Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Bluesky Facebook LinkedIn Mastodon MeWe

Twitter YouTube RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


One Confusedi Bastardi

Posted on 16 August 2011 by dana1981

Joe Bastardi is a meteorologist who, on 06 August 2011, went on Fox News and grossly misinformed its audience on a number of climate-related issues.  You can view the interview here:

A few days later, Bastardi had the temerity to post a comment on tamino's Open Mind blog, repeating many of the same Gish Gallop points, and adding a few new ones.

Re-Writing History

Bastardi began the Fox News interview by saying that the global climate "was as bad...or even worse" in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, as today.  This is a twist on the myth that 1934 was hotter than today, when in fact globally it was the 48th hottest year on record (though it was among the hottest years in the contiguous United States, which is the basis of the myth, but which covers less than 2% of the Earth's surface). 

Somehow Bastardi expanded this myth not only from local (lower United States) to global, but also from one year to three decades!  Not only is this a patently absurd claim that any weatherman should know is absolutely untrue, but Bastardi also neglects the mid-century cooling that "skeptics" usually love to focus on.  It's rather self-contradictory to argue that while the planet cooled after a period of warming, the climate got "worse".  Plus, I thought "skeptics" believed that warmer is better.  Perhaps Bastardi disagrees with his fellow "skeptics" on this point, since he suggested a warmer climate is "worse".

Distorting the Data

Bastardi then commited a major error in discussing human CO2 emissions, both on Fox News and the Open Mind blog:

"...when you look at carbon dioxide, it increases 1.5 parts per million a year.  We contribute 3% of that, which means the human contribution is 1 part per 20 million.  Do you realize how small that is of a trace gas that is necessary for life on the planet?"

This is simply wrong.  While human CO2 emissions are approximately 3 to 5% of global CO2 emissions, because natural carbon sinks are actually slightly larger than natural carbon sources, human emissions are responsible for 100% of the atmospheric CO2 increase.  Which, by the way, is now over 2 ppm per year.  This is the simple accounting which MarkR recently discussed

There's nothing controversial or complicated about this - it's simple addition and subtraction.  It's rather stunning that so many "skeptics" can't seem to comprehend this simple point.

Re-Writing the Laws of Physics

On Fox News, Bastardi proceeded to claim that CO2 can't be causing global warming, because this would violate the First Law of Thermodynamics (energy can neither be created nor destroyed).

This argument is like saying "putting on a blanket won't warm you up because it can't create energy."  As a Scientific American response to Bastardi recently explained, greenhouse gases don't create or destroy energy, but they do effectively trap it in the Earth's atmosphere.  Again, this is really basic stuff that one should get right before posing as a climate expert.

Bastardi went on to claim Le Chatelier’s Principle

"says that any system in distress, physical or chemical in the atmosphere, tries to return toward normalcy. And that is why you’re seeing temperatures level off."

However, as Kevin Trenberth points out, the increase in global temperature is the Earth's way of "returning to normalcy" (a.k.a. restoring energy equilibrium) in response to the increased greenhouse effect.  So Le Chatelier’s Principle isn't going to save us - it just means the planet will keep on warming as long as we continue increasing atmospheric CO2.

Bastardi clearly does not understand the physical principles he invokes here.

Gish Gallop Time

On Fox News, Bastardi then reeled off a number of long-debunked climate myths.  He blamed global warming on sunspots, even though solar activity has been flat for 60 years.  He suggested it could also be due to oceanic cycles, even though the oceans and air have both been warming. He claimed "they can't find the missing heat", which refers to a lack of observational data, and in no way undermines the man-made global warming theory.  And he claimed that the planet will cool in the coming decades, which is a prediction with no basis in reality.  Similar cooling predictions have already fared exceptionally poorly.  Finally, the Fox News anchors and Bastardi both referenced Roy Spencer's recent study; however, his paper contains a number of fundamental flaws.

