Thank you for differing view on climate change

To the editor:

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi was the featured speaker at this month’s meeting of the Susquehanna Valley Conservatives. He spoke to a packed audience about the ongoing climate change debate. Some say climate change caused by man-made CO2 emissions is settled science. Joe disagrees saying this is more about politics than it is about science. Before the election of Donald Trump, Bastardi was almost ready to keep silent about his opposition to the climate change indoctrination.

He stated that Trump’s election means there are four more years of free speech on the issue. Trump has been called a climate change denier and threatens to cut funding to the U.N. Climate Change Funds and to promote the full development of all energy sources in America, including oil, coal, solar, wind and nuclear. The Obama administration has attempted to restrict the oil industry and to eliminate the coal industry. Joe Bastardi noted that we have had ‘clean coal’ for years now.

Though not listed in the top 10 climate change deniers this year, Joe told of one year when he was driving along in his car with his son listening to the radio. The announcer listed the top 10 deniers for the year and he was named number six. His son said “Dad, I’m so proud of you.” Though the packed audience at the SVC meeting was predominately in agreement with Joe’s position, the material he shared would be helpful to those who find it hard to believe that the president-elect could take the position he does.

First, while Joe agrees that there has been a slight increase in global temperatures, he does not agree that the use of fossil fuels is the cause. All the efforts at CO2 reduction have caused a tiny slowing of the increase of its release into the atmosphere while it has cost the jobs of thousands of people. Not only that, but warmer temperatures lead to better crop production and the use of fossil fuels historically brought great progress in the human condition.

Joe Bastardi was chief meteorologist for AccuWeather in State College for 32 years and now co-founded his own meteorological company, WeatherBELL Analytics. He has appeared on numerous national network news and weather shows and Sean Hannity calls him the meteorologist for his program. He also was heard on the Mark Levin radio program at the time of the most recent Hurricane Matthew.

Though more and stronger hurricanes have been predicted by the Climate Change scientists, there has been little hurricane activity for the last 11 years and Bastardi says they are not stronger than previous hurricanes. There is just more data gathered now on these storms than ever before.

Joe began his talk citing his belief that God is the designer of the world and the weather systems. To those who don’t believe in God he tossed out just one example of the amazing design that exists in all of nature. He wondered how the atheist could explain the balance between plants and animals. The fact that animals and people need oxygen and release CO2 while the plants do just the opposite by taking in the CO2 and releasing oxygen is a fact that shows an amazing plan to life in our world.

The climate, he suggests, is similarly always trying to achieve balance. It goes in cycles. There have been cold times and warm times in the past and there will be in the future. The events that take place on the sun, events such as volcanic eruptions, ocean and wind currents, and a variety of other factors affect the ever changing climate on earth.

A fellow meteorologist and friend who also previously spoke to the Conservatives group, Joe Lundberg, noted that it is arrogant to think we can predict the climate 50 to 100 years from now when we can’t get the weather right two weeks in advance because there are too many variables. Joe Bastardi also suggested there is a lot of “arrogance and ignorance” in the debate. Usually in science, there is freedom to express divergent viewpoints, but not on this issue. He noted, ‘The bigger the government, the more the government takes the place of God.” And, “Control the energy and the climate and you’ll control the people.” Joe cited the recent statement by a judge that people have a “right” to have a stable climate, as if we are ultimately the ones in control.

The audience appreciated the presentation of Joe’s perspective on this controversial issue mixed in with humorous anecdotes of his family and days as a Penn State wrestler. He also cited his involvement with Bill Nye “the Science Guy” as they debated these questions that was filmed for an upcoming movie.

When one side of scientific arguments is suppressed or ridiculed, many times it is because of fear the other side might be right. Thank you, Joe Bastardi, for your courage to present an opposing viewpoint on an extremely important issue.

Rev. Glen Bayly