The Sky Is Falling! The TV Weather Lady has stopped Smiling and telling us Comforting Happy Stuph
of The Weather Channel
The Weather used to be the most boring part of the News Business, the moment in a news broadcast when you could leave the TV set and go to the bathroom or microwave some popcorn, and know you wouldn't miss anything important.
That was Then. This is Now. Suddenly The Weather has become violently Political.
Are we just having Shitty Weather Naturally (Bush ultraconservative Republicans), or are our industrial and fossil-fuel-burning and rain forest slash-and-burn activities plunging us into Global Warming (Al Gore liberal Democrats)?
Now things is gettin' really fierce, nasty and chilly in Weather World. Since Dr. Heidi Cullen wrote on her blog that the American Meteorological Society should strip any meteorologist of his/her AMS credentials if the meteorologist denies Global Warming or that it's being caused by human activities, right-wing radio freakazoids (Limbaugh et al) in the USA have targeted Cullen for extinction.
TV Weather Girls should tell us tomorrow morning's and the weekend forecast, smile, make a little joke about umbrellas or sunscreen, and then shut the fuck up. That's the way Mom and Dad liked it. That's the way it should still be. There just shouldn't be anything controversial or spooky about The Weather. That's un-American.
Hey you folks in Northern Europe -- did you get smacked by the violent windstorms? Is it Global Warming?
The Belfast Telegraph
UK / Northern Ireland
Friday 19 January 2007
Belfast Weather icon: Hi: 6°C / Lw: 3°C
American weather forecasters
do battle over mankind's role
in global warming
by David Usborne in New York
A leading climatologist on the Weather Channel [a cable television channel] in the United States has caused a squall in the industry by arguing that any weather forecaster who dares publicly to question the notion that global warming is a manmade phenomenon should be stripped of their professional certification.
The call was made by Heidi Cullen, host of a weekly global warming programme on the cable network called The Climate Code, and coincides with a stretch of severely off-kilter weather across the US this winter and moves by Democrats to draft strict new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Specifically, Ms Cullen is suggesting that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revokes the "seal of approval" that it normally extends to broadcast forecasters in the US in cases where they have expressed scepticism about man's role in pushing up planetary temperatures.
"It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather," she wrote in her internet blog. "It's not a political statement ... it's just an incorrect statement."
Ms Cullen is not alone in trying to marginalise doubters, who mostly argue that recent rises in temperatures are caused by normal cyclical weather patterns. They were described as "global warming deniers" by former vice-president Al Gore in his recent film "An Inconvenient Truth."
[the borrowed political subtext: Holocaust deniers.]
Most Americans need neither Mr Gore nor Ms Cullen to know that something is up with the weather, however. This year's "wacky winter," as headline writers now describe it, continues to serve up unsettling surprises, the most recent of which was snow falling on the beach in Malibu, California, on Wednesday.
The freeze in western states is expected to have eased by the weekend, but already it may have devastated California's citrus harvest with as much as 75 per cent destroyed by ice and frost. Freezing rain and snow paid a rare visit this week meanwhile to Texas and Oklahoma.
However, it is the eastern states that have experienced the strangest conditions - a 6-week period of temperatures far above their normal range for the time of year. The unusual warmth has been a disaster for ski resorts in the area, some struggling even to produce man-made snow that will stick for a second, as well as for retailers trying to sell everything from winter jackets to snow shovels and duvets.
Cherry trees are blossoming in Washington DC [traditionally an April phenomenon and festival] and in some parks in New York, where the temperature reached a bewildering 22C (72F) 10 days ago, the daffodils are in full flower. When a few flakes finally fell in Central Park a week ago -- so few they could not be measured by instruments -- it was the latest recorded snow fall since records began in 1878.
All of this will be political grist to Democrats on Capitol Hill, who are gearing up to take advantage of their new position as the majority party to make climate change a legislative priority.
Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker of the House, is expected to call for a new select committee purely to devise new laws on combating global warming, probably to be headed by Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts. "It's an issue that the Speaker thinks is critical to address," her spokeswoman said.
Any new legislation is likely to include mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions by American industries, a path that the White House has vigorously refused to follow.