Global Warming Hasn't Stopped

In both his Fox News interview and Open Mind comment, Bastardi claimed several times that global warming has "leveled off" over the past 15 years.  As tamino noted in response, short-term noise is expected to cause "leveling off" of a long-term trend from time to time.  In fact when we filter out many of those short-term effects like El Niño, solar variation, and volcanic eruptions, we see that global warming hasn't even slowed down (Figure 1).

temps with short-term filtered out

Figure 1: Various average global surface temperature data sets with ENSO, solar, and volcanic effects filtered out (Open Mind)

And as Rob Painting noted in a recent article that was re-posted on Climate Progress and Richard Dawkins' blog, the oceans, where most of the global energy imbalance is going, continue to warm.

Satellite Data is Adjusted Too

In his Fox News interview, Bastardi claimed that

"We have a way of measuring objectively now, not readjusting data...Since 1978 we have been training satellites on the Earth so we can measure temperature without having to readjust things"

Just like mercury in a thermometer, voltage from a satellite instrument must be "adjusted" to obtain a temperature measurement.  Additionally, satellite data must be adjusted further to filter out effects like satellite orbital decay, and the fact that they're peering through all layers of the atmosphere, but we want to know the average temperature of each layer individually.  Satellite temperature data goes through many adjustments, and in fact the difficulty in making those adjustments led Roy Spencer and John Christy to arrive at some very wrong conclusions about global warming in the past.

"Leveled Off" Self-Contradiction

Even worse, while Bastardi considers Spencer's satellite data the global temperature "gold standard", their data show no sign of his claimed "leveling off" of global temperatures.  The UAH lower troposphere temperature trend since 1978 is 0.138°C per decade.  The UAH trend since 1996 is 0.132°C per decade - statistically indistinguishable (Figure 2).


Figure 2: UAH Lower Troposphere Temperature data, and linear trends since 1978 and 1996.

In making his "leveled off" claim in his Open Mind comments, Bastardi specifically references HadCRUT data:

"do you deny the hadley center, hardly right wing idiots like you think we are, has the correct measurements."

In fact Bastardi himself denied that the Hadley Center measurements are correct in his Fox News interview, saying that the satellite data is more accurate.  But yes, as a matter of fact, HadCRUT does have some problems as a global temperature data set.

Many climate "skeptics" like Bastardi have taken to using HadCRUT data recently, despite attacking it in the wake of "Climategate", because it shows the smallest warming trend in recent years.  This is partially because HadCRUT is not a complete global temperature data set, for example excluding the Arctic, where the warming trend is greatest.  An analysis of their data by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) concluded that

"The ECMWF analysis shows that in data-sparse regions such as Russia, Africa and Canada, warming over land is more extreme than in regions sampled by HadCRUT. If we take this into account, the last decade shows a global-mean trend of 0.1°C to 0.2°C per decade. We therefore infer with high confidence that the HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming."

In other words, if HadCRUT were truly a complete global data set, like UAH, it wouldn't show a significant "leveling off" of global warming either.  Bastardi contradicts himself badly by using HadCRUT over UAH, but neither really supports his argument.

Gross Oversimplification

Bastardi's display of utter climate confusion continued on Open Mind.

"How is it, that the earths temperature has leveled off, if co2 continues to rise and it is supposed to be what is causing the rise.. The answer is obvious. it is the earths temperature which is driving the co2 release into the atmosphere. That is what Salby opines, and he is correct."

Here Bastardi shows his misunderstanding of the man-made global warming theory.  The theory does not state that CO2 is the only factor impacting global temperature, or that CO2 and temperature must correlate perfectly.  The theory states that currently, CO2 is the largest factor determining long-term temperature changes.  But the trend is currently only 0.2°C per decade, which can be offset by short-term effects if they align in the cooling direction, as has recently been the case.

As for Salby, Rob Painting has also detailed why his argument (that global warming is causing the atmospheric CO2 increase, rather than vice-versa) is fundamentally (and obviously) wrong.  Aside from the simple carbon accounting approach detailed in MarkR's post linked above, if temperatures are driving CO2 changes, and temperatures have "leveled off", as Bastardi claims, then why have CO2 concentrations not leveled off as well?  This is yet another to add to the staggering list of absolutely glaring errors and contradictions in Bastardi's comments.

Further Physics Failures

In his Open Mind comments, Bastardi then argued that because the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere seems small, it can't have a significant warming effect.

