Stunner: Joe Bastardi Joins the Extreme Anti-Scientist Crowd

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"Stunner: Joe Bastardi Joins the Extreme Anti-Scientist Crowd"

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2011/02/24/bastardi-460.jpgIn a surprise move, former Accuweather meteorologist and body builder Joe Bastardi has joined one of the most extreme, anti-scientist organizations in the world, the “American Tradition Institute.”

Many of us had expected he would sign up with the denier crowd in some sort of forecasting capacity.  But few could have imagined he would join an anti-science group so extreme that it was denounced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for contributing to an “environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas.”

Back in February, Bastardi resigned from Accuweather after 32 years.  It’s hard to imagine that his increasingly absurd and anti-scientific pronouncements played no role [see “How many major scientific misstatements does Joe Bastardi have to make before In-Accuweather fires him as their chief long-range forecaster?“].

Shortly before he resigned, for instance, Accuweather wrote, “Bastardi thinks this La Niña will last into next year” and “Bastardi is also predicting the long-term climate to turn colder over the next 20 to 30 years with global temperatures, as measured by satellite, returning to levels they were at in the late 1970s.”  Not and not.  In December, Bastardi predicted that Arctic sea “ice will increase back to those [1970s] levels in the N hemisphere.”  Not.

My forecast back in 2010 was that if he did leave Accuweather, the anti-science crowd, especially Fox News, would hire him as their ‘forecaster’.   Fox has had him on a few times since he moved on, but he landed at WeatherBell, a weather consulting firm, as “Chief Forecaster.”  To ensure no one would take them seriously, WeatherBell also hired another well-known science denier Joseph D’Aleo as “Chief Forecaster.”

[Note to WeatherBell:  Too many denier chiefs….]

But the real shocker is that Bastardi recently joined the American Tradition Institute as Senior Adviser.  The ATI is about as extreme as you get, even among hard-core deniers.

The ATI’s Chris Horner is behind the absurd lawsuit smearing the nation’s top climatologist, James Hansen, which CP debunked here: Fox News Compares James Hansen’s Prizes for Truth Telling to Big Tobacco Paying a Doctor to Deny the Risks of Smoking.

How irresponsible is the ATI along with its lawsuits?  So irresponsible that the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science —  normally a very staid bunch — felt compelled to take the unusual step of denouncing such harassment efforts in a statement on “Personal Attacks on Climate Scientists.”  It begins:

We are deeply concerned by the extent and nature of personal attacks on climate scientists. Reports of harassment, death threats, and legal challenges have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and ideas and makes it difficult for factual information and scientific analyses to reach policymakers and the public.

The AAAS, which publishes the journal Science, was specifically talking about lawsuits going after two of the nation’s top climatologist, Michael Mann and James Hansen, as their news release makes clear:

Reports of personal attacks on climate scientists, including harassment, legal challenges, and even death threats, have created a hostile environment that inhibits the free exchange of scientific findings and makes it difficult for factual information to reach policymakers and the public, the AAAS Board of Directors said in a statement of concern….

Lawmakers and activist groups also have sought detailed disclosure of records from climate researchers. The American Tradition Institute (ATI) has asked the University of Virginia to turn over thousands of e-mails and documents written by Michael E. Mann, a former U-Va. professor and a prominent climate scientist. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a climate change skeptic, demanded many of the same documents last year in an effort to determine if Mann had somehow defrauded taxpayers in obtaining research grants. ATI also has sued NASA to disclose records detailing climate scientist James Hansen’s compliance with federal ethics and disclosure rules.

The ATI lawsuits may have been the straw that broke the camels back, motivating the AAAS to issue what The Hill called a “a rare statement” and “the organization’s strongest rebuke of efforts by conservative groups to criticize climate scientists.”

Bastardi’s move was forecasted, but, like recent weather events, far more extreme than expected.

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