Right Opinion

Shifting Gears on My Climate Debate Contributions

Joe Bastardi · Jun. 19, 2017

Not because my ideas have changed, but because you can only say the same thing and show the same charts so many times.

There are two blogs I have written that really describe my views on climate.

The first is The Grand Slam of Climate. In this I explain why the big macro drivers that have always governed the planet’s climate are far more likely to still be doing that today.

The second, Short Summation of My Climate Position, lays out three points that sum up for me this whole issue.

I see nothing extreme or irrational about either position. Nothing I would take back now. It’s simply looking at the past and arguing that, given the entire planetary history and reasons for what has happened so far, it’s highly unlikely CO2 is now the control knob of the climate.

But I want this to be a third contribution to that group. From now on, I will focus on how weather events, when they are brought up as “the worst ever,” have happened before. I am particularly nervous about this hurricane season, as sea surface temperatures off the East Coast are very close to the period 1954-1960, when eight major hurricanes ran the coast over seven years! Given the media today, if a repeat occurs, we will need someone who knows where to go to find examples, and that is my niche.

But being obsessed with fighting an issue that to me has wasted far too much of our nation’s time and treasure is no longer something I need to do. It is now akin to the “Monty Python” scene where the Black Knight is guarding the bridge. (One needs a sense of humor about all this.) How many times can you show and refute something before it’s simply getting in the way of what you are meant to be doing?

No matter how many times they’re disproved, climate alarmists keep trying to hold a ground they don’t have.

There are two serious pieces I wish to share with you.

The first, “To Put America First Is to Put Our Planet’s Climate First” — authored by Istvan Marko, J. Scott Armstrong, William M. Briggs, Kesten Green, Hermann Harde, David R. Legates, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, and Willie Soon — is a tour de force in debunking the climate change hysteria that even people behind it have admitted is intended to destroy capitalism. Nothing in the article summed it up better than this:

Ms. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change until last year, openly stated in 2015 that the goal was to overturn capitalism — in her words, “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.”

Which gets me to the second piece. Ms. Figueres is not alone. Some of the quotes here are downright scary. It’s just that climate alarmists are getting bolder about it.

There are people driving this who are now revealing their true motive. What does that say about this debate with which we exhaust ourselves? We are debating a point that, no matter what the answer is, to the side driving it, it doesn’t matter.

Back to the point of how to make more progress for mankind. Five minutes of Alex Epstein’s testimony before Congress was breathtaking to me in making the moral case for fossil fuels as the way to advance the human condition.

Just knowing what is stated in both these presentations should be, at the very least, a cause for skepticism on the whole man-made global warming theory. And remember: When I say skepticism, I mean questioning. If you’re not open-minded enough to see the rational basis for questioning, then you have to deny the scientific methods that have led to man’s advancement: questioning, searching and discovering. Without that, there is no true progress. Keep in mind, this is against a backdrop of stated goals that basically use all of this to achieve an end; the means are intended to deceive to get to the final point.

For someone like me, how many times can we keep showing the same thing?

I have been asked many times for some graphics that people can use to make their points to those who have a different view but have not been exposed to such things. To add to the outstanding pieces above, I have come up with these suggestions.

The first is the lack of discernible linkage between CO2 and temperatures in the entire known history of the planet.

The second is the fact that warmer times were climate optimums. Man does better overall when it’s warm. Most of the current warming has been in polar regions during their respective wintertime. Where most people live, the warming is much smaller, and in the tropics, it’s negligible. In fact, Dr. Richard Lindzen in the article above points out what I have been saying for several years: This may lead to a decrease in extreme weather, because the temperature differences north to south (south to north in the Southern Hemisphere) mean there is less “zonal potential energy” (roughly put, temperature gradient) to fuel storms. In the case of hurricanes, the decrease in global ACE may be because of changes in the global wind oscillation from changes in surface pressures by disproportionate warming. That is certainly different from Al Gore’s prophecies of doom and gloom. Furthermore, it shows that he was not thinking about what he was saying. Or maybe he was simply doing as he was told. In any case, the proof is there. A forecast was made, and it busted, horribly. But here’s the graphic, which shows the ups and downs and what warmer times were called.

The third is using Greenland ice core samples as a metric. When it comes to catastrophic sea level rises, Greenland is the supposed canary in the coal mine. It is not a frozen ocean like the Arctic, rather it’s composed of land with tremendous amounts of snow and ice on it. Using ice core samples as a proxy for temperatures, just like tree rings from a regionalized area can be used, we see how Greenland saw far greater warming during olden times. Over the past 10,000 years, the current “hockey stick” period certainly shows up. But compared to other previous warm periods, it is dwarfed. So why is this metric discounted in lieu of a single tree ring study?

Wait a minute — there is not just one tree ring study! Liu’s tree ring study, which originated in China, shows that this period is no more spectacular than previous ones.

The warming is certainly there, but so are other warmer times that are not in the infamous Hockey Stick study. Yet why is one tree ring study cited religiously while another, less unnerving one is ignored? Perhaps it has to do with Ms. Christiana Figueres’ telling remark above.

Finally to Mr Epstein’s point. Global progress as measured by per capita income and life expectancy has taken off in the fossil fuel era. Coupled with the increase in population, it means more people are living longer and easier lives than before fossil fuels. Is that not a good thing?

This chart shows the progress.

This is my last blog of this genre. I am not going to show example after example of the same thing. Please understand that the problem isn’t a scientific fight. Science is being used as a means to an end. There are wild fights over weather patterns and storms each day, but the pattern and the storms supply answers. People want me to comment on climate. About the major history and forcing of the climate. There is nothing more I can say. Large-scale macro events have far more weight than what is overall a micro contributor. But the battle between economic systems, in spite of my obvious bias toward capitalism and competition, is something that others should be fighting for tooth and nail if they believe in it.

My role in all this is now simple. When called upon for previous events that match or exceed “worst ever” hysteria, I will set the record straight on here. But I can say no more about the conventional argument itself. The conclusion is that the climate has been used as a tool for something that is not related to science. It is very valuable and underappreciated by itself! But it does not have to be a means to an end to have the great value it does. And perhaps that’s another problem — if you enhance the value of something that is your lifeline, then you enhance yourself. But the ultimate irony? The system we have now, which has given people the ability to spread their wings, is the system climate alarmists are now trying to destroy and replace.

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, and contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues.

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