"lets just try to measure the addition of energy of co2, assuming that it is adding energy. The fact is you cant measure it. It is infinitely small. You dont have a leg to stand on"

To be blunt, Bastardi simply does not know what he's talking about.  Scientists have measured the change in longwave radiation on Earth due to the increased greenhouse effect (Figure 3).  Oh, and it's measured by the satellites Bastardi loves so much.

Figure 3: Change in spectrum from 1970 to 1996 due to trace gases. 'Brightness temperature' indicates equivalent blackbody temperature (Harries 2001).

Additionally, the radiative forcing from CO2 is currently far larger than any other radiative forcing (Figure 4).  It's the equivalent of detonating 13 Hiroshima "Little Boy" bombs per second; not exactly "infinitely small".

IPCC radiative forcings

Figure 4: Global average radiative forcing in 2005 (best estimates and 5 to 95% uncertainty ranges) with respect to 1750.  Source (IPCC AR4).

Logical Failure

Bastardi's display of climate confusion in his Open Mind comments didn't stop there:

"after a prolonged period of LACK OF SUNSPOT ACTIVITY, the world was quite cold around 1800. The ramping up of solar activity the past 200 years until now can easily be argued as the introduction of extra energy into the system. Much more so than the argument is co2, which gets shot down since the earths temps have leveled off the past 15 years while co2 is rising."

So Bastardi throws out the man-made global warming theory because he argues that over a 15 year period, temperatures did not follow the CO2 change.  Yet temperatures have certainly not followed (the flat, perhaps even slightly declining) solar activity over the past 60 years (Figure 5).

temp co2 sun

Figure 5: Global Surface Temperature vs. CO2 vs. Sunspots (Stanford Solar Center)

It appears that Bastardi's "skepticism" about global warming only applies to CO2.  He clearly has not applied his "logic" to his own arguments, or he would be unable to argue that the sun is causing global warming.

Bastardi Amateuri

Bastardi's comments on Fox News and at Open Mind reveal a glaring lack of comprehension of basic physics and climate science.  Frankly, he's the last person who people should be listening to as a climate expert.  As tamino described it,

"If reality is even the least bit complicated, if it can’t be summed up in a 10-second (or less) sound bite, if it involves any amount of “take some time and think about that before moving on” effort, it seems too much for him....Unfortunately for Bastardi, global warming cannot be learned, explained, or summarized through snappy one-liner comments."

"...far too many don’t even care to hear about it, and far too many others are tricked into misunderstanding when Joe Bastardi and his fellow fake skeptics offer them the cheap and easy chicken-McNugget version of global warming."

Indeed, Bastardi's arguments are wrong because they're gross oversimplifications of more complicated issues.  However, they probably sound good to people who, like Bastardi, lack an understanding of the physical sciences.  Unfortunately, this describes a significant percentage of the American public, including the audience of Fox News who were subjected to these absurd arguments from an amateur posing as an expert.  The misinformation of these millions of people is the real tragedy of this story.

0 0

Printable Version  |  Link to this page


Comments 1 to 39:

