On Monday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC's Bill O'Reilly hosted a debate between global warming skeptic Joe Bastardi of Accuweather, and Bill Nye of PBS's Bill Nye the Science Guy, known for recently declaring that it was "unpatriotic" to dispute global warming. Bastardi argued that recent winter weather patterns are connected to El Nino, not global warming. He also linked sunspot activity to warming and cooling trends. Bastardi:
You want to bring up the CO2 argument. Why don’t we just look at the sunspots back here – back in 1750 – and notice that they’ve been coming up – and along with it the temperatures. Basically, it comes down to this: If you look at the strength of correlation to warming, and this is courtesy of meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, CO2 since 1895, you can see the .43, the sun .57, the oceans .85, but since 1998 CO2 has gone next to nothing because the Earth’s temperature is flatlining and CO2 is coming up.
He went to sum what he believed to be the implausiblity of the argument made by those who believe in global warming theory:
So what you have to believe, folks, is this: That the sun plus the oceans plus the volcanic activity plus natural reversal has less effect than the yearly human contribution equal to the width of a hair on a one-kilometer bridge of a trace gas needed for life. So if you want to believe that, you can go ahead and believe that. Seems kind of hard to.
Below is a transcript of the segment from the Monday, February 22, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
BILL O’REILLY: "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight, another global warming study debunked in the journal Nature Geoscience. A study was printed that showed the ocean’s rising because of global warming. Well, now the magazine says, "Sorry, the study was flawed." Just another in a long line of global warming problems, including the resignation last week of the U.N. warming guy. Joining us now from Los Angeles, Bill Nye the Science Guy, who believes in manmade global warming, and from State College, Pennsylvania, Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi, who is skeptical. So, Joe, give me your best shot. Why are you dubious about this global warming business?
JOE BASTARDI Well, first of all, let’s take a look at what happened this winter because there are a lot of people trying to now say that all the cold and snow that we had was because of global warming. This was our forecast issued in July, and then I reissued it again in October. Notice the cold and snow in the mid-Atlantic states, snow down here in Texas, warm and dry up here, wet in California. Now, how did I come up with that? Was it global warming? No. We have an El Nino and a state of the ocean in the Pacific similar to the 60s and 70s when Bill O’Reilly was growing up and there was all that snow. The solar cycles are doing something that is reminiscent to colder times, and, amazingly, amazingly, the very thing that John Holdren opined on last year, blasting soot into the high altitudes over top of the Arctic, actually happened naturally with volcanic activity last year, led to a lot of blocking over the poles this year.
O’REILLY: All right, so, once again, you have a meteorological explanation for what happened.
BASTARDI: Oh, yes.
O’REILLY: Now, Bill, why do you believe – and Joe doesn’t believe in manmade global warming – why do you believe in it?
BILL NYE: Well, the evidence is overwhelming. Do you agree, Joe, that in 1750, the world’s carbon dioxide was about 280 parts per million? Do you agree with that?
BASTARDI: No, you don’t want to go here. You know why? Because I’m going to show the CO2 correlation.
NYE: Wait a second, do you agree?
BASTARDI: Yes, I agree.
NYE: Well, see, so you agree-
BASTARDI: I also agree-
O’REILLY: Wait, wait, Joe, wait. Let him make his point and you can reply. Go ahead, Bill.
NYE: Do you agree that the planet Venus is warm because it has a lot of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere? And when I say warm, warm enough to melt lead on its surface. Do you agree?
BASTARDI: I don’t believe we have the proper measurements of Venus from over 10 billion years ago, so I can’t tell the relationship with the Earth, but maybe you can.
O’REILLY: Go ahead, Bill.
NYE: I think you’re throwing a red herring in there.
BASTARDI: Oh, I am? I wasn’t around at the time of creation.
