Guest Speakers for Earth Week 2009: The Future of Utah
Founder, Weather Channel and TV Weatherman, KUSI
"Being a TV weatherman in San Diego is an outrageous scam," says KUSI NEWS' 6, 10 and 11 PM
weathercaster. Then he laughs. He knows there is plenty of truth in his joke, but he also knows its a long
way from the whole story.
"Actually there is plenty of weather to forecast in San Diego from the morning marine cloud and fog
banks to frosty nights and heat waves. There are Pacific winter storms, El Ninos and La Ninas, Santa
Anas, SOSA's (Sort Of Santa Anas), WOFs (Walls of Fog) that come ashore following Santa Anas, June
Gloom and there are mountain snow storms and summer heat waves. There are droughts and floods. We
have plenty of weather. But we also have long spells of wonderful sunny, mild weather. San Diego is
famous for our good weather. It's what makes this America's Finest City." That is the meteorological
monologue that follows John Coleman's scam joke.
John Coleman has been a TV weatherman since he was a freshman in college in 1953 and TV was brand
new. He has been a TV weatherman in Champaign, Peoria and Chicago, Illinois; Omaha, Nebraska,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin and New York City. For seven years he was the weatherman on "Good Morning,
America" on the ABC Network.
John also cooked up the idea of a cable channel devoted to nothing but weather and spent six years
developing "The Weather Channel" on cable. "That's my baby", he says. "The bad guys took it away from
me, but they can't steal the fact that it was my idea and I started it and ran it for the first year. I put
everything I had into making TWC the success it is."
"As for my "retirement job" at KUSI, it's the most fun I ever had. And the people of San Diego County
have been wonderful to me for well over a decade. That's very, very nice. And, that's all I have to say."
With that Coleman gets down to work predicting the weather one more time.
John R. Christy, PhD.
Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science
Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Dr. John R. Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth
System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville where he began studying global
climate issues in 1987. Since November 2000 he has been Alabama's State Climatologist. In 1989 Dr.
Roy W. Spencer (then a NASA/Marshall scientist and now a Principle Research Scientist at UAH) and
Christy developed a global temperature data set from microwave data observed from satellites beginning
in 1979. For this achievement, the Spencer-Christy team was awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional
Scientific Achievement in 1991. In 1996, they were selected to receive a Special Award by the American
Meteorological Society "for developing a global, precise record of earth's temperature from operational
polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate." In January 2002 Christy
was inducted as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
Dr. Christy has served as a Contributor (1992, 1994, 1996 and 2007) and Lead Author (2001) for the U.N.
reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in which the satellite temperatures were
included as a high-quality data set for studying global climate change. He has served on five National
Research Council panels or committees and has performed research funded by NASA, NOAA, DOE,
DOT and the State of Alabama and has published many articles including studies appearing in Science,
Nature, Journal of Climate and The Journal of Geophysical Research. Dr. Christy has provided testimony
to several congressional committees.
Dr. Christy received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Illinois
(1984, 1987). Prior to this career path he had graduated from the California State University in Fresno
(B.A. Mathematics, 1973, Distinguished Alumnus 2007) and taught Physics and Chemistry as a
missionary teacher in Nyeri, Kenya for two years. After earning a Master of Divinity degree from Golden
Gate Baptist Seminary (1978) he served four years as a bivocational mission-pastor in Vermillion, South
Dakota where he also taught college math. He was featured in the February 2001 issue of Discover
magazine and in a National Public Radio profile in 2004 in which his diverse background was
Dr. Christy has been active in local educational groups. At Grissom High School he served as chairman of
the Facilities committee, helping to secure the new Science wing and Gymnasium and was President of its
PTSA, Alabama's largest, in 1997-98. He also served on the Huntsville City Schools Strategic Planning
Committee and its Finance sub-panel. He is a member of the Huntsville City Surface Water Management
Dr. Christy is married to the former Babs Joslin, a fellow missionary whom he met in Kenya. They have
two married children, Mrs. Alison Fields, an Applied Math graduate of Auburn University and Brian, a
Physics/Math graduate of Auburn and now a graduate student at the University of Maryland. The Fields
are parents of their two grandchildren. Dr. Christy's favorite hobby is gold panning which he developed as
a teenager in California, and he also runs, completing races from 2 to 31.1 miles over rugged terrain.
