January 25, 2007

Foul Weather


From FOX News: Storm Hits Weather Community Over Climate Expert's Global Warming Claims.

The Weather Channel is standing by a climatologist who is taking some heat after blogging that TV weather forecasters skeptical about man-made global warming theories should lose their professional certification.

Climate expert Heidi Cullen defended herself last week in The Weather Channel's One Degree Climate Change blog after questioning the fitness of meteorologists who disagree with her conclusions. ...

Cullen raised Cain last month when she suggested that the American Meteorological Society decertify meteorologists who don't warn about climate change.

"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," Cullen wrote in the blog. "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." ...

According to a statement by the AMS, the society agrees with Cullen on the science of global warming, if not the certification of its approved meteorologists. ...

But James Spann, chief meteorologist for ABC 33/40 in Alabama, who has been in operational meteorology since 1978, said Cullen is wading into dangerous waters when it comes to judging her colleagues.

"I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them," Spann said on his blog. "I have nothing against 'The Weather Channel,' but they have crossed the line into a political and cultural region where I simply won’t go."

From Reuters: Global warming dissenters few at U.S. weather meeting.

Joe D'Aleo was a rare voice of dissent this week at the American Meteorological Society's annual meeting in San Antonio.

D'Aleo, executive director of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project, a group of scientists, doesn't think greenhouse gas emissions are the major cause of global warming and climate change.

Researchers who hold such contrary views do not appreciate being lumped together with flat-Earthers. They are legitimate scientists who question the mainstream, but they are a distinct minority.

"Greenhouse warming is real, but I think it is a relatively minor player," D'Aleo said.

He claims other factors like solar activity and other natural causes are probably playing a greater role in rising temperatures -- a position that gets a mostly chilly reception from this crowd. ...

"I think there's virtually no doubt that humans are a major player in warming the globe," said Robert Henson, author of the recently published "The Rough Guide to Climate Change."

"There are still people out there who will contradict that, but they are not part of the scientific mainstream," he said.

The dissenters would say that is the point: portraying them as the wild-eyed fringe or lackeys of oil companies makes even legitimate questioning seem less credible.

From CNN: 'Smoking gun' report to say global warming here.

Human-caused global warming is here -- visible in the air, water and melting ice -- and is destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative global scientific report will warn next week. ...

Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author, went even further: "This isn't a smoking gun; climate is a batallion of intergalactic smoking missiles." ...

That report will feature an "explosion of new data" on observations of current global warming, [said Susan] Solomon [a senior scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration].

Even the global warming data are exploding! Some believers in man-made global warming are finally becoming concerned about the hype. From Houston Chronicle: Climate scientists feeling the heat.

Scientists long have issued the warnings: The modern world's appetite for cars, air conditioning and cheap, fossil-fuel energy spews billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, unnaturally warming the world.

Yet, it took the dramatic images of a hurricane overtaking New Orleans and searing heat last summer to finally trigger widespread public concern on the issue of global warming.

Climate scientists might be expected to bask in the spotlight after their decades of toil. The general public now cares about greenhouse gases, and with a new Democratic-led Congress, federal action on climate change may be at hand.

Problem is, global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer's heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s.

In their efforts to capture the public's attention, then, have climate scientists oversold global warming? It's probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far.

"Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster," says Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado.

It's appears Al Gore is feeling some heat, too. He recently dodged an interview with journalist Flemming Rose and Bjorn Lomborg. From The Wall Street Journal: Will Al Gore Melt?.

[I]f we are to follow Mr. Gore's suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore's path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore's world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question.

Speaking of environmentalists leaving the poor poorer, a documentary about the European mining industry was recently released, and it looks excellent. It's called Mine Your Own Business, and you can view the trailer here. If you happen to live in the Los Angeles area, the UCLA Club LOGIC will be screening the film on January 31 with the filmmakers present for a Q&A session (click here for details). Here's a review of the film.

UPDATE -- Jan. 26: "Dissenters Blown Off" turns out to be mild compared to what some are calling for: NUREMBERG-STYLE TRIALS PROPOSED FOR GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTICS. (hat tip Chris Davis)

[David] Roberts wrote in the online publication [Grist] on September 19, 2006, "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg. ...

The use of Holocaust terminology has drawn the ire of Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. “The phrase ‘climate change denier’ is meant to be evocative of the phrase ‘holocaust denier,’” Pielke, Jr. wrote on October 9, 2006.

“Let's be blunt. This allusion is an affront to those who suffered and died in the Holocaust. This allusion has no place in the discourse on climate change. I say this as someone fully convinced of a significant human role in the behavior of the climate system,” Pielke, Jr. explained.

Posted by Forkum at January 25, 2007 05:34 PM