The Met office and the BBC- caught cold

Met Office

Image via Wikipedia

From the blog autonomous mind, a cold ill wind blows from Britain. At least this time, FOI requests weren’t quashed like they were with CRU.  Below are excerpts. The photocopy of the email from the FOI request is telling.

======================================

autonomous mind writes:

A look at the information makes clear there is nowhere left for the Met Office to hide.  The Met Office has been caught ‘cold’ lying about its winter forecast in a disgraceful attempt to salvage its reputation.  Its claim that it forecast the cold start to the winter lays in tatters thanks to an exchange of emails between the department and the Cabinet Office.

As a result the Met Office is completely discredited.  Also utterly discredited is the BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, who on the Met Office’s behalf used a column in the Radio Times (later carried in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail) to state that:

In October the forecaster privately warned the Government – with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter.

It kept the prediction secret, however, after facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.

Harrabin went on to say in his piece that:

Why didn’t the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming? The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren’t let in on the secret. “The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 – the summer that campers floated around in their tents.

The email exchange in the screenshot below proves this is a lie. The Cabinet Office civil servant (bottom message) confirms the weather outlook supplied by the Met Office earlier that day is what the government will use in its ‘Forward Look’.  The Met Office employee (top message) agrees with it.


(note- I rotated the original photocopy image to make it more readable)

The all important sentence is the first.  ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’.  The Met Office knew this was the case when it sent Harrabin scurrying off to spin its lie that the Met Office did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October‘.  The briefing to the Cabinet Office contains no such warning – and vindicates the parliamentary answer given by Francis Maude when questioned about the forecast the government received from the Met Office.

What is worse is that the Met Office knew this, yet with its claim tried to place responsibility for the lack of prepareness for an extremely cold start to the winter on government inaction.  Harrabin added to this by saying he had put in a FOI to the government (referenced in this post) to discover what they were told, the insinuation being it was the government that had something to hide.  This is very dangerous ground that leans towards the possibility of the Met Office and a BBC reporter engaging in a joint effort to undermine the government’s credibility.

This leads us to ask a serious question that must be answered: How is it possible that Roger Harrabin could claim the Met Office line he was retailing was the ‘truth’ with such certainty?

=================================================================

Read the entire report at autonomous mind and also at Katabasis and give them traffic and props for seeing this through. In case anyone is wondering, the address in the document links here:

Organisation: Cabinet Office
Address: 3rd Floor, Kirkland House, 22 Whitehall
Town: London
County: Inner London Borough
Region: Greater London
Country: England
Post Code: SW1A 2WH
Tel: 0207 276 6226
Fax: 0207 276 6271
www.cabinet-office.gov.uk

For those new to the issue, some background here:

MetOffGate – the questions begin

Also, if you did not note it in the article link, this PDF of the FOI request is instructive.

h/t to Indur Goklany

===============================================================

UPDATE: In comments, we have this -

I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

That may very well be true, but it leaves Mr. Harrabin in the uncomfortable position of defending sources or defending himself. I’ve sent him a  private communication offering WUWT with no caveats should he wish to use it a sa platform to explain his side of the story. – Anthony

About these ads
This entry was posted in Forecasting, Government idiocy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

161 Responses to The Met office and the BBC- caught cold

  1. “Its claim that it forecast the cold start to the winter lays in tatters….” Is it proper to use the transitive form to lay instead of the intransitive to lie? The forecast lies in tatters?

  2. old44 says:

    So, there was a 130% chance of milder, near average or colder conditions and a 50/50 chance of dry or wet, WOW!

  3. Cold_is_the_new_hot says:

    Ahh maybe I am missing something but the photocopy e-mail does include a summary which says that there is a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start and a mild end to the winter……

    I hope fellow skeptics arent going to overplay things and make mountains over molehills.

    Even if UK Met did warn the government of a cold start to winter it doesnt explain why they told everyone else something else.

  4. The same Anti Irish autonomous mind? who I unsubscribed to! the plot thickens!

  5. twawki says:

    Well there was a 100% chance the met office would use the politicians as a scapegoat and now it seems there is a 100% chance the politicians will refuse to take the blame. United they stood, divided in lies they fall. So much for millions upon millions spent on computer modeling when our grandparents could have forecast the weather better.

  6. evanmjones says:

    Wintergate?

  7. Ryan N. Maue says:

    MetOffice is going private anyways…

  8. berniel says:

    The AGW story now is how the dogma of climate change has stood between known climatic variations (and their scientific prediction) and public policy decision making.
    The story extends from Snow clearing equipment at Heathrow to Desalination plants in Eastern Australia.

  9. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The only thing they were positive about, was that they were certain they had no idea what the winter would be like, maybe. Instead of a 40 million computer, why not a small coin that they could toss, might be more accurate. pg

  10. Stephen Rasey says:

    Re: Wintergate?

    I don’t think so. Climategate and Watergate had break-ins in common. The Met Office fiasco only involves breaking ice.

    I will keep an open mind. Perhaps along with Watergate and Climategate, Wintergate is another case of “Follow the Money.”

  11. Clarence Causey says:

    Looking at those statements, it seems a nice summary would have just been to say “…we don’t know…”, rather than what they actually said. But I guess if they did that, the “science” would be called into question, and let’s face it, a lot of people, scientists included, are clearly uncomfortable with the notion that despite all the brains and machines in the world brought to bear, maybe, just maybe, at the end of the day, it’s simply just not possible to know the real answer.

  12. Andrew30 says:

    A 50%/50% chance of more/less precipitation
    A 70%/60% change of colder/warmer
    Three months in advance.

    A 100% chance of warmer.
    A 100% chance of more drought.
    100 years in advance.

    Big computers can only make Big predictions with Big leadtimes.

    Please don’t confuse Climate Computers with Weather Computers.

    Climate Computing is not Weather Computing.

    If you want a weather prediction, get a coin.

    If you want a climate prediction, send the coins to us.

  13. rbateman says:

    I have to wonder why the US East was so unprepared for heavy snows.
    My gut instinct tells me that GISS had a hand in pushing it’s adjusted temperatures into the forecasts.
    It’s time to call the US counterpart of the MET onto the rug.
    Warmest evah and heavy sustained snow & cold does not compute.

  14. Anything is possible says:

    The Germans had no problem forecasting the cold five weeks in advance, and making proper preparations for it :

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/10/20/cold-weather-silences-the-climate-media/

    The $64,000 question for me is :

    Is the Met Office merely incompetent, or is there a more sinister explanation? Did the “Green Mafia” who now run it deliberately suppress all talk of a cold winter because it doesn’t fit into their paradigm of a warming world?

    Either way if, come October 2011, the British authorities want a decent forecast for Winter 2011-12, they should ask the Germans…..

  15. wws says:

    it may not be possible to know the answer- but that’s not the disgusting part. The really bad part is how they LIED when they were caught and then tried to pass the blame off to someone else! And what’s worse, they lied STUPIDLY about something that any fool would know could be quickly and easily checked!!!

    Doesn’t say a whole lot for their smarts in general, does it? but it DOES say that they have absolutely no moral scruples whatsoever!!!

  16. John Kehr says:

    Just because they can’t get an accurate prediction a month out doesn’t prove they are wrong about 100 year prediction. It just proves they have no idea what they are talking about.

  17. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    The question at hand is not about the statement “70 per cent chance of near average or colder conditions” but of, supposedly, forecasting in October an “extremely” and “exceptionally cold early winter”. They are different. They are not the same.

    …..extremely cold……. The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October

    Near average or colder, and “no clear signals for the winter”, are what was said in October.

    The Met will not be able to put a fig leaf over that. But the question remains, will this story make it into the media so the general population knows about it?

  18. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    How about MetGate?

  19. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    An all-of-the-above approach, put all the bad eggs in one basket:

    GlobalWarmingGate

  20. frank verismo says:

    Chairman of the Met Office: Robert Napier
    Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project ($64 trillion under management): Robert Napier.

    Any questions?

  21. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    John Kehr says:
    January 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Just because they can’t get an accurate prediction a month out doesn’t prove they are wrong about 100 year prediction. It just proves they have no idea what they are talking about.

    BOL!!!

  22. Charles Higley says:

    Ha!
    This reveals exactly what I predicted: the MET Office did not suddenly and inexplicably become competent at forecasting. That would be unbelievable, and unlikely.

