Ex-AccuWeather's Bastardi Slams 'Ambulance Chasing' by Global Warming Theory Activists

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, meteorologist Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell Analytics -- formerly of AccuWeather -- argued against the view that global warming is causing more violent tornadoes and compared Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's recent comments blaming recent weather disasters on global warming to "ambulance chasing." Bastardi:

It's almost like ambulance chasing after these devastating events that cause misery to people, and then trying to tie an agenda into it.

Host Bill O'Reilly began the segment by playing a clip of Whitehouse as the Rhode Island Senator complained about people who do not believe in global warming theory:

When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us and the rest of the country for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms.

Bastardi began:

Well, there have been major tornadoes before. As a matter of fact, the charts of the major tornadoes show they've been decreasing over the years. They reached their peak in the 50s, 60s and 70s. And if you remember, during the 70s, we were in a global cooling scare. I'm not here to demean anybody. I will debunk them with facts, though. This is not the first time we've heard this situation, comments made. It's almost like ambulance chasing after these devastating events that cause misery to people, and then trying to tie an agenda into it.

The meteorologist then recounted his predictions of more violent weather because of cyclical changes:

About five years ago, I came on your show, Bill, and told you we were going into a time of climatic hardship because of the shift in the cycle in the Pacific to cooler while the Atlantic was still warm. This happened in the 1950s. It's why the 1950s were so volatile with the tremendous tornado activity. The heat and drought in the center of the country and, of course, the hurricane activity up the Eastern Seaboard where Senator Whitehouse seems to be ignorant of his own state of Rhode Island was hit four times in the 1950s. There were eight major hurricanes that ran the Eastern Seaboard from 1954 to 1960. Just what do you think is going to happen if the same pattern shows up again?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, May 21, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:

BILL O'REILLY: Continuing now with our lead story, a killer tornado devastates central Oklahoma. Just hours after the storm hit. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island brought global warming into the equation, criticizing those who don't believe in it.

SENATOR SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us and the rest of the country for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn't just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms.

O'REILLY: And joining us now from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to comment, weather guy Joe Bastardi, who's not a believer in the global warming theory. Now, Joe, a storm like this, though, does raise questions about what's going on in the atmosphere, does it not?

JOE BASTARDI, WEATHERBELL.COM: Well, there have been major tornadoes before. As a matter of fact, the charts of the major tornadoes show they've been decreasing over the years. They reached their peak in the 50s, 60s and 70s. And if you remember, during the 70s, we were in a global cooling scare. I'm not here to demean anybody. I will debunk them with facts, though. This is not the first time we've heard this situation, comments made. It's almost like ambulance chasing after these devastating events that cause misery to people, and then trying to tie an agenda into it.

About five years ago, I came on your show, Bill, and told you we were going into a time of climatic hardship because of the shift in the cycle in the Pacific to cooler while the Atlantic was still warm. This happened in the 1950s. It's why the 1950s were so volatile with the tremendous tornado activity. The heat and drought in the center of the country and, of course, the hurricane activity up the Eastern Seaboard where Senator Whitehouse seems to be ignorant of his own state of Rhode Island was hit four times in the 1950s. There were eight major hurricanes that ran the Eastern Seaboard from 1954 to 1960. Just what do you think is going to happen if the same pattern shows up again?

You're seeing the same things happen in Alaska that did in the early 50s, in Korea, in Europe. So you have a very similar pattern. And it produces, you know, the United States is only one and a half percent of the globe, so it produces this type of weather. The problem, too, is we have so many more people living in the southern United States than we did in the 1950s. I went to Oklahoma City.

O'REILLY: Well, this storm that we're looking at right now, that's one of the most powerful tornadoes ever to hit the USA, right?

BASTARDI: Yeah, it is, there's no question, but the 1925 Tri-State tornado had a path of 180 miles from Missouri into Indiana, and was two  miles wide. When you go back and look at the history and the deaths of, the tornado deaths, which have been decreasing in large part to NOAA and the storm chasers who are seeing all these things before they happened.

(...)