  1. He also made up a phony "trend" for the Hadcrut data from 1996 to May 2011 on his WUWT post. He has the correct graph, but he drew a curved line that ends with an arrow pointing down, even though the actual trend for the 15 year period is a rise of .008C/yr, which comes to about .12C in warming over the period. His line is a fabrication.
    0 0
  2. As bad as Bastardi is, Fox News should be crucified. To have a "news" outlet that knowingly gives a platform for this cr@p is where the real problem lies. And yes, I know, Faux News has lots and lots of issues, and they rather pathetically cross the line for all of them. But to put on a discredited nonsensical weatherman, present him as an expert on global warming, then let him prattle on with what is utter and complete nonsense is just too much. Fox News needs to be crucified.
    0 0
  3. Sphaerica#2: "Faux News has lots and lots of issues" Issues, yes. How about this headline for a 'review' of Spencer's recent Remote Sensing paper? New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism No bias there. We report, you decide, you swallow it whole. But to illustrate the comprehension level of their audience, I overheard someone in a restaurant saying 'and there's new NASA data that proves CO2 doesn't cause the ozone hole!'
    0 0
  4. 3, muoncounter, Which only goes to show the old expression, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't drag him in against his will, drown him, cook him, and sell him as gourmet beef without the assistance of an entire Fox News news team (or at least Fox and Friends Frauds).
    0 0
  5. What I'd like to see is for climate scientists and/or other news outlets/politicians to very publicly call Bastardi and Fox News out for this. Accuse them of airing blatantly false information. Make an ongoing unholy stink about it and the fact that they continue to stand behind the false information despite being supplied with the facts. Because the only recourse the deniers would then have would be to sue for defamation/libel/slander... and there is absolutely no way they could win (at least in the U.S. court system) because the accusations being TRUE is an unbreakable defense. Even if they can prove that you made the accusations with the specific intent of damaging the reputation of the other party, it doesn't matter if those accusations were accurate. I really want to see this stuff end up in court... where there are penalties for making false statements. We've all seen that there aren't any drawbacks for denier politicians, news media, and pseudo-scientists spreading this nonsense... indeed, it benefits their careers. But get them in court and it is a whole different story.
    0 0
  6. What I'd like to see is for climate scientists and/or other news outlets/politicians to very publicly call Bastardi and Fox News out for this. I wonder if it would be better for climate scientists to offer to meet with him and explain, in private, the points he got wrong. Public humiliation and contradiction tend to make people dig in their heels (people like Bastardi, especially). Having a bunch of experts politely demolish his views in private might not cause him to recant them, but maybe it'd make him think twice before saying similarly daft things again. It's a very faint hope, granted. After all, someone who was capable of feeling shame, or learning from mistakes, would probably not be in Bastardi's position. Still, calling people out doesn't have a great track record either.
    0 0
  7. Phila: you're assuming honesty that's not in evidence, I'm afraid ...
    0 0
  8. Phila@6 I would say that this and similar articles would qualify as experts explaining to him how he is wrong. The link to Tamino's Blog is full of people telling him that he is wrong as well as how he is wrong. It does not seem he is listening to them though.
    0 0
  9. Dhogaza: Phila: you're assuming honesty that's not in evidence, I'm afraid ... Oh, I'm not assuming he's honest, by any means. But given his latest comments, I'm thinking that flat-out stupidity may be an even bigger problem. And I'm wondering if it's possible he could be made to feel ashamed of himself, if confronted face to face by experts. I definitely recognize that it's a longshot, though. pbjamm: I would say that this and similar articles would qualify as experts explaining to him how he is wrong. Yeah, but again, that's all very public. And conversations in person tend to be pretty different from online feuding. A group of climate scientists offering to buy Bastardi lunch and explain why he's wrong would (possibly) be different. Online argument allows for a lot more posturing and wiggle room. That's not a prescription, though. I'm just thinking out loud. And I have to add that even if I were qualified to set the guy straight, I wouldn't relish the thought of spending an afternoon with him. Hopefully it won't violate the commenting policy to suggest that he seems kind of...well, unpleasant.
    0 0
  10. (snip) It amazes me that Bastardi and a host of others are even taken seriously. The weather everywhere is becoming more unstable- we have crossed the line into 'Dangerous Climate change'. Heavy rains yesetrday and today in New England- 5" in Boston possible- flooding....ground is saturated- we do not need an errant tropical cyclone.....
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [RH] Removed OT historical/political reference. See comments policy.