  23. RockyRoad says:

    This is what happens when a cult replaces science. The faster the MET and BBC are discredited the better. Let scientists do the work, not irrational climate theologians.

  24. Mick says:

    I think the MET Office using they ‘super-duper computer’ as a Jukebox:
    coin-in-Political-Correctness-out. It’s your coin(s) …

    It’s not the crime, but the cover-story!!

  25. Steve from rockwood says:

    There is a 70% chance of colder weather and a 60% chance of milder weather which gives a total 130% chance they are making up their forecast.

  26. Neo says:

    70 per cent chance of near average or colder conditions
    60 per cent chance of near average or milder conditions

    A quick application of set theory yields ..
    40% colder conditions
    30% near average conditions
    30% milder conditions

    Simple probability would have these 33%, 33%, and 33% (depending on your definition of “near average”)
    This doesn’t look like the Met Office provided much “added value” to the effort to “guess the weather.”

  27. pat says:

    LOL. Cultists trying to predict the eclipse after the fact.

  28. frank verismo says:

    @RockyRoad:
    This is what happens when a cult replaces science. The faster the MET and BBC are discredited the better.

    Funny you should mention those two in the same sentence. Further to my previous post:

    Head of the BBC’s pension fund: Peter Dunscombe
    Head of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change: (wait for it . . . . ) Peter Dunscombe!

    Does anyone else detect a pattern here?

  29. Earle Williams says:

    David Thomasq,

    The forecast lies in tatters.

    The Met Office lies in … ? Tatters? Or should that be spades?

  30. frank verismo says:

    P.s. – any wild guesses where Mr Dunscombe invested the BBCs pension funds?

  31. FrankK says:

    Caught with their pants down.
    Reminds me of Faulty (sic) Towers with Basil Fawlty and noble cause Manuels. Kay!

  32. MartinGAtkins says:

    The Met Office are going to have to throw Harrabin under a bus and deny they told him they advised the Cabinet Office of an “extremely cold winter”. This should be fun because in trying to defend the Met Office, Harrabin is going to look like a gullible chump.

  33. thingadonta says:

    Trouble with predicting the future is that people can soon find out if you’re wrong, or if you change your mind, or if you cover up what you’ve said.

    Once ideological expediency sets in, information is manipulated to the point where the manipulaters no longer know when they are lying, but with the future people soon find out who has succumbed to ideological expediency.

    I don’t know the exact quote, but it’s one of my favourites:

    “No person (or organisation) can wear two faces, without eventually not being able to tell which is which”.

    Also: “No person (or organisation) can tell two-faced lies, without eventually not being able to tell what is true and what isn’t”.

  34. Sean Peake says:

    The Lie that came in from the cold.
    It is one thing for the Met to be totally incompetent; it is quite another for the BBC to provide cover. Deliberate deception and conspiracy, pure and simple. Charges must be laid.

  35. Peter Miller says:

    Wsetern civilisation is buckling under the weight of having to finance armies of incompetent, often pointless, expensive bureaucrats.

    The ‘climate scientists’ at the UK’s Met Office are just another example of this.

  36. Old England says:

    The most interesting part of this to me and to many other’s in Britain will not be the forecast, illuminating though it is.

    It will be the snapshot of the email header which shows:
    Town: London
    County: Inner London Borough
    Region: Greater London
    Country: England

    The significant part being “Region: Greater London” which shows that despite the public rejecting Regionalisation in the UK that the Cabinet Office views London as a Region of the EU. Precisely as EU bureaucrats demand.

  37. Doug in Seattle says:

    wws says:
    January 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    The really bad part is how they LIED when they were caught and then tried to pass the blame off to someone else! And what’s worse, they lied STUPIDLY about something that any fool would know could be quickly and easily checked!!!

    Maybe, but I think what we are seeing here has more to do with the warmers having gotten away with big lies for so long that they don’t think about CYA.

    Why would they? The press always covers them without checking – at least they always did!

  38. tokyoboy says:

    Snow is now raging in the western part of Japan:
    http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/bosaijoho/radar.html#a_top
    (Click bottom-left orange button for the past 3-hour movie at 10-min steps)

    Our MET office predicts (probably correctly) it’s getting worse for 12 hours to come.

  39. Phillip Bratby says:

    Clearly the Met Office and the BBC have been conspiring to deflect attention from the Met Office’s incompetency and to place the blame on the UK Government. That is clear political interference by the BBC and Met Office. Heads should roll at the BBC and the Met Office.

    Why is the UK Government doing nothing about this?

  40. Gary Hladik says:

    This doesn’t entirely absolve the government. They should know by now that when the Met forecasts an average winter, they should gear up for snowmageddon.

  41. Amino Acids in Meteorites has given part of the key quote from the BBC’s Roger Harrabin in the Radio Times, which was picked up by various news sources, including the Press Association and thus The Independent on 4th January 2011:

    The Met Office warned the Government that the start of this winter would be “exceptionally cold” but did not immediately inform the public.

    It advised Cabinet Office planners in October that Britain was likely to be in for freezing conditions.

    But it only issued a public alert a month before December’s hugely disruptive snow storms after changing its policy on releasing seasonal forecasts.

    The BBC’s environment analyst, Roger Harrabin, said the Met Office did not publish its warning of bad weather because of the embarrassment caused by its mistaken prediction that the UK would bask in a “barbecue summer” in 2009.

    He wrote in the Radio Times: “Why didn’t the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming?

    “The truth is it did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren’t let in on the secret.

    “The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 – the summer that campers floated around in their tents.”

    The Met Office stopped issuing seasonal forecasts to the public in March last year, and now provides a rolling forecast for the next 30 days on its website.

    Nobody in the Met Office denied the correctness of Harrabin’s claims. That means that the Met Office is guilty of deliberately misleading the British people over a matter of great importance.

    As for Roger Harrabin, he needs to move fast to open up every bit of ‘evidence’ he was given to write what he did. Otherwise it’s looking terrible for him too.

  42. I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

  43. izen says:

    Anything is possible says:
    January 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    “The Germans had no problem forecasting the cold five weeks in advance, and making proper preparations for it :”

    Interesting that the German Weather service got it right.

    Despite apparently sharing the same outlook on the climate that every other official weather service has, that of climate change caused by human production of Co2.
    The German Weather service is here –

    http://www.dwd.de/

    Their position on AGW/climate change can be found in the link to -Klimawandel- in the column on the left.

  44. Malcolm Carkeek says:

    In the Met Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Winter 2010/11 document, it says “This will be updated monthly through the winter …”.
    I wonder if anyone has FOIs in for the end of November, December and January updates.

  45. Stefan says:

    When people lie it is often using a half-truth. Maybe this is how AGW proponents mix the truth of cold events with the continued certainty it’ll get warmer in the log run. If one were lying to deceive then one would mix fact and fiction. But the nature of climate is defined as “statistical” anyway so facts are always being mixed with what is believed the climate is really doing. The similarity of this process to lying is too close and makes it hard to distinguish truth from error, as lies try to hide the truth, whilst statistics tries to reveal a hidden truth.

  46. Myrrh says:

    Who at the Met Office?

  47. Martin Brumby says:

    @Steve McIntyre says: January 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I agree, Steve.

    Unfortunately that still leaves him looking like a “Gullible Chump”, as MartinGAtkins puts it.

    And I suspect that not wanting to rock the Cancun boat comes into the equation somewhere.

  48. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    Call Jo Abbess and her eco friendly crystal ball to save Harrabin’s backside

  49. Perry says:

    If Harrabin thinks that ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’., means “the Met Office ‘did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October”, then words do not have the meaning that I understand them to mean.

    Thus, Steve McIntyre’s words above probably mean [snip - more civility please - mj] Correct me if anyone knows a different translation.

    Regards,

    Perry

  50. Barry Woods says:

    It is entirely possible that whoever spoke to Roger Harrabin from the Met Office needs to explaim to Roger Harrabin very carfully ‘about advising him about a ‘secret’ extremely cold winter piece of advice to the government.

    Roger is on the record as having now put an FOI request for this information. Which would indicate he did not see this email and depended on the word of someone at the Met Office (which he SHOULD be able to depend on)

    I will look forward to him analysing this, and saying what the MET Office said, as it looks like the Met Office was trying to use the BBC to attack the Government.

