We’ve read about how local-affiliate TV weathermen tend to not believe climate change is man-made and addressable. But a weatherman in Huntsville, Alabama is breaking from the norm. From the Rural Blog:

Dan Satterfield, weatherman at WHNT, “recognizes that many in his audience are ‘climatically challenged,’ and his profession has the power to help those afflicted by science illiteracy,” Lynne Peeples writes in OnEarth, the journal of the National Resources Defense Council. Only about 7 percent of all TV meteorologists work at a station with a designated science reporter, which often turns them into the station expert, Kris Wilson of the University of Texas, told Peeples. (OnEarth photo by Alex Martinez)

“People learn to trust weathercasters and like them, so whatever they say about things like climate change carries tremendous weight,” Wilson said. “By choice or by default, weathercasters end up being the science experts.” Satterfield said he remained unconvinced regarding global warming until the mid-1990s, but repeated exposure to the “overwhelming evidence” of climate change, made him finally say, “Whoa, I need to start looking into this.” After going back to school for a master’s degree in earth science, Satterfield began sharing his views on the air. He expected a backlash from his conservative audience, but “aside from a handful of complaints, the show’s ratings and viewer questions suggested that people were listening,” Peeples writes.

Who would you trust on climate change? Do you get your climate news from your friendly neighborhood (and regional) environmental news consortium?

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