Friday Quote II: "The C-Word"

I've long been a fan of Heidi Cullen.  I even used to watch Forecast Earth, the sole program on The Weather Channel that focused on climate change, until she was axed. And she was terrific in the great film “Everything’s Cool" which examined the censorship she faced on climate change reporting from her higher-ups. But she can't be silenced. Now, she's at Climate Central — an independent, non-profit journalism and research organization. She is also a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University and the author of The Weather of the Future. Check her piece on a very important topic of late  – climate change and tornadoes:

My phone tends to ring a lot more when the weather is bad. I often get calls from reporters and producers who usually ask me the same question a bunch of different ways. "Is this global warming?" "Is climate change to blame?" "Is the weather getting worse?"

These are big — almost existential — questions. I suspect they are a polite way of asking, "Is this our fault?"

Climate scientists approach the question a little differently. We want to test how global warming shifts the odds of a severe weather event. Just like medical researchers do with cigarette smoking and lung cancer. In fact, this line of climate research comes straight out of epidemiology. In essence, we're doing autopsies on extreme weather events to find out what made them so bad-ass. Down To Earth posts


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