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A campaign “fraught with bad science” to deploy TV weathercasters as climate activists is spearheaded by federally funded groups that support shutting down debate on the issue by invoking RICO statutes, contends a leading skeptic of the theory of human-caused global warming.

Marc Morano, editor of the Climate Depot site, highlights a report by NBC News that claims meteorologists are being recruited by George Mason University and the non-profit Climate Central.

The objective of the effort, according to Morano, is “to promote climate change fears on your nightly weather forecast.”

He calls the climate information promoted by the activist meteorologists “pure propaganda,” noting they use 1970 as a starting date for their claim of a recent, dramatic rise in global temperatures.

The 1970s was one of the coldest decades in American history, and had they started with 1950, there would be almost no warming shown, Morano argues.

The Princeton, New Jersey-based group Climate Central sponsors classes and webinars for meteorologists and also shares real-time data and graphics with TV stations.

Since launching its “Climate Matters” education program in 2012, the group has reached more than 500 local TV weathercasters, about a quarter of those working in the U.S.

This week, according to NBC, it is expanding its effort to a wider group of journalists.

Morano points out that Climate Central is funded by federal tax dollars that “helps promote climate fears.”

“So taxpayers are having to pay Climate Central to produce what is often grossly inaccurate and misleading propaganda, which in turn supports the federal government’s agenda,” he writes.

NBC News cites George Mason professor Ed Maibach as a key figure in the effort to recruit weathercasters.

However, as Morano points out, Maibach is not a climate scientist. He has a BA in social psychology from the University of California and a PhD in communication research from Stanford University.

Maibach was a signatory of the controversial letter to President Obama urging the use of RICO statutes against climate skeptics.

Climate Central receives government funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation and private funding from groups such as Grantham Foundation and Rockefeller Family Fund.

Morano cites blogger Paul Homewood, who said it “could hardly be a more incestuous relationship.”

“NASA pumps funding into the Center in order to persuade the public of the terrors of global warming, which in turn will help to maintain their own funding, which can then be used to further ramp up the scare,” Homewood wrote. “It is no wonder Mr Maibach is so keen to sign the (RICO) letter, and silence skeptics.”