The Bast Effect: summertime in wintertime

by Gareth on March 18, 2012

Forget the Gore Effect1, Chicago — and much of the eastern half of the continental USA — is now experiencing the Bast Effect — a record March heatwave in the Heartland of climate denial. The figures for this heatwave are truly extraordinary. Here’s Jeff Masters:

For the third consecutive day, Chicago, Illinois hit their warmest temperature on record so early in the year, going back to 1872. The mercury hit 82°F, giving the city its third consecutive day of 80°+ temperatures, smashing the old record by a month. Previously, the earliest Chicago had ever seen three consecutive 80 degree days was back on April 14 – 16, 1976.

Masters quotes the National Weather Service:

Chicago and Rockford have both broken high temperature records 3 days in a row and will likely break record highs for 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for 6 or 7 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get on Monday and Tuesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day. At the current pace… it is likely that Chicago and Rockford will not only break… but shatter their current record warmest Marches.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress has a very useful overview of the event, drawing heavily on the views of Masters and the Weather Channel’s Stu Ostro.

Even the most committed US denier can’t fail to notice midsummer weather happening in March, coming on top of a very mild winter. This is exactly the sort of extreme weather event that can drive public opinion in the direction of the need for action. It’s large, widespread and not too damaging (so far), yet undeniable. One can only hope that US politicians notice. And it might be a good idea to invite Bast to give a few talks outside Illinois…

[Badly Drawn Boy]

  1. The occurrence of cold weather in a place where Al Gore talks about global warming []

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Taylor March 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm

As they say, reality has a way of eventually getting your attention…

bill March 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm

We’ll all pay the price for Bast-ardry…

Gareth March 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Or, indeed, Bastardi.

bill March 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Good point! Maybe the fates are trying to tell us something!…

Amoeba March 20, 2012 at 12:28 am

Truth indeed.
The HI are truly Bast-ards, in speech and in deed.

Rob Taylor March 20, 2012 at 1:27 am

With this Chicago heatwave, the denialist turkeys of the Heartland institute all deserve a good Bast-ing…

andyS March 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

There’s probably a few Star Wars metaphors you could be using too.

cindy March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

and oh dear, 2010 is now hottest on record according to CRU, UK Met Office et al, after updating records.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17432194

Bang goes that “hasn’t warmed since ’98” meme!

expect Watts and various Bast-ings to rail about climategate

cindy March 20, 2012 at 1:51 pm
bill March 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Those comments are blackly hilarious! Yep, the bona-fide mouthbreathers are all in the purest of lathers!

The indignant responses to Singer’s tactical repositioning as a ‘lukewarmer’ are another amazing example; the valiant morons are both empowered and entitled – in their quasi-post-modern inversiverse their pure and honest ignorance outshines decadent expertise and learning any day!

andyS March 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I don’t think he ever repositioned as a “luke-warmer”.
The likes of Anthony Watts, Singer, Lindzen, and even good old Monckton accept the basic greenhouse theory, but claim that the feedbacks have been exaggerated, and may be net negative. It seems reasonable to refer to people holding this position as “lukewarmers”.

On the other hand, there is a group of people, who seems to get referred to as the “Slayers” (after the Slaying the Sky Dragon” book) who reject basic greenhouse physics, for whatever reason. Not necessarily outright, but in orders of magnitude perhaps.

Watts et al seem to want to distance themselves from this worldview.

I don’t really see a problem in coming up with a taxonomy of differing opinions or worldviews on climate change.

bill March 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I think you should read what Singer actually said. But my point, Andy, is about people who are never going to let a little thing like evidence stand in the way of what they know to be true.

The various factional schisms within the Church of Denial and the associated approved lexicon for describing these fine distinctions are of little interest to me.

Dappledwater March 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Inversiverse – hey, that’s clever. I’m going to borrow that!

bill March 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm
Rob Taylor March 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

So, the esteemed-in-certain-circles Anthony Watts now stands revealed as just another propagandist, paid to lie and deceive the gullible by Heartland, etc.

Not that it comes as a surprise…

andyS March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

How did you figure out that Anthony Watts is paid to lie?

Do you have any evidence to support this?

bill March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

You know, Andy, it’s been proven that goldfish don’t really have a 3 second span of memory after all. You, on the other hand…

andyS March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Watts was paid a one-off payment from Heartland to create a website to visualise temperature data. We remember that don’t we Bill?