NYE: So, if you look at these two, this is the carbon dioxide, this is the carbon dioxide in 1750 in parts per million, as represented by fountain pen ink. This is it today, even though it’s a very, very small fraction, 4/100 of a percent, it’s still quite noticeable, and it effects the world’s climate. About your explanation with volcanoes, you know, this is a study done by the IPCC, and this is a timeline and it depicts volcanic activity. And one of the great revelations ... where they showed that there was a correlation between volcanic eruptions and the Earth’s cooling because particulate matter gets high in the atmosphere. Well, it’s only true of volcanoes near the Equator. Mt. St. Helens hardly had any effect at all. And you can see ... when you extract the trend from this data, the world it getting warmer. It’s continually getting warmer. And these data are so compelling that they overwhelm any effect that might have come from this winter.
O’REILLY: All right, Joe, your reply.
NYE: That has sort of nothing to do with it.
BASTARDI: That’s simply not true, Bill. When you blast SO2 into the atmosphere over top of the Arctic, what happens is, it absorbs sunlight, warms the stratosphere, which depresses the troposphere underneath, and cools the troposphere. That can be documented from what happened back in 1912 if you went back and looked at the following winters. But look at this-
NYE: That’s exactly what happened, Joe.
O’REILLY: Wait, wait, wait, Bill, let Joe go.
BASTARDI: You want to bring up the CO2 argument. Why don’t we just look at the sunspots back here – back in 1750 – and notice that they’ve been coming up – and along with it the temperatures. Basically, it comes down to this: If you look at the strength of correlation to warming, and this is courtesy of meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, CO2 since 1895, you can see the .43, the sun .57, the oceans .85, but since 1998 CO2 has gone next to nothing because the Earth’s temperature is flatlining and CO2 is coming up, so what you have to believe, folks, is this: That the sun plus the oceans plus the volcanic activity plus natural reversal has less effect than the yearly human contribution equal to the width of a hair on a one-kilometer bridge of a trace gas needed for life. So if you want to believe that, you can go ahead and believe that. Seems kind of hard to.
O’REILLY: Let Bill reply. Go ahead, Bill.
NYE: Actually, Joe, Mr. Bastardi, the last 10 years are the warmest on record.
BASTARDI: Since we started measuring with satellites.
NYE: 1998 was an especially warm year, as was 2006. Now, what's happened is you showed back in September on this program this graph. And it starts around here 2001, and the idea is that it shows the world cooling off. Well, actually, it's weighted because of the especially warm 1998. When you extract the data as the-
BASTARDI: Exactly right.
NYE: -Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change has, you see it go up and down, but the trend is up. Now, what, here's the question for you, Mr. O'Reilly, for Mr. Bastardi: In whose best interest is this? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change does these studies. They argue about it. That's what ClimateGate was about. The one guy calls the other guy an idiot, and one guy calls his method no good. The other guy says his method is really good. But the world is getting warmer. Carbon dioxide is a very strong greenhouse gas. It has a very long residence time in the atmosphere. It is making the world warmer, along with methane and other human activities. In whose best interest is it to deny this stuff?
O'REILLY: All right, let me give Joe the last word, Joe. Go.
NYE: It’s a mystery.
BASTARDI: All right. All right, Bill. How are you, how are you measuring, when measuring temperatures since the satellite era began in the late '70s at the end of the last, what we call the cold PDO, and what I want to show you here real quick, folks, is-
NYE: Pacific Decatur Oscillation.
O'REILLY: Let him finish.
BASTARDI: The Pacific Decatur Oscillation. If we take a look at this right back here, we see that during the '70s here, and you can see the Time magazine from the late '70s, we were in a cold PDO. We've been warming it up. We are now turning colder. And the fact of the matter is that, if I'm right, and this is the greatest debate ever, Bill Nye, the greatest lab experiment ever. If I'm right, the reversals will lead to a degree to a degree-and-a-half cooling. If you're right, they're not. But what are we worried about right now?
BASTARDI: What we have to look at is the next 20 or 30 years.
O'REILLY: Okay, I'm worried about I have to go to a break. And I am making an appeal to the deity to come on this program and tell us, once and for all, what's going on. Hey, gentlemen, that was fascinating. I would flunk courses in both of your classes. But I really appreciate you taking the time. Thank you for the good debate.