Saturday, November 10, 2007

Scientists who back Global Warming are on the take

[Cross-posted on The 2 Dollar Bill]

by Sniderman

... at least that what John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel says.

[Read the statement on his weather web page at KUSI in San Diego.
Scroll way down. At the top of the page, you can watch him discuss it on the San Diego news.]

The Hubbub
First, here's the statement in its entirety [bold emphasis mine]:


By John Coleman

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming... It is a SCAM.

Some scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long-term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15-minute documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science, the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct. There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As temperatures rise, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern will all fail to occur as predicted, and everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.

I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.
The background of the message
My first thoughts after hearing about this statement from weather buddy Sabs was it was very clear that Mr. Coleman was a meteorologist. Not a climatologist.

Plain and simple stuff here... we who study weather are meteorologists and deal in the small time-scale changes in the weather. Mainly on the scale of a week... perhaps, in a stretch a period of 14 days... but even that is a "trend", which then leads to a quasi-short-range climatic interpretation.

Climatology, at least in the terms of Global Warming, is long-range... on the order of decades at the least... but mostly on the order of centuries.

Mr. Coleman, by his own admission, didn't do the research either. Nor have I.

So why has Coleman been noticed?
Coleman's buddy Joe D’Aleo, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist through the American Meteorological Society (of which I'm a member and seal holder) runs a web site: ICECAP, International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project and seems to have given Coleman a platform of higher prominence.

ICECAP is a website set up to refute Global Warming with the pretense of being completely scientific. It even sports a nifty logo that has a DECREASING trend of whatever is plotted.

I've checked it out, and will continue to look at it with the hope of seeing all angles. The scientific support listed shows many who are known to be climate-change skeptics... i.e. well-known hurricane-season-predictor Dr. Bill Gray. I don't know the positions of all the scientists, as some are recognizable... and others are not. Interestingly, Dr. Anthony Lupo of the University of Missouri-Columbia is present on the ICECAP List. I am unfamiliar with his belief on GW as well.

Mr. D'Aleo is also well-known to be a climate-change skeptic in the weather profession. However, I do not call into question his expertise in anyway.

Is there an "official position" on Global Warming in the weather community?
While not illegal or unheard of, there remains a great deal of disagreement among television meteorologists... and perhaps the larger weather community... on the issue of global warming. The American Meteorological Society issued an informational statement on 1 February 2007 saying:
... there is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond. Focusing on the next 30 years, convergence among emission scenarios and model results suggest strongly that increasing air temperatures will reduce snowpack, shift snowmelt timing, reduce crop production and rangeland fertility, and cause continued melting of the ice caps and sea level rise. Important goals for future work include the need to understand the relation of climate at the state and regional level to the patterns of global climate and to reverse the decline in observational networks that are so critical to accurate climate monitoring and prediction.

Policy choices in the near future will determine the extent of the impacts of climate change. Policy decisions are seldom made in a context of absolute certainty. Some continued climate change is inevitable, and the policy debate should also consider the best ways to adapt to climate change. Prudence dictates extreme care in managing our relationship with the only planet known to be capable of sustaining human life.
The overarching organization to which many of us belong suggests that we keep an open mind.

Debunking the debunker

But back to Mr. Coleman and the main issue of this post...

Mr. Coleman seems to prefer the word "SCAM". He apparently uses it in his ice-breaker comments on San Diego weather according to his bio:
"Being a TV weatherman in San Diego is an outrageous scam," says KUSI NEWS' 6, 10 and 11 PM weathercaster. Then he laughs. He knows there is plenty of truth in his joke, but he also knows its a long way from the whole story.

While that's fine to say... I find it curious that he's also used that word in CAPS on his climate statement.

Next, I take issue... in a major way... with Coleman's accusation that (in first two paragraphs) any scientist who's worked on research that's developing a conclusion of Global Warming is on the take in some way. Are you kidding me? And where do I sign up? I'd like to get my kids a bigger Christmas present this year!

I'll be the first to agree that not all research is done in the best interest of the people, in pure honest, Scientific Method form. We hear about that all the time.

But to make the leap that not one, but most (perhaps all) of these researchers have used their findings to better position themselves financially is outlandish and irresponsible. And at that point, I found Mr. Coleman's statement to lack any validity.

Though my digging on the web tonight, I found Mr. Coleman's unclassy feelings toward The Weather Channel.
John also cooked up the idea of a cable channel devoted to nothing but weather and spent six years developing "The Weather Channel" on cable. "That's my baby", he says. "The bad guys took it away from me, but they can't steal the fact that it was my idea and I started it and ran it for the first year. I put everything I had into making TWC the success it is."
That, by itself, isn't wrong. But in the context of this flurry of anti-GW excitement... it's interesting to note simply because of Dr. Heidi Cullen's statement, and the unmistakable angle TWC takes on climate change.

Anyone who's been a loyal TWC viewer since Mr. Coleman's tenure surely has noticed many changes on the channel. That must really anger Mr. Coleman. His statement couldn't be more clear on that.

Meanwhile, Meteorologist Ray Ban, also a member of the AMS and respected colleague, issued a bland statement on TWC's Climate section. While his comments aren't that important... the hate that spews in the comments section is typical of those who think that GW is a "SCAM" as Mr. Coleman does.

Unfortunately, Mr. Coleman's statement comes off as most conspiracy theories do... painfully off target. As's Mark Hoofnagle says,

I'm really impressed. Not only do we have every climate scientist lying, and their "friends in government" steering research grants their way (he doesn't know how grants are awarded clearly), but he manages to pull in every single media organization short of Fox news and Governor Schwarzenegger! I think I even detect a little bit of the Galileo gambit mixed with Gore-derangement syndrome in that last bit.
On Mark's suggestion, I'm going to fold up my tin foil hat right now.

Mr. Coleman, I'm sorry, sir... but I think it's time for you to sit down. For the rest of you, I think we have more than a few scientists to listen to... and more than dozens of papers to read.

I, for one, am not finished listening to and reading new research... and continue to keep an open mind about the possibilities our terribly intricate planet (and her atmosphere) has to show us.

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