Home Energy and Environment Will TV Forecasters Acknowledge Climate’s Contribution to Crazy January Weather?

Will TV Forecasters Acknowledge Climate’s Contribution to Crazy January Weather?


The DC area’s forecast for Friday calls for temperatures near 60 degrees with thunderstorms. In January.

But you won’t catch our television weather presenters attributing the bizarre forecast to global warming loading the dice for extreme weather! No, sir! Expect to hear lots of things like, “Wow, tropical weather in January. Uh … weird!”

If they mentioned our changing climate, they might get angry calls from viewers who find climate reality doesn’t fit in with their political views. Here in the DC area, unless your name is Bob Ryan, you’re likely to figure it’s better to keep quiet about the facts than risk standing up for inconvenient truths. Or maybe, like Topper Shutt, you’re a climate science denier yourself.

Learn more about why some TV weathermen aren’t straight with their viewers about climate science at ForecastTheFacts.org.

  • kindler

    …to focus on the cause of anything anymore.  They describe the phenomenon and then maybe interview two different “sides” of the issue but are just terrified of proclaiming anything to be the truth, even if it’s been confirmed through thousands of independent studies.

    I’d love to see what they’d do if the Tea party declared that gravity is a “hoax”…

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    In television, the content has always been secondary to advertising revenue. One way to avoid losing some corporate client’s ads is to avoid anything that smacks of controversy, even if it involves truth discovered by science. Since corporations tend to be conservative (that’s an understatement), so does the content on television.

    Television news degenerated into the fluffy mess it is today after Roone Arledge, who was head of sports broadcasting at ABC, came up with the idea that news could be a big moneymaker, rather than an objective source of information for the American people presented by broadcast networks as a public service. His “magic” spread like a plague throughout televised news.

    “One of the reasons why when Elvis dies or the Son of Sam is captured ABC News’ ratings go up is because people who don’t normally watch news are watching then. The question is, do you want to attract people who don’t watch network news or fight over the people who do?” –  Roone Arledge Obviously, TV decided to go after the people most interested in Elvis to the near exclusion of more important information. News became entertainment, as the ridiculous series of Republican “debates” has shown.

  • Dave

    I feel like we do this every January.

    A 60 degree day in one place does not imply global climate change. We’re supposed to have them. It’s called weather. A warmer-than-average winter isn’t a concern either – the last few were cold. That’s OK too.

    What we need to worry about is that this warm snap is 61 degrees instead of 60, on average, or that we’re having 4 warm snaps instead of 3. That’s the concern.

    You can’t use local weather, or a single data point, to justify anything. That’s why the weathermen don’t hem and haw. Now I know some weathermen are stupid or climate science deniers – have at them. But just because people aren’t making a stink over a single warm day in a single place in January, give me a break. Be scientific – this is, after all, solid science we’re talking about so let’s treat it as such.

    Also, just to avoid the obvious responses, I was a scientist in a past life, and of course anthropogenic global climate change is happening. This is just my yearly call for rational, scientific treatment of a scientific subject.