    I would definetly give Roger the benefit of the doubt, as he reported in the past, about Al Gore and aide standing over him and shouting, making him feel like a ‘climate sceptic traitor’ merely because he had asked an inconvenient question, about ‘An Inconvenient truth’

    ie CO2 lags temp in the icecore data

    BBC: The Heat and Light of Global Warming – Oct 2007
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7040370.stm

    Roger also repeated this encounter in his recent BBC program ‘Uncertain Climate’, not the actions of someone covering for one side.

    Perhaps he has been a little to trusting of some of those on the warmer side of the debate. I am sure he will be asking why the discrepancy, between what he was ‘told’ and the FOI evidence he has requested, part of which? is now in the public domain.

  51. JohnH says:

    Steve McIntyre says:
    January 29, 2011 at 12:22 am
    I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

    But Harribin is in the UK and has seen all the forecasts I see, the MET office has never given firm forecasts over the last 10 years they always issue the 30/30/40 type forecast with small variations some of which add up to more than 100%, Harribin knows they don’t do firm forecasts and should have asked to see the forecast before publishing hearsay.

    Bad journalism.

  52. Jack says:

    (Steve McIntyre at 12:22am)

    First of all, the best liars are convincing, and appear to be honest and open. Once they’ve learned how to feign sincerity, everything else falls into place. Are you seriously suggesting that, on the basis of one meeting (or 10 for that matter), you are willing to vouch for some one’s integrity? (It makes me wonder if the referenced post is a sock puppet.)

    Second: To the rest of us, Harrabin’s claims on behalf of the MET and their ‘secret’ prediction were dubious to begin with, and Harrabin well knew the implications of what he was writing. It hung the politicians and vindicated the MET while giving uncritical credence to the excuse that the MET now keeps seasonal forecasts ‘secret’ (at least below cabinet level) because they got it wrong in the past and didn’t want to further damage their credibility. (You know what? My mother’s psychic has the same policy, which is why I manage my mother’s affairs.)

    The “stupid, or misled” excuse is no longer working for the simple reason that people like Harrabin are none of those things. They no longer deserve the benefit of any doubt and you should not grant it to them. Though to be honest, I’m not happy about Autonomous Mind’s redacting the names of sender and recipient from the emails, though I can understand the potential reasons for it.

    Nevertheless, it seems that Autonomous Mind has more credence than Harrabin, the BBC and the MET. Enough is enough. People pushing the warmist propaganda should be fired and subject to charges in criminal court and subject to civil action. They are costing taxpayers billions and want to force us to spend trillions on the basis of lies. We are being hurt too much by these people and they should be made to pay for their idiocy.

  53. JamesD says:

    McIntyre certainly has integrity. Can you imagine: AGW alarmist’s skin saved by “denier” McIntyre, because no one believes alarmists anymore, but everyone believes McIntyre. The irony.

  54. tonyb says:

    Back in December I made a spoof Met office forecast-however reading their stuff above I think I will be applying for a job with them. This was carried over at the excellent Digging in the Clay
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/a-guide-to-metspeak/#comment-713

    EXCLUSIVE!! As you know I live close to the Met Office and through a mole am able to reveal the Met office forecast for the first 6 months of 2011!

    January; The weather will be mostly around normal, but with some periods greater than normal with some below normality. All in all, at times the weather will be surprising whilst at others it won’t be. It will be colder than average in those areas of the country where it isnt warmer than average.

    February; True to this months characteristics it will be on average somewhat cool except for those periods that are somewhat mild. Cloud will appear from time to time and some may be persistent or not, so sunshine might or might not be affected

    March; Winds will be of a surprising degree of strength in certain areas-those periods greater than normal will be windy, whilst those less than normal will be calm. Our new service for Wind turbine operators shows that whatever the weather you will be raking in the subsidies. Wives of deputy Prime Ministers will do particularly well.

    April; True to form there will be sunshine and Showers. The showers at times being greater than the sunshine, meaning that all in all one or the other will be somewhat different from average values. Different parts of the country will experience different weather at various times during the month. Temperatures may occur anywhere.

    May. Wind. Rain. Cold. Warmth. ALL of these will appear at some time, causing this month to have outbreaks of averageness, but with some variation between greater than and less than the average of normal.

    June. Hotter than average. Although some areas of the country will be colder than average. Some parts will be just average. There will be periods of wind in some areas that are greater than the periods of wind in others.

    The outlook for wind turbine operators remains very bright with subsidies reaching a peak towards the end of the month.

    tonyb

  55. I’d like to hear from Roger Harrabin direct on this matter.

  56. Jit says:

    This from today’s bbc article on climate adaptation:

    “Network Rail raises concerns about keeping passengers cool in heatwaves, ensuring that rail lines do not buckle in high temperatures and preventing embankments collapsing as a result of flooding.

    One of its most vulnerable stretches of track is on the south Devon coast between Dawlish and Teignmouth where storms have often seen waves break over the line.

    Network Rail says the sea level at this point has risen 30cm since 1840 and is projected to rise by a further 70cm by 2050 and 1.45m by 2100. “

    Now I thought the sea level was rising at c. 3mm/yr, so by 2050 that would be 12cm, not 70.

  57. Nigel Brereton says:

    Ryan N. Maue says:
    January 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    MetOffice is going private anyways…

    That is a distinct possibility, do you have a source?

  58. sceptical me says:

    ‘The Met Office – Weather and climate change’ (MOWCC) informed us that they would no longer be providing the public with three month forecasts as their survey had shown them this was not required by the public. Has anyone seen this questionnaire, its questions, report and findings? Or is this too confined to the bottom draw, along with selected raw temperature data sets?

  59. George Lawson says:

    If Harrabin was truthful in what he wrote and said, rather than writing to defend his rapidly diminishing ‘green at all costs’ reputation then the government should sack the Met. Office Chairman, Richard Napier. without delay on the basis that he doesn’t have any control over the body that he heads or the useless information they put out to the public. Information that has lead to such huge costs to the government, industry and the public generally. We need an open minded Chairman of this very important government body, one who does not arrive in post with a preconcieved notion that AGW is happening and that his position in the organisation is there to promote that concept at all costs. It could also be the start for the government to shed its damaging ‘green’ credentials and start governing the country to deal with the real problems we have and not those based on unfounded disputed and corrupted science.

  60. Steve, Martin:

    I got to know Roger pretty well in the days I was living close to his family in NW London, including one memorable encounter at the Gospel Oak polling station in his shorts, as the Beeb sent him out at the last moment to canvas voters – the 1997 general election I guess that was. I agree about his basic integrity. I think speculation about his motives is premature, Martin. We know the Met Office is to blame, because it didn’t correct his reports. That’s all we know for sure. But, as I said above, I’d advise Roger to move fast to put his case.

  61. Dave (UK) says:

    Neither hot nor cold is the new warming.

  62. John Marshall says:

    Proof, if proof were needed, that the BBC is a left wing organization yet they claim that they give balanced reports on climate and everything else.
    They now do not reply to complaints of poor reporting on any climate matter neither have they complied with instructions to include ‘sceptic views’ on climate in their reporting.
    Harrabin’s reports are getting more extreme as the science points to other drivers of climate than CO2.

  63. Laura Hills says:

    Jit – Devon and the rest of the south coast is sinking as Scotland continues to rebound after its glaciers melted.

  64. Jimbo says:

    What I find funny about the emailed Met Office response is this shocking statement:

    “…..there are some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.”
    http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/the-met-office-winter-forecast-lie-is-finally-nailed/

    Now it’s a risk to not have to suffer from un-gritted roads, power failures etc. Mind boggling stuff! The Met Office are stuck in a Warmist mindset. This means they have to lie and spin for “mild” no matter what their data tells them.

    More failure……

    Wigan Council – UK – 26 January 2011
    ‘This year we awarded the contract to the Met Office. The council officer correctly acted in not treating the roads network from the information he had been provided with.

    “When the weather starts to change from the forecast, we would expect a Met Office forecaster to ring us up and inform us of the pending changes, but this did not happen.”
    http://www.wigantoday.net/news/met_office_in_gritting_row_1_2976354

  65. PHClark says:

    Before everybody piles on I think Roger Harrabin should be allowed the chance to respond.

  66. Mike Haseler says:

    Cold_is_the_new_hot says: January 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    “I hope fellow skeptics arent going to overplay things and make mountains over molehills.”

