Of course not. That would release CO2, and we’d have to buy an offset or plant a tree or something.

I jest, of course. The reason this comes up is a flaming debate going on right now.

Over on the weather channel blog, Heidi Cullen asks:

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If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.

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(FYI: AMS is the American Meteorological Society.)

Marc Morano, the high-strung Inhofe staffer, responded on the EPW blog:

Broadcast meteorologists (TV weatherman) skeptical of climate alarmism have — up until now — been unburdened to speak out on climate issues. Cullen’s call for decertification by the AMS can only serve to intimidate skeptics and further chill free speech in the scientific community. Stripping the “Seal of Approval” from broadcast meteorologists could affect their livelihoods, impact their salaries and prestige. TV weathermen are truly the last of the independent scientists and past surveys have shown many of them to be skeptical of manmade global warming claims. Their independence is being threatened now.

(If you read the post, you’ll see Marc even gives a shout out to our own Dave Roberts! Way to go, Dave! Your mom must be sooo proud.)

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On one hand, I can definitely see Heidi’s point. As a member of the AMS, it burns me up to see a nutcase with AMS credentials. I wouldn’t shed too many tears if meteorologists who disagree with the following statements have their AMS certification yanked:

  1. The Earth has warmed by 0.6 deg C over the last 100 years.
  2. Humans are likely to blame for most of the recent warming.
  3. Models run with plausible estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions predict warming of 1.4 to 5.8 deg C.
  4. This warming might lead to serious impacts.

On the other hand, it’s clear that the forces of reason and science are winning the climate change debate. For example, in his last hearing, Inhofe couldn’t even get two credible U.S. skeptics to show up — he had to fly one in from Australia. They are truly getting scarce (see also this).

And from a political standpoint, the scientific community should not be seen as censoring anyone.

At any rate, this isn’t something we need to do. We’re winning the war already. And the skeptics generally hang themselves with their own rope anyway. Stripping their AMS credentials is simply not worth the hassle.