Friday, September 11, 2009 - Joe Bastardi on Climate Change

The graph contrasts temperature rise, with error bounds, predicted by the IPCC in 2001 (upper pink fan of lines) with the jig-jag variations, with a generally downward trend we have actually experienced since 2001.

The John Madden-like scribbles in the image are by Joe Bastardi,'s tropical and long range weather expert, from his recent appearance on the highest rated national cable news program

See the text of Joe Bastardi's "open letter" and a link to the video on the AccuWeather site:

Here are some excerpts from Bastardi's "open letter" on the AccuWeather site:

An open letter to viewers from's tropical and long range weather expert Joe Bastardi.

... I have always had an open mind on man's input into the climate system. However because I have to be acquainted with long term patterns of changing weather, which is what climate is for any one site, I need to know where we stand against the course of history.

Because of that, I have to be acquainted with the global warming issue in much more than a casual way. It is to my advantage as the chief long range and hurricane forecaster here to develop a working knowledge of where we are and where we are going in the overall global pattern.

To be sure, the cooling now is happening faster than it should because it got so warm in the first place via the super nino of 97-98. The last warm cycle reached its peak in the late 50s when we actually surfaced submarines at the north pole in 1959... IN MARCH! I often wonder what global temps would have been measured at then if we had the ways of measuring we do now. ...

One can pull out as many cases of bad weather in the 30s, 40s and 50s as they can now. I still believe the 3 greatest examples of how bad a hurricane can get in relation to latitude are the 1938 hurricane with 186 mph wind gusts at Blue Hill Mass, the 1944 hurricane that destroyed the Atlantic City boardwalk, and Hurricane Donna which gave hurricane force winds to every state from Florida to Maine. The 1944 hurricane had winds 600 miles in diameter ...

Unlike many people, I am well acquainted and respect the co2 warming idea, but in its pure form, which actually allows for the cooling coming now! There in lies the problem. We can't know till after the period that is coming up through 2030 whether co2 is really a player or not. The threat of not only oceanic cycles cooling the earth, but the suns lack of intensity and increased volcanic and seismic activity could mean that as some papers in the early 90s (and dismissed by many) opined we would be as cold as back in the early 1800s. ...

Common sense dictates that a trace gas needed for life on the planet would not be the cause for destroying life on the planet. Common sense dictates that what has happened before without man can happen again with man. ...

Bastardi's views are similar to mine, as expressed in various Topics on this Blog, see all my related postings at

Also of interest is this 2007 ABC news video ABC 20/20 "Give me a Break" Video.

Ira Glickstein


joel said...

I was very impressed with Bastardi's competence back during the Katrina hurricane track. I saw a bit of his recent comments on TV. Thanks for the citation. -Joel

JohnS said...

Ira, I would like to post your blog on a local email group that discusses different topics. I will, of course, cite you as author. Any objections? John

Ira Glickstein said...

John: No problem. ANYTHING on our TVPClub Blog is "public domain" that is free to copy or link to by anybody in this World (and Beyond :^)

Ira Glickstein

Howard Pattee said...

Ira, do I understand that you believe Fox News is the most reliable news channel? What is your evidence? In my opinion you are confusing popularity with reliability.

Ira Glickstein said...

Howard, it seems you are making an Ad Hominem argument of the following form:

The interview with Joe Bastardi was on Fox News which has a political agenda, therefore what he said in the interview, and re-iterated on the Accuweather web site, is not reliable.

I did not claim Fox News was the most reliable cable news channel, only that O'Reilly is the highest rated in terms of audience size.

If Bastardi was allowed to say the same things on CNN or MSNBC would that make it more reliable, even though they also have political agendas?

In any case, I also provided a link to 20/20 which is on ABC. Are they also politically suspect?

To me the issue is pretty clear:
(1) The IPCC in 2001 made predictions, based on many climate models, that rising CO2 levels, due to human activity (Anthropogenic Global Warming - AGW) would cause average global temperatures to rise at a particular rate, within stated error bounds (represented by the pink fan on the image).

(2) CO2 levels have continued to rise at a rapid rate, yet, over the predicted period, global temperatures have stabilized and even gone down a bit (represented by the jig-jag lines).

(3) Actuality is in the opposite direction from predictions and outside predicted error bounds.

(4) Therefore, however good the many climate models used by the IPCC are at retro-dicting previous trends, the assumption of CO2 causing high rates of warming have been proven to be not very good at predicting the future.

(5) Therefore, the models need to be rethought, with less weight given to CO2 and more to natural cycles, such as sunspot numbers, ocean currents, etc.

