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Skin in the game

20 Mar 2019 | OP ED Watch

Joe Bastardi, a professional weather forecaster, calls for a little fact-based humility on climate. He argues that we don’t know why it’s warming but we do have strong evidence that the warming we have seen hasn’t produced the harmful effects we’ve been threatened with from drought to vanishing snow cover. “In the debate over the fate of the planet, where one side is always pushing hysteria, the weather is plainly not cooperating with the missive.” Thus he says, politely, that climatologists who do not depend for their livelihood on accurate forecasts could learn something from those like himself who do and must therefore pay attention to facts and “confront errors” as “I have had to confront mine”.

Bastardi’s piece contains a series of highly relevant charts for those who like that sort of thing, including increasing Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent since 1967, a reversal of North American drought conditions seven years ago that his company predicted by analogy with the 1950s and based on ocean currents not climate, a decline in tornadoes and especially tornado deaths and a decline in hurricanes. But he goes a lot further, suggesting that the basic models behind climate alarmism are quite evidently wrong.

As a young child… I was given a book in which an entire chapter was devoted to climate. It stated that if the earth warmed, it would snow more because the warming would not be enough to prevent snow in very cold places, and the warming would be from more water vapor. And due to water runoff into the ocean from extra snowmelt, a cooling cycle would begin. I read that 55 years ago. When I got to college, that is precisely what we were taught in climatology. Of course, the sun is involved, and there are people opining that the low solar activity means a little ice age is on the way. I believe too much heat has accumulated in the oceans over the years due to natural processes (perhaps including 200 years of high sunspots) for that to come true. In short, I see a balancing act natural to the system occurring, and humans are observing it…

Negative feedback cycles? Balance? Strong solar influence? These are all important ideas that deserve attention not “derogatory labeling”.

Furthermore, he says

There is no denying the planet is warmer now than it was at the start of the satellite era, and a linkage to the oceans is clearly seen. That being said, where it’s warming gives us a clue as to why it’s warming. More warming in the coldest, driest areas is a function of increased water vapor, not CO2. Because the oceans have warmed, there is more water vapor in the air. I understand the CO2 feedback argument, but as stated before, in the face of the planet’s entire history, why shouldn’t we question that argument?

Why not indeed? As Bastardi laments about the politicization of science, “The purity of what I love is being destroyed…. today’s dialogue on climate and weather in reality have little to do with climate and weather. That’s the biggest shame of all.”

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