Right Opinion

Crazy Is as Crazy Does

Joe Bastardi · Nov. 25, 2014

Read this Washington Post piece on the idea that global warming (what happened to climate change?) is driving “crazy” winters.

It’s a testimony to a lot of nonsense going on in our nation today, where people have little ability to remember the past and understand that history is what got us where we are today.

Let’s look at last winter. As “crazy” as it was, the fact is that Weatherbell.com, my company, forecasted it well in advance by looking at the winters of 1917-191 and 1993-1994 – before global warming was “driving crazy winters.”

Here’s last winter:

And here’s the blend of analogs for 1917-1918 and 1993-1994 we used in July of 2013 to set up last winter’s outlook for clients – along with anyone who wanted to look – rather than stick our hand in the sand and blame global warming (which is what is actually crazy).

Not exactly the same, but similar.

But “crazy” winters now? The only thing “crazy” here is the idea you can claim that winters were going to be warm with less snow several years ago, but expect to have rational people of good will accept your “crazy"explanation.

Did global warming drive the winters of the late 1970s? The anomalies below are for three consecutive winters, not one.

By the way, November 1976 – which my company used to warn clients about how winter could get off to a fast start this year, and was a precursor to the severe winter of 1976-1977 that had Buffalo headlined due to the harsh conditions and had Time magazine among others speculating on a coming Ice Age – is being challenged for the coldest in 50 years by this November! How is it some private sector meteorologists were looking at this possibility several months beforehand (us), and now we see people claiming it’s global warming?

How much overkill do you need here? Should I pull out the "crazy” winters of ‘57-'58, '65-'66 (DC was closed for a week to 10 days, depending on when you shoveled out), '66-'67, '68-'69, '69-'70, et al, when CO2 was much lower?

You know what’s crazy to me? People refuse to acknowledge the past and then make statements like that of The Washington Post. And here’s something even more crazy: The media today refuse to challenge such things. We have adjustments being made to pre-satellite era temperatures, techniques referred to as normalization, which make previous warm periods look cooler or estimates colder Arctic temperatures that we had no way of measuring the way we do now. The media refuse to hold people accountable for past forecast busts, yet simply accept what alarmists say is going on now.

The “crazy” November we’ve had looks a heck of a lot like one of our big analogs – 1976.

November so far:

It may turn out colder than 1976, as we have a heck of a week of winter weather in front of us, including a major Thanksgiving snow event on the East Coast. There is a chance snow cover on Thanksgiving morning may be greater than the normal snow cover on Christmas day (33%).

Here’s November 1976:

How is it that utilizing techniques that line up past similar events and the overall climate cycles we are in – something that involves many hours of meticulous work, not just looking at a statistical average that leads to a value added forecast – is not the way to explain all this? Folks on the other side of the aisle claim that what we warned people about with the work we did is due to something else they had no idea of. Do they show the examples of how it could turn so cold beforehand? No; they wait until after the fact to explain something they had no idea would or could happen, then claim it’s because of what they said. You can label that technique a bunch of things, but “crazy” would come to mind. And you would be “crazy” to believe it.

The global warming argument is not “settled science.” The fact that the globe overall has leveled off and in the past 10 years cooled some, along with myriads of other indicators, show that.

Past 10 years:

What’s amazing is that we have seen winters become more like they were when the Pacific was colder in the '60s and '70s, and the actual global temps cool a slight bit, but then we find people that have the audacity to blame warming when it’s actually level, or cooling! We’ve had three cold winters out of the last five, one warm one, and one that turned very cold in the mid-winter and went through much of spring. Do you see what’s going on here? There’s been no guidance for cold weather from people pushing the “crazy” weather missive for the cold because of warmth. And because they don’t see it, they blame the agenda (man-made global warming)! Yet those of us whose livelihood depends on it use the techniques to see it, get called deniers, etc., even after our customers get value-added forecasts. What’s “crazy” is a media that trumpets “the warmest year ever” based on one set of data with major, subjective re-adjustments, which ignore more objective data that says prove otherwise. But a complicit and apparently non-curious media does not even question how alarmists could miss so badly a month out! 1976 has been one of Weatherbell.com’s chief analogs since April, and here we are, close to beating November of 1976 for coldest November in the last 50 years.

Settled science is the idea of gravity, or the freezing and boiling points of water. To argue climate is something akin to that is true denial of what scientific reality is and, dare I use the word of choice here (theirs, not mine), “crazy.”

I just don’t get it. How do you trust someone about what they say relative to the last hundred-plus years,when their track record over the past five years shows they can’t see cold when it’s coming? That’s what is truly crazy, not the natural occurrences caused by similar past situations.

Crazy is as crazy does.


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

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