16 May 2014

Can You Say “Waste Of Postage”? I Knew You Could!

Posted by Dan Satterfield

It seems that the Heartland Inst. has relaized that broadcast meteorologists are highly visible science communicators.

It seems that the Heartland Inst. has realized that broadcast meteorologists are highly visible science communicators.

The return address says NIPCC, but it’s not a scientific report, it’s actually from the Heartland Institute (which is heavily funded by fossil fuel sources). All three meteorologists at the station I work for received it, and I suspect that nearly every broadcast meteorologist in the country will get one, but for the most part they wasted their postage. I’ve already seen it laughed at by fellow meteorologists on social media, and what ‘s inside is definitely worth ridicule.

This isn’t Heartland’s first attempt at influencing TV weather folks, but I did notice that they are no longer claiming that the planet is getting cooler or that climate change has stopped (or that it’s cosmic rays etc.), and nothing about how one just cannot trust the temperature records produced by NASA/NOAA, and the Hadley Center in the UK. No, this time it is all about how rising CO2 levels are good for plants and animals! It’s classic propaganda actually; put in a tiny bit of truth, and leave out a whole lot of facts, while letting the reader jump to the conclusion you want them to reach. John Cook, who runs a web site called Skeptical Science likes to show the light of reality on these kind of claims, and the “CO2 is good for plants” line is an OLD one.

Their “scientific panel” seems to have no one who has published much about climate in the peer-reviewed literature, and that was no surprise of course. This kind of tripe would have little or no chance to get through the peer-review process, because you have to show evidence for your claim, and also evidence that shows its significance. There has actually been quite a bit of science published about plants and CO2, and for the most part the news is not that good.

Yes, a few weather-casters will probably believe it, but among those who have a background in science, it will be laughed at for what it is: silly political propaganda.