Right Opinion

I am an Innocent Man

Joe Bastardi · Jun. 5, 2014

My mission is to supply value added forecasts to anyone who wants them. As such, when it comes to energy, I could care less where the energy comes from. I need to make an accurate forecast that benefits the client, else the client has no need for me and I get fired. So whether energy comes from wind, solar, natural gas, nuclear reactors, fossil fuels, eating cheetos, snapping your fingers – it does not matter to me. You still have to know if it’s two degrees warmer or two degrees colder than normal. If you worked for an energy company, hedge fund, retail company, city, or almost any thing you can imagine, and you hedged your planning toward our very cold and snowy winter forecast put out before the fact, then you had an advantage over the competition. That is what I do.

Weatherbell.com's 2013-2014 winter outlook

On a more selfish note, one way to earn the most money in this industry is to have energy companies that not only need you for a long range outlook, but in day to day operations. Solar, wind and natural gas companies are the number one client an energy forecaster would love to have. Why? Because not only do they need what fossil fuel companies need – longer term forecasts – but they need to know on a daily basis. A wind or solar company whose products are based on the daily weather conditions would need to know what the weather is doing every day. The natural gas industry, because of hydraulic fracturing, needs to know what its water supply is going to do both short and long term since it costs a lot of money to have a crew on site (and a week of crews sitting around because streams are low could cost millions!). The cold also affects production. So this idea that guys like me are in the pocket of the oil companies is pure hogwash, and people asserting that are lying. My company, WeatherBell Analytics, is aggressively developing products to help lower the costs to greener initiative companies. What’s not to love about energy that, when developed to its fullest extent, will basically have the weather as the determinant to the production cost, not having to drill thousands of feet into the earth and risk a dry well? That would make a meteorologist the most important person in a solar, wind or natural gas operations staff. I cannot believe the people driving the AGW train are getting away with their straw man arguments. It defies logic, and I wonder if they know how ignorant they sound, because renewables are great for what I do!

On a personal level, I want cheap, efficient energy to fuel an economy that is booming so much, it gives everyone hope for a better job, or enough money to live the life they desire. Keeping someone down is not going to keep you up. One of my favorite stories:

“A crab fisherman was once asked why he didn’t put a lid on the bucket that held his day’s catch. He replied, ‘The moment one of them climbs out, the others reach up and pull it back down again.’”

We do the same thing, don’t we? You come back down here with the rest of us! How dare you succeed? How dare you do well? The apostle Paul warned, “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:15)

It is to no one’s benefit to keep another man down.

So my mission is to nail the forecast, and I use climate as a foundation to do so. I am simply seeking the correct answer. Who are you going to go to when you need to make a decision that involves your company – the guy that truly knows what happened and is trying to give you the edge, or someone using weather and climate for another reason?

I say judge the tree by the fruit on it. It is better for me and what I do that alternative energy is developed. It’s a no lose situation because if we have the best products for any energy company, they will come to us. As I said, the alternative energy industry is a meteorologist’s dream come true!

Now compare that with the following. This quote from President Obama’s chief science advisor, John Holdren, written in 1975, displays without a doubt the driving motive in him.

“The United States is threatened far more by the hazards of too much energy, too soon, than by the hazards of too little energy, too late.”

Even then he was banging an anti-development drum!

Then there’s the president, in his own words, promising skyrocketing energy prices.

And finally, there’s this bizarre statement from the EPA, claiming they are concerned about centuries from now!

“Moreover, due to the time-lags inherent in the Earth’s climate, the Climate Stabilization Targets assessment notes that the full warming from any given concentration of CO2 reached will not be realized for several centuries.

Why is this bizarre? Look at the actual CO2 vs. temperature chart. Cooling periods followed major CO2 increases and warming periods followed decreases. We know CO2 is a GHG (greenhouse gas) and has to have some role in the 33 degrees Celsius added to the air from the greenhouse blanket. But who is to say exactly what it is, or what role man has in it? These statements make no sense given the established record and the fact we are well below what the average CO2 has been on this planet naturally!

A great classic example of ignorance about the past leading to arrogance about the future, and leading to misery to many today.

I am not a politician; I am a meteorologist who uses climate to get the right answer – the same way an athlete will use training methods over many years to achieve success. But you be the judge. My motives are driven by the search for right answers; policymakers are driven by agendas. They couldn’t care less about the truth.

When it comes to the reasons for where I stand, I am an innocent man.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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