A rare thing happened on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor": a climate alarmist and a global warming skeptic debated on American television Nobel Laureate Al Gore's favorite theory.
In the alarmist corner was Bill Nye the Science Guy.
In the skeptical corner was Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi.
Moderating the event, and doing a fine job of it, was Fox News's Bill O'Reilly (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Factor follow-up segment tonight, another global warming study debunked in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study was printed that showed the ocean is 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. global warming guy. Joining us 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 Artic actually happened naturally with volcanic activity last year led to a lot of blocking over the polls this year.
O'REILLY: So, once again, you have a meteorological explanation for what happened.
BASTARDI: Oh yes.
O'REILLY: 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: Bill, you don't want to go here, do you know why? Because I'm going to show the CO2 correlation.
NYE: Do you agree?
BASTARDI: Yes. I also agree.
O'REILLY: 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? When I say warm, enough to melt lead on its surface? Do you agree with that?
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.
O'REILLY: Go ahead, Bill.
NYE: I think you are throwing a red herring in there.
BASTARDI: Oh I am? I wasn't around the time of Creation.
NYE: 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, four hundreds of a percent, it's still quite noticeable and it affects 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 greatest revelations behind casting 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 had hardly any effect at all. And you can see when you extract the data from this trend, you extract trend from this data, the world is getting warmer. It's continually getting warmer. And these data are so compelling that they overwhelm any effect that has, that might have come from this winter.
O'Reilly: Alright, Joe. You reply.
NYE: 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.
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 sun spots back here, back in 1750 and notice that they have been coming up and along with it the temperatures. Basically it comes down to this. If you 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 is going next to nothing because the Earth's temperature is flat lining 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: All right, Bill.
NYE: Actually Joe, Mr. Bastardi, the last 10 years are the warmest decade on record.
BASTARDI: Sure, measuring with satellites.
NYE: 1998 was an especially warm year. 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 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...
BASTARDI: Exactly right.
NYE: ...has, you see it go up and down but the trend is up. Now, what, here is 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 called the other guy an idiot. 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: Let me give Joe the last word.
BASTARDI: Alright, Bill. 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.
NYE: Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
O'REILLY: Let him finish.
BASTARDI: The Pacific Decadal 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 late 70s we were in a cold PDO. We have been warming it up. We are now turning colder. And the fact of the matter is that if I am 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 are right, they are not. But what are we worried about right now? What we have to look at is the next 20 or 30 years.
Kudos to all involved for a lively but respectful debate on this controversial issue.
Maybe more television news outlets should take a cue from this segment and present more such discussions so the public can actually get both sides of this debate rather than just what Gore and his sycophant devotees have been presenting the past several years.