Long-time critic Christopher Booker says: THE MORE MONEY THE MET OFFICE GETS, THE MORE INACCURATE ITS DOOM-MONGERING [Date: 07/08/15, Daily Mail]
The performance of the Met Office for which we pay £220 million a year is not just a joke, but a major scandal. And well done the BBC for allowing Quentin Letts, for once, to point this out.
Very surprisingly and somewhat boldly, on Wednesday morning Radio 4 put out a programme by the Mail’s Quentin Letts which ran flatly counter to the BBC’s normal party line on one of its very favourite subjects, global warming.
Under the title What’s The Point Of The Met Office?, Mr Letts focused on the way our national weather service has long been known to share with the BBC an obsession with climate change.
Indeed, the way this has in recent years tended to skew so much of its forecasting —remember the infamous promise of a ‘barbecue summer’ in 2009 just when the rain was set to fall for weeks? — has made it something of a national joke.
One of the guests interviewed by Mr Letts was the veteran Tory politician and climate-change sceptic Peter Lilley, who proceeded to poke fun about how Met Office officials would lobby for ‘more money for bigger computers to be more precisely wrong in future’.
The programme went on to target a particularly scary prediction, first announced by the Met Office in 2007, that the world’s temperature was set to rise from 2004 to 2014 by 0.3c.
That may not sound a lot, but in climate terms it’s a hugely significant increase: in fact, nearly half as much again as had been recorded in the preceding century.
The Met Office was so convinced of its research it produced a glossy brochure — with pictures of black clouds and people in masks (for no apparent reason) — with the portentous title Informing Government Policy Into The Future.
Vicky Pope, the Met Office’s head of climate predictions, said these were ‘very strong statements’ about what would happen in the next ten years.
‘And what happened?’ Mr Letts asked. ‘Zilch,’ said Mr Lilley. ‘Nothing. There was no global warming over the ensuing decade.’ And, indeed, when 2014 arrived, we could see that far from this forecast coming to pass, the temperature trend had not, in fact, risen since 1998.