The Flaw in the NY Times’ TV versus Climatologists Article

Several have been kind enough to email me this article from The New York Times.

The article discusses a new poll of TV meteorologists which indicates considerable skepticism about ‘global warming.’ The article challenges the qualifications of some TV meteorologists. Fair enough, some are superbly qualified in atmospheric science, some have qualifications that are weak to non-existent. But, consider this comment:

Resentment may also play a role in the divide. Climatologists are almost always affiliated with universities or research institutions where a doctoral degree is required. Most meteorologists, however, can get jobs as weather forecasters with a college degree.
“There is a little bit of elitist-versus-populist tensions,” Mr. Henson said. “There are meteorologists who feel, ‘Just because I have a bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on.’ ”

The underlying premise of the article is that ‘climatologists’ are “qualified” to discern the workings of the atmosphere. But are they?

Lets take, for example, the leading ‘climatologist’ on the pro-global warming side, Dr. Jim Hansen of NASA. Dr. Hansen says coal trains are “death trains.” His resume is here. Dr. Hansen has a great deal of education, but none of it is in atmospheric science.

I have found this lack of a background in atmospheric science to be the case with many leading global warming proponents.

Of course, the Times doesn’t like the fact that many meteorologists are not global warming proponents,

Seeing danger in the divide between climate scientists and meteorologists, a variety of groups concerned with educating the public on climate change — including the National Environmental Education Foundation, a federally financed nonprofit, and Yale — are working to close the gap with research and educational forum.


I attended one of these meetings, in Denver. Of course, only one side of the ‘science’ was presented. TV meteorologist after meteorologist went to the microphone, intimidated by the Ph.D firepower in the room, and began whatever question they wished to ask with, “I accept the IPCC’s position on global warming…” It was embarrassing. It reminded me of the way AA meetings are depicted on television (“I’m Joe Schmoe and I’m an alcoholic…”).

Given Climategate and the very serious issues it raised, it seems to me that the best approach would be to stop trying to convince TV meteorologists and concentrate on improving the quality and accuracy of climate science.

I’ll have more to say on a better approach in the next posting in a few hours.

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