    Brings to mind the mountains of snow we had – and still have in one place I spotted – around Glasgow. The molehill of ice on the roads that brought Scotland to a standstill, and wouldn’t you believe it: “the Met Office forecast it” … according to the Met Office.

    Forecasting is not a precise art and everyone accepts that, but lying about how good your forecast when you get your forecasts wrong is just not on. They’ve now been caught doing it regarding yearly global warming forecasts, the severe winter and they did it in Scotland, because I read their forecast at the end of the day before and there was nothing about heavy snow in Scotland.

  67. @Anthony – many thanks for the coverage. Katabasis and others deserve a lot of credit for their work.

    @ TheTempestSpark – I’m sorry you chose to unsubscribe from AM because you feel my condemnation of terrorism in NI, criticism of a newspaper witch hunt of a foolish 19-yr-old girl, marriage to an incredible Irish woman and dividing my time between homes in England and NI makes me anti Irish. Perhaps you might email me if you would like to discuss?

    @Steve McIntyre – I’ve not met Roger, I’ve only exchanged emails with him over a couple of years. However the Jo Abbess incident and his undeniably partial reporting on climate change suggest to me that he could have been working to an agenda.

    @Jack – the redactions in the document screenshot were not done by Katabasis (or me), they were done by the department issuing the FOI response.

  68. Katabasis says:

    @Jack:

    “Though to be honest, I’m not happy about Autonomous Mind’s redacting the names of sender and recipient from the emails”

    The emails were already redacted when I received them.

  69. Ralph says:

    .
    A perfect example of 1984 doublespeak. George Orwell must be shedding a tear in appreciation. This is a perfect forecast – if you can get a wapping great grant for making it.

    So, the Met Office forecast some wetdry with a little hotcold, resulting in the possibility of some rainsnow. Surprisingly enough, they were spot on with this forecast!! Brilliant!!

    This is a good example of a standard fortune-telling scam. It is like Gypsy Lill eyeing up a tall elderly lady customer wearing no rings, and saying: “Your future sees some health issues, and finances will be stretched; but I see a tall silver-haired man entering your life and days of laughter and happiness”. Works every time.

    The keys to successful fortune telling:

    Tell ‘em what they want to hear, so they go away happy.
    Cover all the possibilities, so they cannot say you were wrong.
    Make it as nebulous as possible, so you can argue the point ad-infinitum.
    Charge them more than they expect – expensive is always equated with quality.

    .

  70. John Finn says:

    I don’t know Roger Harrabin personally but the sentiments expressed by Steve McIntyre and others rings true. Harrabin certainly believes in AGW, but seems prepared to question some of the more extreme claims. On one occasion, in an interview with Al Gore, he challenged Gore about some of the assertions made in An Inconvenient Truth. The following is Harrabin’s comment about what took place later.

    And after the interview he and his assistant stood over me shouting that my questions had been scurrilous, and implying that I was some sort of climate-sceptic traitor.

  71. stephen richards says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    January 29, 2011 at 1:37 am
    I’d like to hear from Roger Harrabin direct on this matter.

    Waste of time. He is either a lier, stupid, gullible, blinded by his religion, devious or a genuinely really nice guy who hates to see anyone hurt.

    Take your choice. Either way his response will be worthless.

  72. stephan says:

    Unfortunately SM is too nice of a guy. This just feeds into the scam I’m afraid SM has to learn that he is being duped again and again ie take the climategate inquiries. This is not to detract that SM is the MAIN person who has actually done something to show the scam.. irony LOL

  73. Geoff Sherrington says:

    If Ayn Rand was writing ‘Atlas Shrugged’ today, she would have real names to put on the goodies and baddies.

    If this blog is accurate about the conflicting positions of Messrs Dunscombe and Napier and the investments of the BBC pension fund and other commercial enterprises of the carbon type (and I have nothing to say it is wrong), then the situation is rather drastic.

    I have already ranted how lax the current generation became in allowing such potential conflict of interest appointments. How active are you younger people going to be in redressing the anomalies? You can live without this type of structure.

  74. Wucash says:

    So less conspiracy and more MET Office and the leftist BBC trying to push their agenda forward while defending the MET? Kind of dissapointing for me personaly, would have hoped for the conservatives to get a bloody nose over this. (would have prefered this to their way of handling the economy)

    Still, I hope the media pick up on this. No chance of it at the Beeb, but perhaps ITV, Ch4, 5, Sky, etc will. This is big news – another big player in the AGW swindle is caught lying, and acting like thugs.

  75. Simon says:

    Oh come on, you just know they’re going to cling to the phrase “a slightly increased risk of a cold and wintry start” as proof they forecast it correctly

  76. Jimbo says:

    I need to remind everyone that people died in December. Due to the extreme weather businesses lost billions and millions of travellers faced severe inconvenience. Had the government been warned that “Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter” then perhaps deaths and inconvenience would have been reduced.

    Criminal investigations should be launched immediately and the guilty need to spend some time in Wormwood Scrubs [UK jail].

  77. KGuy says:

    It’s interesting to hear what Peter Sissons has to say about the BBC’s stance on Global warming.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350206/BBC-propaganda-machine-climate-change-says-Peter-Sissons.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

  78. Steve McIntyre:

    “I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.”

    I accept that Roger was misled by his sources, and I accept that he believed what he wrote.

    I propose that Roger’s failure was, yet again, a lack of journalistic inquisitiveness. This is why sceptical bloggers (autonomous mind for example) repeatedly usurp AGW-faithful journalists, and why blogs like Anthony’s (and Steve’s, and Bishop Hill’s and so on..) are popularly supplanting the BBC and other MSM as primary sources of investigative journalism and critical analysis.

  79. Manfred says:

    Harabin’s lie can be quantified by IPCC measures:

    “The Met Office warned the Government that the start of this winter would be “exceptionally cold” but did not immediately inform the public.

    It advised Cabinet Office planners in October that Britain was LIKELY to be in for freezing conditions.”

    IPCC definition:
    likely – more than 60%
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6324029.stm

    Neither did the forecast have more than 60% probability for a cold start – just 40% -, nor did the forecast use the term “exceptionally cold”.

  80. Mike Haseler says:

    Steve McIntyre says: January 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

    Steve I had some correspondence with a weather forecaster and they were very unhappy the way the organisation had changed since Robert Napier. Apparently good old fashioned forecasting had been given the shove in favour of accountants and marketeers.

    When we had the snow storm in Scotland. The day before I took the tarpaulin off a roof I was working on because the BBC forecast was for fog the next day.

    There is no question that I looked at the forecast and no question that the heavy snow was not forecast during the previous working day. So, I was horrified when some Met Office Spokesman came on TV with not the slightest hint of apology and actually told us that they had forecast the snow.

    Worse still, the BBC did nothing to dig deeper … none of the obvious questions like When, how much, etc.

    The BBC and Met Office have clearly been colluding on this. Harrabin may honestly believe he was reporting truthfully, but when you come from a group-think mentality like the BBC who are so sycophantic to the Met Office, you have to actively work to avoid being biased. So, unless Harrabin went out of his way to be impartial, the practical result is that he was highly economical with the truth.

    And though I neither support the Tories nor the SNP admin … both governments got unfairly criticised for failings which ultimate stem from bad forecasts by the Met Office.

  81. MostlyHarmless says:

    Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) wrote to the Quarmby (Government advisory) team to ask if they’d been given a copy of the Met Office winter forecast, and received a reply just over a week ago: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1/21/a-copy-of-that-cold-winter-forecast.html

    Met Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Winter 2010/11

    This covers the months of November, December and January 2010/11, this will be updated monthly through the winter and so probabilities will change.

    Temperature

    3 in 10 chance of a mild start

    3 in 10 chance of an average start

    4 in 10 chance of a cold start

    Precipitation

    3 in 10 chance of a wet start

    3 in 10 chance of an average start

    4 in 10 chance of a dry start

    Summary: There is an increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season.

    Looking further ahead beyond this assessment there are some indications of an increased risk of a mild end to the winter season.

  82. Andy Mayhew says:

    So the media/blogosphere get caught out yet again.

    They lied to us when they made up the false story about the MetO predicting a mild winter and they lied to us when they implied that the MetO had warned the government about the severe start we had to winter.

    The only people coming out of this well are the MetO who have told the truth all along!

  83. stephen richards says:

    Katabasis says:
    January 29, 2011 at 2:57 am
    @Jack:

    “Though to be honest, I’m not happy about Autonomous Mind’s redacting the names of sender and recipient from the emails”

    It is the correct and honest thing to do. Not every reader on the web is a kind generous individual.

