CCL Action Team Is Leveraging The Power Of Meteorologists

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By Bob Lindmeier, WKOW TV Chief Meteorologist
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Research has shown that meteorologists are considered by the general public to be one of the most trusted sources of climate change information. The Meteorologist Outreach Action Team is reaching out to CCL chapters to in turn reach out to broadcast meteorologists and encourage them to speak out about climate change.

Speaking out about the peer reviewed information of climate scientists is not an easy task for broadcast meteorologists. Issues include resistance from management, time constraints within their broadcasts, time constraints to prepare climate change segments, and insufficient knowledge about climate change, to name just a few. Broadcasts meteorologists need all the support they can get from the general public to encourage them to overcome any barriers that they face.

As a broadcast meteorologist, I can attest to the effectiveness of getting encouraging phone calls, emails, Twitter posts, and Facebook posts from the general public on those occasions  when I speak out about climate change in my weathercasts on WKOW-TV in Madison. I get my share of feedback from skeptics, and those providing encouragement are very important to provide balance and keep me motivated to do more climate change segments.

Leading the Meteorologist Action Team effort are CCL chapters in North Carolina. Since July, NC chapters have recorded 116 communications with 18 different TV stations in North and South Carolina. In one of those contacts, Charlotte CCL member, Mark Taylor, reached out to Broadcast Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of Fox 46 News in Charlotte, NC through email.

Elisa responded “Thank you so much for reaching out! I truly feel privileged and honored to educate the public on the climate crisis. I am so happy I can be even just a small help to organizations like yours.”  

Mark recalls “she broadcast more bold climate change material after I and others in my chapter thanked and encouraged her” A week after the initial contact, Alisa wrote back to Mark “And if you liked some of the recent stories, wait until tonight! I am airing a piece on hurricanes and climate change, in light of the devastation in Nicaragua and Honduras after two major category 4 landfalls.”

To expand our coverage of TV markets across the country in 2021 we will be focusing on a different region each month.  Our January 19th meeting will focus on the Upper Midwest.   It will include: 

  • A Minnesota farmer’s perspective of challenges of climate change – CCL member, Paul Knutson
  • Broadcast meteorology, a conduit for the science of climate change – Eric Sorensen Senior Meteorologist, WQAD, Moline IL
  • How North Carolina Action Team members help Broadcast Meteorologist speak out – CCL member, Mark Taylor

If you are interested, please join for our first action team call of 2021, here are the details:

Posted by Brett Cease on Jan 5, 2021 12:46 PM America/Los_Angeles

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For over a year, I've been trying to interest TV meteorologists in western Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh north to Erie, to begin providing information about the climate crisis and solutions to it, with no luck. This is 'natural gas territory'; so I suppose there is a reluctance to upset their audience. 
I have a conflict on Tuesday so cannot join the meeting. Any thoughts on how to crack this tough nut would be appreciated.
  • Posted Sun 17 Jan 2021 11:30 AM PST
Thanks R Bruce!  Please feel free to join this action team by going here and clicking join to see future training/support: https://community.citizensclimate.org/groups/members/963 and you can also email Richard Larsen, the action team's lead for more support :) 
  • Posted Sun 17 Jan 2021 12:04 PM PST
  • |
Brett, I joined this team.  Ideas on how I find out who are the local Meteorologists in the Bend, Sisters and Redmond or in Deschutes County of OREGON? I do not own or watch TV but I can certainly write them letters or post cards or call them.
  • Posted Tue 12 Jan 2021 08:10 PM PST
Thanks Susan! Great question and feel free to join this action team by going here and clicking join to see future training/support: https://community.citizensclimate.org/groups/members/963 That way you can pose your question for advice on their forums and you can also email Richard Larsen, the action team's lead for more support :) 
  • Posted Sun 17 Jan 2021 12:04 PM PST
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Excellent idea!
  • Posted Sun 10 Jan 2021 09:40 AM PST
Terrific article!!! Working to build relationships with broadcast meteorologists is highly leveraged!!! And it's fun to be able to have conversations with these local celebraties!
  • Posted Tue 05 Jan 2021 08:07 PM PST

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