Ira Glickstein

PS: Weather is not climate. Generally we need at least ten years of temperature measurements to reliably detect climate changes. Although Bastardi only showed about eight years, if you use actual measurements back a decade, you still see stabilization and a bit of decline.

Howard Pattee said...

I was not making an argument. Bastardi may be right or wrong. I was asking a question. What do you think of the reliability of Fox News?

The question was raised only because it could be interpreted that you were using the high ratings of O'Reilly to support the reliability of Bastardi's views. As I said, I don't find Fox News reliable.

But I agree with you, using the ratings of O'Reilly would be an ad hominem argument.


Ira Glickstein said...

I do not want to turn this Topic into an argument about the relative factual reliability of different networks.

However, since you asked, I would rate Fox news programs about equal to ABC and CNN and a bit better than CBS and PBS and lots better than NBC and, especially MSNBC.

As for Fox opinion programs, they vary (as do the opinion programs on other networks). On average, I would say Fox leans to the right considerably more than CNN and ABC lean to the left. But CBS and PBS lean left about as much as Fox leans right, while NBC and MSNBC generally lean way left.

But, the point of my Topic was the reliability of Joe Bastardi and Accuweather on matters related to weather and climate. I have not heard anyone doubt their expertise or credibility in that arena.


PS: If the Pope appeared on Fox News and spoke about Catholicism, would that make him any less reliable an authority on that subject?

Howard Pattee said...

Ira says, “I do not want to turn this Topic into an argument about the relative factual reliability of different networks.”

Fine. I agree that is a separate controversial subject on which we disagree. (e.g.,The Pew trust poll says Fox is the least reliable major network.)

As I said, my question arose because of what appeared to be your ad hominem use of O’Reilly’s “popularity.”

You ask, “If the Pope appeared on Fox News and spoke about Catholicism, would that make him any less reliable an authority on that subject?”

Of course not.

My point was, If Bastardi appeared on O’/Reilly’s “highest rated national cable news program,” would that make him any more of a reliable authority on the subject?

If not, why do you raise this controversial topic which you do not wish to discuss?


Ira Glickstein said...

You are right Howard, my statement about Bastardi being on the highest-rated cable news program was gratuitous. I did not want to use the words "O'Reilly" or "Fox" in my Topic because I thought that might cause some members of the Blog audience to choose not to watch the video. It would have been better had I simply said "on a recent cable news program".

The fact that Fox/O'Reilly are high-rated is simply due to the taste of the public and does not mean they are any more (or less) reliable than the lowest-rated news. Indeed, I wrote in one of my comments that even *I* think ABC and CNN news programs are more reliable than Fox News.

Ira Glickstein

Ira Glickstein said...

Howard claimed "The Pew trust poll says Fox is the least reliable major network." True (if you don't count MSNBC or NPR as "major"), but here are interesting details!

I checked the latest PEW Survey Sep 13, 2009 and found the following "Favorable" percentages for the Total population polled: "Network TV" (Not broken down to ABC/CBS/NBC) 64%, CNN 60%, Fox 55%, MSNBC 48%, NPR 44%, Wall Street Journal 32%, and NY Times 29%.

For Independents, Fox and CNN did best, with a "Favorable" of 55%, vs "Network TV" 54%, MSNBC 47%, NPR 43%, WSJ 32%, NYT 29%.

So, the major Network TV news programs and CNN are most "Favorable", but FOX is only 5% behind CNN and 7% better than MSNBC, and lots better than WSJ and NYT. Among Independents, Fox is as good as CNN and a bit better than "Network TV". It is far better than MSNBC, NPR, WSJ, and NYT. (To be fair, the news providers with lower Favorable percentages also had high percentages of "Don't know, can't rate".)

By the way, since Fox News has a much larger audience, there are actually more Democrats watching Fox than watching CNN, and more Democrats watching Fox than MSNBC! And, way more Independents!

Ira Glickstein

Howard Pattee said...

The basic problem is that almost all the media are poor at reporting the important news. They are all “rating driven” rather than fact driven. The Pew Research Center poll shows that public respect for the media has plunged to a new low, with just 29 percent of Americans saying that news organizations generally get their facts straight. That figure is the lowest in more than two decades of surveys. All TV news is shallow.

Also, I don’t rely on poll opinions. Actual cases are more significant. In 2003 in a Florida appeals court case, Fox lawyers successfully argued that the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves. This was a case brought by an ex-Fox reporter who was fired for not reporting news she was instructed to report, even though it was known to be false by everyone concerned. This was a good decision for free speech, but it confirms Fox’s lack of ethics and its unreliability. How much more unethical and unreliable can you get?

In spite of the free speech ruling, O’Reilly hypocritically made a big fuss about the “war on Christmas” and argued that we should deny freedom of speech to atheists. What about Glen Beck? Do you agree with Beck’s charge that Obama is a racist?

