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Mayor Boris bashes the Met Office

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, boasts that his Transport for London is doing its bit to keep London up and running over Christmas, but complains that Heathrow has spoilt the London Transport picture. Why? Because it believed the Met Office:

… Why did the Met Office forecast a “mild winter”?

Do you remember? They said it would be mild and damp, and between one degree and one and a half degrees warmer than average. Well, I am now 46 and that means I have seen more winters than most people on this planet, and I can tell you that this one is a corker.

I am now 63 and I can tell you that snow lands and then settles in London, before Christmas, just about … never. Well, hardly ever. Until now. I should have made that clearer in this earlier posting here. The point is that this is not normal. I quite realise that they have somewhat more snow in Minnesota over the winter. But in London, in December, snow on the ground has been a rarity.

Back to Boris:

Never mind the record low attained in Northern Ireland this weekend. I can’t remember a time when so much snow has lain so thickly on the ground, and we haven’t even reached Christmas. And this is the third tough winter in a row. Is it really true that no one saw this coming?

Actually, they did. Allow me to introduce readers to Piers Corbyn, meteorologist and brother of my old chum, bearded leftie MP Jeremy. Piers Corbyn works in an undistinguished office in Borough High Street. He has no telescope or supercomputer. Armed only with a laptop, huge quantities of publicly available data and a first-class degree in astrophysics, he gets it right again and again.

Back in November, when the Met Office was still doing its “mild winter” schtick, Corbyn said it would be the coldest for 100 years. Indeed, it was back in May that he first predicted a snowy December, and he put his own money on a white Christmas about a month before the Met Office made any such forecast. He said that the Met Office would be wrong about last year’s mythical “barbecue summer”, and he was vindicated. He was closer to the truth about last winter, too.

He seems to get it right about 85 per cent of the time and serious business people – notably in farming – are starting to invest in his forecasts. In the eyes of many punters, he puts the taxpayer-funded Met Office to shame. How on earth does he do it? He studies the Sun.

We here at Samizdata have been studying the sun and how it causes cold winters, as in linking to people who are studying the sun and how it causes cold winters, for quite some time now.

Cold weather is now officially anti-left in its political orientation. So, on this issue, we here can either be warm, or correct. Take your pick. Personally I’m still mulling it over. The lefties will either be, against all current trends, warm and right, or will shiver and be wrong. (Sounds a bit like a certain Sondheim lyric.)

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43 comments to Mayor Boris bashes the Met Office

  • Frank S

    ‘cold weather is now officially anti-left’ – what a fine apercu that is!

    The Met Office has turned into something of a CO2 Panic Club thanks in part to the guidance of one Robert Napier, who had previously managed to convert the World Wildlife Fund into a body less concerned with the birds and beasts than one obsessed with that same trace gas in the air. Very lucrative that turned out to be for the WWF. And the Met Office has also seen massive expansions of its budget and influence. But the suffering beasts of ‘the World’, and the suffering inhabitants of the UK, have not seen their happiness enlarge thanks to him.

    Perhaps if the Met Office could rediscover an interest in weather and observations, and back away from speculative computer models (be they for Icelandic Ash – another fiasco, or for climate), we might just be better served.

  • Dishman

    Sooner or later, reality trumps human notions.

    The advantage Liberty has over Statism is that it allows far more opportunities for risk-taking and independently re-evaluating reality.

    At its best, Statism tries very hard to get it right. Liberty allows for getting it wrong, and constant adapts.

    “There is a Black Swan in the last room of the Hilbert Hotel.” No matter how good your evaluation is, it will always be incomplete.

    “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” In a more general context, “No plan survives contact with reality.” All you can do is leave flexibility to adapt. If you lock yourself into a plan, failure is assured.

  • dfwmtx

    Keep watching the snow and laughing about “global warming”. Please kindly forgets the Greens and eco-nuts have moved on and are now calling it “climate change”. This big, hulking ambiguity of danger, like the left’s “corporations” or the right’s “terrorism” (oh, if only we were allowed to call it Islamic terrorism, if only for a few hours) gives great big scary soundbite but hides ones ignorance of specific details or glaring inaccuracies really well.
    And remember, humans are ALWAYS the problem….except when we’re talking about socialism. Then it’s those greedy white capitalist Christian males who are always the problem.

  • Just started snowing here again in Northampton. As Brian says, the unusual thing is it sticking around. We had a half inch a couple of days ago, and it hasn’t budged. Remarkable.

    As to Boris, he seems to be a weathervane to tell which way the political wind is blowing. The man seems to have no opinions whatsoever, beyond following whatever is the fashionable thing for a faux-buffoonish pseudo-populist. If he thought joining the Socialist Workers Party would get him a vote, he’d do it. He’s been anti-GW, pro-GW, anti-nanny state, pro-nanny state. Another useless twat.

