Author to speak on climate change at All Souls Unitarian Church
BY JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
10/25/11 at 6:29 AM
An author on climate issues, and former Weather Channel host, will speak about the science of climate change and its effect on future weather patterns Tuesday in Tulsa.
Heidi Cullen, author of the 2010 book "The Weather of the Future," is the featured speaker at Tuesday night's BookSmart Tulsa event at All Souls Unitarian Church.
Cullen is the vice president for communications at Climate Central, an independent, nonprofit research organization that focuses on climate science and collaborates with various national news organizations.
Cullen focused her undergraduate work on engineering and, after a career in finance, went back to school and did graduate work in natural climate cycles and variability. She said that work led her to focus on the current climate and how changes could affect the future.
Climate is complex, considering multiple factors that contribute to weather patterns and events, she said. Her work so far has been about educating people about climate and how changes - both natural and man-made - affect the planet.
"It's trying to help people understand that climate is like this big orchestra where you have all these different instruments playing," Cullen said. "It's this complex orchestra, within the background now, we can measure and we can see that there is this steady drumbeat of warming - a trend as opposed to a cycle - imprinted on the background of this chaotic orchestra. What scientists are trying to untangle is how does our fingerprint on that complex system, how does it push it in any direction."
Her book focuses on how those changes are affecting weather, especially focusing on how man-made factors are creating a warmer climate, and what that climate might look like.
She also explains how climate is different than weather. Cullen said her interview with Stephen Colbert, the host of the program "The Colbert Report," about her book explained the difference.
"He's the one who said it best," Cullen said. "He said climate is just really thousands of tiny little weathers averaged together."
Climate change has become a politically charged topic, she said. And although she argues that political discussion is good for policy, partisanship damages the process.
"Science that has real policy outcomes, of course it's going to be political," Cullen said. "But we shouldn't allow it to become partisan. We've seen the climate issue become partisan."
Cullen said she hopes to address questions and concerns Tuesday using known and proven science.
Who: Heidi Cullen, author on climate change
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: All Souls Unitarian Church, 2952 S. Peoria Ave.
More information: tulsaworld.com/booksmart
Original Print Headline: Author to talk about climate change
Jerry Wofford 918-581-8310
Heidi Cullen: The author of "The Weather of the Future" is VP for communications at Climate Central, an independent, nonprofit research organization.