Democrats will also explore creating a market in emission caps, similar to the one that already exists in Europe. Under such a system, individual industries would be able to buy exemptions to exceed certain emission limits or acquire them and sell them to other industries.
It is clear that Democrats are intending to seize the issue from under the nose of President George Bush and embarrass him for his refusal to give the issue more credence. However, White House aides have indicated that the President will give climate change an important place in his annual State of the Union address to Congress next Tuesday. But few observers believe he is ready to go as far as some Democrats would like in imposing mandatory emission ceilings.
* In California, a state used to mild winter weather, residents of Malibu Beach and West LA woke up to a light dusting of snow on Wednesday. Farmers say the unusually cold temperatures have devastated the state's orange and lemon crop.
* Texas, meanwhile, has seen a vicious ice storm descend across much of the state, causing blanket power cuts and traffic chaos. At least 10 people have been killed in the state since the weekend, thanks to the abnormally cold weather.
* 60 winter-related deaths have been recorded across 9 states in total as moist air coming from the Gulf of Mexico has met head-on with icy Arctic air from Canada, spreading snow storms as far afield as California and Missouri.
* Eastern America has seen a spell of freakishly warm weather. In early January, New York had record temperatures of 22C as New Yorkers strolled through Central Park in T shirts in a month when the city is usually covered in snow.
* The ski industry in America and Canada has been hard hit by the lack of snow. Although a recent drop in temperatures has finally brought snowfall, ski resorts across the continent have had to make do with artificial snow for much of the season so far.
© Independent News & Media (NI)
from The Weather Channel
DR. HEIDI CULLEN
CLIMATE EXPERT HOST,
THE CLIMATE CODE
WITH DR. HEIDI CULLEN
THE WEATHER CHANNEL
Dr. Heidi Cullen is the climate expert at The Weather Channel and host of the program The Climate Code with Dr. Heidi Cullen. Since the program's launch in October, Dr. Cullen has interviewed leading scientists and environmentalists including Ted Turner, Virgin-founder and Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, and Professor Jeff Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia. Features have included a tour through an "Eco-Manor" home, a "Green Makeover" house project, and a close-up of Dartmouth students who crossed the country in the "Big Green Bus" fueled by waste vegetable oil from fast food restaurants.
Since joining The Weather Channel in 2003, she has had the key responsibility of adding explanation, depth, and perspective to climate stories for The Weather Channel network and other platforms. Dr. Cullen, a scientist of international standing in climate research, has helped build the climate program at The Weather Channel and has strengthened the network's relationships within the scientific community. In addition to her weekly program, Dr. Cullen appears on the air frequently, providing updates on current climate-related topics and as commentator on the network's long-form environmental series, Forecast Earth. In 2004, she went to Alaska to interview residents for a special report called "Alaska Meltdown" which investigated the effects of global warming already in evidence in Alaska.
In addition, Dr. Cullen oversees the content of the TWC broadband channel "One Degree" -- devoted to topics that deal with the climate and environment. Dr. Cullen has received national press coverage in USA Today and Entertainment Weekly.
Owing to her breakthrough work on abrupt climate change as a graduate student at Columbia University, Dr. Cullen's research was referenced in an award-winning series by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker which was the basis for the writer's later book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change.
Dr. Cullen is quickly becoming the nation's "go to" climate expert. She's a scientist who's able to take complex issues and make them accessible to American audiences. She has appeared as a featured guest on The View, as a guest expert on CNN Headline News' "Down To Earth" environmental program, as guest expert on Good Morning America, on Fox News, and on CNN Prime News Tonight. She also was featured on National Public Radio's Weekend America program. Before joining The Weather Channel, Dr. Cullen was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. She has done research in the U.S. Southwest, the Middle East (Syria and Turkey), publishing on domestic and international climate topics. She is a member of the World Climate Research Program's Climate Variability (CLIVAR) Scientific Steering Group, an international project aimed at identifying, understanding, and predicting types of variability within the Earth's complex climate system.
As a postdoctorate, Dr. Cullen received the prestigious NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship and spent two years working at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) where she collaborated with scientists from Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
She received a bachelor's degree in Engineering/Operations Research from Columbia University in New York City and went on to receive her doctorate in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.