  84. Simon, that I think is perfectly fair. In fact, I’ve been thinking that Roger Harrabin should do an interview on Bishop Hill to put his point of view on this. This would go some way to right the wrong, where a state-funded broadcaster speaks with apparent authority and this is used by other state-funded entities to distribute misinformation. Andrew has been scrupulously polite throughout the many years of such goings-on. His contribution to the good of the UK, for little gain, should be recognised as such, by those who should have known much, much better.

  85. Paul H says:

    Do we know if Harrabin has received his FOI reply? If so is he keeping quiet about it.

    Perhaps someone should FOI the Beeb to discover his role in this story.

  86. sleeper says:

    We are about to discover what kind of man Roger Harrabin is.

  87. Viv Evans says:

    May I draw your attention to the date of this e-mail exchange: October 25th 2010

    At that time, there were already parts of Scotland covered in snow.

    It is at least odd of the met Office to tell the Government that the coming winter will be normal, perhaps a bit colder, perhaps not …

  88. Jimbo says:

    I miss the BBC’s Blog of Bloom. It was somewhat sceptical of AGW and poked fun at it sometimes. You can still read the archives.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/climatechange/
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/climatechange/strange_but_true/

  89. DirkH says:

    Anything is possible says:
    January 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm
    “The Germans had no problem forecasting the cold five weeks in advance, and making proper preparations for it :”

    That was one of the private weather forecasters. The public one, DWD, Deutscher Wetterdienst, didn’t forecast strong cold. Nevertheless, communities were prepared; last winter road salt ran out and you had to pay fortunes for a ton, so they all stocked up in advance this year. Also, we will always get some blizzards or cold spells sometime in winter because of arctic winds coming over the baltic sea, so you have to be prepared.

  90. DirkH says:

    If Harabin is not a liar, then he is a useful idiot for the Met Office.

  91. ozspeaksup says:

    frank verismo says:
    January 28, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Chairman of the Met Office: Robert Napier
    Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project ($64 trillion under management): Robert Napier.

    Any questions?
    ==========
    none, thats sooo clear!

  92. Chris Wright says:

    @ KGuy,
    That’s an extraordinary account by Peter Sissons, many thanks. I urge everyone to read it. It’s obvious what Sissons’ ‘crime’ was: he decided to find out about climate change on his own initiative, rather than to unthinkingly accept the BBC’s dogma. If only there were more journalists like him….
    I just fired off this email to the Daily Telegraph, though the chances that they will print it are about the same that the Met Office will produce an accurate quarterly forecast….
    *******************************************************************
    As reported by the Telegraph and elsewhere, the BBC’s Roger Harrabin
    wrote:” In October the forecaster privately warned the Government –
    with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an
    extremely cold winter. It kept the prediction secret, however, after
    facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.”
    In other words, Harrabin blames the government for not taking action
    after the Met Office had warned them of an extremely cold winter.
    A recent Freedom of Information release shows that this statement is
    untrue, and may even have been designed to discredit the government. In
    an email dated 25th October, a civil servant in the Cabinet Office
    wrote: “The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to
    January is showing no clear signals for the winter….” In addition, the
    Met Office web site showed a temperature map which indicated fairly mild
    conditions for the coming quarter. In other words, the Met Office super
    computer failed to predict the Arctic conditions that were just a few
    weeks away. A bit odd, as they claim they can forecast the climate 50
    years in the future.
    It seems clear that the country and the government were unprepared for
    the harsh conditions because, once again, the Met Office failed,
    probably because their computer has warming programmed in, and is almost
    incapable of predicting harsh winter conditions. The lack of warning may
    even have contributed to the terrible growth figures just released. That
    Harrabin and the BBC tried to claim that the Met Office really had
    predicted harsh conditions is a disgrace. There must be a serious
    investigation into how this happened. The government should have no
    problem with this, as the FOI disclosures make it clear they were
    actually the victims of incompetence, a welcome change for them.

  93. Vince Causey says:

    Steve McIntyre,

    “I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.”

    Steve, Roger Harrabin has effectively accused the Government on Radio and through National newspapers of ignoring a warning given for a severe start to the winter. This is a very serious matter. If he was misled, if he has made this public accusation on no more than a nod from the Met Office without even bothering to check the email, then he is totally incompetent and a disgrace to his profession. He should resign.

  94. Hobo says:

    Even their definitions of mild, normal, and cold have so much overlap that the 30/30/40 prediction is even more meaningless. Departures from long term average…

    30% mild = -0.1 to +1.3 C
    30% aver = -0.5 to +0.6 C
    30% cold = -1.5 to +0.4 C

    So if it was 0.0 C, they could claim mild, average, or cold…LOL. Of course they would claim mild winter when it was all said and done.

    Not knowing, but my guess is that the UK was way below the cold lower limit since it has been claimed to be the coldest in thermometer history, and 1976 in the report shows a temp of -1.6C departure from the long term average.

  95. Hobo says:

    correction , should have been 40% for cold

  96. Vince Causey says:

    John Finn,

    “On one occasion, in an interview with Al Gore, he challenged Gore about some of the assertions made in An Inconvenient Truth.”

    So, he’s not as completely off the wall as Al Gore and challenged some of the ludicrous claims made. What does that make him – some kind of balanced sceptic? The fact is, Harrabin was happy to run with the met office brief, even to the point of hanging the government. There are only two possibilites – he was duped because he didn’t bother to research the claim, in which speaks of prejudice, or he did see the email and decided to lie. Journalists like that – dishonest or incompetent and biased – are no use to the public they serve.

  97. Hobo says:

    FOI release gave me a good chuckle.

    After describing the temperature forecast, the email released says the “rainfall amounts are less certain”. How can you get less certain than the temperature forcasted.

    Come on people, that is too funny.

  98. Mycroft says:

    It’s becoming more apparent that the BBC & MET office are more concerned about protect their pensions investments and jobs then serving the people who pay for them to exist.
    The esteemed journalist John Pilger aired a programme on ITV a few weeks back on the embedded journalists at the BBC and other news oranisations when reporting on conflicts/wars,he reckons they are “on message” with what the goverment wants reported, it now appears that certain journalists at the BBC, and the MET office employees are embedded within the “climate change community” as its been said before it seems to be a case of follow the money to see why things are as they are!

    Perhaps Anthony or Steve M could ask if Roger Harribin would like to post on here or ClimateAudit to help clear things up?
    as for other thinking this will make into the MSM… no chance maybe daily mail and the express newpapers will do a bit BBC will not touch with a barge pole.
    see the link to the Peter Sission story

  99. David Ball says:

    So someone CAN be misled by their sources. Interesting. Perhaps Steve McIntyre could be as understanding about someone else who has also been misled by his sources.

  100. Tony B (another one) says:

    Am I the only one who detects a small coach load of Harbinger supporters turning up here, to re-write some history?

    He is right in the centre of the AGW cult, regardless of any protestations to the contrary. Take a look at his BBC articles and blogs. Someone show me some content which suggests a neutral , un-biased journalist looking to find the truth?

    And Steve McI – you are brilliant with numbers but way too trusting when judging characters, or motivation.

    If Harbinger survives this, it will confirm everything that has been suggested about BBC bias

  101. Steve in SC says:

    The ineptitude displayed by all concerned is telling.
    Granted that the MSM and the Met office are a bunch of charlatans.

    Why on earth is the government so inept that someone has to tell them that it is winter? Absolutely stupefying!

  102. David S says:

    Anything is possible says:
    “…The $64,000 question for me is :

    Is the Met Office merely incompetent, or is there a more sinister explanation?…”

    That’s an important question. I would state it this way: Are they incompetent or are they crooks?

    But neither incompetence nor crookedness is a good qualification for any office. Either way they should get the boot.

  103. Neo says:

    Met Office prediction for tonight … dark

  104. tonyb says:

    Jit said

    ” (Network Rail say ) One of its most vulnerable stretches of track is on the south Devon coast between Dawlish and Teignmouth where storms have often seen waves break over the line. Network Rail says the sea level at this point has risen 30cm since 1840 and is projected to rise by a further 70cm by 2050 and 1.45m by 2100. “

    My house actually overlooks this line and I have written about it before. Brunel got the wrong alignment as he believed the predominant wind here were westerlies, in which case the line is well protected. However there are also frequent bouts of easterlies which cause those of us along this coast consoderable problems as it greatly increases the height of the swell.

