DeSmog author takes the spotlight in global-warming documentary

Thu, 2007-01-18 13:01Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

DeSmog author takes the spotlight in global-warming documentary

Everything’s Cool is the story of a group of self-appointed global-warming messengers striving to understand why a crisis they see as urgent and terrifying is greeted by their fellow citizens as distant and irrelevant and by their government with apathy, denial, and perhaps, even criminal neglect.

The underlying theme of the documentary reads like the DeSmogBlog mission statement – find the right image, the perfect frame, the hot-button language that will finally persuade citizens and elected officials to take meaningful action on climate change.

Their nemesis, not surprisingly, is the lick-spittle politicians, fossil-fuel corporations, think tanks and toadies that work tirelessly to obscure the science and subvert government to quash climate-friendly legislation and promote unrestrained use of fossil fuels.

Sound familiar? It should, because the top-billed performer is DeSmogBlog’s own Ross Gelbspan , the “Columbo of Climate Change.” In the film, Gelbspan has recently come to believe that his decade of writings, interviews, public readings and policy discussions have come to nothing and he is more than ready to retire. Yet, like a “firehouse dog,” every time the alarm bell rings he is back on the job.

Gelbspan and fellow climate-change crusaders Heidi Cullen, Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, Rick Piltz and Bish Neuhouser, take a journey that becomes a snapshot of what might eventually become known as “those last years of U.S. global warming denial - that halcyon time when America finally 'got it' and then had about three minutes to join the rest of the globe in dealing with it.”

Directed by Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand, Everything’s Cool makes its world’s premier at Sundance on January 19.


Heidi Cullen? Oh yes, that would be the nice lady who wants to muzzle any fellow TV weather commentator who doesn’t subscribe to the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Very typical of Church of Climatology adherents.
It is no wonder that denialist comments like the one above are tossed in anonymously, and spoil a good discussion. It would be fascinating to read the IP logs.

Heidi Cullen is the kind of person that the denialists shrug off as “Church of Climatology” (a term that passes for erudite humour in the denialist world, and may seem clever to someone who does not even try to read science). She devotes her energy and time to communicating climate science, and makes her voice heard. The real reason that the denialists bridle at her name is that like any scientist she is a true skeptic (or sceptic if you prefer; the US spelling is closer to tghe Greek skeptikos, to examine). The denialists are not true skeptics, because they practice skepticism because of a grumpy philosophy, imagined notoriety, hopes for energy stock values, etc., but not based on examination of the physical evidence.

(And unlike the deniers, Heidi Cullen has real climatology training, not just arm-chair commentary on old weather data, or even less. There are many kinds of real scientists working on aspects of climate and its consequences. So far, the denialist community has not produced any of significance, which is too bad, because we badly need qualified skeptics and intelligent debate on real problems.)

She says:
“I am a scientist. And I’m a skeptic. 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.”

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.”

The denier community puts their “experts” up against this - with correspondance degrees, vaguely related studies, lack of training (granted, math and physics are not easy - that is why the denier experts bailed on those classes), unsupported commentary, and some opinion papers delivered to industry meetings (before industry saw the light).

Heidi Cullen:

“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 programs launch in October, Dr. Cullen has interviewed leading scientists and environmentalists including … 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. … Before joining The Weather Channel, Dr. Cullen was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO. 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.
Not to lead the discussion off-target, but here is the Heidi Cullen comment that really ticks off the denialists:

“If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. …

“Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy.”

(Note to Anonymous: AMS

If you had read her comments and done a little bit of background reading you would not have come to that conclusion. What she has suggested is that Broadcast meteorologists have their Seal of Approval taken away. The Seal of Approval is given to competent broadcast meteorologists who “meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations”. Since there is no valid and accepted science disputing the overwhelming evidence that man made emissions are responsible for a major portion of global warming it would be unscientific of them to publicly say otherwise. Thus the AMS is well within their rights to take back their Seal of Approval. If these broadcasters still wish to argue against the accepted facts they will be doing it on their own and viewers can then accept or reject the claims knowing that the broadcaster is no longer “Approved”.