  11. He'd never do it, Phila, as you know. He, like his employers, likes the communication to be one-way. If that wasn't him over at Tamino, he's certainly heard about the post/comments by now--and probably read them. I don't think he lacks the intelligence to know that if he crawls out from under the styrofoam rock that is Faux News, reality is going slap him upside the head. Gather funds. Challenge them to a series of debates. Gore could do nothing better with his bank account. Pay them to come out and then expose not just their arguments but the motivations for their adherence to those arguments. Don't do it simply--a one shot, two-hour special. Do a comprehensive job, a two-hour debate for each of the following subjects: CO2, paleo, temp record, sensitivity (over two sessions), models, biosphere, cryosphere, extreme weather, mitigation (over two sessions). If we want mitigation, the democracy must be made responsible, and that only occurs through knowledge. And the U.S. Congress should be forced to watch with head immobilizers and eyelid clamps. Inhofe and Morano get front row seats.
    0 0
  12. Forget climate scientists correcting Bastardi. What I'd like to see is John Christie, Roy Spencer, Pat Michaels, or even Fred Singer--all of whom must know how badly wrong Bastardi messed up his high school level knowledge--correct him. Or get a reporter to ask them if Bastardi is correct. See if they are willing to publicly say he's wrong. I'm sure we all know the answer to what will happen though.
    0 0
  13. DSL: As of yet, there is no statistical verification of increased events of extreme weather. There are hints, but hints don't work as hints have been known to be wrong in the past. As far as variable weather during the later 40's thru mid 70's. I think that depends on where you live. The weather was far from tranquil in the USA during this period.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Everyone. Please stay on topic. This thread is about Bastardi's Fox news interview. Future off-topic posts will be deleted.
  14. Camburn#13: "no statistical verification of increased events of extreme weather." Comment on Linking extreme weather with a statistically significant hint.
    0 0
  15. DSL @ 11, challenge them to a written debate or else you are inviting a victory for them by Gish gallop.
    0 0
  16. The main sceptics have declared total war on you people, they are subjecting you to the biggest campaign of disinformation propoganda in the history of science. Get organised and get in the media, make a big huge noise,keep it clear and simple, dont compromise your integrity.
    0 0
  17. Tom Curtis: I rather suspect that's why DSL suggested a series of debates, each on a specific topic. That way, if they try to start a Gish gallop, the moderator should pull them up, and get them back onto the topic at hand. If they're made to talk about CO2 for even 15 minutes, without being able to throw in "but what about [sunspots|PDO|cooling|whatever]" when they get asked an uncomfortable question, then it should be evident very quickly that they really don't know what they're talking about, and don't actually have anything to rebut the science. Of course, they would almost certainly refuse any debate that puts such limitations on them.
    0 0
  18. Debates are not a particularly good way of discussing science. If one debater feels free to invent facts as he goes along and the other feels constrained to stick to what she knows to be true then the former will almost certainly win the debate. However if anyone does feel inclined to debate any of the "skeptics" I suggest they read first.
    0 0
  19. When will the Public in the USA, as well as in AU- and elsewhere begin to ignore Fox and the likes of Bastardi? From my perspective- what do we need to see with dangerous violent weather to convince these deniers? Ice in the arctic could come close to an extent as low as 2007, with record low volume. What will Bastardi and others say then? A 'Natural variation'?
    0 0
  20. "Ice in the arctic could come close to an extent as low as 2007, with record low volume. What will Bastardi and others say then? A 'Natural variation'? " Wind, they say the wind is melting the ice.
    0 0
  21. Id be curious as to how the great professor Bastardi thinks that clouds keep the surface warmer at night without violating the first law of thermodynamics.
    0 0
  22. The problem with the 'wind' explanation is that the average concentration of the ice pack is currently at an all time low of about 57%. Meaning that the wind forces which sometimes (e.g. 2007) act to create a low extent by causing the ice to 'bunch up' in a smaller area are less in evidence now than at any prior point in the satellite record. Basically, we've got a near record low extent even though the ice is more spread out than it has ever been before... because there is so much LESS ice. However, that won't stop the 'skeptics'. A few years ago the predominate argument they made was that the ice was NOT retreating. Indeed, it was 'recovering'. As that has become more and more obviously ridiculous I've seen an increasing tendency to go with, 'Oh, this is nothing special. We expected this all along. Just a natural cycle. Cycle of what? Well... nature. Duh!' Which is why the 'debate' idea for dealing with them doesn't usually work so well. They just go in and say nonsensical things and stick to them in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Yes, people thinking logically can then see how ridiculous their arguments are... but as we have seen in 'discussions' with 'skeptics' here, there are plenty of people who will respond to complete nonsense with approval of its unquestionable accuracy. Any venue where 'skeptics' are able to make things up with impunity will fail to win over the dedicated disbelievers. All they need is some shred of an argument for why what they want to believe must be right and they will hold to that even in the face of incontrovertible proof to the contrary. We've all seen it. That is why I keep saying these issues need to go to court. Put them in an environment where they are required to tell the truth and 'skeptics' have NOTHING to support their claims.
    0 0
  23. CBDunkerson: I agree, it should go to court. A model can't be used in court to project as that is something that may happen in the future, the different outcomes of the different models shows that it is a crap shoot. You can't prosecute someone for disagreeing what "may" happen in the future.
    0 0

