James Delingpole is a Telegraph columnist who is constantly banging on about climate change being a complete myth. Today, for example, he writes …
Now even Pravda admits the ‘global warming’ jig is up
It’s Death of Little Nell time again in the field of climate “science.” The New York Times – aka Pravda – has announced the closure of its Environment Desk. Rumours that the entire environment team, headed by Andy Revkin, have volunteered to be recycled into compost and spread on the lawn of the new billion dollar home Al Gore bought with the proceeds of his sale of Current TV to Middle Eastern oil interests are as yet unconfirmed. What we do know is that it’s very, very sad and that all over the Arctic baby polar bears are weeping bitter tears of regret.
A spokesman for the New York Times, quoted in the Guardian, has reaffirmed the paper’s commitment to environmental issues.
“We devote a lot of resources to it, now more than ever. We have not lost any desire for environmental coverage. This is purely a structural matter.”
Absolutely. It’s what newspapers always do when they’re committed to a particular field: close down the entire department responsible for covering it.
Yes indeed, the chap who writes under the byline … “broadcaster who is right about everything”, is claiming climate change is a myth and his evidence today is that a newspaper has decided to scrap its environment desk for purely internal structural reasons. He even highlights the reason for this shift, they felt that environmental stories are partly business, economic, national or local, and so do to the recognition of this complexity they now want to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story, but then proceeds to simply dismiss their explication. This of course is not unique, he makes such daft claims all the time.
What can one do when faced with such daft claims except roll ones eyes, oh and perhaps blog about it.
Not too long ago Mr Dellingpole wrote about “The crazy climate change obsession that’s made the Met Office a menace” within the Daily Mail. What makes that one fun is that The Met Office hit back, they published this …
An article by James Delingpole appears in the Daily Mail today under the headline‘The crazy climate change obsession that’s made the Met Office a menace’.
This article contains a series of factual inaccuracies about the Met Office and its science, as outlined below.
Firstly, he claims the Met Office failed to predict snow in 2010, but our 5-day forecasts accurately forecast 12 out of 13 snowfall events – as you can see in this article. In addition thePress Complaints Commission has also already addressed this fallacy with the Daily Telegraph in February of last year. As a result the newspaper published a clarification that highlighted that “the Met Office did warn the public of last winter’s [2010/11] cold weather from early November 2010.”
Mr Delingpole also says we failed to predict flooding in November last year. Once again, our 5-day forecasts gave accurate guidance and warnings throughout the period. In just one example of feedback the Met Office has received for highly accurate forecasting and guidance throughout 2012, Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton, Chair for the Local Resilience Forum for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (which was one of the areas most affected by flooding in November), said: “[I] would like to formally thank and recognise the hard work of the Met Office over the past week. The information you provided was invaluable and enabled the responders in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to prepare and respond effectively to assist our communities.”
Mr Delingpole then inaccurately states that the Met Office has conceded ‘there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening’. We have not said this at any point.
In fact, we explicitly say this was not the case in an article, posted on the home page of our website and widely circulated, which was written in response to articles about updates to our decadal forecast. Professor Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist, has also provided a more in depth feature on ‘Decadal Forecasting – What is it and what does it tell us?’.
Further on in the print version of the article (although amended online), Mr Delingpole says “According to the Met, Britain is apparently experiencing more rain by volume and intensity than at any time since records began.” Although he is right in saying the Met Office haspublished preliminary observations which show an increase in the intensity and volume of rain, we are clear that this relates to a period from 1960 onwards – not ‘since records began’ as he claims.
He also states that the Met Office was trying to defend a narrative that the “the past ten years have been the ‘wettest decade ever’”. Again, this is not something the Met Office has ever said.
Also he quotes David Whitehouse of the Global Warming Policy Foundation saying that the Met Office ‘thinks weather forecasting is beneath it’ and that ‘climate change… brings in more money’.
A cursory glance at our annual report and accounts (pdf) would reveal weather forecasting represents the vast majority of the Met Office’s contractual work on behalf of the public.
There are also a number of other accusations which cannot be substantiated.
Mr Delingpole does quote Dr Whitehouse saying “when it comes to four or five day weather forecasting, the Met Office is the best in the world.”
This supports the view of the World Meterological Organization (WMO) which consistently ranks the Met Office in the top two operational forecasters in the world.
Our reputation for forecasting accuracy is based on our commitment to provide the world’s best weather and climate service which helps protect lives and property here in the UK and around the world.
None of this is in any way unique, he has been doing this for some time now. Last month he was rebuked by the Australian Press Council for a column in which he described an Australian renewable energy programme as a “Ponzi scheme”, accused a law firm of gagging climate sceptics, and quoted a supposedly anonymous source who compared the wind-farm industry to a paedophile ring.
Delingpole was further criticised for making claims about the health risks associated with wind farms, which the watchdog noted were contrary to “extensive academic research” on the subject. Least you wonder, the phrase “contrary to extensive academic research” is a press council term for “complete bollocks”.
I never cease to be amazed at how almost every fracking thing from the guy who claims he is right about everything is in fact factually wrong. So why is he given a platform? Well, perhaps because newspapers need to give priority to economic survival, so they stir things up by publishing the ravings of a complete kook to draw people to their platform.