Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Flak Catchers Mau Mau Delingpole

In Radical Chic and Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers Tom Wolfe described the 1960 ritual dance between radicals and the bureaucracy in San Francisco, where local groups of militant climate change denialists descend upon the Met Office with FOIA letters, which, in its appointed role, sits there and takes them seriously.  Everyone goes out for a drink or the chemical of their choice afterwards.

However, as Eli has been pointing out the flak catchers are not happy.  Today the Met Office (British weather forecasting agency) had enough and has started shooting back, using what else, their blog

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 the Press 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 has published 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.
There are, of course comments which tend to be less constrained by the niceties of government agencies and so far (early days) support the met office.  Here is a pungent one from etonmess

Amazed to see it has been 15 seconds and there aren’t a million and one climate change deniers on here.
It’s probably because they are already convinced that Global Warming is a massive communist-marxist conspiracy invented by evil scientists (including the Met Office) and the ‘EUSSR’… who are all part of a baffling conspiracy with no obvious point.
They have no doubt moved on to the next great scourge of the free market: this so-called ‘gravity’ that the same scientists pretend exists.
It is why at exactly midday tomorrow, James Delingpole, Lord Monckton and the entire crew of Fox News are going to ride a giant unicycle off the edge of the Grand Canyon and PROVE CONCLUSIVELY that they are also correct about the lies that gravity-believers peddle.
and friend Caerbannog or a cousin points out
Maybe you should ship Delingpole over to our side of the pond. He’d be a very small minnow in an ocean of American idiocy and would quickly be lost in the noise.

You Brits would enjoy a statistically significant reduction in idiocy over there, and we would suffer only a statistically insignificant (and unnoticeable) increase in idiocy over here.
Eli suggests piling on, esp when the poo flingers show up.


Anonymous said...

Exactly what do facts have to do with Delingpol?


Anonymous said...

Maybe such porkie pies should now be know as Dellingpoop.


Anonymous said...

So the MetOffice proved they have the 5-day weather forecast down pat.

clap clap clap.

EliRabett said...

Why yes, five days is worthy of a clap

Anonymous said...

the national post also ran the story and quoted our good friends McKitrick and Lomborg extensively. my favorite bit:

“It’s like Keynesian economic models in the 1970s that kept predicting high inflation would bring down unemployment,” Prof. McKitrick said. “Eventually they were so far off reality that it was no longer a case of trying to fine tune bits that didn’t fit...had to admit the underlying theory was wrong and start over.”

oh the hypocrisy! It burns! It burns!


Lars Karlsson said...

Delingple also extensively quotes fake skeptic David Whitehouse of Global Warming Policy Foundation.

J Bowers said...

The Met Office is a trading fund. It pays for itself and returns a dividend to its government owner. It also has a mobile unit operating in war zones advising our forces of one of the most important bits of information needed: meteorological conditions. Such things don't come cheap.

The Prophet's lost his marbles.

susan said...

It is frustrating that an obvious nutter like Delingpole has attained such status that he can spew his vomit all over reality in that prissy authoritarian accent, and people believe him.

tragic, really ...

David B. Benson said...

Shows that charlatans can actually fool the foolable.

"Moby Thesaurus words for foolable: artless, befoolable, cullible, deceivable, deludable, dupable, easy, exploitable, green, gullible, hoaxable, hoodwinkable, humbugable, inexperienced, ingenuous, naive, persuadable, seduceable, simple, soft, unsophisticated, victimizable" from

Anonymous said...

A right-wing nutter just being a right-wing nutter? I don't see the newsworthiness here..


Anonymous said...

"The Delingpole"
-- by Horatio Algeranon

They dance around the Delingpole,
And tangle up the facts
A web of lies, the final goal,
A totem pole for hacks.

susan said...

Horatio (at the bridge), thank you!

David, cullable implies a great cull of the human race. Sad and likely ... from the mouths of babes.

Hank Roberts said...

is this what The Australian was excited about yesterday, I mean tomorrow?

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