Sure, Americans may trust scientists slightly more than weathercasters, but few people actually know a scientist. On the other hand, pretty much everyone knows their trusty TV weathercaster, that cheery presence who tells them whether or not to leave the umbrella at home this weekend.
It’s too bad, then, that three-quarters of all weatherfolk don’t buy human-caused climate change, because they are the most visible, perceived “experts” on the issue. This despite the fact that barely half of all weathercasters can boast even an undergraduate degree in atmospheric science. As Randy Rieland notes, this confusion between weatherperson and climate expert is not a trend we’re hot to see continue.
So who are some of these active meteorologists forecasting that climate change is as unlikely as a Texas snowstorm on the Fourth of July?
Joe Bastardi: AccuWeather meteorologist from State College, Pennsylvania, and part-time body-builder (yes!). Watch him here in one of Stephen Colbert’s Science Catfights.
John Coleman: Founder of The Weather Channel, pioneering weatherman on ABC’s Good Morning America in the ’70s and ’80s, first-user of on-screen satellite technology, and current forecaster for KUSI-TV in San Diego. Also, a journalism major (no science degree). His breakthrough climate skeptic essay in 2007 has become a touchstone: Global warming “is not something you ‘believe in.’ It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise.” Unfortunately, Coleman’s extensive work in this field hasn’t crystallized for him the difference between climate science and meteorology.
Chad Myers: CNN meteorologist who told Lou Dobbs in December 2008, “You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant. Mother Nature is so big, the world is so big, the oceans are so big.” So BIG!
And then of course, there’s Brick Tamland, of Channel 4 News.