More on: Heidi Cullen

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Responding to the media firestorm she has generated by calling for the revocation of the credentials of those skeptical of global warming hysteria, Heidi "Lysenko" Cullen has penned a disingenuous response titled "A Very Political Climate" -- as if massive indignation against the proposed persecution of a group of scientists is somehow itself a form of persecution!

I haven't the time to give this the fisking it deserves, but I will point out two things about it that immediately come to my mind.

First, if Heidi Cullen really were interested in the scientific debate on global warming, she would behave like the scientist she claims to be and offer evidence for her views rather than hand-waving and appeals to authority when addressing the public. And when addressing other scientists, she would not only not traffic so much with those who would forcibly silence those she disagrees with -- It was not her prior blog post alone, but what some digging it prompted revealed about her that has caused the firestorm. -- she would respect the fact that a short television debate is not an appropriate forum.

Second, Heidi Cullen has a PhD and doubtless understands that complex scientific questions such as whether global warming is happening, whether it is part of a cyclic oscillation, and whether it is due in any part to man-made causes must be hashed out within the scientific literature, and under the scrutiny of peer review. I am also sure that she realizes that this would make lousy television. All that there really would be time for would be to show some evidence for or some against her hypothesis -- or perhaps even to show that the question is not as settled as she thinks it is, as evidenced by this panic-mongering proclamation of hers.

AND after more than a century of research -- based on healthy skepticism -- scientists have learned something very important about our planet. It's warming up -- glaciers are melting, sea level is rising and the weather is changing. The primary explanation for this warming is the carbon dioxide released from -- among other things -- the burning of fossil fuels.

With that knowledge comes responsibility.

Here at The Weather Channel, we have accepted that responsibility, and see it as our job to give YOU the facts on global warming. [my bold]
Given that she is of the mind that anthropogenic global warming is a fact and that human lives are at stake, it is clear that Cullen's "invitation" to "global warming deniers" to "debate" on her program is less sincere than her desire to stop their "propaganda" -- before it's too late! -- and save lives. In short, she is no longer engaged in scientific debate, but political advocacy.

What we should all ask is this: If she is so sure she is correct, why is she not shooting down all the global warming fallacies rather than relying on authority? And furthermore, why does she not simply admit that she regards anthropogenic global warming as an objective danger whose solution she sees as political? Notice that she not only fails to give evidence for her views, but she characterizes her thinly-veiled political advocacy as some sort of scientific education. The simplest explanation of these two facts is that she wants to give her political agenda a scientific credibility it does not deserve.


Below, I provide some more links for the benefit of those who, unlike Heidi Cullen, really would like to learn about the global warming debate, not to mention the already-sad state of the scientific discourse.

1. National Review Online: "TV Weather Personalities Square Off Over Global Warming" quotes James Spann:
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. [bold added]
So much (again) for Cullen's claim that privately-funded global warming research is inherently "biased".

2. James Spann is a Birmingham, Alabama-based meteorologist. Here is more about his contribution to the current debate.
I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. ... I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global-warming hype. I know there are a few out there, but I can't find them.
This was part of his response to Cullen's desire to deprive him of credentials.

3. At the end of this post, I note that some corporate sponsors of global warming research are already withdrawing funds due to mailed threats from Democrats in Congress.

4. Here is an example of psychological warfare being waged against children by a global warming hysteric. Call me crazy, but I haven't heard of any global warming skeptics traumatizing children in a similar fashion.

If global warming is so cut-and-dried, why not persuade adults rather than frighten children?

5. And even within the mainstream of academic science, real debate about global warming is being snuffed out. Read here for how the prestigious journals, Science and Nature are stifling dissent from the orthodoxy of the global warming grant gravy train.

6. James Inhofe recently delivered a blistering rebuke of our climatological Lysenkoites. Although he's hardly a great advocate of science, he beats Cullen hands down. If Heidi Cullen really means that she wants open debate, why not broadcast this speech in its entirety and without interruption?

-- CAV

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