Climatology Theory for Robber Barons: Needing Fuel Is a Part of the Natural Cycle, Too
Reported by Marie Therese - October 25, 2005
FOX News continues its denial of the science of global warming. Yesterday Bill O'Reilly interviewed Jeff Schultz, Chief Climatologist for Weather 2000, a company that specializes in creating a comfort zone for corporations that wish to ignore or deny the science behind global warming.
Weather 2000 describes itself as "the first and foremost meteorological consulting firm for the Weather Derivatives, Weather Insurance and Trading Industries." However, at no time did Bill O'Reilly inform his viewers that his guest works for a company that has a vested interest in promoting a viewpoint at odds with accepted scientific thought.
I found this segment interesting in the light of anti-global warming attitudes I observed during the last Saturday's "Cost of Freedom" show on FOX News Channel. Some of Neil Cavuto's guests on that show also debunked global warming, using almost the same arguments that Mr. Schultz served up yesterday for O'Reilly's viewers. One wonders if the FOX guests all drink from the same trough?
The gist of Schultz's argument is that the current flurry of abominable weather is merely part of the natural cycle of the earth and not affected very much by the infusion of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
O'REILLY: This has been the worst hurricane year on record. 23 storms. Of course, we all remember the tsunami last Christmas and some climatologists are very worried the planet is vulnerable to even more violent weather. With us now is Jess Schultz, Chief Climatologist with Weather 2000, a consulting firm her in New York City. You heard Bernie Rayno (of Accuweather) say 15 more years of intense weather. Is that your outlook as well?
SCHULTZ: Yes. We're actually in the middle or getting somewhat into an active phase of this ocean conveyor belt system, what we call the thermohaline system and what happens is it grows stronger for about 30 years and that transports all sorts of heat and energy and moisture to different areas, which can, in turn, increase the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and it can do a lot of other things as well.
O"REILLY: Is this part of the natural cycle or is this man-made?
SCHULTZ: It is part of the natural cycle. It's the ocean conveyor belt system that is speeding up and slowing down. Now there is ...
O'REILLY: I don't know what that means. Ocean conveyor belt system. What does that mean?
SCHULTZ: Yeah. There's a global current or global ...
O'REILLY: A current?
SCHULTZ: Yeah. A global ocean current ...
O'REILLY: In all oceans?
O'REILLY: And it's speeding up?
SCHULTZ: Yes. For about 30 years it will speed up and there are feedbacks. Mother Nature almost works to balance them out and works to slow it down so the speed-up actually increases the amount of heat towards Greenlands, which, in turn, will melt the waters which will in turn ...
[COMMENT: "Melt the waters"???]
O'REILLY: That's fascinating. Now I've always heard that the moon controls the tides and the currents. Is that correct?
SCHULTZ: That's correct. That's a twice-daily phenomenon but what we're talking about here is more of a fifteen to thirty year phenomenon.
O'REILLY: And it just happens on the planet. It's happened before and it'll happen again.
SCHULTZ: Absolutely. In fact we think that is - have even been stronger in past years, causing the northeast to west to have even more severe winters. There's many stories and tales about New York harbor freezing over in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds and because we might have slacked back into another phase of that ocean conveyor belt system, they needed actually to build the Brooklyn Bridge.
O'REILLY: Does this contradict global warming?
SCHULTZ: Well, it - uh, global warming could be seen, perhaps, as increasing the octane of your gasoline in a way but really THE NATURAL CYCLE IS NEEDING THAT FUEL IN THE FIRST PLACE (my emphasis), so perhaps its has a small percentage affection towards the entire system but global warming - and I think most scientists' opinion is not driving the weather but it could be adding to it.
[COMMENT: Now, let's see. How does the opinion of scientists "drive the weather"? Is Schultz implying that those who believe in global warming are just bags of hot air and they are expelling that into the atmosphere? Somebody please explain to me what this guy is talking about!]
O'REILLY: OK. [Guess O'Reilly understood it!] Now when the cycle stops in 2020, then the Arctic glaciers stop melting and everything goes back to the way it was and then another cycle starts?
SCHULTZ: That's right. And the for 30 years we'll have fewer hurricanes and we'll have less severe winters in the east.
O'REILLY: So, we're in for it then for fifteen more years?
O'REILLY: In the Carib - it seems to me, if you look at the globe, the Caribbean is gettin' hit real hard and then it hits the U. S. mainland. And, then you've got the Indian Ocean being turbulent, like that's where the tsunami came from ...
O'REILLY: ... and whacked those people over there. The Pacific seems fairly pacified ...
O'REILLY: ... right now.
O'REILLY: Is that gonna hold?
SCHULTZ: Yeah. In fact, you know, it's not as strong of a link but Pacific hurricanes or typhoons, as they call them, should be fewer than they normally would see, but in the Indian Ocean, the monsoons are affected, so for the next 15 or 20 years the Indian monsoons will be more severe, more active and causing a lot of trouble.
O'REILLY: Anything Americans can do in the face of this?
SCHULTZ: I think Americans can go back to the history books and they can look at the storms that hit them in the 1940's, the 1950's, the 1960's and realize that this type of weather was causing them lots of trouble then ...
SCHULTZ: ... and will be causing us trouble now.
O'REILLY: [indeicpherable] now ...
SCHULTZ: And the biggest difference ...
O'REILLY: But you didn't have a hysterical media, then. (Schultz laughs.) See, that's the big difference.
SCHULTZ: That's true.
O'REILLY: 'Cause now ya' got, ya' know, the media goin' crazy
SCHULTZ: We have a lot of eyes on these areas.
O'REILLY: You bet.
SCHULTZ: We also have a lot of build up and higher population.
O'REILLY: But we're gonna get through it.\
SCHULTZ: I hope - I think so.
O'REILLY: (both men laugh I hope so, Jeff, ya' know. Alright, if you hear somethin' that we're not gonna get through it, let us know real quick.
SCHULTZ: Will do.
O'REILLY: Alright, Jeff, thank you.
From what I've been able to determine, the thermohaline conveyor belt has no effect on the Pacific Ocean. Yet, Schultz and O'Reilly give the impression in this interview that it does.
The other problem I have with Schultz is that in essence he agrees that the weather is, indeed, changing, but (a) he dismisses the effects of hydrocarbons on climate and (b) if we wait for twenty years to determine if his theory is correct, and it isn't, it could be too late to reverse the effects of those hydrocarbons.
What do you all think, especially any of our readers who are experts in the environmental sciences?