      It should be no surprise that the majority of respected climatologists reject the hype and hysteria-mongering. The internet (thank you algore) allows them to publish their findings when liberal publications are muzzling them.
      For the Weather Channel to start pushing this garbage marks them as someone to be taken no more seriously than any other political advertiser, leading inevitably to serious doubt of their competence in what was their core field. They’ve gone from weather forecasting to political advocacy and cannot be taken seriously in either regard.

    2. camojack says:

      The Weather Channel is one of Ted Turner’s, after all…so having that particular agenda is no surprise. :-?

    3. CavalierX says:

      Well, if anthropogenic global warming advocates can only “win” the debate by muzzling the opposition, that should tell you all you need to know about their facts and scientific validity.

    4. Tom TB says:

      I don’t understand what part a “consensus” plays in science; either humans are the primary cause of global climactic change, or they are not. It’s not like voting for the best movie of the year where opinions matter!

    5. Baklava says:

      Cullen’s diatribe, titled “Junk Controversy Not Junk Science” called on the American Meteorological Society to start requiring all meteorologists to tow the line on liberal interpretation of global warming, or else lose the organization’s certification.

      It seems that leftists usually lead towards fascism. The struggle for freedom is lost with more and more government. Socialism (the government choosing who gets what resources as opposed to capitalism where the people choose who gets what resources) removes freedom and inserts fascist ideas like the one above.

      The press does not understand that they are losers in this advancement of liberalism also. Journalists are so shallow in their reporting and knowledge of subjects that they can’t even try to do the due diligence on topics such as economics or science. So they fail daily.

      I wish it wasn’t so because this is our future and our kids’ future.

    6. webmistress says:

      Hi folks,

      I haven’t commented on this blog in a very long time, but this thread caught my eye.

      I want to argue for the other side. Peer-reviewed scientists believe that global warming is man-made. These are people who know MUCH more about the subject than probably anyone reading this comment. They are not charlatans. Their reputations and livelihoods depend upon the veracity of what they write, and they don’t all come from academia.

      This analysis shows that scientists publishing in the peer-reviewed literature agree with IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences, and the public statements of their professional societies. Politicians, economists, journalists, and others may have the impression of confusion, disagreement, or discord among climate scientists, but that impression is incorrect.

      The scientific consensus might, of course, be wrong. If the history of science teaches anything, it is humility, and no one can be faulted for failing to act on what is not known. But our grandchildren will surely blame us if they find that we understood the reality of anthropogenic climate change and failed to do anything about it.

      Quote from Science Magazine.

      Also, I saw a episode of Frontline that explained why things are changing so quickly, and it actually has to do w/global dimming. I tried to find a link to the synopsis on the Frontline site, but couldn’t. If anyone wants a reference, I’ll dig a little more.

      Basically what they said was that particulate matter in the atmosphere slowed warming from greenhouse gasses because there was less sunlight coming through the atmosphere—it was reflected into space. Global dimming is a proven fact. It has been studied and published.

      When governments began cleaning up the particulate matter, surface temperatures started rising very quickly. When US planes were grounded after 9-11 and there were no contrails in the sky, there was a much wider daily temperature variation (and I believe it was statistically significant). The study’s author did not draw a direct link between contrails and dimming/warming, but the results were still pretty shocking.

      Here’s some more information global dimming BBC. Yeah, I know the source, but they explain the concept very well.

      And, by the way, I have not seen an Inconvenient Truth.

      My question are these. Whether or not warming/dimming is manmade, if we have the ability to stabilize the planets temperatures, shouldn’t we do it to avoid catastrophe, and doesn’t this present economic opportunities to develop new technologies. Taking CFC’s out of the atmosphere did not destroy our economy.

      –mistress

    7. Leslie says:

      I believe there is far too much we have yet to learn about the climate before we can say with any kind of confidence What It All Means. Remember that weather records have been kept only since the end of the Civil War, and satellite observations for not quite 30 years. There are cycles, and cycles within cycles, and cycles within the cycles within the cycles. Cyles in the oceans, in the atmosphere, and in the sun–to say nothing of earth’s rotational wobbles.