I am looking for evidence that he has an ongoing contract with whoever.

Sourcewatch claims that Watts is a “paid AGW denier”, but I am looking for actual evidence, if you are able to understand what that actually means.

bill March 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Of course, we understand that in your universe being paid $44 000 by the Friends of Tobacco and Friends is entirely unproblematic. (With another $44k in the offing again, IIRC? I’m not sure how this last panned out, but I don’t really think it much matters.)

As an IT guy you can appreciate why you’d give someone who has so brilliantly got to grips with the WordPress ‘twenty-ten’ theme – and even added his own banner and .ico file – that kind of cash for his web-expertise, I’m sure… ;-)

And particularly after his striking previous success with the whole Weather Stations thing…

SourceWatch says ‘Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.’ I’d be interested to see you – or any of HI’s NZ beneficiaries who may be reading this, for that matter – refute this. Apart from hair-splitting re wages or lump sums, of course.

Ian Forrester March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Cindy, here is a great rebuttal for the garbage and dishonesty shown by Watts in his post:

http://nailsandcoffins.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/anthony-watts-misleading-his-readers.html

I bet the “auditors” don’t get around to correcting Watts. “Climate audit” indeed.

Rob Taylor March 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Singer’s repositioning sounds more like the “strategic withdrawal to a previously planned position” favoured by defeated generals.

andyS March 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

What was his previous position then?

bill March 20, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Roughly ‘I never met a profitable pollutant I didn’t love’.

Thomas March 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

In reply to AndyS, What was Singers position?:

Uh I see, now you plead ignorance! How original of you!

andyS March 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I am not pleading ignorance. I am asking for some evidence of Singer’s previous position.

bill March 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm

JFGI, Andy. It’s not like he’s some obscure figure…

Rob Taylor March 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hey, Andy, have you tried this “internets” thing yet? Look what I found without even trying…

Rachel White Scheuering writes that, when SEPP began, it was affiliated with the Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, a think tank run by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church… Scheuering writes that Singer cut ties with Moon, and is funded by foundations and oil companies.She writes that he has been a paid consultant for many years for ARCO, ExxonMobil, Shell, Sun Oil Company, and Unocal, and that SEPP has received grants from ExxonMobil. Singer has said his financial relationships do not influence his research. Scheuering argues that his conclusions concur with the economic interests of the companies that pay him, in that the companies want to see a reduction in environmental regulation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Singer#SEPP_and_funding

But wait, there’s more – this guy must be a freakin’ genius (Not!)

He said … that the temperature trends were heading downwards even as greenhouse gases like CO2 were increasing in the atmosphere.

andyS March 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm

This is still consistent with the “lukewarmer” position though.

You need to provide evidence that Singer rejects the greenhouse effect proposed by Arrhenius.

Thomas March 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

How about this Singer quote: “We are certainly putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2009. “However there is no evidence that this high CO2 is making a detectable difference”.

How further down do you need to go AndyS.?

Look, the Rats are pedaling to shore as we speak. If you Andy are not careful, you will be the last one leaving, and, oh dear, might need to go down with the sinking ship of the denial machine…

andyS March 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Dear Thomas, the statement “CO2 is making no detectable difference” is completely consistent with the luke warmer position. That position holds that CO2 does affect climate, but it is a relatively minor player in the world’s climate

So again, I ask you to find me evidence that Singer has changed his position on climate change

In your own time, chaps

Thomas March 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I don’t in fact care one bit about Singers opinion, but there is ample evidence for you to find that he is in complete support of the denial position on the role of CO2 in our climate. Singer is a paid shill of the polluting industries from smokes to AGW. If you are in doubt about that then please inform yourself in your own time….

andyS March 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Of course you are a paid shill of the wind industry Thomas
I informed myself of that quite a long time ago.

Thomas March 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Paid shill of the wind industry??? Hahahahaha! I AM NOT!

Thomas March 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

On second thought, I think I got it now: AndyS is in fact the anonymous benefactor of the Heatland Institute (has he has been defending them) and probably also in fact paying the bills of Singer and Co (as now he is trying to rescue the lost case of Singers professional reputation). In fact, AndyS is the denial machine himself! Though he is sputtering a bit in reverse gear at the moment as it would seem…
Oh well sockpuppetery is fun indeed, isn’t it Andy Scarface!

bill March 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm

If Andy is ‘The Denial Machine’ they’re toast!

Thomas March 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

Yep, indeed and lets have a toast to that!

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