Right Opinion

To Dad, From Joe

Joe Bastardi · Aug. 8, 2016

My father reads everything I write. Most of my weather blogs are written very quickly as I need to get information out in a timely fashion. So my mom will print them out and my dad will correct them with a red pen. I guess there are boxes full of corrected blog postings as a result of this. The Patriot Post sharpens up my commentaries, so I don’t know how much red pen it uses on them.

But there was one piece my dad always loved — a takeoff I did on “Julius Caesar” — and my mom mailed it to me the other day. Perhaps you might enjoy it too. So for my father, and in the spirit of Mad Magazine I used to read as a kid, here it is.

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If Caesar Were a Climatologist: Marc Antony’s New Speech

(with apologies to William Shakespeare)

Since some people believe the earth is as warm now (or warmer) than 2,000 years ago, this may be worth the read for those with a sense of humor or maybe, just maybe, still have an open mind on the natural variability of the earths climate.

There are people who believe that parallel universes exist. One may have existed around the time of Rome when the climate was warmer than today. The Romans could have been concerned about Caesar’s stubbornness in dealing with the issue of global warming and took matters into their own hands. So what follows is a parody of Marc Antony’s speech in Act 3, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar. In this world, Caesar was a climatologist and was apparently at odds with the climate models and their backers. The text deletes the responses of the crowd and deals with Antony’s words only.

From “Julius Caesar”:

Friends, Romans, citizens of the world, lend me your laptops and iPhones
I come to bury the notion of cyclical warming, not to praise it.
The evil of global warming lives well after CO2 is spewed into the air
The good of adaption to cycles is never brought up.
So let it be with the ideas of Caesar. The noble Climate Modelers
Hath told you Rome is causing global warming
If it is so, tis a grievous fault,
And grievously are those believing different paying for it.
Here, without the models and their creators
For the Climate Modelers are honorable entities
So are all who follow them, all honorable men
Come I to speak at the funeral of Caesar.
He was my friend, a great climatologist and meteorologist
But the Modelers say he was stubborn
And the Modelers are honorable and always right.
The system Caesar had brought much to Rome
Whose people prospered like no other.
Was this in Caesar causing the warming?
When there was no air conditioning, we created it.
It saved lives. Did this cause too much warming?
But the Modelers say Caesar caused global warming
And the Modelers are all honorable and always right.
You did see the evidence of warmer times
It happened once, twice, thrice
And thrice it turned cooler again. Is this global warming?
Yet the Modelers say we cause the warming
And the Modelers are honorable and always right.
I speak not to disprove what the models say
But I am here to speak what I do know
We all loved our way of life once, not without cause
What causes you then not to mourn for its passage.
O balance of ideas, thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me.
My ideas are in the coffin with Caesar,
And I must pause till they comb back to me.

Yesterday the words of the past experience might
Have stood against the world. Now there they lie
And no one does them reverence.
Oh readers, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to reading the facts
I should the models, and the Modelers wrong
But you know, they are honorable and always right.
I will not do them wrong, I rather choose
To wrong the past, to wrong myself and you
Than I would wrong the almighty honorable Climate Modelers.
But here is a parchment with the seal of Caesar
I found it in his closet, tis his doctorate on Cyclical Climate Change
Which I do not mean to read.
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
And dip their napkins in the oil of his SUV
Yes beg a hair of him for their memories
Which can be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember, we simply must forget.

NOTE: Apparently Barbara Streisand assisted Shakespeare in this parallel Rome. How else could a line from the Way We Were show up?

Have patience gentle friends, I must not read it
It is not meant you know how Caesar studied this.
You are not wood, nor stones, but men
And being men, reading the thesis of Caesar
It will inflame you which could lead to more human-induced global warming.
Tis good you not know what his study said
For if you should then what will come of it?
Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?
I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it
I fear I wrong the honorable Climate Modelers
Whose result stab Caesars Natural Climate change thesis.

You will compel me then, to read his thesis
Then make a ring around the classroom
And let me show you what is in his thesis.
Shall I open this and then will you give me leave?

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now
You all do remember Caesar’s work on climate.
The first time he discovered cycles
Twas on a hot summer evening, in his tent.
The southwest wind bringing in an air mass from Africa
Across the Mediterranean around the back side of a heat pump of high pressure.
Look, in this palace was one Modeler ripped out that passage
See what another did in trying to adjust his data.
Through this page, one of his students turned on him at a conference,
And as he twisted the date to fit the model
The thesis of Caesar was being torn to shreds.
And defending his ideas with evidence of past cycles
If the Modelers unkindly disputed or no
For the modelers were something he welcomed.
Judge how open minded he was about new information
And that was the most unkind cut of all.
For when the modelers he supported stabbed him
Ingratitude, more strong than the traitors arm
Quite vanquished him, then burst his mighty thesis.
And no matter how he brought up the facts
Even at the base of Pompey’s Statue
Which all the while knew he was right, his thesis was ripped.
And oh what a rip that was my countrymen.
There I and you and all the things we relied upon fell down
Whilst new age “latest science” flourished over the hard work of decades.
On now you and see and I perceive, you fell
The dint of pity, these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
The ideas of years and years in Caesars thesis
Here is, marred as you see, with model mayhem.

(Now knowing the facts, the citizenry erupts, but Antony speaks anew.)

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To a flood of mutiny.
The Models and Modelers are honorable, and always right
What incorrect data they have, alas I know not
That they say these things and are always right, and honorable
And will no doubt, with time verify
I come not friends to steal your heart away
I am no Modeler, and not high tech
But you know all me, a plain, blunt operational meteorologist
That loves the weather and that they know full well
That gave me a chance to speak of the cyclical warming of Caesar
For I have neither the math, nor the models, nor the funding, action, nor utterance, nor the power of Hollywood
To make movies on global warming I only speak right
I tell you of which I do know
Show you the ideas Caesar had, poor poor dumb mouth
That I was a Modeler, and had a model
That showed the cycles to be as they are, facts
The stones of Rome would rise up and mutiny
Yet hear me country men, let me speak
Well friends you go to do you know not what
Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your love
Alas you know not, so I must tell you
You have forgot the thesis I told you of
Here is the thesis on climate change
That it has been warm before, it will be warm again and it will cool
From time to time. Moreover it will warm even further
Before it cools again, so that is what has happened
Cycles in the oceans, solar cycles, volcanic activity
Are just a few of the many items that can determine
Our climate. We are in a warm cycle now
Why do we have palm trees all over the place? How have
Our armies conquered to shores once covered in ice?
Just how did men in togas get over the Alps?
Have you ever seen a Roman fight in an arctic parka?
We don’t have too
Cause it’s warm, as war as it was before, but years from now should
Rome not wake up and use a bit of common sense
The empire will fall and the snows will return, all the way to Rome
That is the thesis of Caesar
Here was a climatologist. When shall come another?

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

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