Joe Bastardi…trumps science publications

Aug 17, 2011 From ICECAP

Bastardi calls it right. Discover, Scientific American and Romm are wrong

By Alan Siddons

Clicking an embedded link in Discover Magazine�s polemic against Joe Bastardi will take you to Scientific American’s polemic.
Icecap Note: Joe Bastardi has written this follow up to his brief Fox News interview that got under the skin of the church of global warming, now meeting in New Zealand.


Here’s where Bastardi goes wrong, according to SA:

What climate science says is not that CO2 carries energy into the atmosphere or somehow magically generates it out of nowhere. Instead, it says that CO2 and other gases acts as a blanket, keeping heat from escaping into space. This, as Bastardi should know, is called the greenhouse effect.

Remember that: “keeping heat from escaping into space.”

But this is what else “climate science” will tell you:

Earth’s thermal emission with a greenhouse effect = 239 W/m�

Earth’s thermal emission without a greenhouse effect = 239 W/m�

The same.


For in greater detail, as this “science” purports to explain, the greenhouse blanket reduces the heat spilling out to space but in doing so makes the earth so hot that it spills out what it did before. In other words, the evidence we have of a blanketing effect is that there is no evidence. A blanketing effect is unobservable because the earth releases the same amount of heat with or without a blanket on. Indeed, Scientific American admits this in the very next sentence.

The Earth radiates into space roughly the same amount of energy that it receives from the sun.

So how can SA say that heat is kept from escaping? Or are we to imagine that the greenhouse effect doesn�t yet exist because it is understood to trap heat? 

I don’t know why, but apparently it never occurs to a lot of people that real blankets don’t work the way they do in
“climate science.” In the real world, a heated object emits infrared radiation according to its temperature. The temperature of this object will naturally be less than optimum if it’s also heating its surroundings, however. Insulation reduces such heat loss. Instead of warming the world around it, an insulated object reserves more heat for itself and thereby reaches a higher temperature. Its relative heat gain is the direct result of less heat lost to the environment.

Insulation isn’t a heat source, then; it�’s merely a passive barrier that reduces the rate of loss. An insulator can only make something warmer by making something else cooler. As such, a blanketed object necessarily emits less heat than it did before. But the greenhouse blanket is obviously a different kind of blanket, for the earth radiates the same magnitude of heat with it as without, which can only mean that this blanket IS a heat source.

Those who argue for a passive greenhouse “blanket” are just kidding themselves. The real theory of the greenhouse effect can be found on many university websites. One just has to look. The actual theory makes the atmosphere a second source of heat, the first source being the sun. Here is Derek Alker’s very nice depiction of how this process is supposed to play out.

Sun-induced warmth on the earth’s surface heats up “greenhouse gases,” which thereafter turn around to heat the surface that’s heating them. In other words, if these gases absorb 239 watts per square meter from the surface, they send back the same, and increase the surface’s temperature till it�s emitting 478 watts per square meter, double the energy it got from the sun. It hardly needs saying, of course, but no laboratory experiment has ever demonstrated the existence of such a heating mechanism. No device has ever been invented to show us how this works. For such a device would defy the laws of physics.

So who is more in error – the formerly distinguished Scientific American, which clumsily contradicts itself in the gap between two sentences, proposing that the earth’s heat is simultaneously trapped and released, a queer sort of process that does indeed “magically generate energy out of nowhere”? Or Joe Bastardi for reminding us that extra energy CANNOT come out of nowhere?

This post by Dr William Happer –The Truth about Greenhousse Gases is timely response to SCIAM and Bad Astronomy/Discovery. Notice how close SCIAM is to SCAM.

Joe Bastardi added comments on the Discover magazine blog here, but read them all:

  1. 105.   Joe Bastardi Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 5:09 am

    The message is that co2 has virtually no effect on the greenhouse effect ( technically, its not a greenhouse since there is escaping into space of heat, as I am sure you understand, but you mislabel the effect anyway, then turn around and tell me I dont know what I am talking about) That is the message. In addition in real life the reason co2 is pumped into actual real live greenhouses is not to keep them warmer, but because of its real value PLANT FOOD. That is a side issue.