    There are lithographs from the 1850’s showing waves breaking over the railway in the same places as today.

    To this day Brunels sea wall and harbour survive and there is no perceptible change in the sea level (despite Devon sinking marginally) from that day to this.

    tonyb

  105. Phil says:

    Harrabin’s column ought to have been headed “An inconvenient Lie” or “yeh but no but yeh but no but maybe”

  106. Malaga View says:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No34.pdf
    Oct 17th 2010
    Standard Warmist Meteorology has
    nowhere to go – Report on BBC weather Project meeting at Royal Society

    The Scene
    =======
    An impressive room in Britain’s Royal Society off The Mall. Roger Harrabin, BBC’s chief environment correspondent in the chair surrounded by representatives of “All the Royals”, as he put it, either on the presentation line up or ‘at hand’ – the Royal Meteorological Society, The Royal Statistical Society and the Royal Astronomical Society; along with experts (statistics) from Leeds University, Philip Eden of BBC5 weather, Tim Palmer of European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (& RMS), the Met Office (seasonal forecasting division) and a range of other BBC professionals, weather people and public and Michael Fish! – numbering 50 or so in all.

    The Purpose: to discuss the BBC’s ‘Weather (Test) Project.
    The discussion led by Roget Harrabin proceeded as if the purpose was to compare short-range forecasts of Met office and competitors and raised many ‘difficulties’. A number of people said that BBC forecasts were confused in presentation and that although ‘forecast skill’ might be something to measure, forecast usefulness is what the public and business really need.

    ……………..

    Piers pointed out that his own WeatherAction forecast for the winter 2009/10 had been presented last October 28th in summary form in Imperial College in front of Roger Harrabin and others of the BBC who had said they would publicise it; but the BBC had not done this and instead promoted the Met offices ‘Global-Warmist’ ‘seasonal’ forecast for a mild winter which had failed absolutely as had the Met Office seasonal forecasts for the 3 previous summers & winter 08/09.

    The consequence, said Piers, was that his warning that the UK would run out of road salt was ignored by Govt, Local Authorities and Emergency services and as a result there were unnecessary road accidents and deaths. “We have to do better than this” he said to the audience – who listened carefully.

  107. Anoneumouse says:

    @ Steve McIntyre

    Your red ‘slip’ is showing

    Just what evidence do you have to support your statement.

    I once met Harold Shipman, he seemed like a nice gentleman, fortunately I wasn’t seeking medical treatment at the time.

    Harrabin has weasley word form on this.

  108. Malaga View says:

    http://www.weatheraction.com/docs/WANews10No33.pdf

    Oct 4th 2010
    What will this winter be like?

    “Let’s get Real, for our long range forecasts compared with the Met Office over the last 5 extreme seasons the score is 5 to nil; and for the short public track record of PWS – ie the summer just gone – the score is 1 to nil.
    —-
    BBC put hype, spin and ideology before public safety, scientific integrity and saving lives
    —-
    “The BBC (Roger Harrabin) was publicly given key aspects of our winter forecast at our conference in Imperial College on Oct 28th 2009 (Video – ref 5 & 4) but BBC warned no-one and after the winter the BBC ignored our general and detailed success, instead quoting an American much less-detailed forecast for a cold European winter.

  109. Luther Blissett says:

    Steve McIntyre says:
    January 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

    ———————

    Steve has spent time in England. For the benefit of those who have not, this polite circumlocution may be crudely but not inaccurately translated as:

    Harrabin is not a knave, but has been taken for a fool.

  110. James Evans says:

    Roger Harrabin may have integrity, but which cause is he lending that integrity to? He was the author of the scurrilous BBC piece written days before Cancun, which was clearly designed to influence policy makers.

    Met Office says 2010 ‘among hottest on record’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11841368

    He wrote:

    “This year is heading to be the hottest or second hottest on record, according to the Met Office.
    It says global temeratures [sic] for the past 12 months are the warmest recorded by Nasa, and second in the UK data set, HadCRUT3.
    The Met Office says it is very confident that man-made global warming is forcing up temperatures.”

    He seems to be quite happy to act as a mouthpiece for the Met Office, without any attempt at independent investigation. I find it hard to believe that he is so naive that he doesn’t get what the Met Office is up to.

  111. So the ‘winter season’ will ‘start’ when it get ‘cold and wintry’, and the ‘winter season’ will ‘end’ when it turns ‘mild’, provided always that the mild event is ‘beyond this assessment’ (i.e. February onwards).

    Tell me something I don’t already know.

  112. MarkR says:

    Doublethink – 1984 George Orwell
    Main article: Doublethink
    The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

    – Part II, Chapter IX — The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four#Doublethink

  113. Smokey says:

    MarkR,

    Dr Leon Festinger made a study of that mental derangement. He called Orwell’s doublethink “cognitive dissonance.”

  114. danj says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the Met Office to simply get a copy of the Farmer’s Almanac?

    The sad fact of the matter is, as long as they get their paychecks, they don’t care what anyone says–and no one is going to take their paychecks away.

  115. John Finn says:

    Vince Causey says:
    January 29, 2011 at 6:30 am
    John Finn,

    “On one occasion, in an interview with Al Gore, he challenged Gore about some of the assertions made in An Inconvenient Truth.”

    So, he’s not as completely off the wall as Al Gore and challenged some of the ludicrous claims made. What does that make him – some kind of balanced sceptic? The fact is, Harrabin was happy to run with the met office brief, even to the point of hanging the government. There are only two possibilites – he was duped because he didn’t bother to research the claim, in which speaks of prejudice, or he did see the email and decided to lie. Journalists like that – dishonest or incompetent and biased – are no use to the public they serve

    Let’s put it this way. If, for example, Steve, Anthony, Roy Spencer or Richard Lindzen made an inaccurate statement which appeared to counter the AGW argument – how many readers of this blog would be prepared to bring it to the public’s attention in a one-to-one interview. As an AGW advocate, Harrabin deserves credit for raising what must have been a difficult issue for him personally.

    I’ve read a lot of nonsense which has gone unchallenged simply because it’s been written by ‘our side’.

  116. Mike. says:

    Am I missing something? Is there not a missing E-mail, as in the actual first one from the Met office, with the actual forecast. Aside from that has anyone heard of a return to very low temperatures this coming February, and as such gritters have been told to restock. It could be hearsay, but I have been talking to a local councillor, and was offered that info.

  117. Jimbo says:

    John Finn says:
    January 29, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Let’s put it this way. If, for example, Steve, Anthony, Roy Spencer or Richard Lindzen made an inaccurate statement which appeared to counter the AGW argument – how many readers of this blog would be prepared to bring it to the public’s attention in a one-to-one interview.

    Steve, Anthony, Roy Spencer or Richard Lindzen are not journalists. Harrabin is a journalist from a large worldwide broadcaster who has a duty to check facts, statements and other bit of information. He could have asked to see a copy of the cold weather warning given to the government.

  118. Jimbo says:

    John Finn says:
    January 29, 2011 at 11:25 am

    By the way I used to work for the information at the BBC headquarters and I know a little about how careful they are about taking things on face value.

    In October the forecaster privately warned the Government – with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter.

    Caveats could have saved him here. He could have said:

    An unnamed source from the Met Office has told me that in October the forecaster privately warned the Government – with whom it has a contract – that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter. We won’t know unless we see the communication between the Met Office and the Government.

  119. Jimbo says:

    Correction:
    By the way I used to work for the information service at….

  120. pat says:

    bbc has a policy not to report news without confirmation by a second reliable source. besides, harrabin should not have reported met office hearsay, unless he was posting the forecast in question.
    harrabin did neither.
    having worked at BBC for two years, the idea anyone there has “integrity” is laughable.
    p.s. i certainly wouldn’t consider anyone had “integrity” unless i knew them for years and observed a pattern to indicate this was so and, even then, i might be proved wrong.

  121. Vince Causey says:

    John Finn,

    “I’ve read a lot of nonsense which has gone unchallenged simply because it’s been written by ‘our side’.”

