A 'Guess' of
Possibly the most listened to men in Cleveland all got together Tuesday February 13, 2007 at Landerhaven for Executive Caterer's Corporate Club luncheon.
Who were these men that have everybody tuning in to hear their opinions and offer a glimpse into the future? None other than Cleveland's weathermen. Joining retired Cleveland weatherman, Don Webster, who moderated the panel, were Dick Goddard, (Ch 8), Mark Nolan (3), Mark Johnson (5) and Jon Loufman (19/43).
Don Webster, Dick Goddard and Mark Nolan
It did not go unnoticed that the weather outside was truly frightful - a snow warning had been issued and we were about to enter into the worst weather this area has had since the early 90's.
The men kidded each other and reminisced a bit. For example, Don Webster asked Dick Goddard: "So tell me, when the big flood came did you call Noah or did Noah call you?" Dick Goddard responded: "Well Noah was 2 years ahead of me in High School so he called me."
Mark Johnson to Mark Nolan after tugging at Dick Goddard's hair: "Nolan you owe me $20 bucks - it's real".
Dick Goddard: "If a group of lions is a pride and a group of geese are called a gaggle, what do you call a group of weathermen? A Guess!"
But they also added some very serious content to their humor.
A "Guess" of Cleveland Weathermen:
Mark Nolan, Don Webster,
Dick Goddard and Mark Johnson
Don Webster asked each for their opinion of Global Warming. John Loufman quickly pointed out that only 0.36% of the atmosphere is made up of carbon dioxide. "Carbon dioxide" he said "is not the No. 1 greenhouse gas - water vapor is." He also added that the thirteenth century experienced a significant global warming.
Mark Nolan reminded everyone that 18 thousand years ago the very space we were sitting on was covered in ice. He asked "Which is more arrogant: to think we caused global warming or to think we can change it?"
Dick Goddard acknowledged that there is indeed some type of global warming but just what kind or to what extent is a question. He points out that deep in the Arctic Circle banana stalks were discovered, indicating that at some time that area was tropical. In his opinion greenhouse gasses may be a good thing, but we won't know for sure for about two thousand years.
It was Mark Johnson, however, that really put the idea into perspective. Admitting that the earth may be warmer than ever before in recorded history, he points out that recorded history is less than 100 years of data.
His question was how can 100 years of data predict climate changes on a rock that is six billion years old? He referred to the document signed by 600 scientists attesting to Global Warming and points to the thousands that did not sign the document.
"Don't drink the kool-aid" says Johnson "Consensus does not mean fact." He went on to say "Global warming has gone beyond science and into politics and religion."
Dick Goddard and Jon Loufman
They also talked about the dangers of "Crying Wolf" concerning storms or situations that do not pan out. They agreed that they have a responsibility to be as accurate as possible, and warn people whenever the situation warrants it. In all cases the weathermen reported that management allowed them to make the decisions as to when to break into scheduled viewing and when a situation warranted special coverage.
Dick Goddard also pointed out that the FCC can take away a station's license if they fail to report dangerous weather conditions. They all had stories of breaking into shows with a weather warning only to have irate viewers call and complain.
Don Webster and Dick Goddard also talked about some of the phone calls they have received. Webster was even threatened with a knife by a man who thought he was referring to his mother when he talked about Hurricane Agnes.
Mark Johnson was appalled when someone complained he was a racist after saying to be careful because there was "black ice" on the sidewalks. They had misunderstood him and thought he said "black guys".
On the Mark:
Mark Johnson and Mark Nolan
Cleveland takes its weather very seriously. As was noted by the panel a person maybe interested in a news story to some degree, but they are 100% involved in the weather. It will affect everything they do.
Dick Goddard also stressed the economic impact of their forecasts and the importance of accuracy stating that if they say its bad outside or bad weather coming, people will stay home. Restaurants, movies, stores, and most businesses feel the impact of a weather forecast.
The event was funny and enlightening. The gentlemen did an amazing job. Don Webster, with his long history as a Cleveland weatherman, was the perfect moderator.
It was nice to see this side of the men we look to for our weather. They are very human indeed and are just as interested in tomorrow's weather as we are.
If you have a question or tip about the weather let us know at Weather@ClevelandSeniors.Com
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