    But look its very very simple. The earths temperature has leveled off in the face of rising co2 that by the way we contribute precious little too anyway. If you are right, why has it leveled off. Natural Variation??? Magic??? Divine intervention. So the simple test is in front of us. If as I believe the big natural drivers of the sun, the oceans, and the wild card, volcanic activity cool us back to where we were in the 70s as measured BY OBJECTIVE SOURCES. THE SATELLITE. NOT NASA READJUSTMENTS OR PROXY TREE RINGS OR WHATEVER YOU SEEM TO VALUE MORE THAN OBJECTIVE REAL WORLD OBSERVATIONS, then I am right., if not I am wrong.

    But please stop it. In the end, only the blind will not see the answer. If I am wrong, the earths temps warm ( it is below the IPCC forecast and no where near the runaway tipping point that was being yelled about) I will admit it, and wind up on the ash heap of history. But if it stays steady or goes down, will you do the same. Given the attacks on me, in the face of the past 15 years, and the excuses about where the “missing heat” is, I think not. It will simply be another excuse for trying to justify what is plainly turning against you and for good reason. co2 has precious little to do with the climate

    Which is the point I am trying to make with rational people of good will

    By the way. I am for ALL ENERGY that makes life easier for people on earth. People have to know where its warm or cold, and need the forecast for it. In fact what is baffling about people questioning my motives is that solar and wind energy is a better economic incentive for me! An oil company outside of hurricanes, wants to know the result of the weather.. A solar and wind company not only wants the result, but needs to know how the weather affects their operation.. when it will be windy, cloudy etc. So please stop the attacks on my motives, My only motive is to be right on this forecast, which is all this is, and sadly has been twisted into some massive movement to influence what we did not create, nor can control

    BTW I do enjoy your articles for the most part

  2. 106.   joe bastardi Says:
    August 17th, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Where were the attacks on Bill Nye in his debate with me when he tried to equate the earth to Venus to make his point, and then used some dye and water example to show how co2 pollutes. My point is you miss the entire crux of my argument which your position on co2 is flawed and it is a red herring in the whole global climate picture. That simple
    I realize the last thing you want is simple, as simple examples are things people understand, but you allow an engineer that is on TV get away with what he does, simply because he is on your side. I didnt see anyone on your side of the issue bringing up how absurd using Venus and its atmosphere to make a point about earth was

    In the end, let the data decide who is right and who is wrong

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to
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6 Responses to Joe Bastardi…trumps science publications

  1. MartinM says:

    This is utterly ridiculous. Earth’s thermal emission is equal to the incoming energy from the Sun only at equilibrium; indeed, that’s the very definition of equilibrium. The net effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere is precisely what SA claims; less energy escapes to space. As a result of this, more energy is entering the system than leaving, which causes warming. Warmer gases emit more radiation, and so the Earth’s thermal emission increases until it once again equals the incoming energy from the Sun.

    This is elementary physics. I’d expect a high school student to be able to grasp it. You may not agree with climate science, but the fact that your sources don’t understand even the basics of what climate scientists are actually saying should raise concerns as to their competence.

    • Tom Harley says:

      Not quite how Lindzen-Choi’s new paper sees it…

      • Tom Harley says:

        New paper from Lindzen and Choi implies that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.
        Posted on August 16, 2011 by Anthony Watts

      • MartinM says:

        What? Lindzen and Choi’s paper has nothing whatsoever to do with this. They dispute the magnitude and sign of the feedbacks which modify CO2 forcing. They don’t dispute the basic physics of the greenhouse effect itself. Nobody credible does. Ask any of the prominent ‘sceptics’; Lindzen, Spencer, Carter, Michaels…they’ll all tell you the same. Bastardi’s initial claims, and Siddons’ defence thereof, are just plain wrong.

  2. Tom Harley says:

    So why has the temperature over the last 15 years essentially stayed the same, while CO2 continues to increase in the atmosphere? Where is the so called ‘hot spot’ that must be there if Sci-Am is right?

    • Tom Harley says:

      From Greenie Watch: Profound confusion at SciAm

      One of their bloggers is attempting to rubbish Joe Bastardi and in doing so says:

      What climate science says is not that CO2 carries energy into the atmosphere or somehow magically generates it out of nowhere. Instead, it says that CO2 and other gases acts as a blanket, keeping heat from escaping into space. This, as Bastardi should know, is called the greenhouse effect.

      The Earth radiates into space roughly the same amount of energy that it receives from the sun.

      Whoa! The heat is kept from escaping the earth by CO2 yet “The Earth radiates into space roughly the same amount of energy that it receives”???

      Which is it? Does the heat escape or is it kept in?

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