    There is some truth in what you say. That goes to the heart of cognitive biases. However, this is not a simple case of a flawed paper by a sceptical scientist. If this journalist knew beforehand that there was no such warning, but went ahead and fabricated a warning in order to accuse the government of failing to act, this is a very serious matter. I cannot see any way out – he is either a liar or grossly negligent. This is certainly not the same as a blogger over egging a flawed paper from their favourite scientist. To make this comparison is the beginnings of yet another whitewashing exercise, further undermining the credibility of climate science. I can’t see how that would be in anyones interest. I would hope that some AGW supporters would at least draw the line in the sand and say, this journalist has some explaining to do.

  122. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    frank verismo says:
    January 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    @RockyRoad:
    This is what happens when a cult replaces science. The faster the MET and BBC are discredited the better.

    Funny you should mention those two in the same sentence. Further to my previous post:

    Head of the BBC’s pension fund: Peter Dunscombe
    Head of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change: (wait for it . . . . ) Peter Dunscombe!

    Does anyone else detect a pattern here?

    ====================================================

    Yes, I do. It’s called manipulating the market.

  123. Alan Wilkinson says:

    The usual failure honestly and competently to estimate and report the error range of the estimate.

    This is not science, it is blatant political P.R. – both dishonest and incompetent. Only a Government agency can survive such exposure and discrediting.

  124. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    At this point I’m not too keen on the British government doing something about this. I am only hoping the public is made aware of this story. Because I am keen that the court of public opinion will reach critical mass over global warming.

  125. An Inquirer says:

    Speaking of cold, Minneapolis is on the verge of setting an interesting record: the whole month of January without going above freezing. Given the forecast to return to subzero temperatures by Monday, the record looks like it is going to be achieved.

  126. frank verismo says:

    @AminoAcids:

    Yes, I do. It’s called manipulating the market.

    Not to mention making a very large number of employees hostages (via their pensions) to the AGW theory.

    Because I am keen that the court of public opinion will reach critical mass over global warming.

    This is an excellent point: ultimately, that critical mass of disgust will, long term, prove far more beneficial to civilisation as a whole than any tinkering government may try to placate the public with.

    Large sections of the public are learning some hard lessons about trust and power. This is long overdue IMO and will, I firmly believe, lead to some permanent and positive shifts regarding not just the responsibilities of the powerful but also those of the citizen. Ironic that nullius in verba is becoming the people’s watchword (albeit in plain English).

  127. lapogus says:

    Mike. says:
    January 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

    … Aside from that has anyone heard of a return to very low temperatures this coming February, and as such gritters have been told to restock. It could be hearsay, but I have been talking to a local councillor, and was offered that info.

    Mike, a friend heard the same story, i.e. very cold and blizzards are in the pipeline. This from subcontractors who the local council have to call in to help clear the snow from the roads (as they have had had to do the last two winters). Highland Perthshire. I have not heard of any forecast from the Met Office which confirms this. But Peirs Corbyn did forecast (back in early January) a very severe end to January – which has not happened – maybe the event is still on the cards, but a week or so later than he initially calculated. It may be that councils are wising up and sourcing non Met Office forecasts, unofficially at least – our local council ran out of salt in mid January, and many roads (covered with snow) went un-treated for 2 or 3 days – which they got away without the press noticing. I suspect there’s more than a few senior people in roads departments in Scotland who no longer believe anything the Met Office says, about short term weather events or long term global bollocks.

  128. George Steiner says:

    Mr. McIntyre has faith but no evidence.
    Hardly a good position for an auditor.

  129. LazyTeenager says:

    The all important sentence is the first.  ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’. 
    ———
    Seems to be a bit of quote cherrypicking here to further the intent of discrediting the Met Office.

    There is is the more important 70 percent cold vs 60 percent warm sentences.

    Here is a plausible scenario. There are a bunch of indicators being used by a group of people using their professional judgement. They don’t necessarily agree with each other. They produce a consensus wording for the report. The gov talks to one guy, the reporter to another. The result is different shades of intrepretation with the reporter also adding a different slant.

  130. Malaga View says:

    Decode: B+B=C
    Where: A=1, B=2, C=3 etc
    Result: 2+2=3 or whaterver their political master say.

  131. John Blake says:

    Now that Met Office prevarications are exploding like a fleet of Hindenburg dirigibles, it’s time to triple the bonus incentives to overwrought officials who have suffered such obloquy in Warmists’ Cause. As “unearned increments,” such monies may yet come in handy for posting their bail bonds.

  132. charles nelson says:

    I have heard tell of an organization called Common Purpose; an informal alliance of like minded journos who agreed to use their positions of influence in major MSM outlets to guide and promote the AGW agenda.
    Is this a real organization?

  133. Brian H says:

    It would appear that Gore’s shouted abuse of poor Tony worked just fine. It made a Believer of him!

  134. Brian H says:

    LT;
    Uh-huh. And what, pray tell, is the entire structure and organization of the MET (or any other technical advisory body) designed to do if not provide clear and useful advice? Pournelle’s Iron Law (the paper-pushers always take over the asylum) has rendered the MET useless.

  135. frank verismo says:

    @charles nelson:
    I have heard tell of an organization called Common Purpose; an informal alliance of like minded journos who agreed to use their positions of influence in major MSM outlets to guide and promote the AGW agenda.
    Is this a real organization?

    Yes, it is real (though not an alliance of journalists as such) and is run by one Julia Middleton, who is also Deputy Chair of the Media Standards Trust Board. Her catchphrase is: leading beyond authority. Some believe it to be a rather sinister organisation, a kind of fifth column for making sure those in important positions stay on message on the vital issues of the day, whether they be the EU or AGW.

    Some further information:
    http://cpexposed.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Middleton

    My personal view when it comes to the MSM and AGW is that much of the bias can be put down to self-interest, laziness and a simple, tragic lack of genuine investigative journalism. Much – but of course not all. It is an agenda decades in the making, after all.

  136. FrancicChalk says:

    At some point you Europeans will realize that having a state-controlled media like the BBC only leads to dishonest reporting. I would think the seemingly endless list of false reporting over environmental issues and climategate would be more than enough for you Brits to ditch the BBC, but I guess a majority of the UK is so hard left that the leftist tripe posing as news on the BBC is considered acceptable, in fact, desirable.

  137. wobble says:

    Steve McIntyre says:
    January 29, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I’ve met Roger Harrabin and am completely confident that he behaved with total integrity in this matter. I am sure that he was misled by his sources.

    The problem is that Roger didn’t say, “according to my sources….” or “the Met Office claims….”

    On the contrary, Roger stated, “The truth is it did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October.”

    See the problem? Roger stated this fact as definitive truth. I mean, he literally used the word, “truth.” He can’t blame his source for that.

  138. Manfred says:

    A former UEA scientist is now leading the Royal Society, after the terrible collaboration of his predecessor with the UEA administration during the climategate inquiries.

    The Met Office is lying towards the public, the press and the government, but both press and government don’t care.

    WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord. Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord.

    Democracy has gone.

  139. Malaga View says:

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/01/article-of-faith.html

    It has become enormously important for the Met Office to protect is own claim that it in some way predicted the severe weather at the beginning of the winter, so much so that it has become an article of faith that it was correct. To cement the lie, and with the help of the BBC’s Roger Harrabin, the Met Office has been attempting to re-write history.

  140. Malaga View says:

    http://biased-bbc.blogspot.com/2011/01/green-business.html

    Some time ago, I noted that Roger Harrabin seemed to be offering his services for hire as a speaker at greenie events, and was seemingly paid amounts up to £10,000 and more for his appearances. I can’t confirm this, of course, because I haven’t seen his financial records, but I believe it is a reasonable inference to make; he’s registered with a fee-making agency as a “performing artiste” (no less) and I don’t imagine that he is there purely for the good of his health. If he doesn’t accept payment, I will be happy to put the record straight, though he hasn’t responded to my invite to do so.

    ……..

    I’ve been digging a little bit deeper in this patch, and it doesn’t stop there. Our Mr Harrabin is also listed as a speaker with an outfit called Green Business Events (GBE). This is a body which frightens me to the core, and – I submit – shows the extent to which greenie madness has taken hold of the establishment, with activists persuading each other on a regular basis that they are on a righteous crusade to save the world.

  141. An Inquirer says:

    Cancel that record for Minnesota. The books now say that the temperature was 33 degrees on Saturday. I was there and never saw the temps get close to 30, but I do know that the official book is often warmer than what we read on weather.com.

