Time after time, the Obama White House has demonstrated a desire to control the message and flow of information, whether it's issues on health care, the economy, bailouts and the latest - climate science.
With cap-and-trade legislation waiting in the wings that would come at an estimated cost of up to $200 billion, or $1,761 per household, according to the Treasury Department, the federal government recently announced a new service to "help businesses adapt to the impact of climate change."
But AccuWeather.com's chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi, who appeared on the Fox Business Network's Feb. 9 "Cavuto," warned there are other implications with the government having an expanded role in climate forecasting. According to Bastardi, it could lead to an effort to shut out other opinions.
"What I'm trying to say is there are a lot of other non-governmental opinions in this debate that have been shut down," Bastardi said. "So I'm asking myself, well, is it going to be like NOAA? They get to say whatever they want and influence things? And then folks that have other opinions aren't allowed to say anything about it or are pushed off to the side?"
Bastardi showed where long-range climate models diverge and explained three factors that are causing the earth to cool.
"Science and Public Policy Institute - take a look at this graph here - since the satellite era, you can see temperatures have been going up," Bastardi continued. "The computer models are up even higher, but we've leveled off in the past 10 or 15 years. The question is, with the natural reversal, the solar activity, the volcanic activity, what I have labeled the ‘Triple Crown of Cooling,' are we simply, in 20 or 30 years, going to be back to where we were 20 or 30 years ago.
And as Dr. William Gray, a hurricane forecaster at Colorado State University, has predicted, Bastardi said changes in the ocean are going to play a significant role in the cooling trend, as he had forecasted.
"Yes, I think that is the answer," Bastardi said. "Part of the reason we got this winter forecast right -- and again I'll show you this winter forecast - is I knew that with the Pacific cooling, we are getting back toward those times in the '60s and '70s. That's where winters are going to go. When the Pacific cools, the Atlantic cools, guess what happens? You cool those big bodies of water, you are going to cool the atmosphere around it. The models aren't capable of handling this. Look at the forecast or the guidance that came out of NOAA for the month of February. At this time, when this came out, we were forecasting brutal cold in February and a top 10 cold February for the United States to my clientele."
Bastardi explained the importance of having accurate weather and climate data and not have a monopoly on a government that could favor a certain policy measure. For example, he explained how this data is used in the private sector.
"I'll give you example what that means," Bastardi said. "You get this kind of guidance, someone that's a retailer, well we don't need any snow shovels; no big deal. Another company, say one of my companies, actually purchased more snow shovels this year because they felt it was - they trusted the forecast. So they made money."
However, with the federal government's entrance into the climate forecasting business, Bastardi said he fears the government would push out competitors and regulate thought.
"But when you get situations like this - and I'm not saying that this isn't guidance that people can use. I'm not saying that. When you start having it so a government agency is literally in some way, indirect way, regulating what people are thinking, then you push other people out that may be people of goodwill and want to compete."