      To the Weather Channel people I will say: come back to me when you can predict the weather a month in advance, and then we can talk.

      And finally, I would note that Ted Turner is no longer involved with CNN. It is a division of Time Warner. He sold CNN years ago. He never owned the Weather Channel, and neither, insofar as I know, does Time Warner.

    8. Baklava says:

      webmistress wrote, “Peer-reviewed scientists believe that global warming is man-made.

      Haven’t been here in a while either. There are peer reviewed scientists who believe that global warming is not man-made also. There is NOT consensus. While I’ve been studying the issue since 1991 I admit that I don’t know either way and I wouldn’t want people using fascist tactics to dictate one way or the other. I would want the free exchange of ideas and research without penalty. Do you?

      Your quote from the Science Magazine alluded/stated a consensus but there isn’t. It’s sad that the other side does this. It seems to want to silence people. That’s fascism in my book. You should never be afraid of the truth.

      Webmistress wrote, “Also, I saw a episode of Frontline that explained why things are changing so quickly, and it actually has to do w/global dimming.

      This new fad is being debunked in lots of places. First, there is less particlulates in the air than the 70′s by about half or more depending on the particulate. This is in BLACK and WHITE documented numbers. Second, Mother Nature cleans herself of particulates through rain cycles. It is not a building and growing effect.

      webmistress wrote, “Global dimming is a proven fact. It has been studied and published.

      Evidence against has been studied and published. Your opinion is welcome but there are those who are smarter who also disagree with you.

      webmistress asked pretty reasonably, “Whether or not warming/dimming is manmade, if we have the ability to stabilize the planets temperatures, shouldn’t we do it to avoid catastrophe, and doesn’t this present economic opportunities to develop new technologies.

      Yes. The degree of temperature rise should be something of concern and to the extent that we can do something without creating poverty and using leftist solutions which create poverty and HURT our ability to solve problems (prosperity enables us to work on technology and solutions) I would be in favor of doing something. The answer webmistress may be cooling down the sun though. We are a very small part of our universe and global warming leftists totally discount scientists who have stated that the sun is warmer. There is NOTHING we can do about that. THere is also CONTRARY evidence abound showing that global warming isn’t manmade because there were periods in this last millenium where there were HIGHER amounts of carbon dioxide and het the earth was cooler. Is that not a huge HOLE in leftists’ arguments do you concede?

      webmistress wrote, “Taking CFC’s out of the atmosphere did not destroy our economy.

      No but it had an impact on poor people mostly. Me? I was one of them at the time. Who knows how many elderly were impacted health wise from it (air conditioners)?

    9. Baklava says:

      BTW, Check out my guest blog entry on Baldilocks with respect to Hurricanes. :)

    10. Baklava says:

      And appliance energy efficiency (related I hope ST?)

    11. webmistress says:

      Bak,

      You posted a lot of points, but I would be interested in seeing some links.

      –mistress

    12. Baklava says:

      Alternate sources of information? Due diligence is the opposite of negligence and I’ll be happy to be the one not negligent. :d just teasin’ I ask for links too sometimes…

      Particulates

      Extremism

      Broken Hockey Stick

      Antarctic ice growing?

      Really, the topics discussed are not like discussing “gravity”. Gravity exists and is measurable and constant. There is diverse opinion. Webmistress nor I can do it justice but we can point to well reasoned work and common sense. Through common sense and facts I have determined that webmistress’s claim that there is “consensus” is false. So what other things have webmistress claimes are falsee? :) It isn’t about being right or wrong webmistress. Either of us could be either. My point is larger. That the freedom of exchange of ideas should be welcome and given the wide range of conclusions on global climate and why things are changing there isn’t consensus and for one set of people (liberals) to act like there is does a disservice to the debate. I welcome ideas. I welcome opinions. Facts should also be thrown out freely and if we can make sense of them great. But then to make LIBERAL POLICY based on some unagreed upon opinions is the wrong way to go given that it would hurt the environment with these policies (just like illegal immigration does) and make more people poor.