Roy Cordato, PhD. (Invited)
Vice President for Research and Resident Scholar, John Locke Foundation
Roy Cordato is Vice President for Research and resident scholar at the John Locke Foundation. From
1993-2000 he served as the Lundy Professor of Business Philosophy at Campbell University in Buies
Creek, NC. From 1987-1993 he was Senior Economist at the Institute for Research on the Economics of
Taxation (IRET) in Washington, DC. He has served as full time economics faculty at the University of
Hartford and at Auburn University and as adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University. His publications
include a 1992 book, Welfare Economics and Externalities in an Open Ended Universe (Kluwer
Academic Publishers republished in 2007 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute). His articles have appeared
in a number of economics journals and law reviews in addition to The Christian Science Monitor, The
Washington Times, Investor's Business Daily, The Journal of Commerce, The Congressional Record, The
Orange County Register, The Freeman, Human Events, National Review Online, The Washington
Examiner, Tax Notes and many other newspapers and magazines. In 2000 he received the Freedoms
Foundation's Leavey Award in Free Enterprise Education. He is also a member of the Mont Pelerin
Society and former executive board member of The Association of Private Enterprise Education. Cordato
holds an M.A. in urban and regional economics from the University of Hartford and a Ph.D. in economics
from George Mason University. He also holds a Bachelors of Music Education from the Hartt School of
Frank A. Conte
Director, Communications and Information Services, Beacon Hill Institute
Frank A. Conte edits NewsLink, BHI's quarterly newsletter. He is responsible for all
aspects of BHI's computer infrastructure and the institute's web site. He is also interim
director of the Ray Shamie Center for Civic Enterprise and handles media relations for
the institute. He also coordinates the institute's internship program.
Prior to joining BHI, he was a contributing columnist to the East Boston Sun-Transcript,
and Journal-Transcript Newspapers.
He holds a BS in English and Government from Suffolk University and a MS in Public
Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Documentary Filmmaker & Journalist
Phelim McAleer is a Fellow of the Moving Picture Institute, a New York-based non-profit that identifies
and nurtures promising filmmakers who are committed to protecting and sustaining a free and prosperous
society (www.thempi.org). He is also the joint managing director of New Bera Media, an independent
documentary production company. McAleer directed, produced and wrote “Mine Your Own Business”
(2006) the world’s first anti-environmentalist documentary. The documentary hacks away at the cozy
image of environmentalists as well-meaning, harmless activists. He was also an Associate Producer,
second unit director and researcher on the documentary “Return to Sender” which aired on Canada’s CBC
in February 2005.
From 2000 to 2003 he was the Romania/Bulgaria Correspondent for the Financial Times. He has also
written for The Economist from the region. Previously from 1998 to 2000, he worked for the UK Sunday
Times in their Dublin office.
McAleer started his career as a journalist working for a local newspaper in Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh
known as Bandit country for the ferocity of the IRA campaign in the area. He then moved to the Irish
News in Belfast. At the Irish News, Northern Ireland’s largest selling daily newspaper worked as a
journalist covering the Northern Ireland troubles and peace process before becoming night editor.
He devised and co-produced “The Search for Tristan’s Mum” which was broadcast on RTE 1, the Irish
State television station, in 2005. It featured the case of Tristan Dowse, who was adopted by an Irish
couple at birth and then abandoned in an Indonesian orphanage two years later.
The Search for Tristan’s Mum was selected for and shown at Input 2006, a showcase for the best pro-
grams from national public broadcasters from around the world, the programs was selected by fellow
industry professionals and showcased at Input 2006 in Taiwan in May.
He has been a regular contributor to RTE and BBC radio and television.
Documentary Filmmaker & Journalist
Ann McElhinney is a Fellow of the Moving Picture Institute, a not for profit dedicated to advancing
liberty through the medium of film (thempi.org). She is also is a journalist, broadcaster and producer and
joint managing director of New Bera Media, an independent documentary production company.
Ann McElhinney directed and produced “Mine Your Own Business” (2006).She is a co-producer and
presenter of “The Search for Tristan’s Mum” (2005) an hour long documentary for RTE. The docu-
mentary featured the case of Tristan Dowse, who was adopted by an Irish couple at birth and then
abandoned in an Indonesian orphanage two years later. Tristan’s plight provoked a wave of sympathy and
outrage in Ireland and “The Search for Tristan’s Mum” followed journalist Ann McElhinney in a search
to find his natural mother in Indonesia.
As a result of McElhinney’s undercover investigations into Tristan’s case where she posed as a woman
hoping to adopt she revealed an illegal baby selling ring. Further investigations by the Indonesian police
saw the leaders of the ring sentenced to nine and eight years in prison.
“The Search for Tristan’s Mum” was selected by fellow industry professionals from across the globe and
showcased at Input 2006 in Taiwan in May 2006
McElhinney was an Assistant Producer on the BBC Spotlight documentary “Romanian Twins” (2004)
and featured in CBC’s “Return to Sender” (2005) as the investigative reporter who discovered the story of
Alexandra Austin. McElhinney also worked with CBC as an associate producer and researcher on
“Return to Sender”. Previously McElhinney worked as a journalist with the BBC, Irish Times, RTE,
Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune. She has regularly contributed reports and analysis for RTE’s Six One
News, Morning Ireland and World Report and has been a regular contributor to Orla Barry’s show on
Newstalk 106 and Today FM’s The Last Word show.