by Ken Stone
KUSI in April 2014
20 years as meteorologist.
via Wikimedia Commons
says the science of global warming is settled, but
the founder of the hugely successful Weather
Channel, John Coleman, says Gore absolutely wrong
and his science is fake.
The world will
not listen to credentialed experts like Coleman,
Willie Soon, Lord Christopher Monckton, Dr. Istvan
Marko and thousands of other climate scientists who
say the same thing about Gore.
Al Gore started it - the "global
But now the retired
weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel is "horrified"
to see San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer channeling the ex-veep
Climate Action Plan.
"It just turns
"I think he saw
money and power, and I don't know what else he thought of it,"
Coleman says of the Republican mayor.
believe he really [felt he] was going to save the city from some
Coleman, 82, laughs
during a lively phone chat from his home near Las Vegas.
not going to go underwater. Period," he says.
"Not in my
lifetime or yours or our kids' lifetime. When the Earth ends in
4 1/2 billion years, it probably still won't have flooded."
He also mocks,
tsunami warning route signs that they put up all over the city,"
which he calls "about as silly as anything I've ever saw in my
The chance of a
significant tsunami hitting Southern California is about as
great as a flying saucer landing tonight at Lindbergh Field.
It's just sheer nonsense."
Coleman also knows
how many people regard his decade-old public arguments. As sheer
"I'm just a
dumb old skeptic - a denier as they call me - who ought to be
jailed or put to death," he says.
how they feel. But you know something? I know I'm right. So I
That's clear from
blog and occasional
political activism - he made hundreds of phone calls (reading a
script) urging votes for Donald Trump during the primaries.
"I went to the
opening of the Trump campaign headquarters in Nevada, and that
sort of thing," he says of the man who labels climate change a
"I went to one
of his rallies."
Coleman aims to
expose what he calls "Algorian" scientists fudging data and taking
billions in government research grants for the sake of career
advancement and economic comfort.
KUSI-TV in San
Diego, with financial backing from the Republican McKinnon family,
Coleman hosted two hour-long documentaries critical of the notion of
manmade climate change.
He did many news pieces.
global warming a scientific issue, not a political one.
"But since it
had become a political issue, [Michael D. McKinnon] strongly
supported my skeptical position on global warming," he says.
"If it hadn't
been for that, I probably would have retired much sooner. [KUSI]
gave me a great platform from which to work."
How did Coleman go
from the clowning meteorologist of ABC's "Eyewitness News" in
Chicago to the Kay-YOOOOOUUUU-Es-Eye crusader against "the greatest
scam in history"?
Several stories are
Charles Homan of
Columbia Journalism Review said Coleman "snapped" while watching an
Eagles-Cowboys football game one Sunday night when TV studio lights
were cut as a "green" gesture.
take it anymore,"
Coleman told Homan
in that 2010 piece. "I did a
Coleman also points
to Gore's Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth"
"I think the Al
Gore movie probably stimulated me more than anything," he now
says. "I'm happy to see that his new movie seems to be less than
But the seeds were
planted decades before Coleman's
Joseph D'Aleo, his
meteorological director at The Weather Channel and forecast
assistant at "Good Morning America."
together in 1977, I guess," he says.
"He's the one
who has taught me about climate skepticism, about Algorian
skepticism, and I learned it through him. And then I learned it
through Willie Soon.
It goes way, way back before 2007."
In January 2010,
responding to an "Other Side" broadcast on KUSI but not using
Coleman's name, research professor emeritus Richard Somerville
of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography issued a 550-word,
to Climate Change Denialism."
In July 2014, John
P. Reisman offered a
to Coleman's arguments in "The
Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam."
On July 1, 2017,
Snopes.com labeled as "False" the assertion -
circulating after Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords -
Channel co-founder John Coleman provided evidence that
convincingly refutes the concept of anthropogenic global
Coleman went on
several national shows after his April 2014 exit from KUSI,
including Fox News (with
Megyn Kelly) and CNN (with
Brian Stelter), to make his case.
confessed to Times of San Diego that his TV turns are drying up.
He says a CBS
production company contacted him about an interview for an hour-long
"And we talked
and talked and everything was scheduled," Coleman says. "And
then two days before the shoot was to occur, they called and
said, 'Sorry, we have to cancel that. Thank you very much
know," came the reply.
all the time."
that there are plenty of people who rip me to shreds, and you
can find strong and powerful put-downs on every topic I'm
But the truth
is that I know all about all that stuff, and I don't give a
rat's ass, because I know I'm right."
In the phone chat,
Coleman was asked about "97 percent of climate scientists" citing
Coleman shot back:
"Do you believe
that? That's sheer nonsense."
He called it a
"totally contrived figure" that gained ultimate currency when it
President Obama... But it's totally fabricated.
research that came up with that 97 percent was done by people
who were looking to produce that figure and had to manipulate
everything they got."
He directed me to
"eight or nine
well-done articles that debunk the 97 percent."
So where did the 97
percent come from?
Coleman's says it's
just the share of scientists who agree the earth is warming, which
even Coleman concedes.
"You've had Ice
Ages and glacial periods, warm spells, one after another,
cycling back and forth," he says. "And certainly man didn't
cause any of them. They're all natural events."
He says the
American Meteorological Society,
in its most recent survey,
"came up with
about 47 percent skeptical, so 53 percent support (manmade
climate change). And that's after the society did everything
they can to promote it.
The society has
been totally politicized. And still they can't get all their
But contacted this
week, AMS spokesman Tom Champoux provided links to
several reports and blogs,
including its 2016 survey of members which found,
"only 5 percent
[of survey respondents] said that climate change was 'largely or
entirely' due to natural events."
assertion that the 97 percent figure is 'totally contrived' and
was 'uttered by President Obama' is in no way accurate," said
Champoux, who pointed to a British science
that "amongst 1,381 papers self-rated by their authors as
stating a position on human-caused global warming, 97.2 percent
endorsed the consensus."
