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‘Republican Meteorologist’s’ Climate Blog ‘Goes Viral’

Numerous sites repost a blog from a Minnesota meteorologist who acknowledges that his acceptance of evidence on climate science and humans’ role in warming may put him at odds with many in his field … and in his political party.


The term “going viral” means different things in different quarters, and a message that “goes viral” in the climate change context need not be seen as posing a serious challenge to a Tweet from, let’s say, Lady Gaga. Or from Justine Limbertake, or whatever the name is.

That said, a recent blog post from self-described Minnesota “Republican Meteorologist” Paul Douglas amounts to something like the shot heard around the world for those in the climate and meteorology spheres.

Douglas in that posting described himself as “a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science.” No climatologist, he acknowledged, but rather a broadcast meteorologist, and one increasingly “uncomfortable” with the weather maps he’s been studying.

“A new and almost foreign weather pattern,” Douglas wrote. (One could link here to any number of sites that have reposted Douglas’s initial posting. We choose this one here precisely because it’s on another weathercaster’s blog site, and because the first person commenting on it — and dissenting from it — is a third prominent meteorologist … and a determined climate “skeptic,” Joe Bastardi, formerly with AccuWeather.)

In his post, Douglas suggests that “climate change is probably spiking our weather,” including the recent “historic and unprecedented” March heat wave across much of the U.S. He deftly uses analogies and citations to scientific findings to support his suspicion that “the patient [that is, Earth] is running a slight fever. Symptoms include violent tornado sneezes, severe sniffles of flooding, and raging rashes of jaw-dropping warmth.” And he laments that some meteorologists, in his words, “are still in denial.”

Douglas also goes back to an earlier time in quoting 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

“Trust your gut — and real experts,” Douglas advised. “We should listen to peer-reviewed climate scientists, who are very competitive by nature …. I truly hope these scientists turn out to be wrong, but I see no sound, scientific evidence to support that position today.”

“All those dire (alarmist!) warnings from climate scientists 30 years ago?” he asks rhetorically. “They’re coming true, one after another — and faster than supercomputer models predicted.”

“The climate is warming. The weather is morphing,” Douglas concluded. “The trends are undeniable. If you don’t want to believe thousands of climate scientists — at least believe your own eyes: winters are warmer & shorter, summers more humid, more extreme weather events, with a 1-in-500 year flood every 2-3 years.

“For evidence of climate change, don’t look at your back-yard thermometer,” he advised. “That’s weather.” Instead, “take another, longer look at your yard. Look at the new flowers, trees, birds, insects, and pests showing up outside your kitchen window that weren’t there a generation ago.”

And one more thing, Douglas added: “Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.”

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7 Responses to ‘Republican Meteorologist’s’ Climate Blog ‘Goes Viral’

  1. Bruce says:

    There are two strands to this that need to be separated. Is the planet warming and are we causing it? If the planet is warming naturally then there’s not much we can do other than make contingency pans for adaptation. So the important question is whether or not we are the cause. Paul Douglas presents no evidence that we are:he merely lists what he believes are examples of a warming and changing climate. In respect of the bigger question this is largely irrelevant.

    Where then is the evidence that we’re causing the changes that Douglas claims are happening? It exists only in the form of computer model runs that are based on assumptions that CO2 is not only the driver but that this leads to further positive feedbacks that amplify the warming. Without these feedbacks, there is no prospect of dangerous warming. So what is the evidence for the feedbacks? There is none at all that can prove that the net effect of feedbacks will be positive. Don’t take my word for it: do your own research. If anything, what evidence there is suggests that feedbacks are negative.

    Consider this: With a doubling of CO2 and no positive feedbacks, science says the globe should warm at a rate of 0.07c per decade. Since the satellite era began, warming has taken place at a rate of 0.06c per decade. In other words, the positive feedbacks that are needed for CAGW seem not to exist. No amount of handwaving by Paul Douglas will change this.

  2. Richard Lee Dechert says:

    There are 173 “Global Warming & Climate Change Myths” at
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php. Bruce’s assertions are among them. Paul Douglas’ “claims” are not among them. While he’s there, Bruce should carefully review the entire Skeptical Science website. If he does he may not publish such assertions in the future.

    Mr. Douglas was also correct when he said, “Let’s challenge ourselves to reinvent our own energy ecosystems.” In November 2011 the International Energy Agency warned that, “The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be ‘lost for ever’, according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.” Bruce should also carefully review the full report at
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/09/fossil-fuel-infrastructure-climate-change.

