Daily Archives: January 19, 2007

Global Warming

Neil Cavuto had two guests today to discuss the Weather Channel’s Dr. Heidi Cullen’s firing meteorologists who don’t believe in global warming. The guests were Larry Cosgrove, a meteorologist and John Passacandanto, executive director of Greenpeace USA.

    Cavuto: Crippling snow in Denver, unseasonable warmth in the east, and a deep freeze in Texas. Climate expert Heidi Cullen over at the Weather Channel says that anyone paid to do the weather who does not blame all of this on man made global warming should be out of a job. Now meteorologist Larry Cosgrove says that Heidi needs to come in from the heat a little bit, but Greenpeace, USA executive director John Passacantando says that the Weather Channel woman actually has it right. Ms. Cullen was unavailable to come on today, but if she were here Larry, you’d be saying, what?

    Cosgrove: She would say that I should not have an AMS Seal of Approval for radio or television because I do not espouse the global kool-aid line of the American Meteorological Society. Now, I like many people, believe in global warming. You can’t refute that. Temperatures are warming around the globe. But, the question is what’s causing it. Is it purely man made as the American Meteorological Society and Dr. Cullen espouse or is it a combination of events, namely what’s happening on the earth and ‘some help’ so to speak, from man kind.

    Cavuto: So, because you’re not with her on this, she is essentially saying take your license away.

    Cosgrove: Exactly. Any certification you have, or seal of approval. And that’s very important to the livelihood of being a meteorologist. You can’t do that.

    Cavuto: All right, John, what do you make of this?

    Passacantando: Well Neil, it’s quite fine if Larry goes on the news and is just telling us whether or not we need an umbrella tomorrow. Meteorologists don’t even need to be scientists. [ed note: A person can’t be called a meteorologist unless he or she has at least a bachelor’s degree in either meteorology or atmospheric science – I’d call that a scientist. Your average TV weather person (Nicole Kidman’s character in To Die For comes to mind) doesn’t have to be a meteorologist, but more and more actually are these days.]Heidi Cullen, however, she’s a superstar. She’s a trained climatologist and she’s got the most informative show on television today on the Weather Channel 5 o’clock on Sunday nights called The Climate Code and she really is teaching people about climate change and the human input, the burning of fossil fuels and how that’s giving us all these record temperatures. Now, whether or not these guys should be fired for not believing in global warming, well that’s sort of beyond me.

    Cavuto: So would you be as praise full of her if she didn’t share your view?

    Passacantando: Well, it’s not “my view”. The science is in on global warming. Global warming is happening here.

    Cavuto: Well actually it is a little debated. The issue isn’t so much that the earth’s getting warmer, you’re quite right it is, but, as Larry I think you’re trying to point out, the debate is over what’s causing it.

    Cosgrove: Exactly. There are still some points we don’t understand. We know, again the earth has been warming tremendously in the past 25 years. We know that by seeing the shrinking ice caps, the loss of snow in Mount Kilimanjaro and temperature rising too.

    Passacantando: And Larry we know there is a human contribution that is huge to this and if you don’t understand this and the science that’s coming out this is the whole reason Ms. Cullen says – Dr. Cullen – says you shouldn’t be talking about global warming on a news program.

    Cosgrove: I disagree about that. Simply because you take that credential away, you stifle debate. There’s still plenty to debate about what we do not understand about global warming.

    Passacantando: Just don’t represent yourself as a scientist.

    Cosgrove: I do represent myself as a scientist. How do you come across telling me about Dr. Cullen being a “superstar” and all these wonderful things you’re saying about her when she’s stifling debate. Saying “take away this person’s credential, they don’t know what they’re talking about.” I know full well what I’m talking about…

    Passacantando: {interrupting} You’re wrong.

    Cosgrove: I’m not espousing some right-wing idea about global warming. You are, I think, going the exact opposite there saying you shouldn’t have debate.

    Passacantando: I don’t think your debate is being stifled, you’re actually quite vocal right now. I’m just saying that you’re wrong and nobody should have you on a news program misrepresenting science.

    Cavuto: John, John you’re saying he’s wrong simply because he disagrees with you and you know there are others in the scientific community who also respectfully disagree with you and Al Gore on this subject right?. That doesn’t mean you… look, you know, we might disagree with you. You’re here. You’re making some very credible points but the fact of the matter is you’re here. We’re not shutting you out, I’m not shutting you out on this show. So you’re essentially saying because he might disagree with you that you would shut him out. Is that fair?

    Passacantando: I’m not saying to shut them out. I’m saying the public should know that this debate has to be grounded in peer reviewed science.

    Cavuto: What is your educational background?

    Passacantando: I’m trained as an economist, but…

    Cavuto: Wait, wait…

    Cosgrove: There you go.

    Cavuto: Trained as an economist. This guy is licensed in this stuff. You’re an economist. God bless you. If I want to check on the growth of the money supply you’re the guy I’m going to call. If I want to know what’s happening with the climate, he’s the guy that I call.

    Passacantando: We’re talking about the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and not if you should carry an umbrella…

    Cosgrove: John get back on topic here. It’s more than that. It’s more than that John, it’s more than that. We’re a bridge to public, the meteorology community….

    Passacantando: …or if you need sunscreen….

    Cavuto: I wish we had more time, but we don’t.

    Passacantando: Then be accurate Larry, be accurate or get off the program.

    Cavuto: I think that’s a little gratuitous and a little childish. All right. But I want to thank you both.

I’m of the school that believes that climate change happens on a regular basis and man may have some to do with it, but not all. I actually think that the great big object in our daytime sky (that is 93 million miles away) has a bit more to do with it than man does.

I do do my part to conserve energy. Most of the light bulbs in my house are fluorescent bulbs. They’ve finally come out with bathroom vanity globes that are fluorescent (I got them at WalMart!). I turn lights off in rooms when I leave them. I keep my heat temperature low and my air conditioning temperature high and I have open windows every chance I get.

Sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and saying na-na-na-na-NA-na just isn’t conducive to real debate.