Our own Department of Defense has discredited Fox’s reliability. Try Google “Fox news unreliability” for 100,000 other comments.

Roger Ailes who runs Fox mouths that Fox News is “Fair and Balanced,” but everyone at that network knows that it has a right-wing political agenda that is established by Ailes. Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdock, is generally regarded as a highly skilled opportunist who will support or blackmail anyone to gain more money and power. Most

Europeans I know believe that Fox News is just the mouthpiece of right wing Republicans. Some Canadians insisted that Fox be removed from their cable. In my opinion, Fox’s belligerent, polarizing commentators mock the integrity of career journalists who have committed their lives to the ideals of objective reporting.


Ira Glickstein said...

Howard, the past election went against my candidate. Despite that, I really believe in the ideal of the democratic republic. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I accept the radical idea that free men and women can govern themselves by voting for leaders and representatives. (As Churchill famously said, "it is the worst form of government - except for all the others!")

CNN, Foxnews, PBS, MSNBC and the Network news programs are equally available to all who have cable. The vote for Favorite news source is taken 24 hours a day, every day. Fox is the top choice even among avowed Democrats!

Yes, as I've said before in this thread, Fox leans right, yet they lead the ratings even though the USA leaned left in the past election. They must be doing something right.

As for the Europeans you know, most are probably "long-haired academics" (if they still have hair :^). Foxnews worldwide distribution includes over 40 countries and is giving CNN a run for their money outside the USA as well. You seem to favor removal of Foxnews from Canadian cable. Why not let the Canadian public make that choice, 24/7/365 with their remote controls. Don't you believe in democratic choice?

Ira Glickstein

PS: I often listen to Air America Radio, the left-wing-loons on my XM Satellite radio. Based on their ratings, they are now down to me and three other people :^)

joel said...

The bias of the Liberal media is blatant and shameless as in the case of Dan Rather. It's important to our freedom for sources like Fox to exist. Fox and Glen Beck were the only cable news sources to publicize the corrupt behavior at various offices of Acorn. Only after hours of discussion and presentation of the evidence on various blogs did NY Times and other liberal outlets feel forced to comment. The internet storm of finally forced the Congress to act. There's a good reason why Thomas Jefferson was a fervent supporter of a free press despite being a victim. -Joel

Howard Pattee said...

Both Ira and Joel evade my points, and Ira misinterprets my facts.

(1)I was simply reporting the fact that some Canadians distrust Fox News enough to exclude it. I certainly did not say I favored excluding Fox. Of course Canadians should have freedom of choice.

(2)I also believe in hearing all sides, liberal and conservative. That is not the issue I raised. There are ethical reporters on both sides, although Joel appears to be biased against all liberal sources. Ira equates popularity with reliability.

(3)While there can be no legal limits to free speech, we all have ethical limits. Knowingly broadcasting lies is one of my limits. Glen Beck's hateful and demagogic harangues is another.

Apparently, Ira and Joel have a very "liberal" set of ethics.


Ira Glickstein said...

Howard, "error of ommission" is equally damaging as an "error of commission". The failure of a news network, due to ideological bias, to broadcast an important and true story is equivalent to broadcasting a lie.

Your earlier Comment in this thread that "Fox lawyers successfully argued that the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports ..." was not accompanied by a web link. I Googled, and it has to do with a report on a local afilliate, not owned by Fox, a 1997 story about BGH (bovine growth hormone which was approved in 1993 by the FDA).

According to the St. Petersburg Times the reporters in this case protested when station management demanded that they include some statements by Monsanto in their critical report about BGH, and their story never aired. They were fired for insubordination and sued, claiming they were wrongfully let go.

The jury verdict gave a limited victory to one of the two reporters, but it was later reversed by an appeals court.

Ira Glickstein

Howard Pattee said...

Ira claims that an, "error of omission" is equally damaging as an "error of commission".
That is obvious for some cases, but not likely in other cases. Failure to warn of an attack by an enemy can be as damaging as false or misleading information about the attack.

On the other hand, we are ignorant of most information. If you Google “latest headlines” from blogs you get about 30 million responses, some of which may be very important. I don’t see how failure to broadcast all this information can be “equivalent to a lie” as Ira says.

In most cases this failure is not nearly as damaging as broadcasting a specific falsehood calculated to do damage.

Ira Glickstein said...

Right, Howard, no news organization can possibly report news about all "30 million" "latest headlines". So, failure to do so is not equivalent to a lie.

However, if there is an ideologically-oriented pattern of what is not reported, that can be equivalent to a lie.

Ira Glickstein