All professional bodies have similar codes of ethics. Can you imagine how long an engineer would remain “Approved” if he told his clients that is was safe and much cheaper to build a multi-story building out of play dough rather than concrete?

This is exactly the same. When you accept the approval of a professional body you abide by their code of conduct.

AMS CERTIFIED WEATHERMAN STRIKES BACK AT WEATHER CHANNEL CALL FOR DECERTIFICATION James Span Blog, Drudge, others Well, well. Some “climate expert” on “The Weather Channel” wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for “tolerance”, huh? I have been in operational meteorology since 1978, and I know dozens and dozens of broadcast meteorologists all over the country. Our big job: look at a large volume of raw data and come up with a public weather forecast for the next seven days. I do not know of a single TV meteorologist who buys into the man-made global warming hype. I know there must be a few out there, but I can’t find them. Here are the basic facts you need to know: *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. …- Speaking of money drying up, now that the Feds have caught up to Lefebvre, where is Hoggan going to get his funding? From the Suzuki Foundation perhaps? Does anybody see the irony of Hoggan being funded by the great philanthropist while making a career of slagging anyone who might, at some time, received a donation from evil big oil® How sweet it is!
No, nobody sees the irony, because to make the logical link between the two would be delving into the realm of idiocy.

Please explain how exposing a bunch of shills who get money from the oil industry to knowingly lie about an issue that will affect there bottom line, is the same as the Lefebvre incident? There is no nefarious plot, like there is with people who used to tell us cigarattes didn’t cause cancer, now telling us that global warming might be good for us.

Give your head a shake, your lame attempt at trying to discredit desmoglbog is only making you look petty, immature and rather silly, if not outright stupid.
My 1980 Oxford American Dictionary says “philanthropic” means “benevolent” and “concerned with human welfare and the reduction of suffering”. A philanthropist opens his wallet to alleviate human suffering. Much different from the misanthropic oil companies which finance denialists and thus work to fatten their wallets by increasing human suffering. What a pity that anyone would need to have this explained.
My reference to “philanthropist” was sarcasm. The harping of global warming cultists on the theme that oil company executives want to fry the globe for corporate profit is wearing thin. Did it ever occur to any of you that oil company exec’s (most of whom are scientists who rose in the ranks) have children and grandchildren who will inherit whatever world we leave behind? Your self-righteous posturing is disgusting. In case you wish to counter that geologists aren’t competent to make judgements on climate, let me remind you that, before climatology was recognized as a distinct speciality 3 or 4 decades ago, only geologists, glacialogists and paleontologists knew much about, or had any interest in, climate. Instead of relying on computer diddling (feeding dubious data into supercomputers) to produce conjecture, some of these “experts” would be well-advised to give more consideration to the known history of climate cycles.
It occurs to a lot of us that oil execs have children and it makes many people wonder how they sleep at night.

Sadly, the oil-funded campiagn is not wearing thin because people keep revealing more cases of scientists being paid to say what oil companies want them to say.

‘Conjecture’ of computer models that through rather extreme coincidence have matched observation for the past 10 years or so. Unless they’re cheating by time travel.
Hey Jimbo, I recognize the style of your b.s. in at least three of the posts on this thread. What’s the matter - can’t get any rank and file members of the Apocalyptic Church of Climatology to visit your blog?

At 9:35 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, Greeley, Colorado was struck by a 3.4 magnitude earthquake. Earthquakes are highly unusual in eastern Colorado, raising speculation that it was a “frackquake” — a man-made earthquake stimulated by the disposal of contaminated drilling water in deep injection wells. This disposal technique forces wastewater generated from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deep into underground rock formations, lubricating layers of rock that would not ordinarily be subject to movement.

Earthquakes are so rare in eastern Colorado that the U.S....

read more