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Jordan Haedtler's Posts

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Is Governor Brown Playing 13 Tzameti With The Climate?

The Washington Post’s publication of an outrageously misleading, climate change-denying editorial by- of all people- the chair of the House Science Committee serves as another reminder of the lamentable state of our climate discourse. Few public officials are willing to confront stark climate realities, and little more than lip service is given as humanity blazes past ominous milestones like the highest atmospheric concentration of carbon in 5 million years. Even as New Jersey struggles to recover from the fossil-fueled devastation of Superstorm Sandy, Governor Chris Christie dismissed the notion that his state should prepare for future climate impacts, rejecting the …

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The State of Our Climate-Ravaged Union

When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on February 12th, he'll be addressing a nation that is being ravaged by climate disasters. Since the president last stood before Congress, climate impact after climate impact has struck the country, from last summer's record-shattering heat wave to the intense blizzard that swept through the Northeast this past weekend. Last month, NOAA confirmed that 2012 had been the warmest year for the US in recorded history. Americans are urging the president to explain exactly how he will "respond to the threat of climate change," as he promised in his inaugural …

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Viewer Trust Requires Forecasting the Facts

Why do people watch the local weather report, anyway? That was the question floating just below the surface of last week’s 40th annual broadcast meteorology conference in Boston. Just like their print counterparts, local news stations are being buffeted by the winds of online innovation, and weather is particularly vulnerable. Today, detailed forecasts are just a few clicks away. So why would anyone bother to tune in at 6 or 11? Nearly every meteorologist we heard from came back to the same answer: trust. As D.C.-area meteorologist Joe Witte noted, local TV news consistently remains the most trusted source of …

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Heroic weatherman talks climate in a red state — and viewers thank him for it

Jim Gandy connects climate and weather for WLTX.

Weathercaster Jim Gandy, one of the nation’s most effective climate change communicators, broadcasts in South Carolina, one of the most conservative states in the nation, providing a powerful example for weathercasters across the country.

Forecast the Facts staff caught up with Gandy at the American Meteorological Society’s 40th annual Broadcast Meteorology Conference, in Boston, Mass. With a black cowboy hat and light southern drawl, Gandy told us he started investigating climate science in 2005 after geology professors at a nearby university asked him, “What do you think about this climate change thing?” Gandy took the question seriously, familiarizing himself with the peer-reviewed literature, and learning about how human activities are changing the weather and climate.

In 2011, Gandy partnered with George Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication and the nonprofit Climate Central to develop a program called Climate Matters, a segment that places his weathercasts in the context of climate change. Gandy also blogs regularly about climate. Broadcasting in South Carolina, Gandy was well aware of the risks. “I’m not from a red state, I’m from a dark red state,” he told us. Like his friend and peer Dan Satterfield, a weathercaster based until recently in Huntsville, Ala., Gandy began speaking out about climate change fully prepared to face backlash from his politically conservative audience.

But a funny thing happened: The backlash never came.

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