More Curtis Media Mayhem

More Curtis Media Mayhem

Who ya’ gonna’ call when you’re looking for the latest expert analysis on the future of the global environment?  Why, Bill “the science guy” LuMaye of Curtis Media’s WPTF in Raleigh, of course. On November 27, LuMaye spent the final hour of his show arguing that because some short-term meteorological predictions for the 2006 hurricane season were off the mark, there is no reason to place any credence in scientific analyses and predictions about global climate change. Here’s what he had to say:

“If just the month before hurricane season began, you heard all these dire predictions and I’m sure, listen, if you’re a scientist, a meteorologist, an environmentalist, a globalist, whatever, you are, I gotta’ believe if you’re that panicked over global warming and these monster storms as predicted in the uh, or portrayed in the Al Gore “Inconvenient Truth” movie, I’m guessing you’re using the same supercomputers you’re using to forecast global warming and it, and it failed miserably.”

He continued:

“Why would you believe anything else that comes out of those computers? I’ve always believed ‘junk in, junk out.’ And it looks as though this humble talk show host might be more right than the scientists.”   

Reality Check:

Well Bill, it is certain that you’ve got a lot to be humble about. You’re also likely to be “more right” than a lot of scientists, but not in the sense of the description that you had in mind. As even amateur, armchair Weather Channel watchers can report, observations and predictions about global warming are about just that – global warming. They are about long-term global trends that show:

  • The temperature of the earth is rising rapidly.
  • This is almost certainly the result of human actions – specifically the explosive increase in the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
  • Over time, this is likely to lead to very serious consequences, including a higher incidence of extreme weather events like high powered storms and disastrous droughts.
  • Unless we get off of our behinds and take action, things are likely to get progressively worse in the near future.

No responsible scientist is claiming to be able to predict with certainty the precise patterns of a hurricane season, or even the weather next week – with or without a “supercomputer.” The point of the climate change predictions is that the changes to our world will occur over time and that the likelihood of serious negative – maybe even cataclysmic – effects will increase dramatically as well. No one can yet predict when and if the next monster storm will hit North Carolina, we just know that there will be more and more negative weather and ecosystem events over time as the planet warms.

The notion that a painstakingly developed, worldwide, scientific consensus has somehow been debunked because one small part of the earth had one storm season that was less severe than some estimates had projected is, well, junk.   

About the author

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.