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A TV Meteorologist Who Thinks Manmade Global Warming Is a Hoax Called Me Ignorant

It’s weird: TV meteorologists are some of the loudest and most vehement climate change deniers out there.

I’ve wanted to bump into a climate change-denying weatherman for a while now. Last weekend I sort of got my chance.

It’s weird: TV meteorologists are some of the loudest and most vehement climate change deniers out there. And that’s not just a hunch. It’s not just because we’ve all seen attention-hounding weathermen like Joe Bastardi make regular appearances on Fox News to tell everyone that all the climate scientists are wrong and that he is right and that there is no global warming, just global cooling. (No credible scientist believes in global cooling any longer.)


It’s science. Last year, a George Mason University study found that only about 50% of all TV meteorologists believe in climate change, and only 19% believe humans have anything to do with it. By contrast, 97% of climate scientists (who I suppose have the additional benefit of knowing what they’re talking about) believe human activity is driving global warming. Furthermore, it turns out that a majority of regular ol’ meteorologists, the kind that don’t mug for the cameras on local television networks, tend to side with the climate scientists.

So what’s the deal with the climate-confused TV weatherdudes? Nobody really knows. Ego, political ideology, lack of education (only half hold meteorology degrees), hubris, doubt that the climate scientists’ models could predict anything better than their own forecasting models—they all seem to play a role. Needless to say, ever since the study came out last year, I’ve been curious to come into contact with a real live TV meteorologist in the wild. But I’d settle for Twitter.

See, last Friday, I posted a story called "Humans Have Built a Frankenstorm Factory, and Now We Have to Live in It." The gist is that climate change makes ‘frankenstorms’ like Sandy apt to appear more frequently, and that we should get used to seeing stronger hurricanes fueled by warmer oceanic waters and higher sea levels. VICE ran it on their front page, and before long, I saw this little tweet fly in (@ForecastFacts had tweeted it out too):


That’s from Brian Bledsoe, the chief meteorologist for a TV station in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For the uninitiated, “AGW” is anthropogenic global warming, meaning it’s caused by man. A hoax is something that a group of people actively conspire to do to fool others. Bledsoe thinks that manmade climate change is a “hoax.” Rather than let this testy comment slide away into the ether, I took the chance to reach out to this weatherman, he who tells Colorado Springsites when it might rain.

So here’s a little Storify of the argument that quickly ensued.

Good times. Not that I “won” or anything; just interesting to see the hostility towards a well-accepted scientific body of evidence.

As a postscript, I must note that those who actively believe that AGW is a “hoax,” an actual conspiracy amongst scientists and left-leaning politicians to trick the world into, who knows, ushering in some kind of a new world order or such, are a pretty rare breed. They typically occupy the louder, further reaches of the right-wing. They’re your Limbaughs, your Glenn Becks, your Fox News pundits. They’re a small minority, even amongst those who have their doubts as to whether climate change is real or not. But, as you can see, despite Bledsoe’s initial outburst, they’re not necessarily bad dudes. They’re just way off the mark on climate science.