    Paul Marks and I (the Northants Libertarian Tendency) have some disagreements about what conservatism is, but I think we can both agree that whatever this current useless crop are, they aren’t conservatives of any stripe.

  • This is Southport calling.
    About three days ago we had a foot of snow in the night, it’s still here, and the temperature has hovered between -6 and -12C the whole time, including in the bright noonday sun.

    There has been not a breath of wind, the Moon is like searchlight, and the various farmers’ wind-turbines are silent useless towers of junk.

    Cars slither about, and especially the little light “eco” mobiles that pay no “road tax”, get stuck and have to be pushed off.

  • Rob

    Their piety keeps them warm

  • Kevin B

    Someone called Paul Deacon commented thusly on the WUWT thread on this topic:

    [Boris’] disclaimer:

    “…The question is whether anthropogenic global warming is the exclusive or dominant fact that determines our climate, or whether Corbyn is also right to insist on the role of the Sun. Is it possible that everything we do is dwarfed by the moods of the star that gives life to the world? “

    is the template for how politicians will walk away from AGW doctrine

    I reckon he could be onto something.

  • Chuck6134

    Whenever the weather pattern varies to any degree, its caused by “global warming” and thus by extension- it is mankind’s fault.

    Sure makes it pretty easy for the global warming enviro weenies to then claim this too supports global warming…

  • I don’t really care. I just wish it were not so f*cking freezing right now.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Well, Michael, move to russia of Greece, where they are exceptionally warm.
    Could it be that some old-fashioned communist in russia has found a way to steal Britain’s Sunshine? It all makes sense now! The Russians are stealing your good weather! Nuke them all now!

  • pete

    The Met Office is government funded so it toes the government line on global warming and the need for green taxes. It’s as simple as that.

    Exactly the same applies to the BBC.

  • It is fucking freezing in Cheshire now. And yes, I used to live in London. Jeez… I’m from Gateshead and this is unusual. I have never been colder in my puff. Apart from in a certain state of the USA. No. It’s not where Sarah Palin is from. It’s where Al Gore is from. Thing was if I got in my girlfriend’s Honda it would be warm but my hands were too cold to work the door. Sudden snowstorm in Memphis. We got in the motor somhow. Thank somthing for that. I would thank God but I was too cold at the time to aportion any agency to it.

    It is fucking brassic round here. My Mum is flying to New York tomorrow. Hope all goes well with that. Jeezus fucking wept it is cold. This is the third Crimble on a trot it was pistulantly cold. The cat doen’t like going out. He only “does his business” and then returns squeaking like a dismal critter. All else he generally does is sit on top of the dining room radiator. He doesn’t go out. The snow comes up to where his knackers where. He doesn’t like that. Would you?

    I have had enough of this.

    It is so fucking cold. So fucking cold… .

    I used to spend the winter in Florida.

  • veryretired

    There was an article I ran across this summer which talked about the major “El Nina” event which was forming in the Pacific, and that usually meant a turn toward cold and stormy winters. I don’t recall much other commentary about the phenomenon, but here in the midwestern US we are up to our hips in snow, with more falling.

    There was also that analysis this past year by some German climate people who said that there hadn’t been any warming for several years, and predicted cooling for quite some time.

    Well, here it is.

    As an aside, I have read some assertions that “climate change” means extremes of both heat and cold, so the temperature swings and harsh weather are proof of humanity’s evil influences no matter what direction the global temp goes.

    Must be nice to latch onto a theory which is proved by everything that happens, and can never be disproven, no matter what.

    Being an empiricist, I don’t have that luxury. Oh, well…

  • Laird

    “This is the third Crimble on a trot it was pistulantly cold.”

    ??? Is that even English?

  • Tedd

    David Davis:

    Cars slither about, and especially the little light “eco” mobiles that pay no “road tax”, get stuck and have to be pushed off.

    Not to contradict your point, but it’s not the lightness that gets them stuck, it’s small-diameter wheels and, in some cases, not enough ground clearance. The VW Beetle was outstanding in snow, even though it was no heavier than most of today’s econoboxes.


    Must be nice to latch onto a theory which is proved by everything that happens, and can never be disproven, no matter what.

    Here’s a really great talk by David Deutsch on the subject of what makes theories good or bad.

  • Paul Marks

    On the BBC news service (the red button thing) the standard story that one sees every year “this is the hottest year for the last million years” (or whatever) was up till quite recently – till the savage cold, around the world, made the story too silly even for the BBC.

    It is well to remember that is not just Europe (so “it is the death of the Gulf Stream” will not do as an explination), in North America also the winter has been terrible.

    Of course none of this PROVES that the theory of globel warming is false. But the problem with people who not only ignore epirical evidence, but also LIE constantly (“it is the hottest since…..” when they know it is not) is that EVERYTHING they say eventually gets doubted.

