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TV Meteorologists Should Say It Loud and Clear: Climate Change Is Here


TV Meteorologists Should Say It Loud and Clear: Climate Change Is Here

Amy Goodman

President Barack Obama issued the third veto in his more than six years in office, rejecting S.1 (Senate Bill One), the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” This was the new congressional Republican majority’s first bill this year, attempting to force the construction of a pipeline designed to carry Canadian tar sands oil to U.S. ports in Texas for export. A broad international coalition has been fighting the project for years.


Amy dear my local TV station is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Corp., a dedicated and vigorous champion of the 1%. With great fanfare they have just added a FOX affiliate to their operation. The station has two excellent meteorologists, and I can only wonder, since they are both university trained in hard science curriculum what their personal opinions are concerning climate change. They know who signs their paychecks and they wouldn’t say shit about climate change if they had a mouthful.

I’m sure in some instances the Sinclair Lewis observation applies - “It is difficult to get a man to understand the truth of something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” But I don’t know that this would apply to them since I am certain that they are forbidden by management to comment. Here in this locale, at the physical intersection of the Marcellus and Utica gas boom, it is as if the reality of AGW does not exist.

Just yesterday it was reported that my local public school district signed a lease agreement that will bring the district $1.2 m, and a small town just downriver signed a lease agreement for all of the gas in the aggregate acreage of the town’s public holdings including that area under all of the streets and roads. In neither case do I know of the location of the proposed wells but I do know that the effective limit of a frac well will necessitate well locations close in to both the school property and the town’s corp limits. The school superintendent at least had the candor to explain that each pay period (for its employees) represents an expense of about $450,000, so the signing bonus is a drop in the bucket and won’t go very far. But he also said they are hoping for copious production so that the royalty checks are a more substantial reward.

And so it goes…


If you’re not paid to be an industry shill, you still sound like one.

People will change behaviors if they are given reasons to do so.

The whole point of Amy’s article is that the #1 place citizens go for Weather news is also the #1 place that for YEARS has remained mute on the relationship between consumer patterns–fossil fuel use chief among them–and climate chaos.

You, like your pals who turned every offense taken by persons in power into a diatribe against American citizens (or voters), are likewise turning this into the generic matter of how people live.

This view pretends not to notice that BIG OIL and BIG COAL have many national and international leaders by the balls! In order to win campaigns that now cost millions, they must gain the support of today’s industrial moguls. And the chieftains of energy are prime among them.

BIG OIL stands in the way of serious investments in greener energy systems. And the quid pro quo that’s allowed Big Oil (and Coal/Fracking/Nukes) to monopolize global energy has been held in place for the past 30 years precluding the transition that would save this planet’s living systems.

Germany and even China have read the writing on the wall and done a lot more to shift energy gears than the U.S., beholden to the MIC/BIG OIL (and other corporate enterprises) has.

You can’t blame THAT on everyday people requiring transit to get from their homes to their work and so forth.

Your post is a deliberate attempt to downplay the issue while holding EVERYDAY people accountable for it.


You sound like Fox News “fair and balanced” by playing the polite poster who plants doubt on the issue by suggesting that the repeated weather-based anomalies could be one of those once in 1000 year phenomena. This is the “kinder, gentler” version of climate change/global warming denial propped up as a fair-minded opinion.

If a theater is on fire, it’s the obligation of those with the microphone to tell the audience. Deciding who should be the one deemed professional enough to convey the severe news would mean that more would die while sitting inside the theater.


Robert you seem a decent and gentle soul and your point is valid concerning local TV meteorologists. Their job is to give local residents the local forecast. However, in the past the two excellent professionals I mentioned have done much to explain all sorts of weather phenomenon (for us local non-professional residents) that was the result of their very good education and increasing knowledge of meteorology generally. My irritation stems from the purposeful, willful, and absolute denial by local politicos, business and community leaders, and local media of the existence of AGW. It is no accident. With the demise of surface mining here from the 70’s to the present, and the cataclysmic decline of the US steel industry (this is the “Steel Valley” and there are at least 100 organizations and businesses with the moniker “Steel Valley”) this area has been the poster child of rust-belt America. The gas boom here (on the western limit of the Marcellus and the sweet spot of the Utica) has breathed new economic life into this region. I am merely stating fact, as I am NOT a proponent or supporter of this gas boom.

I refer you to the December 2014 issue of Scientific American and the article entitled “The Jet Stream Is Getting Weird.” There is a good AGW explanation of the past two years’ polar vortex excursions.

With respect to SR’s reply I agree that it is way past time to be sitting on the fence and playing nice with deniers. In that regard in the March/April edition of Skeptical Inquirer (magazine) was reported a prepared statement by 48 fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) urging the media to stop conflating the terms “denier” and “skeptic.” To quote from the article:

“The statement, “Deniers Are Not Skeptics,” was issued online by CSI December 5 as a result of scientists’ concerns that certain politicians and others who reject the scientific findings of climate research are improperly calling themselves skeptics, a term scientific skeptics say should be reserved for those who are guided by scientific evidence.”

The deniers use the fact that science, unlike religious or other dogma, is a process of refinement and revision and subject to the corrections of ongoing investigation, to discredit the very notion of scientific consensus. If a major or minor scientific theory is disproved by better methods of observation, or ongoing experimental testing, it will sooner rather than later be consigned to the trashbin of scientific irrelevance. As an example: “catastrophism” as the major driving force of geologic progression; replaced by incrementalism and homogeneity first fully expounded by a contemporary of Darwin, which in fact solved a major problem with his theory of natural selection - the true age of the earth and the passage of immense measures of time.

I know from your many posts that you don’t deserve to be lectured, and I most certainly have no status or standing to lecture anyone. But I have watched painfully now for at least a decade the scientific community expect the deniers to be amenable to fact, mounting evidence, or any notion that those in the halls of power have a responsibility of stewardship, or an awareness that they, as well as the rest of us, will be equal victims of their own denial.