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Friday, April 26, 2013

Wising Up: How a Climate Change Skeptic Saw the Light

Stu Ostro is a Senior Meteorologist at The Weather Channel and was once a climate change skeptic. But, he saw the light when the scientific evidence became too strong to deny:

I used to be very "skeptical" about global warming, unconvinced that humans had anything to do with it or that it was affecting the weather. But then that changed. In fact, a few years ago I was highlighted by The Week as being one of six "high profile defectors," climate change "doubters" having lost one of their "leading lights."

What's up with that? Did I suddenly switch from conservative to liberal? No, in fact I consider myself politically independent. I have voted for Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians. (I've either now assuaged everyone's concerns or irritated everyone, or both!)

Did The Weather Channel pressure me to change my point of view on global warming or what I communicate about it? Nobody at The Weather Channel, its owners or its advertisers has ever done that. I come to my own objective conclusions, and that will never change. Skepticism is a fundamental part of the scientific process, and healthy when in that vein. I continue to look at data with a skeptical eye. However, skepticism is not constructive when it becomes overwhelming and results in being closed-minded and only seeing what you want to see.

So, what convinced me?

I Flew

When my parents, may they rest in peace, took me on my first flights back in the 1960s and 1970s, I recall the atmosphere being very clear once getting above the low-level haze layer. Now, there's usually a milky gook visible, even within a fresh clean cold air mass in winter, not just a stagnant one in August.

Greenhouse gases cannot be seen by the naked eye, but I thought, "If there's all this stuff in the atmosphere that I can see noticeably more than 30 years ago, maybe there's something to that carbon dioxide thing."

Read the rest of Stu's story of how the scientific evidence of Global Warming finally convinced him at My Climate Change