What I want to know is why 95 percent or more of the world’s climate scientists, most of whom drive gasoline-driven cars and probably own oil stocks in their 401Ks and IRAs, are engaged in a massive, world-wide conspiracy to push the idea of global warming. What is the incentive for all these presumably normal, well-educated folks to engage in such a pernicious hoax? ...
It just seems implausible to Mr. Wangsness, and many others, that such a “conspiracy” could be formed. And perhaps, if thought of as a conspiracy, they are right. But now think about the processes by which orthodoxies are created and enforced. There are many, many examples in human affairs of large numbers of people—even into the billions— agreeing on the precise details of a complex belief system, otherwise known as an orthodoxy. What processes lead to such huge numbers of people to enter into such an agreement? Clearly part of the process relates to specific rewards and punishments handed out by the people who run the orthodoxy system. But I would suggest that a far bigger part of what makes orthodoxies work is the universal human desire for peer acceptance. If you don’t go along with our official belief system, we will ostracize you!
Some days he would board a plane after the shows to see a venture capitalist about funding his idea, returning in the evening, showering, changing clothes and heading back to work. His sleep was often a nap on the plane and maybe a half hour at his desk. Talk about dedication.
His dream of a national service with localized weather information was realized with The Weather Channel in 1982 when Frank Batten at Landmark and John came to an agreement on a cable weather service. John worked tirelessly on helping us others hire the right staff and detailing the product and programming.
Many of the Weather Channel Pioneers came to The Weather Channel because of John. He was a TV weather rock star. He inspired and coached them in those hard early days as we all were feeling our way in a business for which there was no blueprint or precedent. He wondered whether he was too hard at times on his staff, which he loved dearly. But he felt it was his obligation to make sure they knew what we had to do differently being everyone’s local weather source.
I had the profound privilege to work closely with him at Good Morning America and then at the cable TV Weather Channel. For GMA, John often worked all through the night, helping to put together a quality product for the viewers including a minute feature with the goals of informing and educating. He believed the more the viewers understood, the more capable they would be of utilizing the weather to their benefit.
The seeds of ‘The Weather Channel’ was a dream I first heard about in 1980 that became more and more real in the stillness of the night as while we worked together at Good Morning America in 1980 and 1981. I cherish the memory of long discussions and the promise of a mission that seemed, at times impossible. But John was driven to see his dream happen.
John learned to love weather and nature from his dad, a college professor who had been raised on a farm in Alpine, Texas. John never stopped learning, combining self and college classroom study, observation, and knowledge gained from all the people he worked with.
John and many of the original pioneers chronicle how the Weather Channel evolved in this upcoming book. Those founding members of The Weather Channel had a reunion in 2012 in Atlanta and we were so pleased John celebrated with us there.
So many of our Pioneers responded to his sudden death with expressions of great sadness and recognition of him as a visionary who changed TV weather forever ().
During the latter stages of co-authoring a book honoring the Weather Channel Pioneers (coming soon), John Coleman sadly passed away January 20th at age 83 at his home in Las Vegas surrounded by friends and family. John Coleman retired in 2014 after nearly 61 years in weather broadcasting.
Pioneer, scientist, and meteorologist are all words that were John Coleman. Husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, mentor were the more important words that defined him.
While I hope everyone stays safe and returns to the regular routine soon, I would like to see that plans are being made to prevent future cold-related power-outages and other weather-related problems. As I noted in a previous post, it is suspected that a decline in sunspots means a decline in solar activity.
Coleman’s first job in broadcasting was during his time as a high school student. He hosted a radio show on WCIL in Carbondale Illinois. In 1953, while he was a student at the University of Illinois he got his first TV job at WCIA in Champaign, Illinois doing the early evening weather forecast and hosting a local bandstand show called “At The Hop.” After receiving his degree in 1957, he became the weather anchor for WCIA’s sister station in Peoria, Illinois. Over his career, Coleman was meteorologist in Omaha and Milwaukee and then for 20 years he was the weather anchor for the ABC affiliate WLS-TV in Chicago.
During his time at WLS his pioneering in the broadcast world accelerated. He and his team at WLS developed a format that was coined “happy talk news” where the on-air personalities interacted with each other, a format used frequently today. In 1972, Coleman and his stage crew at WLS-TV created the first chroma key (green screen) weather map, a format used almost universally in TV weather forecasts today.
The storm prompted states of emergency to be issued for parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as officials warned people to stay off the roads.