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.”