This week in Boston, Mass., the nation’s broadcast meteorologists will meet in their yearly conference sponsored by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). You probably don’t have it marked on your calendar, but from the point of view of the planet, it’s the most important meeting of weather reporters in history. Because the burning question in Beantown is whether weathercasters will embrace their responsibility to communicate how climate change is creating a new normal of dangerous, extreme weather.If you haven't already noticed this week's blogathon coverage of global warming issues in the diaries, check them out at Climate Change SOS.
Given the climate change-fueled storms, heat waves, droughts, and wildfires that have dominated the past year, global warming will undoubtedly be a “hot” topic at this year’s conference. But, amazingly, many broadcast meteorologists remain lukewarm to the subject: The majority of weathercasters, including many with AMS certification, don’t believe that humans are causing climate change, let alone that it’s dramatically shifting our weather patterns. These meteorologists are missing the opportunity to be journalistic heroes who can inform the nation about our increasingly poisoned weather.
For those weathercasters who want education on the subject, the conference will have plenty to provide, with panels like “Applying Climate Change to Google Earth,” “Climate Change and Ocean Stories,” and “Hot Topics for the Station Scientist.” But the source of the climate communication deficit is mostly not educational, it’s about politics. The ideological bent of some forecasters, and the pressures to avoid “controversial” subjects that might affect ratings, are leading some meteorologists to ignore science when airtime arrives. That’s why the staff of Forecast the Facts will be attending the conference, carrying a message from thousands of our members: that reporting on global warming is a professional and moral responsibility. [...]
Most Americans want their meteorologists to report on climate change. According to a March 2012 Yale/George Mason survey, two out of three Americans believe that global warming is changing our weather and want to learn more. The survey also found that 58 percent of Americans [PDF] “would be interested in learning what my favorite TV weathercaster has to say about global warming.” [...]
Thankfully, some meteorologists have already heeded these calls. WLTX Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy of Columbia, S.C., does a weekly segment called Climate Matters, which explores how global warming is affecting the planet and his own community. KMGH-TV Chief Meteorologist Mike Nelson of Denver and WBOC-TV Chief Meteorologist Dan Satterfield of Salisbury, Md., run popular blogs that contribute both breaking weather alerts and informative explanations of how humans are changing the weather. [...]
But too many meteorologists still fall far short of this ideal. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that when meteorologists refuse to accurately report on climate change, they quite literally put their viewers at risk.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011:
One of the most solid Democratic Party voting blocs we have today is composed of African-American women. That fact is not an accident and is deeply rooted in history—a history of organizing and struggle that illustrates the intersections and conflicts within the socio-political categories of race and gender.
Just as the abolition movement spawned a struggle for women's suffrage, and the civil rights movement was the impetus for both second wave feminism and LGBT rights, the historical role of black women in the context of the suffrage movement is a key to understanding the founding of black women's clubs, sororities and political organizations. That history also explains the roots of the racial contradictions of second and third wave feminism and the development of black feminism.
History repeats itself. The southern strategy the late-20th century Republican Party instituted by the forces arrayed against integration and desegregation was not the first wielding of the tool of racism to retard forces on the left. That same southern strategy was first used in the battle for women's suffrage.
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