    13. webmistress says:

      Bak,

      Your links don’t necessarily support your claims that there is no concensus. There is nothing peer review in any of them, and several statements on the pages supported my claims.

      From Particulates:

      Fine particulate matter dropped 40 percent.

      From Extremism:

      He began his 40-minute presentation by extending an olive branch to Gore, saying that “much of what Vice President Gore says about climate change is correct. The planet is warming; human beings are playing a substantial role in that warming.”

      In the Broken Hockey stick article, I saw several assertions w/out any supporting references or citations.

      And it appears as though the CO2 Science is funded by Exxon. The DNS is registered to Centerforthe Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Google it. It’s been in the news lately.

      Where’s the proof?

      -mistress

    14. Baklava says:

      Due diligence webmistress. Negligence is hardly effective with me. There are 100′s of pages of peer reviewed pages out there. ST requests only 4 links per threads and I honor that request.

      Webmistress wrote negligently, “Your links don’t necessarily support your claims that there is no concensus.

      My links had contained within:
      There is no consensus on the effect human beings have on global warming, versus the effects of other factors such as the sun, Hayward says in his presentation.

      And yes. Particulates have dropped dramatically over the last 26 years the article said. It’s in many papers in black and white with measurable amounts of drops in particulates over the last couple decades. Not disputable that pollution has decreased yet leftists want to try with a global dhimming theme to explain away their models inaccuracy.

      I welcome alternate sources of information. Do you webmistress? I read and have read all sorts of environmental ideas and facts for over 16 years. You are acting like there is only one side that is accurate and there is a consensus. Hard to continue with that assertion with seriousness.

    15. webmistress says:

      Bak,

      You have provided some interesting links and material to read. But, you have yet to provide a single link, source or citation that is peer-reviewed–something that is supported by the scientific method–that backs up your statements. Is that what you mean by alternate sources of information?

      –mistress

    16. Baklava says:

      Continue being negligent webmistress. I’ve read thousands of works and have found plenty of peer reviewed pieces of work that are contrary to your beliefs.

      Respectfully webmistress, putting your head in the sand is not due diligence and doesn’t further your position or enhance your life.

      I know you are better than this webmistress. You are generally respectful, communicate well and one who I consider intelligent.

      I challenge you to work on finding (not discounting) work that challenges people you believe. There are plenty out there. Laziness is not an option with me and I’m not name calling here I’m referring to behavior.

    17. Baklava says:

      Cool down that sun is the answer… :o

    18. webmistress says:

      Bak,

      I don’t understand your reluctance to point me to the sources I would like to see. I don’t think I’m putting my head in the sand. I would just like to see some definitive proof.

      –mistress

    19. Baklava says:

      Webmistress, I don’t understand your reluctance to read other points of view as I do on a daily basis.

      One of the things I learned in over 50 marriage counselings is that you can only control your own words and actions – which is why I try to stay out of the gutter (as opposed to most lefties who come here you are different than them) AND one should ALWAYS try to see another’s perspective (especially your partners).

      Look at my perspective. I gave you links. You completely discounted them and only saw the things that “bolster” your point. You chose to show me what I already read which was a paragraph that was giving towards Gore but the rest of the article (out of the 4) really took Gore to task for his inaccuracies. What that man was saying was that nobody can dispute that humans have an effect on the environment (AND NOBODY IS MISTRESS). Where the argument centers around webmistress is what extent humans are changing things versus the sun (WHICH IS GETTING HOTTER) and why are there the large contradictions in history (which you ignore) about the periods where there was more carbon dioxide yet cooler temperatures. Additionally, if you read people like Lomborg, he mixes in the economics of the solutions that leftists are pushing for and disputes the crisis mongering mentality of the enviro-nuts.

