Do we care about climate change?August 2nd, 2012 at 1:15 pm by Jim Spencer under Weather
I received an email from a viewer this week (see below) who is concerned that we are not doing enough to alert our audience about the growing threat of global warming. She suggested that maybe we were afraid of push-back from some of our audience if we even mentioned the inexplicably politically charged term “global warming.”
I assured her, and want all of our viewers to know that we never hesitate to report important scientific information about climate change simply because it might offend some science-deniers.
I don’t use the term “science deniers” lightly either. It is appalling to meteorologists and climate scientists to hear some say global warming is a “hoax.” Only those who don’t believe in thermometers can deny our planet is warming. This is settled science. And, almost no respected climate scientist on the planet believes that humans are not playing some role in the climate change.
Now, are we as a local television station reporting as much as we should about the global temperature increase and its causes? Probably not. With only about three to four minutes per newscast to keep our viewers informed about our local weather (as opposed to climate), little time remains for frequent in-depth analysis of this complex issue.
Would I like a half hour show once a week to discuss, in great detail, climate change and other weather and science-related topics with you? You bet. But, until that happens, know that we will continue to report on the latest newsworthy research and other climate information during our weathercasts, even if briefly, and whether the topics are controversial or not.
As the Austin station committed to in-depth coverage, we will also continue to bring you occasional special reports that are more comprehensive about this topic, such as the one meteorologist David Yeomans is producing right now for a coming broadcast.
And, we will use this forum to share even more information with you, so be sure to check our blog posts frequently. We also recommend that you research this topic yourself, but avoid getting your “facts” from opinion programs–from the right or left. Most importantly, be skeptical of climate change skeptics–they’re usually not scientists.
I’ll allow the viewer who sent the email to share with you the links to the articles she thought we needed to see, regarding recent climate change news:
From: Diane Young
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:27 PM
To: Jim Spencer
Subject: nobody seems to care
Dear Mr. Spencer,
I am a regular viewer of your weather forecasts and I respect your wisdom and knowledge about meteorology. I hope you will find the following articles of interest (in case you haven’t seen them). I realize that if you were to use the term “global warming” on the air, you would get hate mail from some of your listeners. Weather and climate will have a tremendous effect on human (and natural) history but nobody (including reporters) seems to care.
Cheers …. Diane Young