    Dear globel warmists. If you wish us to treat your theory fairly and accept the possibility that it might be true – PLEASE STOP LYING.

    Surely this is not a harsh request.

    By the way – I repeat my standard point about even if the theory of globel warming is totally true, the POLICIES suggested by the ruling elite (“carbon tradiing” and so on) will do harm (not good) and are utterly wrong headed.

    Of course if the globel warmists wish to get rid of all the regulations that have been holding back nuclear power generation (especially micro generation) for the last many decades…….

  • Paul Marks

    As for Boris Johnson:

    If he had campaigned against the vast waste of money that is the 2012 games, and against the disgusting “Cross Rail” project which is destroying private property (business establishments and homes) across London, then I would be interested in what had to say on other matters.

    However, of course, he has always been passionatly IN FAVOUR of these evil projects (which made the last election for “Mayor of London” pointless – as the main candidates were in agreement on the standard big government projects), thus proving that Mr Boris Johnson is a man of poor judgement.

    I do not know what his opinion of the 30 billion Pound (plus) destroy-the-Chiltons-and-violate-private-property rail project is – but I think I can guess.

  • Ian F4

    Sunspot theory has been around for ages, not to mention that the bloody obvious fact that even minor changes in a nuclear furnace some 300,000 times the size of the Earth above our heads is going to have some effect.

    The constant mantra from warmists concerns the difference between “weather” and “climate”, typically used to de-construct the arguments against AGW when it’s freezing outside. Yet the same “weather/climate” connection is used to demonstrate how AGW will affect us.

  • Max Van Horn

    Surely ‘climate change ‘is a stochastic system and the only real interpretation of any related data is the use of Chaos theory. Just roll the dice, one guess is as good as another.

  • Snag

    Remember, (cold) weather is not climate.

  • PeterT

    Less than -20 Deg Celsius is cold. English weaklings

  • ??? Is that even English?

    I was thinking the same thing, Laird.

    On the bright side, at least he didn’t post in Variety-Speak.

  • We don’t need no stinkin’ English – we have NickSpeak! Even I understand it – and I’m not even a native English-speaker (or maybe that’s why I do?…);-P

  • llamas

    But some inter-confusion between ‘brassic’ (= boracic lint = skint = lacking in funds) vs brass monkeys (= cold enough to freeze the . . . . well, never mind).



  • RW

    Why should I mind, LLamas you delicate flower? A monkey was a dented tray used to hold cannonballs (think Hornblower here); when very cold the metal, and therefore the dents, contracted so much that the cannonballs would fall off onto the deck.

    The true pillocks in this saga are Hansen and the warmists. If they wish to convince us that what we are seeing out of the window is aberrant weather induced by warming, they should try harder to substantiate their claim of 2010 being the warmest year ever.

    WUWT really takes this apart (the link takes you to an article which demonstrates inter alia that many of the red areas are 1200km extrapolations or based on Arctic airfields). The true science is revealed as very vague guesstimates…

  • RW

    Thank you Alisa. I was told this on a tour of HMS Victory (Nelson’s flagship) and given the brass tray I saw it seemed a reasonable explanation to me.

    But frankly, my dear, I don’t give a d’oyley.

    (Cockney rhyming slang.)

  • I thank you all! I like my mother tongue so much I enjoy buggering it. Especially when it refers to cuntlemen like Al Gore who ought to be whipped with a bull’s pizzle through the streets of Hartlepool. And then kicked in what passes for his bollocks by Belgian gnomes until he cries like a girl. The well chiseled twatter, veritable parrot-faced wazzack and self-cunticulated fuck-bugling wombat molestor he really is… “Save the planet!” That fuckbundle of a paltry cuntoon in a just Universe wouldn’t be trusted to arse-felch badgers in Turkmenistan. But, alas, the Universe is neither fair nor right – like (to quote my late Grandmother) – “The darkie’s left tit”.

  • RW

    Steady there NickM.

    Just remebered that in British navy slang “to have a george” is “to have a s***”. Just thought I’d mention it, in the context of the moonbat Monbiot.

  • Laird

    Nick, I’m rendered speechless.

  • That was delicious, Nick, it really was!

    RW: I’m an etymology buff, so I just can’t help but give a brass monkey’s:-)

  • Frank S

    “LONDON, 21 December 2010: The Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the Government to set up an independent inquiry into the winter advice it received by the Met Office and the renewed failure to prepare the UK for the third severe winter in a row.”


    Sounds like a good start. But the stables will need a lot more cleaning than that could provide.

  • Tedd

    Paul Marks:

    I repeat my standard point about even if the theory of globel warming is totally true, the POLICIES suggested by the ruling elite (“carbon tradiing” and so on) will do harm (not good) and are utterly wrong headed.

    I seem to be on a roll with links to David Deutsch! Here’s another one, a talk on “Our Place in the Cosmos,” which circles back at the end to a few brief but important comments on the AGW issue.