  142. Dave Springer says:

    The problem with the MET office not being able to make an accurate seasonal forecast is of course due to CO2. Evidently it not only pollutes the air but also clouds the mind.

  143. John Finn says:

    Jimbo says:
    January 29, 2011 at 11:56 am

    You’ve responded to a completely separate point. My point is that Harrabin has integrity since he challenged Gore on air about some of the more extreme claims in his book. This put the AGW cause at risk – a cause close to Harrabin’s heart.

    How many on here would be prepared to challenge inaccuracies from the sceptic side in a live interview.

  144. Jon says:

    Could the attempt to ridicule the government about weather (and, by extension, climate) have anything to do with the PM being a Conservative?

  145. Mike Haseler says:

    John Finn says:
    My point is that Harrabin has integrity since he challenged Gore on air about some of the more extreme claims in his book. This put the AGW cause at risk – a cause close to Harrabin’s heart.

    How many on here would be prepared to challenge inaccuracies from the sceptic side in a live interview.

    The BBC have a legal duty to be impartial. That is not a “give a nod” and ask the odd question once in a blue moon. It is to treat all assertions equally sceptical.

    And yes … I do challenge BS if on see it on the sceptic side … we are winning this debate by being open and honest, and we’ve got nothing to loose by challenging anyone who proposes bad science.

  146. Vince Causey says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    The all important sentence is the first. ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’.
    ———
    Seems to be a bit of quote cherrypicking here to further the intent of discrediting the Met Office.
    ===========
    It would only be cherrypicking if the rest of the report went on to say the opposite. If another paragraph of the report, for example, says ‘There actually IS a clear signal for a severe start to winter,’ then that would have been cherrypicking. But how can you seriously accuse the author of cherrypicking because he selected a sentence that is competely in agreement with the rest of the report?

  147. George Lawson says:

    We know what most of the AGW Cult have to gain from promoting their cause against true scientific dialogue, but can anyone tell me what the BBC gain from promoting AGW to the extent of withholding genuine scientific information to the contrary view. and even lying to the public on the subject?

  148. Allan says:

    Someone may have already made this point and I apologise if I am repeating it but I didn’t see it.

    Roger Harrabin with the help of the MSM managed to advance the idea that the MET office told the Government that they did in fact predict a colder than average winter and the Government did not prepare the public for this and that it is all the Governments fault that we were so ill prepared and nothing to do with the MET office.

    Katabasis via his FOI request has now proved that this is at best Roger Harrabin was naive in his reporting and at worst was complicit in helping the MET office spread untruths.

    It is very unlikely that the MSM will pick up on the excellent detective work of Katabasis and the only people who will be aware of this are people who read the blogs of Libertarian leaning bloggers and sceptic sites such as this one which means that a lot of people who only read the MSM or do not frequent the aforememtioned blogs will be left with the impression that has been left by the initial reporting by Roger Harrabin.

  149. RichieP says:

    Andy Mayhew says:
    January 29, 2011 at 4:49 am:

    “So the media/blogosphere get caught out yet again.

    They lied to us when they made up the false story about the MetO predicting a mild winter and they lied to us when they implied that the MetO had warned the government about the severe start we had to winter.

    The only people coming out of this well are the MetO who have told the truth all along!”

    I’m not sure whether to take this seriously or not or whether I’ve entirely misread it but, Andy, if it’s serious, I expect you’re tired after your recent trip from Alternate Universe #M190/E37-a/T090 and, in your exhaustion, have forgotten that our cosmos is a complete reverse flip of yours. You’ll get used to it, don’t worry.

    FrancicChalk says:
    January 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm:

    “At some point you Europeans will realize that having a state-controlled media like the BBC only leads to dishonest reporting.”

    Oh, I think we realised that a long time ago. But it’s not just the BBC, it’s a worldwide problem. This may have been posted above but it bears repeating:
    http://www.climategate.com/follow-the-money-bbc-exposed-in-biggest-climate-racket-on-planet

  150. RichieP says:

    Very few ‘average’ Britons, who know little about science or climate, will come here for their information but they *will get their views formed by the people they most listen to. Delingpole tells us about what the ‘Celebrity DJ’ Chris Evans and his mates have to say on the topic. It’s not really surprising that the BBC line is probably accepted by large numbers of unquestioning and uninterested folk
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100073695/what-bbc-radio-2s-chris-evans-thinks-about-global-warming/
    Make of it what you will.

  151. Mike. says:

    I still think that without the original e-mail from Met office to government the premise is flawed. What it may have said can only be hinted at by what is said on that return e-mail to the Met office, and there are no quotation marks. It could have been a straight copy and paste lift of course, and there is a difference in text size between the body of the e-mail and the sender’s responses.

  152. Vince Causey says:

    Allan,

    “It is very unlikely that the MSM will pick up on the excellent detective work of Katabasis and the only people who will be aware of this are people who read the blogs of Libertarian leaning bloggers and sceptic sites such as this one.”

    Sadly true. However, at least when you discuss this with people and ask if they knew that the story about the met office supposedly having warned the government of a severe winter in 2010/11 was untrue. You can tell them about the actual email sent to the cabinet office which contained nothing of the kind. They may be shocked that not only is there actual proof that the BBC and the met office fabricated a falsehood against the government, but hardly any of the media has reported on this. So what else is it they think they know that ain’t necessarily so.

  153. Vince Causey says:

    Andy Mayhew says:
    January 29, 2011 at 4:49 am:

    “So the media/blogosphere get caught out yet again.

    They lied to us when they made up the false story about the MetO predicting a mild winter and they lied to us when they implied that the MetO had warned the government about the severe start we had to winter.

    The only people coming out of this well are the MetO who have told the truth all along!”
    ==================
    And Nixon never bugged telephones and the moon landing was filmed in a studio in Arizona. Cuckoo!

  154. stephen richards says:

    Here’s a little gem from La France.
    Bilan global de l’année 2010
    Avec une température annuelle inférieure de 0,3 °C à la moyenne de référence 1971-2000, l’année 2010 se positionne en France métropolitaine comme la plus fraîche de ces deux dernières décennies, avec 1996. Pour trouver une année plus froide, il faut remonter en 1987 avec une température moyenne inférieure de 0,5 °C à la normale*. Ces températures basses ont d’ailleurs concerné l’ensemble de l’Europe du Nord. Le diagnostic est toutefois très différent à l’échelle planétaire puisque la température moyenne globale de l’année 2010, terres et océans compris, s’annonce comme l’une des plus chaudes des 130 dernières années.

    Coldest year in France since 1987. These low temperatures concerned the rest of Northern Europe. The diagnosis is very different at the planetary scale when the average global temperature was announced as the warmest in the last 130 years. That means that the UK was below the norm, northern europe and france below the norm, australia below the norm but the world searingly hot.

  155. stephen richards says:

    Jon says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:59 am
    Could the attempt to ridicule the government about weather (and, by extension, climate) have anything to do with the PM being a Conservative?

    No, NO, NO Jon, Cameron is a liberal in every sense of the word. He is as far as is possible from being a true blue.

  156. georgeo says:

    A question just begging to be researched is whether anyone made much money from the unexpected demand for fuel or carbon credits. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but nobody else has.

  157. Mike. says:

    Maybe it helps to back just a bit. this little item from the Daily Mail October 12th 2010, and where did this seemingly accurate forecast come from? You can juggle the dates a bit, but it was made a long time before 25th October. Then again February this year is also mentioned as being “bitterly cold” something about which I was making earlier enquiries, that’s how I found this,

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1318765/Camden-Council-hands-2-000-spades-telling-residents-dig-snows.html

  158. HK says:

    Several days now and, outside of the Telegraph’s blogs, not a single mention of this in the UK’s mainstream press.

    I would have thought this might be interesting to the UK media – but evidently not.

  159. psi says:

    My favorite bit is, “Rainfall amounts are less certain,” which follows:

    … “no clear signals” … “less certain” … “roughly equal signals” …. “some indications”

  160. Brian H says:

    Ah, these entertaining battles between armies of CYA artists! Each trying to get at the others’ butts, while protecting their own … quite a spectacle! To sodomize, or be sodomized, that is the question ….

    ;)

  161. A HOLMES says:

    Please leave the Met Office alone you guys , we Brits know exactly how to take their long range forecasts , its in a simple code – if they say its going to be wet it will be dry , if its going to be cold it will be mild , etc etc . If they are made to change then we will not know what to think !!

Comments are closed.