How does an organization that reports on the weather insert itself into the debate without getting political? Just take a look at the Weather Company, the parent company of the Weather Channel and Weather Underground.
“We insert climate into every weather story,” says David Kenny, CEO of the Weather Company. “We’re scientific journalists. We start with science and try to tell scientifically based stories. It’s not a political point of view.”
That means a story about Superstorm Sandy doesn’t just discuss the facts of the storm. It also delves into the science behind it—and how that might relate to climate change. A blog from meteorologist Stu Ostro on Weather Underground, for example, goes into detail on the storm’s path, and then explains how climate change plays a part.
In an on-camera segment on the Weather Channel, he stated the issue plainly: “In the wake of Sandy, there have been two opposite, extreme reactions: either, ‘Of course global warming caused it,’ or, ‘That’s balderdash!’ What we need to do take a step back, take a deep breath, and objectively assess what role if any global warming may have played. When we do that, given the storm’s track and meteorological nature, its context amongst other extreme events and patterns in recent years, and what one would expect to see in a warmed climate system and the physical processes involved, a reasonable initial conclusion is that global warming—the changing climate—did contribute to the outcome.”