Meteorologist Says Money Behind Warming Alarmism 'Can Corrupt Anybody'

     A year and a half ago, James Spann questioned the money and the so-called scientific consensus pushing the idea that mankind is causing global warming. Today, he says it’s losing steam. Two imminent surveys of meteorologists may further complicate the climate debate.

     Spann, a broadcast meteorologist for ABC 33/40, an affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., downplayed the future of the global warming movement in a June 13 appearance. He was interviewed by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council for its Washington Watch Weekly broadcast. Spann told Perkins:

     “[Y]ou know, there was some great power in that movement back in January of 2007,” Spann said. “It’s pretty rapidly running out of gas and it just seems like every day more and more people are coming out with the fact that that’s pretty much a hoax. And these are Ph.D climatologists that are pretty much saying what I said all along.”

      In January 2007, Spann received national attention when he wrote a post on his blog challenging a post by The Weather Channel climate expert Dr. Heidi Cullen. Cullen had argued that meteorologists should have the American Meteorological Society (AMS) credentials taken away if they doubt the validity of manmade climate change.

      “If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval,” Cullen wrote for on Dec. 21, 2006.

      Spann fired back on Jan. 18, 2007: “Well, well,” Spann wrote. “Some ‘climate expert’ on ‘The Weather Channel’ wants to take away AMS certification from those of us who believe the recent “global warming” is a natural process. So much for ‘tolerance’, huh?”

     Spann claimed at the time he didn’t know any broadcast meteorologists who were sold on the theory touted by global warming alarmists. Since then, he has managed to find one.

      “Again, one of my statements in that original article – I did not at the time know of a single broadcast meteorologist that was on the global warming bandwagon,” Spann said in his interview. “Now since then – and it’s been a year and a half, I found one, one guy and I know hundreds. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I know meteorologists on television in some of the most liberal markets in this country that agree with me and I did find one – and that’s fine. And I certainly respect his opinion.”

     Spann’s comments about broadcast meteorologists come two weeks prior to the AMS 36th Conference on Broadcast Meteorology, set for June 25-29 in Denver. At the conference, two separate surveys of broadcast meteorologists’ opinions on climate change are set to be unveiled – one by the National Environmental Education Foundation and one by Sean Sublette, a meteorologist for WSET, the ABC affiliate in Lynchburg, Va.

     Spann explained it wasn’t his belief that carbon dioxide was a pollutant, but he told Perkins to understand the motivation of those who say it is – they should follow the grant money.

     “Of course, the root of this whole thing is money,” Spann said. “And, there is a vast amount of wealth being generated by this whole issue. And I always recommend to folks – if anyone speaks on the subject, get a disclosure and find out their financial interests in it.”

     The same claims are often made by climate change alarmists – global warming skeptics are in it for the money from big energy corporations. Spann told Perkins he has never accepted any money for speaking out about global warming alarmism, but he had reservations about money’s effects on government policy pertaining to climate change.

     “When I speak on this topic, I’ve never accepted one dime,” Spann said. “It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other – if warming that we’ve seen in recent years is natural or not. But, there’s a vast amount of grant money going to very, very powerful people and I think that maybe that flows into some of the lobbying efforts and it goes and winds up in Washington.”

      He pointed to former Vice President Al Gore as an example of how money behind climate change and global warming alarmism can perpetuate a theory that shouldn’t warrant as much merit otherwise.

     “I’m not a politician, don’t understand it – I honestly don’t know,” Spann said. “But, I will tell you that there’s a lot of people who have gotten very, very wealthy – filthy rich off this subject. I think former Vice President [Al Gore] collects a minimum of $200,000 per speech on this and all of this money – it can corrupt anybody, and I just think it’s all about money.”

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