Paul Douglas, a veteran meteorologist with over 3 decades of experience, revealed to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he never imagined that the planet would be facing a climate catastrophe when he began his a career.
Douglas, who spent 11 years at both KARE and WCCO, told the Tribune’s C.J. that he began to notice in the 1990s that “something had changed.”
“I just started connecting the dots, and that led me to climate change. I didn’t wake up and have an epiphany. It had nothing to do with Al Gore. I was tracking Minnesota’s increasingly bizarre weather when I said, ‘Something’s up,'” he recalled.
But Douglas said that sharing the science on television was not always easy.
“Look, it’s no secret; local television news is a popularity contest,” he explained. “Viewers vote with their remote controls every day, and so if you’re a meteorologist and trying to do the right thing, connect the dots… You know you’re going to piss off 20-30 percent of the audience.”
“Talking about climate change probably was not good for my television career. But I happen to believe that some things are more important than ratings. Life isn’t a popularity contest,” he noted, adding that conservative meteorologists were more likely to be skeptical of climate change.
“Conservatives, because they fear that tackling climate change will automatically lead to bigger government, it’s easier to push back and deny the science,” Douglas admitted. “So yeah, there are meteorologists in this country who are very conservative, who believe there isn’t enough data or the data are inconclusive. I don’t know how much more data you need.”
To help get the word out to conservative audiences, Douglas has partnered with a Republican minister to author a book on why evangelicals should care about climate change.
“As I tell people, acknowledging the science, the data, acknowledging that climate change is real doesn’t make you liberal, it makes you literate,” Douglas pointed out. “It means you’re scientifically literate. You respond to data and facts and not conspiracy theories and fairy tales.”
Watch the video below from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
(h/t: Forward Progresssives)