Jul 20 2012

CBS’s Anti-Science Weather Expert

'Severe weather consultant' David Bernard is climate-change denier

What would you call someone who insists the Earth is not warming, but cooling? Or who recommends that a media outlet “cool the global warming mumbo jumbo”?

On CBS Evening News, they call him an expert–the network’s “severe weather consultant.”

Florida TV meteorologist David Bernard makes frequent appearances to talk about weather and climate on CBS Evening News and other CBS News shows. As FAIR and others have noted (Extra!, 8/11; Media Matters, 7/3/12), recent TV coverage of weather disasters tends to downplay the effects of catastrophic climate change.

Bernard, who has appeared on CBS News programs scores of times in recent years to talk about extreme weather events, according to the Nexis news database, has never once uttered the word “climate”–let alone “climate change” or “global warming.”

This omission makes sense when you understand what Bernard thinks of the foremost scientific issue of our era.

Bernard’s Twitter feed (@DavidBernardTV) displays his strong feelings on climate change. He retweets messages from the likes of right-wing climate denier Marc Morano, plugs articles from various climate-change denying pundits and generally derides the notion of global warming:

  • February 13, 2012: Man made global warming not looking too warm these days…

  • June 17, 2012: Excellent explanation of our climate cycle. Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling

  • June 29, 2012: Love @salon but please cool the global warming mumbo jumbo.

    And a Bernard tweet that appears to have been deleted but appears in a Muck Rack archive (7/8/12) betrays his conspiratorial thinking on the issue:

    This is what #climatechange is about. Global wealth redistribution

    That was in response to a story about United Nations efforts to raise money to pay for the effects of climate damage in poor countries.

    When England’s Prince Charles made comments about climate change, Bernard tweeted (6/18/12) that he should “stick to polo.” When Weather Underground posted a video on its Twitter feed about a climate denial conference run by the right-wing Heartland Institute–the group that equated those who accept the existence of climate change with Unabomber Ted Kaczynksi (L.A. Times, 5/9/12)–Bernard (6/8/12) responded, “Why are [you] so afraid of legitimate debate?”

    When Angela Fritz of Weather Underground–who has an MS in Earth and Atmospheric Science from Georgia Tech–pointed out that the debate over the existence of climate change is over, Bernard, who has a degree in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State, replied, “Why no warming for over a decade now?” (You can see the actual global temperature record here.)

    And Bernard’s even a media critic. On July 3, he tweeted:

    I’ve never heard so much so wrong in such a short amount of time on @piersmorgan

    What was “so wrong”? ABC meteorologist Sam Champion was on the CNN show talking about climate change. (“There is no doubt in my mind that we’re seeing climate change.”)

    And a few months earlier (1/14/12), Bernard was celebrating the collapse of climate change coverage with fellow denialists as corresponding to his imaginary drop in global temperatures:

    Hey @bigjoebastardi and @ryanmaue Media coverage of ‪#climatechange‬ kinda coincides with global temp drop lol.

    When the climate activist group Forecast the Facts launched a campaign to call attention to the surprising number of TV weather reporters who are climate deniers, Bernard (1/20/12) responded:

    Science or slander? tv weathercasters called ‪#climatedeniers‬ by @fitzgibbonmedia @forecastfacts.

    Well, what else would you call a weathercaster who rejects climate science as understood by the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the National Research Council and the national science academies of 13 major nations? As extreme weather events become more common–and devastating–CBS viewers deserve to hear an explanation from someone who isn’t devoted to fringe science.

    ACTION: Please tell CBS News that you want to get your information about weather events from someone who understands and accepts climate science–including human-caused global warming.


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