Fox News tried to add some air of credibility to its climate denying narrative. John Coleman appeared on The Kelly File to say that he thinks climate change is a myth, reported Talking Points Memo. Coleman is the co-founder of The Weather Channel which had the Fox News network thinking he was a dead ringer.
No doubt that several Fox News viewers were duped by Coleman’s appearance into thinking that he was the last word on climate change; but, that just isn’t so. Coleman is not a scientist of any kind. ThinkProgress reported that he got a degree in broadcast journalism and worked as a TV weather anchor, a job as difficult as being a toll booth worker or sign spinner. Coleman has no scientific credentials to speak of.
Coleman just doesn’t present hairbrained reasons to explain things like melting ice caps and rising sea levels, he just outright denies these things. However, the ice caps are, in fact, melting. Just about everyone knows that. The Guardian last month published an article describing how new satellite imaging shows our polar ice caps melting rapidly and in significant portions. However, Coleman insists that ice cap sizes are bigger than ever.
Not only does Coleman deny science, but it’s been noted many times that he believes it to be “the greatest scam in history,” he dismisses the near-total consensus that climate change exists as junk science and political hogwash. Coleman thinks that because he’s read “dozens of scientific papers” and talked to a bunch of scientists that he’s an authority on the subject. Reading a bunch of recipes and talking to chefs doesn’t automatically give someone the ability to cook.
Coleman also uses polar bear populations in an attempt to discredit climate science, saying that “more polar bears are alive and happy today than we’ve had in a hundred years.” The problem here is that in-depth analyses have noted polar bear population changes are a difficult way to gauge climate change.
Canadian Geographic notes that there are 19 different polar bear populations around the Arctic region, and their populations fluctuate in different ways. Clamping down on open commercial hunting of polar bears may have increased some populations, but melting ice caps may have hurt others. Some bears are tagged and some are not. Outside of physically counting bears in the wild, there is no fool-proof, accurate way to measure the polar bear population.
Let’s not forget sea levels, which have been risen by 4 to 8 inches in the last one hundred years, according to National Geographic. The rising sea levels are attributed to, not only melting glaciers and ice caps, but thermal expansion, meaning that the water itself is expanding because the water’s temperature is rising.
Coleman is really just an old, Tea Party kook who thinks because he spent decades reading scripts produced by real scientists that he knows what he’s talking about. He’s no more a climate scientist than the president is a Muslim Kenyan. Furthermore, he only ran The Weather Channel for one year after he co-founded it. He’s hardly one to take seriously in the debate.