Thursday, January 18, 2007

As the World Warms

It appears that the crusade to brainwash people into believing that global warming is an occurring phenomenon caused by people's refusal to do anything about it has reached new lows. Yesterday, The Weather Channel's most prominent meteorologist, Heidi Cullen, came out and said that other meteorolgists should be stripped of their American Meteorological Society "Seal of Approval" if they express doubt that global warming is a manmade catastrophe. This after a year in which Al Gore released his "shocking" expose "An Inconvenient Truth" and 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley compared non-believers to Holocaust deniers. On top of this, Cullen has advocated Nuremburg-style trials for those skeptics as well.

Cullen claims that having skeptical meteorlogists is like "allowing [them] to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political's just an incorrect statement," Cullen added. Nevermind that hurricanes in the Southern Hemisphere do in fact rotate clockwise, Cullen's viewpoints are just wrong, in my mind. What she is saying, in a nutshell, is that if a meteorologist doesn't agree with her and the Al Gore types, those who believe that global warming is caused by people's inability to be "green" and environmentally accountable, then they should ultimately lose their credibility as a meteorologist. Who is Cullen to be the authority on who believes what? Last time I checked, we lived in a country where you were free to believe what you wanted, without reprucussion. Additionally, it hasn't even been proven that global warming is caused by humans; in fact, there is growing evidence to the contrary. In October, one of the most prominent French geophysicists, Claude Allegre, converted from a believer in manmade catastrophic global warming to a climate skeptic. Previously, Allegre had argued that man's constant use of fossil fuels increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, thus raising the average global temperature by one-half degree in the last century. In 1992, he signed a letter in which many of the world's top scientists warned that global warming’s “potential risks are very great.” What made this long-time supporter change his mind? In an editorial to the French newspaper L'Express, Allegre used the snow atop Mt. Kilimanjaro as a basis for his reversal. Allegre wrote that the “cause of climate change remains unknown” and pointed out that Kilimanjaro is not losing snow due to global warming, but to local land use and precipitation changes. Allegre also pointed out that studies show that Antarctic snowfall rate has been stable over the past 30 years and the continent is actually gaining ice.

In addition, an October 16, 2006 Washington Post article titled “Climate Change is Nothing New” noted that Indiana University geologist Simon Brassell found climate change occurred during the age of dinosaurs and quoted Brassell questioning the accuracy of computer climate model predictions. “If there are big, inherent fluctuations in the system, as paleoclimate studies are showing, it could make determining the Earth’s climatic future even harder than it is,” Brassell said.

So basically Cullen is saying "Hey, you have to believe this, even though reputable sceintists do not, or else we'll blacklist you." How is this fair in any way? Now, I'm not one to normally stick up for meteorologists. To be honest, I think their profession is a joke anyway, and I could do it in a second. Guess what? It's winter, so I say that it will be 42 degrees and cloudy tomorrow, a high of 37 on Saturday with a chance of snow and 40 with a chance of snow again on Sunday. There, I'm a meteorologist. But really, this is about more than that. People are being blackballed for their opinion on something that is not even proven. It would be comparable to to my boss coming to me and saying, "I believe that I will go to heaven after I die because I pray every night. If you don't do the same, you're fired." Maybe that's an over the top example, but it still fits the framework of "I have this belief and if you don't agree with me, you'll lose your livelihood." And to me, this is utterly ridiculous.

Thinking about the issue of global warming and the fierce devotion of both sides to their particular viewpoint makes me think of the battle over the theory of evolution as well. So much has been made over it, when really how much is actually known? Both sides have their beliefs, and argue contstantly about who is right and who is wrong, but in the end, does it really matter? Instead of debating how we got here, why not channel those efforts into finding out if this planet is really the only planet that has been capable of sustaining life throughout the 4.5 billion year life of the Solar System? Or if there are other galaxies other than ours that have life? Or how about searching the vast, unexplored depths of the oceans right here on Earth? This might seem like some crazy rambling, but I find these questions far more interesting, as I'm sure others do as well. Who knows what we might find, or how it may change our perception of our world?

In the end, people like Cullen should be stripped of any power that they have, because in my opinion, that's what it comes down to, just being power hungry and trying to enforce her views on someone else. Do I think anything will come of Cullen's efforts? Probably not, but it's important to know and realize that there are crazy people out there, like her, the act this way. As I said before, we live in a country where freedom of beliefs and expression are our rights, rights that are too often either taken for granted or silenced. Many of us may have a long laundry list of complaints about this country, but we should be happy that we can express those complaints or beliefs to a certain extent without persecution or reprucussion. It seems that Ms. Cullen should realize this as well.

(much of this information was acquired through the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works;


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