  • Kim du Toit

    NickM gets the “comment of the day” award for both outstanding efforts (1: moaning about the cold and 2: the Al Gore diatribe). Brilliant stuff, and more is requested in the future.

    On another topic: I learn that Brian Micklethwaite is, like myself, a man well seasoned by the passage of time, and not some beardless boy. This is A Good Thing.

  • Philip Scott Thomas

    Nick, I’m rendered speechless.

    If only.

    English in the hands of NickM is a glorious thing. It soars above anything most other bloggers can produce. It is occasionally wrong, but it is never less than inventive. And if there are the occasional unintelligible neologisms then the fault is on your part.

  • It is occasionally wrong

    And it is occasionally long. The shorter ones tend to be the most effective. In any case, the man undoubtedly has a rare talent – coupled with passion it often produces some truly remarkable results.

  • “Surely ‘climate change ‘is a stochastic system and the only real interpretation of any related data is the use of Chaos theory. Just roll the dice, one guess is as good as another.”

    Err… No. “Chaos theory” deals with deterministic systems. Irreducible stochastic systems are things like quantum mechanics. Chaos is about a deterministic system such as say the logistic growth equation or the Duffing for the damped, driven oscillator becoming producing unpredictable results despite being utterly deterministic mathematical systems. Chaos theory is about chaos out of order. A truly stochastic system such as the pure coin of Tyche or radioactive decay is something else. Those are truly irreducibly random whereas a chaotic system is not predictable but is not stochastic but deterministic yet still not predictable. There is a difference. Chaos theory is about the limits of mathematical analysis. QM is about the physical limits of determinism.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    On IanB’s point about Boris’ lack of coherent principles, yes, it is bloody annoying. Boris could have used the pulpit of his office to point out, as no major current UK politician seems willing to do, that AGW alarmism is a crock of shite, a cover-all justification for such nonsense as vast numbers of windmills (useless when there is a high pressure system over the UK, as now), taxes, regulations, and nannying of all kinds.

    The former Spectator and Daily Telegraph editor, Charles Moore, has rightly argued that there is a big prize for any high profile politician who wants to champion the skeptical case. It is as if they are all frozen in the headlights (scuse the pun) of the Greens, or scared of them and their mates in the media. But that can and will change radically if one big hitter in Westminster stands up and says, “This is a load of rubbish”.

    It is case of who is ballsy enough to make the first move. Once the reality of how we are fucked in terms of our energy supplies, that will happen.

  • RW

    English in the hands of NickM is a glorious thing. It soars above anything most other bloggers can produce. It is occasionally wrong, but it is never less than inventive. And if there are the occasional unintelligible neologisms then the fault is on your part.

    Nick truly wins the 2010 prize for the most creative way to call someone a gigantic a******. Anyone who thinks bagder felcher is an unintelligible neologism, watch this.

  • Max Van Horn

    Well thanks NickM…I should have stuck with ‘not predictable’..!

  • Would you like a funny story? OK! here it is…

    We got all the downstairs water frozen off a day ago. Upstairs was working, very strange. So, OK, I debugged the house’s pipework, in the outhouse where the boiler was installed by the man who went bust and sold the house to us, and traced where the ice must be.

    Got a hairdrier from the wife’s chest of drawers: what would you do? Women keep hair-driers because it is their job so to do … Ice duly unplugged in both pipes.

    Then I started to get an unplanned scalding-hot-shower, from the ice-busted flash-hotwater pipe to the kitchen, from the flash-boiler. 12 oscilloscopes, some even working, and an R1155 HF receiver, covered in boiling water-spray too. (The scopes are Tektronix gear from the 60s, they will recover and dry out. Not sure about the R1155.)

    Mains water turned off for the duration. Split pipe mended with about 100 yards of electrical pvc tape, tight-wound, and still holding as of now, touchwood. Checking every half hour or so, for failure. Better also call “a man”.

    All man’s problems, including mine, are caused by AGW of course. But it’s not been this cold, they tell me, hereabouts, for nearly 100 years.

  • tranio

    It is unseasonably warm in Labrador. The Globe and Mail from Toronto had an article on a village called Mud River. Just houses, a church and a community centre. By now the river should be frozen solid and the locals can cross to the town on the other side for their groceries etc.
    They can’t cross by boat because of large chunks of ice coming down the river. The Government is laying on a helicopter so the folks can do their shopping. It’s about 2C when it should be -20C.

  • Paul Marks

    Ian B. is quite correct about Boris Johnson.

    “Vote for Boris and we will end the wild statism of Red Ken” people may have thought.

    Accept, of course, Boris Johnson is equally committed to “Crossrail” and the 2012 games, and……..

    As so often representitive democracy offered a choice of different faces – not fundementally different polices (it is a con).