      Where do you stand webmistress? Are you for reasonable approaches not drastic (drastic would hurt people more than the environmental problem)? Are you for allowing people to freely exchange ideas, facts and findings or disallowing them to speak (calling them deniers). Are you for doing due diligence or acting like I’m the reluctant one when I’ve done less laziness on the issue here than almost anyone I know. I’ve read all kinds of work for 16 years. I have what I think are reasonable ideas and conclusions. I am not a crisis mongerer for a reason and it isn’t because I’m paid by Exxon.

      One last point. I hear your perspective that you think I’m reluctant. I’m not. I would just like to see behavior that is less lazy. Leftists in my humble opinion need to grow and be less fascistic. Sure some conservatives need to grow also. While I can only control myself I’d hope that you can hear my perspective and look to alternative sources of info than the ones you’ve been reading as what you’ve been reading leads you to believe there is “consensus” which is not TRUE. :o

    20. clifto says:

      It’s this simple. You can’t change the weather.

      Period.

      It is pure arrogance to believe that mankind has the power to make such a major change.

    21. Baklava says:

      Yes, clifto but you can change the atmosphere and environment. Fortunately for human kind mother nature is less fragile than lefties give credit. Unfortunately for human kind lefties are seen to have more credit on the environment because they are viewed to “care”.

      But just like “caring” for poor people, conservatives actually care more because they understand that it is better to teach a man to fish than give a man fish (we are talking about able bodied people here) and with the environment conservatives would do well for themselves to treat each scientific topic with due diligence and dipute the crisis mongerer leftist solution oriented people with as much vigor as possible. Because the leftist ideas and crisis mongering is harmful and should be defeated in the market place of ideas (ideas thought by leftists to be criminalized or penalized if the ideas are not in line with theirs – fascism)

    22. Baklava says:

      One guy leading the fight against fascism and environmental do good recklessness is Lomborg.

      He makes these two points:
      1) And the irony goes deeper. My book was also viewed as flawed because it was not initially subject to a peer review. (This is untrue: Cambridge did have it peer-reviewed.) Yet, although many scholarly journals have weighed in, the only published material that the committee referred to in its report come from two popular (i.e. non-peer-reviewed) publications, the above-mentioned Scientific American article and — believe it or not — a half-page article in Time. (“Danish Darts. Reviled for sticking it to the ecological dogma. Bjorn Lomborg laughs all the way to the bank.”)

      and

      2) Yet I have no desire to support one interest group over another. My focus is on providing information that allows people to make better choices. This is most obvious in the discussion over global warming. My point has been that, despite our intuition to “do something” about it, economic analyses show that it will be far more expensive to cut carbon dioxide emissions radically than to pay the costs of adaptation to the increased temperatures. Moreover, all current models show that the Kyoto Protocols would have little impact on climate — at a cost of $150 billion to $350 billion annually. With global warming disproportionately affecting Third World countries, we have to ask if Kyoto is the best way to help them. For the amount Kyoto would cost the U.S. per year, we could provide everyone in the world with access to basic health, education, water and sanitation. Isn’t this a better way of serving the world?

      and one more:

      It seems to me that we need to be able to point out such questions without being censured. If the critics want to take each point of the book, dissect it soberly and judge it, that’s their prerogative. So far, however, a fog of hysteria has descended over the debate. The baseless denunciation by the Danish committee — which some have called Orwellian — has led to an academic outcry. In Denmark alone, 280 professors have signed a petition rejecting the decision. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure an open and impartial debate.

      Don’t be lazy people!!

    23. Baklava says:

      Anyone?

      Includes:

      Some establishment scientists seem to be getting the message that they may have over-played their hands and become more parody than prophet. In just the last few weeks, two studies in major journals (Nature and Geophysical Research Letters) dump cold water on the high-end horror-story estimates coming out from politicized groups like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The articles, which cast a gimlet eye on climate-model predictions, show that more likely estimates for doubling of the world’s carbon-dioxide level (which many argue will never happen) would produce a warming between 1.5-4.5 degrees celsius. Not a walk in the park, but not the stuff of Hollywood disaster epics.