    [DB] Nice goalpost shift, dragging models into the picture.  CBD was referring to actual measurable and verifiable metrics, as you well know.  Forcing reality to contort itself to the skeptics paradigm would entail violating nature and spacetime itself.

  24. DB: Not a goalpost shift at all. Most of warnings of AGW are based on model outcomes. Most of the warnings are temperature related, which are based on model outcomes. The temp response is based on sensativity, which is still all over the place and I do not feel anyone really knows which number is the "correct" number. I think the crux of the whole of AGW should be based on PH of the oceans, the effects of lowering ph. This is documented, the cause well understood and incontrovertable.
    0 0

    [DB] Yes indeed it was a goalpost shift, for the reasons I stated.  Deniers and denialists to this day, like Bastardi, deny measurable metrics of climate change.  That is the point CBD was making.  Broadening it is a goalpost shift.

  25. Camburn: "A model can't be used in court to project as that is something that may happen in the future, the different outcomes of the different models shows that it is a crap shoot. You can't prosecute someone for disagreeing what "may" happen in the future." People have been successfully prosecuted for negligently transmitting HIV based on the fact that the recipient *may* fall victim to AIDS in the future. Despite different models showing different risks of infection as a consequence of unprotected intercourse because we can't pin the risk down precisely, etc etc. I do hope your knowledge of science is better than your knowledge of law ...
    0 0
  26. Throught history climate has varied considerably. We do not really know all the causes of this. Some may think they know, but in reality, it is unknown. TSI reconstructions have huge variations depending on the author. I see charts on here that are totally different than other charts written by scientists that are very qualified and think their chart is the correct one. I don't remember the author of the series on ocean PH, but it was an excellent series. Well presented. This is a valid concern that really can not be disputed. That would stand up in court. The other items of AGW would not.
    0 0

    [DB] "Throught history climate has varied considerably.  We do not really know all the causes of this.  Some may think they know, but in reality, it is unknown."

    You offer unsupported opinion and conjecture only in your spreading of memes.  You may deny what the literature and the state of the science state, but that doesn't change the fact that you do it without scientific basis. 

    Thus the denial.

    Ultimately, this is going far off-topic.  If you wish to "debate" minutiae, please do it on relevant threads, not this one.

  27. DB: What I wrote is true. You are smart enough to know this.
    0 0

    [DB] Camburn, whether I am smart or not is debatable.  The individual components of climate science you lump-sum question are better discussed on the individual threads (many exist) which address them. 

    This thread is about Bastardi's "challenges" in accepting and presenting the science of climate change to the masses.

