Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Friday, November 09, 2007

John Coleman: "Global warming is a scam."

The latest "fringe," "ignorant," "big-oil-funded," "Bush-apologist," "non-scientific" voice to join the chorus of scientists opposing the so-called global warming "consensus" is John Coleman. Coleman isn't exactly a household name, he's just the guy who founded the Weather Channel. Coleman wrote this week:

By John Coleman

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM.

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990's to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15-minute documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you "believe in." It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won't believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I suspect you might like to say to me, "John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PHD's in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PHD's. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty."

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single-minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way.

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90's they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn't fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside.

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970's to always be a skeptic about research. In the case of global warming, I didn't accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no runaway climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science.

I am not alone in this assessment. There are hundreds of other meteorologists, many of them PHD's, who are as certain as I am that this global warming frenzy is based on bad science and is not valid.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway.

I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.

(Note: I took the liberty of copy-editing for grammar and spelling in a few places.)

Let me be clear: I am a naturalist. I rescue animals, I recycle, I vacation in the wilderness. I conserve whatever I can, and I am letting some of my land run wild to serve as habitat. I drive fuel-efficient vehicles, and believe we should be moving toward hydrogen-powered engines, skipping the hybrid and ethanol phases in an Apollo-program-sized leap of technology. I believe we are running out of oil. I don't like pollution, I don't like smog, and I don't like the foam on the James River.

But when we have Weather Channel "climate expert" Dr. Heidi Cullen openly stating that people who disagree with her should be stripped of their academic credentials, and none of her colleagues stand up to say she's wrong, that's not science. And when Al Gore touts the fact that 2500 scientists signed the UN's ridiculous statement on global warming, as if facts are determined by democratic process--or as if there isn't a document opposing the UN paper signed by 17,000 scientists--that's not science. If you can't see the pattern of propaganda and oppression dominating this debate, you're as blind as the bloggers at sluniverse who answer a poll thus:

What is wrong with John Coleman?
Early onset senility.
6 26.09%
In the back pocket of the Republican party.
9 39.13%
Heavily invested in BIG OIL.
6 26.09%
Kidnapped and forced to read false statements by anti-earth terrorists.
4 17.39%
Simple. He’s STUPID.
8 34.78%
I don’t know … YET. But I will Google him and find SOME reason to disregard his take on the subject.
5 21.74%
Pie (But really hot pie because Global Warming *IS* real!!)
8 34.78%

This poll is a perfect example of the tendency of people who pride themselves on being so very "open-minded" on social issues can't even spare a moment to consider whether this internationally-renowned expert might be making his statements in good conscience and with some facts behind him.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is that when I google "global warming is a scam & weather channel" I get mostly wacko websites (on both sides). I can't find this statement at CNN or MSNBC or even Fox News. Can we at least agree that the freaking founder of the Weather Channel, a meteorologist since 1953, is worth listening to with some attentiveness and respect?

I find myself more and more agreeing with the scientists over at Demand Debate:

EDIT: Glenn Beck commented on Coleman's statement this morning, a few hours after I posted. Do I really want to be labeled as a trend-setter for conservative thought? Should I mention here that I support a ban on assault weapons and that I oppose the death penalty under any circumstances? Would that make me seem a bit more "fair and balanced"?...

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  • At 11/09/2007 3:53 PM , Anonymous Philip Hamm said...

    Do we know that this is this legit? There are so many typos it's highly suspect to me, though a google search and a snopes search don't bring anything up. This looks suspicious.

    Also, he invokes authority as a meteorologist. It is my understanding that meteorology and climatology are very different, though related, studies.

    Kind of like I wouldn't want an orthopedist doing brain surgery. They're both doctors, and there's a lot of overlap, but if the orthopedist claims authority on matters of brain surgery I'd be suspicious.

    This document rings all kinds of "critical thinking" bells in my head. Not sure I buy it.

  • At 11/09/2007 3:58 PM , Anonymous Phil Hamm said...

    Another reason this article seems more than a little "off" is the whole conspiracy theory angle. All these scientists decided to concoct this idea in order to get grant money and fame..... Yeah.... Academia really does work that way..... ???

  • At 11/10/2007 9:59 AM , Blogger Andrew Hamm said...

    Yeah, academia does indeed work that way, according to a lot of minority-opinion scientists I've read.

    If you want to publish work, or get a grant to study, a topic that contradicts the mainstream opinions on global warming or evolution, you simply don't get money, you don't get printed, you don't get a job, you don't get tenure. Never mind that both global warming and Darwinian evolution have evidence holes the size of Optimus Prime in them, and never mind the fact that science is only useful when it's interrogating its own conclusion with healthy skepticism.

    Skepitcs against the "consensus" on these are instantly labeled as wackos (an appellation Coleman also unfortunately uses) and the public is haughtily informed that "all scientists agree" when that is not only untrue, but scientifically unhealthy if it IS true. The "consensus" used to be that the Earth was 4000 years old, flat, and at the center of the universe. Ah, the constant throughout ages of scientific advancement: as our knowledge increases, so does our arrogance.

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  • At 11/16/2007 11:14 PM , Blogger Dave T said...

    My thoughts on global warming have coalesced around this image:
    If you are in a boat that is leaking, do you proceed as if something might come along and plug the hole or do you start bailing? I haven't read anything reputable that disputes that temps are on the rise. I haven't read anything reputable that disputes that carbon dioxide emissions have a warming effect on the environment. So do we sit back confident that this is part of a naturally occuring swing in the global environment or do we start taking steps to reduce the extent to which we are indisputably affecting the process?

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