By Evan Serpick (Baltimore City Paper, 12/10/2012)
Last week, Rolling Stone ran a story about how TV meteorologists—the “weather experts” who have the most contact with the general population—tend to be doubters of the science of climate change. This despite the fact that ragtag conspiracy theorists like NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS), to which virtually every weatherman and weatherwoman in America belongs, state unequivocally that anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change (ACC) is absolute fact.
It turns out that several of Baltimore’s best and brightest TV weatherman fit the trend to a tee. WBAL’s Tony Pann, who won City Paper’s “Best Weatherman” this year, posted the RS story on his Facebook page, calling it “ridiculous” and referring to ACC as a “theory.”
It was suggested to Pann on Facebook that he renounce his membership in the AMS (which he brags about on the WBAL website) over its positions that “Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal” and that the “dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced.” He said, “I think a lot of AMS members are going to do just that! I won’t be alone. The AMS took some serious lobbying heat from those in the reaserch [sic] field. If you are making a living on government grants to research global warming, and have been for 20 years, you don’t want that money to dry up! I hate to say it, but you just have to follow the money.”
Pann, who holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Northern Illinois University, says this despite the fact that, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (NPAS), “(i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii)the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.
And he’s not the only local 7-day forecaster throwing out conspiracy theories about climate change. WMAR’s Mike Masco, who has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a certificate in “Broadcast Meteorology,” joined in the Facebook debate, calling global warming “the biggest scam in modern time,” and insisting “I don’t drink the liberal coolaid [sic].”
Asked for comment, Justin Berk, formerly of WMAR, said the Rolling Stone story “was written with an agenda,” and also referred to ACC as “a theory.”
Continue reading “Baltimore Weathermen Say Global Warming is a Conspiracy, ‘Scam'” at Baltimore City Paper.