- The Washington Times - Friday, January 19, 2007

Nobles: James Spann, the gutsy weatherman and climate skeptic who won’t be intimidated by threats of decertification.

This week, the Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen called for the American Meteorological Society to decertify any local TV meteorologist who doesn’t espouse the view that mankind is a “major agent of climate change.” Mr. Spann, just an ordinary weatherman in north-central Alabama so far as we can tell, called this Inquisition for what it is. In a widely noticed blog post on Thursday, he called for skepticism toward the paid shills of the global-warming industry who want to silence their critics. “I would not listen to anyone that is a politician, a journalist, or someone in science who is generating revenue from this issue,” he wrote. “I have nothing against ‘The Weather Channel,’ but they have crossed the line into a political and cultural region where I simply won’t go.”

Follow the money, he says: “Billions of dollars of grant money is [sic] flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story.”

Mr. Spann, for his part, thinks that recent trends in global warming are a natural process. He won’t be scare-mongered into changing his honest assessment that “the climate of this planet has been changing since God put the planet here.”

For thumbing his nose at global-warming intimidation, Mr. Spann is the Noble of the Week.

Knaves: Philadelphia Mayor John Street, for claiming that violent images from Iraq have increased Philly’s gun violence and homicide rate.

Conveniently, the seven-year mayor fails to cite his own ineffective crime-fighting policies.

“I believe the fact that we are a country at war has something to do with the attitude of people in the streets. Let me tell you, it’s not just this city. I have seen it everywhere and I’ve talked to people a lot about it,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News.

Actually, Mr. Street should consider the beam in his own eye first. The mayor has presided over a cut in the city’s narcotics unit, its economic crime specialists and its public-nuisance task force. The district attorney’s budget has been cut in two of the last three years. That’s because the mayor is fighting a pitched political battle against District Attorney Lynne Abraham that all but ensures nothing positive can be accomplished. Meanwhile, the mayor has been lambasted for, among other things, the insufficiency of “Operation Safe Streets” and its failure to deal adequately with youth and gang violence.

For conveniently blaming his city’s murders on a war more than 6,000 miles away, Mr. Street is the Knave of the Week.