    • Bruce says:

      Sorry Richard but Skeptical Science or SS as it’s also known for its strident CAGW advocacy and treatment of visitors who run counter to the site’s global warming orthodoxy is as unreliable a source as it’s possible to find. You’re fooling nobody with that attempt to deflect attention from the facts.

      The facts are that global temps have shown no statistical warming since 1999, sea level increases began to level off several years ago and are now stable, and Artic sea ice extent is a few snowballs away from exceeding the 1979-2000 average whilst Antarctic and global sea ice extents are both above the 1979-2000 average. There’s no net evidence to show that CO2 feedbacks are positive (in fact, the balance of the evidence suggests they are negative and without positive feedbacks scary global warming from CO2 can’t take place), polar bear numbers are increasing towards record highs and the public is losing interest in the over-hyped CAGW scare.

      You suggest that all I have to do is look at a few (or just one!) of your biased CAGW advocacy sites and I’ll realise the error of my ways. Believe me: I’ve looked at lots of them and that’s why I hold the views I do. And for your information, just in case you’re tempted to respond with the typical warmist’s reply, I am not a creationist, receive no funding from Big Oil or the Koch brothers and do not deny that smoking kills.

      As for the IEA’s dire prediction that within the next five years we will do so many nasty things that we wont be able to stop CAGW, I can cite you many, many examples of similar predictions going back decades. How many would you like?

      • Richard Lee Dechert says:

        “Bruce,” who apparently is unwilling to reveal his full name, represents the mass, pathological denial of global-warming reality that is rampant among religious and secular conservatives in our nation. Among the major nations on our finite planet, the Tea Party-bolstered GOP is the only major political party denying that reality and obstructing urgently needed efforts to mitigate global warming and adapt to its increasingly destructive impacts. That malfeasant behavior is tantamount to criminal behavior. “Bruce” and others like him are intentionally aiding and abetting it. What a tragedy.

  3. Bruce says:

    There are a few things that worry me about your response, Richard. One is the way you refer to me in the third person, suggesting your comments are not intended for my consumption but for other people reading this. Another is the way you wait a long time before replying, presumably in the hope that I will stop checking this post and you will get the last word.

    A third is the way you failed to address any of the very clear fact-based points I made. As any reasoning person would know, my full name is irrelevant to the points I have raised. Your initial rant about my representing the Tea Party-funded GOP, shows your willingness to leap to erroneous conclusions: I do not live in your country. Feel free to make similar leaps regarding climate change, just don’t expect me to make them with you.

    • Richard Lee Dechert says:

      Charles Darwin has been quoted as saying “It is not the strongest of the species that survives . . . nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Whoever he is and wherever he lives, “Bruce’s” reality denying behavior is tragically maladaptive for him and our species. Case closed.

  4. Henry Markant says:

    This is a non-crisis that is causing ill-conceived and arbitrary responses that are creating multiple crises with a life of their own. Unbiased research indicates that the warming of our planet is a natural cyclical phenomenon whose causes and duration are only partially understood and about which we can do very little. Further, some of the latest studies seem to indicate that Earth’s temperature actually declined 0.7 degrees Celsius overall during the last century! What are we to believe? Demagogic proponents of the false conclusion that humanity is 95 percent at fault have created a hysterical aura of impending catastrophe, when in fact, 95 percent of any warming is probably natural and we are contributing a not-too-worrisome 5 percent or less. However, the fact that it does not qualify as a crisis does not mean that we can ignore it.

    We have become aware of the concentrations of record large snowfalls, record low temperatures, very warm summers, record rainfalls, and extended droughts around the globe for the last several years that do not fit any existing computer models. The winter of 2010-11 saw the coldest temperatures in a hundred years in Great Britain, the coldest winter in Florida in generations, and record snowfalls in the United States. Something is obviously happening, but we need to be certain of the causes before we panic. If unnecessary or counterproductive remedial measures are implemented (thankfully, most won’t be), the economies and living standards of the developed and developing world will suffer while the vocal political leaders of this movement will profit enormously from wrongful measures such as misguided environmental regulations and “cap and trade” taxation.

    You can buy this book now on any of the following websites:

    Strategic Book Publishing Rights Agency: http://sbpra.com/HenryMarkant/

    Amazon Books: http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Crises-Their-Solutions-ebook/dp/B00A2WZ4CK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357573018&sr=1-1&keywords=coming+crisis+henry+markant

    Barnes and Noble Books: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coming-crises-and-their-solutions-henry-markant/1113749628?ean=2940015922875