(January 10, 2011) What happens when the inmates run the insane asylum? This experiment is being run in the UK, where the ultra-green former head of the World Wildlife Fund UK and other global warming activists were put in charge of running the country’s Meteorological Office, the country’s weather department. The Met Office is now embroiled in national scandals — and it has become the likely subject of a Parliamentary Inquiry — because the true believers at the helm appear to have been playing around with the weather.
One scandal involves the UK Met’s reliance on models that predict global warming. Using this flawed research, the Met has been getting its forecasts spectacularly wrong, leading to turmoil when the government was subsequently ill-prepared to clear roads of snow. “Investment in more equipment may not be economic, given rarity of British snow,” stated one article in the Guardian, explaining a government-commissioned report that highlighted the silliness of preparing for weather conditions that won’t occur under global warming. “Are you happy to invest more in kit that may sit at the back of the depot and won’t be used?” the report’s author stated rhetorically.
The UK has now had three fierce winters in a row. In 2008, the UK experienced its coldest winter in 10 years after the Met predicted “a milder than average” winter. In 2009, the UK experienced the coldest winter in 30 years after the Met predicted that “the trend to milder and wetter winters is expected to continue.” In 2010, the UK experienced the coldest winter on record, paralyzing the country’s transportation system and leading the chairman of parliament’s Transport Select committee to indicate that hearings would be occurring.
The parliamentary hearings will likely also deal with politicization of the weather, designed to avoid embarrassing the UK’s pro-global warming government, prior to the UN’s global warming conference in Cancun in December. By October, the Met Office realized that the country could be in for “an exceptionally cold winter” and advised the UK cabinet – a big promoter of Cancun — of this turn of events. Yet the Met decided not to let the public in on its revised forecast. To the contrary, throughout October and November, the Met continued to claim that 2010 would likely be the hottest year on record.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and the author of The Deniers.
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