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

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:



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