  28. Indeed, Camburn--that court theory you have is awful. Most of what happens in a court is based on probability and psychology (and often a kind of pseudo-psychology). Good grief, the doubt game again Camburn? Let's say Bastardi gives you a 70% chance for rain tomorrow. Do you take your umbrella with you?
    0 0
  29. DSL: Kinda off topic, but I will respond. NO, I do not take my umbrella with me. The short term forcasts for my area have been so miserably wrong that unless I see rain on the radar, I discount it. rains. doesn't rain.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Yes it is off topic, additionally, your subjective, unsubstantiated assertions concerning the accuracy of weather forecasts for the Dakotas is very likely incorrect. Please limit your posts to discussing which of Basatrdi's assertions you either agree or disagree with.
  30. Camburn, while it is true that there are details of climate change impacts which cannot be proven, that does not change the fact that the overall framework and rough range of climate impacts presented by the IPCC and various other scientific organizations would ALL be admissable in court... while NONE of the rants and delusions of internet 'skeptics' would be. In the United States the determinant is the 'Daubert standard', which requires (among other things) that any scientific testimony be limited to matters which have undergone peer review and are widely accepted by the relevant scientific community. Only a handful of 'skeptic' claims meet the peer review requirement, and literally NONE of them meet the 'widely accepted' requirement. However, the fact that 'skeptic' 'science' would be inadmissable in court isn't really what I was getting at. Rather, I was going for the much simpler concept of 'testimony under oath'... which would preclude, or introduce penalties for, the many blatantly false things which 'skeptics' like Bastardi and Salby have been saying. To take your example... a climate scientist saying what they think will happen based on a model would never be perjury. It might even be admissable as scientific evidence (that is, to be considered scientifically established as opposed to just the individual's view) if it was solidly grounded. On the other hand, Bastardi explaining that 'the greenhouse effect violates the first law of thermodynamics' is provably false. There is no way he could get away with that in court.
    0 0
  31. So you produce a model based on observation. The model outcome predicts that whatever the meteorologist says, the result will be the opposite. You act on this model by discounting the forecast completely. You then apply another model. You check the radar and use your proprietary software to predict the chance of rain. You then act on the model by carrying or not carrying your umbrella. I wonder how often your models are correct. 100%? 90%? Why don't you peruse the "Models aren't reliable" page to see how accurate temp modeling can be? This is entirely on-topic, since Bastardi uses models to predict short-term weather but denies that models will work for long-term climate.
    0 0
  32. "The short term forcasts for my area have been so miserably wrong that unless I see rain on the radar, I discount it."
    Bastardi is probably Camburn's weatherman :-) The accuracy of models is off-topic here. As DSL suggests, if you want to argue about that, please take it to the "models aren't reliable" page.
    0 0
  33. Well, it's OT but I can't resist ...
    unless I see rain on the radar
    You don't see rain on the radar, you see rain on a false-color image generated by a model that interprets data returned by doppler radar ...
    0 0
  34. That first part about us being responsible for 3% of the atmospheric CO2 yearly increase is just incredible... How far does the scientific skills of Mr. "chief meteorologist" go? Addition and subtraction? Maybe not that far?
    0 0
  35. Hey, there's a cool prediction from Bastardi on this Climate Denial Crock of the Week video that could make a fine addition to the Lessons from Predictions series. It starts around 6:30 min into the video.
    0 0
  36. Camburn, Bastardi said several things that are absolutely, demonstrably untrue. Do you agree that they're untrue? If you don't, please explain why. If you do, please explain why you think he said those things. This doesn't seem like a lot to ask, given that Bastardi's errors are the actual topic of this post.
    0 0
  37. As a self confessed sceptic I was really saddened by this interview. I’m sure the guy is an intelligent person who has a much greater potential than dodgy interviews on a news programme renown for being economical with the truth. Come on Joe, you can do better than this, you have the power to do much for the science. Reductionism and black and white thinking is always wrong, whatever side you are on.
    0 0
  38. I may be too late getting in on this, but I feel compelled to make onr comment (although I could make many!). As a physical chemist I have an understanding of LeChatelier's principal. It deals with will defined systems whose states are fixed by c+2 variables. The earth in no way comes close to being the type of systtm to which the principlal can be applied. For the chap in the video to bring the principla into the discussion in the way he does demonstrates that he has no idea whatsoever about the principal and has no hesitation about expounding about science about which his understanding is worse that abysmally poor. I agree that Fox News bears a large burden of reponsibility for this fiasco, but I must also raise a serious objection about someone who supposedly has some scientific credentials so far overstepping the bounds of reponsible scientific reporting
    0 0
  39. I am an artist, not a scientist. So I will speak to the problem of communication. Bastardi is clearly a gifted speaker. He is able to roll complex ideas into 'hooks' to use a song writers term, or 'verbal archetypes' if you prefer, memes might work but... ah well. My point is that Scientists on each side of an issue must find Phd's who are able to communicate with convincing clarity to people outside their personal sandbox. Communicate without bias or condescension (just because someone is not a scientist who also agrees with you does not make them stupid). If the [ - namecalling snipped - ] best Science can come up with... the Climate debate will continue to be debatable for a long, long time. FOR EXAMPLE: Einstein, a man who apparently became coldly cruel to his own rather gifted first wife, was a master at presenting himself as a loveable old duffer to the public. Anyhow, I love reading your debates, they are fascinating. I very much wish that artists could debate as civilly and intelligently as Scientists. Even at your worse you are far finer examples of human civility and respectful disagreement.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [mc] Please avoid gratuitous name-calling; it adds nothing to the civil and intelligent discussion we try to maintain.

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2024 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us