Friday, January 28, 2011
I have just received the Met Office's "secret report" and email correspondence with the Cabinet Office from a FOI request I made three weeks ago. The information they contain is quite significant and I hope others who have been working hard highlighting this issue such as Autonomous Mind and James Delingpole will find the following addition useful. God knows this is an extremely serious issue and the only people who appear to have been digging into it have been the bloggers (AM's investigation and analysis can be found here, here and here).
At the turn of the year we heard the revelation that, following an absolutely brutal start to the UK winter, the Met Office had allegedly warned the government in a "secret report" to expect such.
The Met Office also claimed that, in part because of the ridicule it had suffered for completely out of sync seasonal forecasts previously, it did not share this information with the public. It attempted to throw the government under the bus by claiming that the Cabinet Office had been informed, implying that it was central government's fault that the country was so unprepared and nothing to do with the Mystic Met Office's computer models with built in warmist bias that is perpetually out of touch with reality as a result.
It was Roger Harrabin, one of the BBC's chief climate alarmists, who originally claimed that the Met Office had issued this "secret warning". He said: "The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren’t let in on the secret. The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 – the summer that campers floated around in their tents.”
I find it utterly pathetic that such an allegedly august institution can hide behind the excuse of fear of ridicule. It would be funny, self-satirising material were it not for the fact that, as a result of their influence, many people have died and suffered. That's not to mention the hole made in our economy and damage to tourism and international standing. Visitors, and those observing from abroad, perceived the lack of preparedness, especially at the airports, as akin to third world levels of disorganisation. They were right.
This is an extremely serious issue and so far no one appears to have been held culpable, not least in part to the (as per usual) relative silence of the mass media.
I immediately sent Freedom of Information requests to both the Cabinet Office and the Met Office, asking for copies of this "secret report" and any related correspondence after initially reading the story.
The essence of the Met's "secret report" has already been revealed by Bishop Hill who was able to obtain a copy before me; revealing it in all its simplistic glory (and showing clearly that the Met Office has been completely dishonest on this issue). It was reported over at Watts Up With That, and was quickly neatly eviscerated by the commentators.
They have also been claiming that paying customers receive more extensive information than the public. The "public" information mostly consisted in this probability map, which claimed, to quote AM, an "80% probability of warmer than average temperatures for November, December and January for Scotland and a 60-80% probability of the same for Northern Ireland, Wales and most of England."
As you will see from the link below, the special information released to paying customers, which apparently constituted their "secret warning" of a harsh winter is a complete joke and comes across like something written by a child.
You can see for yourself that the Met Office actually predicts a slighty higher chance of a "cold" winter, rather than a "near average" or "mild" winter. This is based on a series of probabities out of 10. It boggles the mind that aside from the tiny amount of actual prediction in the report that this is the output of their energy-guzzling, multi-million pound supercomputer.
On the next page they quantify what these terms might mean, but even here they are completely out of sync with what we actually experienced - for "cold" it meant "typical lower and upper limits" of temperature ranging from -1.5 to 0.4 degrees Celsius.
Further, the email correspondence is enlightening between the Met Office and the government:
Someone at the Cabinet Office wrote to the Met Office to tell them what the official position would be: "The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter". The Met Office writes back - "That is fine." - also note the first mail sent my the Met Office, these are their "initial thoughts" (!)
So, as if the "secret" prediction wasn't awful enough, any claim that the Met Office actually warned the government of an impending harsh winter, and by implication that the government therefore did not act responsibly is a 100% complete and utter lie.
However there is more to this story that really needs to be aired. Not only have local councils been complaining of the complete failure of the Met Office to warn them, but even more seriously, the National Grid of all organisations, was flying completely blind too. See the National Grid's Winter Outlook document. Skip to page 7. The Grid obviously never received the "secret report" (not that it would have been much use anyway). They had to get their information from - the website! The same website that promised the 60-80% likelihood of a warm winter and which the Met Office has told us plebs we should ignore.
Largely as a result of this, the predictions for maximum demand were out by nearly 1 GW on the closest match to a horrifying 4.7 Gigawatts on the worst (information from NETA):
Had we not been able to buy approximately 2GW of power from France across the channel interconnector and ramp up the domestic production there could have been a serious outage. In a few years, thanks to complete government intransigience on our future power supply, we won't be able to repeat the feat and of course there are no guarantees that the French will always be able to sell us that much energy when we need it. When the total demand goes up to close to 60GW, in still winter conditions, the 3000+ wind turbines installed provide an incredible 0.1% of our power needs. That lunatic Huhne seems to think our power issues will be solved by the costly build of another 10,000 turbines. So in similar conditions that "capacity" will provide approximately 0.4% of the power supply, just when we need it most. Outstanding, no?
By the way, Browned Off's comment to me is well worth a read. He corrected me on the relative positions of the government, EU and energy industry on this. It certainly seems plausible - the government is happy for the EU to take most of the blame for something that - at root - is its own fault. It fits perfectly into the singular principle that defines modern British politics - expediency.
Unfortunately the combination of this political expediency - at the expense of our national power supply - and the religious convictions of the warmist-infested Mystic Met office are going to result in many more deaths and suffering. There have already been needless deaths and suffering thanks to both.
These people have gone from being an annoyance to an active menace, and no one appears to be holding them to account.
Anyway, here are the files, including the email correspondence and the "report".