Concerned that too many “deniers” are in the meteorology business, global warming activists this month launched a campaign to recruit local weathermen to hop aboard the alarmism bandwagon and expose those who are not fully convinced that the world is facing man-made doom.
The Forecast the Facts campaign — led by 350.org, the League of Conservation Voters and the Citizen Engagement Lab — is pushing for more of a focus on global warming in weather forecasts, and is highlighting the many meteorologists who do not share their beliefs.
“Our goal is nothing short of changing how the entire profession of meteorology tackles the issue of climate change,” the group explains on their website. “We’ll empower everyday people to make sure meteorologists understand that their viewers are counting on them to get this story right, and that those who continue to shirk their professional responsibility will be held accountable.”
According to the Washington Post, the reason for the campaign can be found in a 2010 George Mason University surveys, which found that 63% of television weathermen think that global warming is a product of natural causes, while 31% believe it is from human activity.
So far, the campaign has identified 55 “deniers” in the meteorologist community and are looking for more. They define “deniers” as “anyone who expressly refutes the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change: that it is real, largely caused by humans, and already having profound impacts on our world.”
“We track the views of meteorologists through their on-air statements, blog posts, social media activity, public appearances, interviews, and interactions with viewers,” the campaign explains.
The Houston Chronicle noted that meteorologists mostly track short periods of weather, not long-term climate trends.
“You wouldn’t ask your dentist about your gallbladder and you shouldn’t ask your local TV weatherman about climate change,” Houston’s KTRK Channel 13 chief meteorologist, Tim Heller, told The Chronicle.
“Operational meteorologists and forecasters are not climatologists. The background education is somewhat similar, but our area of expertise is different,” he added. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some TV weather forecasters from spouting off on the subject.”
While some meteorologists question and push back against the campaign, ThinkProgress said that the “deniers” are not doing their audience any favors.
“These climate denier meteorologists are betraying the public’s trust and distorting America’s airwaves with ideological science denial,” the liberal publication reported, listing the names of a majority of the campaign’s identified “deniers.”
Forecast the Facts is currently pushing for signatures to their petition, which calls on the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to pass a new official statement on climate change.
“I urge the AMS Council to immediately pass a new information statement that reflects the widespread scientific consensus that climate change is increasingly impacting our planet, and then vigorously promote that statement to AMS members,” the letter reads.