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TV Meteorologists Warm to Climate Science

Posted on 16 August 2016 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Climate Denial Crock of the Week

In June, I flew to Austin TX, for a conference that brought together prominent regional television weathercasters and scientists, for a concentrated update on climate science and communication.

For years, it seems, there has been a disconnect between those who  are the most familiar and trusted sources of weather information, and the climate transformation that is affecting the stories they seek to report and interpret.   In a summer like this, more and more weathercasters are being beseiged with questions about climate, and how it is impacting the seemingly endless parade of extreme events that are hitting all around the country, and the world.

The TV Mets I interviewed were smart, thoughtful, had science training, though not at the PhD level, enough to have begun digging into the data on their own to draw conclucions. Some, like Amber Sullins of ABC 15 in Phoenix, had initially been skeptical, “10 or 20 years ago”, she told me. But after doing what a scientist does “..take in the information, question, and research it yourself” – she came to understand the problem was real. Likewise Greg Fishel of WRAL in Raleigh, formerly a self described “hard core skeptic”, who finally realized that he was only seeking “information to support what I already thought..” – and began searching independently for answers.

Dan Satterfield, of WBOC in Maryland spent his own money to travel to the high arctic, where he witnessed the change first hand, as did Fishel.

I followed up with Jason Samenow,  Washington Post meteorologist, who serendipitously was working on a piece on the same topic.

Importantly, all the Mets I interviewed spontaneously grasped the importance of communicating their sense of conscience, responsibility, and simple right and wrong – exactly the components of the story that help non-scientists make sense and meaning of it.

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. This is really important. These people are at epicenter of the controversy, not of the science, but the popular mind; long deceived by the disinformation industry into comfortable denial. They will receive the brunt of disapproval from the public, as they also form the engine of growing awareness. There is hope for civilization, when this problem can finally be addressed with the seriousness it requires. Hopefully the next president can build momentum to finally tackle the problem with the full support of congress, instead of kicking the can down the road. The opinion of popular weather-people, if their corporate minders don't expel them, is key to getting a functional congress too. So, this is a very hopeful development. As a member of AMS too, it is good to see this development.

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  2. Moderators, is there a "fast-track" pathway for red-flagging spam ?

    Some bot-like poster has copy/pasted part of PluviAL's 18th August post, and embedded a link of some sort (in a 27th August post).

    Please delete my post here.

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Spam deleted, thanks for the heads up. With moderators spread around the world usually one of us catches spam quickly.

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