GOOD

David Puner

If the debate over climate change is closed, why is John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel, still trying to prove it's all a scam?

Well over a quarter-million weathercasts-that's the ballpark figure the 74-year-old founding father of the Weather Channel guesses he's probably performed in his 55 years in the business. Today, as for the past 15 years, he's chalked up another weathercast like it's his job, because it is. This, he tells me, is the best time of his career.Which seems odd, because in the past few years, he's admittedly become mad as hell. Coleman is angry because he believes we have been brainwashed into thinking we're ruining our own planet. He wants to let us off the hook, and give us some good news for a change, because, you see, John Coleman says that climate change is a scam.If you consume mainstream media, odds are you're not hearing much debate about climate change these days. We're told the debate is effectively over. Scientists say so, too. It's our consumption that continues to ruin our planet's environmental health, so there's no longer time to debate-it's time to act. Every time we do anything, like flip on a light switch or charge an iPod or turn on the A/C, we're contributing to the release of greenhouse gases, and so the oceans rise and that's a problem for the polar bears and, well, you know-something like that. It may be difficult to explain, but we know the state of the environment is bad. Most recently, in fact, we were told that the effects of man-made climate change are all but irreversible.
John Coleman has dedicated his life to studying weather and the science that creates it-so shouldn't we at least hear him out?
So, yes, the debate is over. And yet for some reason, somewhere outside the fray, the weather sage John Coleman decided it shouldn't be. That we'd been hoodwinked. That it was still worth talking about. So a year and a half ago, determined he'd heard enough of the noise and the Al Gore and the polar bears, he threw his voice into the conversation.When Coleman posted his first climate change brief online, he was surprised by the attention it got. "I thought I was the only one," he says. "I started finding that there were plenty of people out there, it's just that the media was ignoring them and the place to find them was on these little corners of the internet." In May, 2008, an organization called the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine released a petition at the National Press Club, with the signatures of 31,000 scientists rejecting the U.N. consensus of man-made climate change. Nine thousand of the names reportedly belong to Ph.Ds.Encouraged, he delivered a speech last March at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York where he said that Al Gore and others selling carbon credits should be sued for fraud. His hope, he said, was that the publicity from such a suit would potentially debunk climate change in a court room instead of waiting for the media to do its supposed due diligence.So is he a crank-Willard Scott with an agenda that goes beyond hooky old-school weatherman shtick? Coleman's life has been dedicated to studying and presenting weather and the science that creates it-so shouldn't we at least hear him out? He thinks we should, and he has supporters. He says the science we've digested is erroneous.

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