Just as I wrapped up my last post, which included a hearty bit of praise for information dissemination, I came across this article from The Daily Caller’s Caroline May. It’s a great reminder that not everyone considers the publication and distribution of wide-ranging opinions a positive. To them, it’s better to just censor dissenters:
Concerned that too many “deniers” are in the meteorology business, global warming activists this month launched a campaign to recruit local weathermen to hop aboard the alarmism bandwagon and expose those who are not fully convinced that the world is facing man-made doom.
The Forecast the Facts campaign — led by 350.org, the League of Conservation Voters and the Citizen Engagement Lab — is pushing for more of a focus on global warming in weather forecasts, and is highlighting the many meteorologists who do not share their beliefs.
“Our goal is nothing short of changing how the entire profession of meteorology tackles the issue of climate change,” the group explains on their website. “We’ll empower everyday people to make sure meteorologists understand that their viewers are counting on them to get this story right, and that those who continue to shirk their professional responsibility will be held accountable.” …
So far, the campaign has identified 55 “deniers” in the meteorologist community and are looking for more. They define “deniers” as “anyone who expressly refutes the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate change: that it is real, largely caused by humans, and already having profound impacts on our world.”
“We track the views of meteorologists through their on-air statements, blog posts, social media activity, public appearances, interviews, and interactions with viewers,” the campaign explains.
Talk about dogmatism and intolerance.
Some activists say they are upset that meteorologists spout off about global warming when their expertise is in short-term weather patterns, not long-term climate trends. They want to correct the impression that meteorologists’ opinions about climate change somehow count for more than ordinary individuals’. I can think of far better ways to correct that impression than to force meteorologists to voice support for the idea that men have caused global warming. In fact, wouldn’t meteorologists standing on their soapboxes in favor of environmentalist ideas also reinforce the misimpression that they are experts in long-term climate science? Either way, meteorologists’ opinions count just as much as ordinary individuals’ — and to target them in any way for having the “wrong” opinion shows little respect for the right of freedom of speech.
Here’s a better idea: Forecast the Facts could purchase ad time on local TV stations and run ads that feature this quote from a sympathetic meteorologist: “You wouldn’t ask your dentist about your gallbladder and you shouldn’t ask your local TV weatherman about climate change.” The ad could end with a URL to a site that provides the supposed evidence for manmade global warming. That would show respect for the intelligence of viewers and would invite individuals to make up their own minds about the issue.