The AMS survey did
find a 53 percent figure, however:
"A total of
4,092 AMS members participated, with participants coming from
the United States and internationally. The participation rate in
the survey was 53.3 percent."
Coleman critique is that billions of dollars of research grants go
only to scientists who support the global warming theory:
"You MUST take
the Algorian side or you're dead meat."
He cites "the great
Judith Curry," an
accomplished climate scientist who left her job at Georgia Tech
"because she couldn't handle it anymore" - reaction to her skeptical
Willie Soon at the
Smithsonian Institute, whose life has been turned to hell
because of his position."
He says the power
of money - $20 billion a year - buys opinion.
"But even THAT
has not produced a 97 percent consensus, so that consensus
figure is a dead-in-the-ringer lie."
But what about that
fact Republicans control the purse-strings?
Coleman is ready.
"Have you heard
the chant 'Drain the swamp'? I don't think the swamp is only
Democrats and bureaucrats...
Lord help me,
the Republican Congress is very unlikely to cut off funding
projects of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute or
Woods Hole or any
of the others.
Party, they're a slimy fish swimming through the swamp."
Coleman agrees that
Trump would like to shut the spigot. But not because he has a strong
position on climate science
It's just for budget savings.
"But I'm also
confident that his family... they're going to have dinner with
him at night:
we got to keep this money flowing.'
So I don't know
how successful it will be. But I know the two most powerful
forces on earth are sex and money. And by God it's really hard
to shut off the money.
And it's really
hard to not go for the sex."
- passed with GOP help?
"Just pure and
total embarrassing nonsense," Coleman says.
darn good reason not to live in California. If I have to get a
passport to come see my son in Palm Springs in the future, so be
it. That state has gotten so silly.
Oh my God, I'm
so glad I don't live there."
He calls efforts to
reduce carbon dioxide emissions,
"an insult to the average American
family," whose energy costs already rise $2,500 a year "because of the
threat of so-called global warming. And that cap-and-trade will
take it up to probably $4,800 a year."
phones away from the kids, or they don't get new tablets so they
can do their homework right. Or the college fund is down. Or
clothes or vacations.
It hurts that family very deeply.
politicians who live on the top edge don't have any
understanding or feeling for the average people. And it drives…
me… nuts," he says, pausing between words for emphasis.
Does Coleman regard
La Jolla's prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography - a
groundbreaker in climate studies - as doing fake science?
"I think that
they are dead wrong," Coleman says.
"I think the
Keeling Curve is
excellent science - the measurement of carbon [dioxide] in the
atmosphere through the years and the development of that good
steady flow of data. That's a very good scientific piece of
But the rest of
pathetic," he says.
"And it drives
me nuts. A fine institution just went… where the money is.
Without that money, hundreds of people would have to be let go."
my video where I tell
about that dispute between [Scripps and UCSD legend]
Roger Revelle and
[his Harvard student] Al Gore?
I gather it
didn't impress you. I'm convinced that it's correct [that
climate scientist Revelle didn't urge action on human-caused
By the way,
that has over a million views on YouTube."
daughter Carolyn said
Coleman and others took his remarks out of context.)
A spokeswoman for
once ranked No. 1 in
the nation for earth and environmental sciences by the journal
Nature - said Somerville's post still holds up seven years later,
and she also noted that,
Coleman was at KUSI he was invited here many times to see the
research in action and talk to scientists. He never came."
office did not respond to a request for comment.
Masada Disenhouse did.
The founder of climate action group
SanDiego350 - who
helped organize the downtown Climate March in April - defended the
mayor and countered Coleman on other issues.
"I think that
the mayor of San Diego took climate change seriously and has
moved to address it is because it's been clear from polling,
elections, growing climate marches and activism, and other
indicators, that the people of San Diego increasingly support
moving to clean energy and addressing the climate crisis," she
said Wednesday via email.
"And when the
people lead, the elected officials who represent them follow."
rejection of a waterlogged San Diego:
Coleman may be in denial about it, coastal flooding due to sea
level rise is already a problem in our coastal areas like
Imperial Beach, Mission Beach and Carlsbad, with some areas
expected to flood regularly at high tide in the next few
says Miami and New Orleans are a preview:
flooding from high tides even on sunny days on a regular basis
In 2015, she noted,
SanDiego350 drew a chalk line
in Mission Beach's retail area to show where high tide
would reach if trends continue until 2050.
defended efforts to wean the economy from fossil fuels.
economy has been growing as it has reduced its energy use per
person and begun to bring down greenhouse gas emissions," she
"In fact, the
renewable energy sector has been hugely successful in
California, one of the
fastest growing job sectors."
But here Coleman
"I love solar
power," he says. "But what does that have to do with climate
change? Not a dibble-dee-do-dot."
He says people
assume that that if he's a climate skeptic or opposed to
cap-and-trade that he's against solar or wind power or
"or I want to
fill the oceans with plastic or something."
"I am an
environmentalist through and through. So don't give me any of
that. My son has solar on his house. And pays $16 a month for
power in Palm Springs, and I'm excited about the future of
He says a day will
come when homes are coated with
graphene paint and
homeowners "disconnect the power line."
Same with the car.
"The age of
fossil fuels and the electric grid will come to an end," Coleman
"Not in my
lifetime, but possibly in yours. Time will tell and it's all
wonderful. Our life is good today not because a bunch of
politicians have made laws and regulations and try to tell us
how to live.
Our lives are good today because of science."