Day By Day

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Continuing Collapse of Scientific Authority -- The Meteorologists Revolt

Global warming alarmists within the meteorological community are trying to decertify, or failing that to marginalize, those who disagree with the party line. [here] and [here] This prompted an interesting response from a broadcast meteorologist.

Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh?
I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know:
*Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story. Even the lady at “The Weather Channel” probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change. No man-made global warming, no show, and no salary. Nothing wrong with making money at all, but when money becomes the motivation for a scientific conclusion, then we have a problem. For many, global warming is a big cash grab.
*The climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here. It will always change, and the warming in the last 10 years is not much difference than the warming we saw in the 1930s and other decades. And, lets not forget we are at the end of the ice age in which ice covered most of North America and Northern Europe.
If you don’t like to listen to me, find another meteorologist with no tie to grant money for research on the subject. I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue.
Read it here. [emphases mine]

There are two very interesting aspects to this debate.

First of all, it reveals a deep class division within the scientific community, between the research scientists who boast advanced degrees, and the working practitioners, broadcasters and forecasters, who often do not.

Secondly, the research scientists have reacted to criticism by trying to de-legitimize their critics. They are posing as disinterested dispensers of objective information whose testimony should be trusted because of the credentials they boast. Behind this claim is the old, long-discredited, progressive notion of a self-policing community of competence.

In fact, the mainstream research scientists are far from disinterested. The blog post cited above points to financial motives that call their testimony into question. I would add ideological bias. I would also point to complaints by some research scientists who question the "consensus" view to the effect that their views are systematically misrepresented and that they are being subjected to intense professional pressure to toe the party line.

"Science" is a human enterprise and as such is subject to the full range of human foibles. In the current politically charged climate, where financial, careerist, and ideological interests are at play, it is well to view the pronouncements of credentialed "experts" with a large dose of skepticism.

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