Bastardi: Don’t disband the Met Office

A cautionary post on his Accuweather blog from Joe Bastardi may give one or two people pause for thought in the current storm surrounding the Met Office.

While recognising some of the central problems undermining the Met Office, namely the Julia Slingo argument that there is no way they could see the cold accurately without spending tens of millions of pounds on a new supercomputer; and the controversy that the Met Office is saying it saw the cold, though the computer said warm, Bastardi says in his ‘Wednesday Early‘ post:

But I am not in favor of the UKMET or any other government weather agencies globally being disbanded. They do alot of good. I am in favor of them a) making sure agendas are not involved and b) understanding they supply the crucial infrastructure needed to advance the forecast, but that is where they should be.

There are some excellent people at the Met Office who do a good job in challenging circumstances. For me there is no argument about that. But the major problem with the Met Office is that it has been hijacked by people who are beholden to a politicised agenda – man made global warming – and allow this to dictate the forecasting approach of the organisation.

And to compound this, when their agenda driven output is ridiculed for its very visible inaccuracies, they resort to spin and distortion in an attempt to rewrite history and claim they were right all along. The answer is not to disband the Met Office, as some have suggested. It is to either:

i) replace the leadership with people without any agenda or preconceptions about climate change who will just focus on solid meterology and producing accurate forecasts within the public sector

ii) privatise the department and make it wholly reliant providing accurate forecasts in the competitive commercial sector, which will to force it to adopt methods that remove its global warming bias

However, no more public money should be put into the Met Office to make it a more attractive proposition for privatisation. In its current form the Met Office is not fit for purpose, it is failing the public and wasting our money and its leadership is deserving of rigorous scrutiny. That is the purpose of the relentless focus on that department at this time.

No one should confuse that purpose with any supposed effort to close the department down. We just want it to become an honest broker that forecasts weather as effectively as the independent providers.

6 Responses to “Bastardi: Don’t disband the Met Office”

  1. 1 graham wood 05/01/2011 at 12:08 pm

    A good and positive comment by Bastardi who could so easily have contributed a bitter ‘I told you so’ approach.

    I would only add the suggestion that Slingo and other leading ideologues within the Met are sacked for the shocking mismanagement of pre-Christmas forecasting data. It was too serious an example of incompetence to be allowed to go unpunished. Its our money which pays for their foolishness. Let it be a lesson to others.

  2. 2 Barry 05/01/2011 at 12:51 pm

    “i) replace the leadership with people without any agenda or preconceptions about climate change who will just focus on solid meterology and producing accurate forecasts within the public sector”

    You’ll be wanting a unicorn next! I agree that the Met need to either stick to what they know or be exposed to the private sector.

    What is the Met Office for? It currently provides large amounts of real time data and near time forecasts that are a valuable resource. Much of that is bog standard up-wind nowcasting combined with the experience to gauge how a weather system will move hours and days into the future.

    The Met also provides pie in the sky forecasts for decades into the future. Public policy is being wilfully distorted not so much by the Met Office but by those who have tasked it to provide things that not reliable nor actually of any use for policy decisions. The blind are leading the blind.

    Predictions of average temperatures, rainfall, wind speed far into the future won’t help us prepare for the thing that does the damage – weather. Cold snaps, cloud bursts, heat waves, storms, they can’t forecast those things far in advance nor provide evidence that even if the world is warming due to man that such extremes of weather will become more frequent or more destructive. This is naked policy based evidence making.

    It is also quite telling. The Met Office *could* stop this pantomime dead by making sure the politicians and the public are fully aware of how vague the projections are and speak out when MPs, climate advocates and the media misinterpret or misreport what the Met Office says – they do speak out sometimes but seemingly only ever to prop up the warmist argument. That bias is just as corrosive as the suspected bias in the models because the public persona of the Met Office has become an advocate for the warmist cause.

    The politicians could do likewise by admitting how poorly informed their policy decisions are but pride comes before a fall and they are largely unaccountable.

  3. 3 Tom 05/01/2011 at 1:58 pm

    Admiral Fitzroy would, I think – be very distressed to see what has become of his pioneering efforts.

    I cannot believe that UKMO employees directly concerned with weather are not frustrated and embarrassed by the epic stupidity of their “executives” and the overstuffed highly inventive PR / communications department.

    Why is it that Lysenkoism constantly comes to mind?

    The role of the eco priests at the BBC is key in all this. The portentous tone adopted and the pompous parroting of “Carousel Quotes” reeks of Russia in the 1920s and 1930s.

    The fact that our (UK) legal system has anointed “eco belief” as deserving of protection under laws designed to protect freedom religious practice signifies that they acknowledge that much of what is being promoted is as unprovable as the existence of faeries.

    We don’t need unprovable, we don’t need eco prosthletisers impersonating unbiased reporters on the public payroll, we don’t need innumerate politicians taking engineering decisions.

    Look for what works – and it’s indisputably clear that what we have at the moment doesn’t work.

    Joe Bastardi’s defense of the Met Office is sane and sensible, which is more than can be said for traffic in the opposite direction – spearheaded by the ecopriests of the UK state broadcaster.

  4. 4 john kelly 05/01/2011 at 3:06 pm

    Stay focussed on the Climate Change Act that Huhne the Loon is pusuing to our enormous danger. The MO has to be exposed for it’s contribution to that disaster and the whole project of our national energy policy restored to a sensible basis – at the moment it’s suicidal with little or no benefit but a cost of £18 billion.

    The Met Office must be treated to some form of ritual slaugter for the part it has played in order that the politicos take their share of the blame.

  5. 5 Clive Francis 05/01/2011 at 3:06 pm

    A few evenings ago I listened to a BBC presenter producing a succession of stories all of which were anecdotes of personal experiences of climate change.

    A succession of stories such as “I live in Haifa and my birthday is on November 13th. When I was a boy it always rained on my birthday but nowadays it is always blazing hot sun. Man is obviously changing the climate”.

    The only other person in the studio listening to and taking part in this flow of “anecdotal evidence” was the Met Office Head of Climate Change.

    As a scientist did she intervene once or utter a word of caution or moderation for some of the wilder stories of mankind’s wickedness in inducing climate change by burning fossil fuels. Not a bit of it.

    In fact one could almost hear her nodding in pleased agreement and encouraging the presenter to roll out some more inanities. Her warmist bias was patently displayed both by her silence during the recital and her subsequent exchanges with the presenter.

    It is a reliance on scientists like this that the government is currently spending £20 billion per year (never mind tuition fees, VAT increases, job losses and the Deficit)- yes £20 billion of taxpayers money on “combatting climate change”.

    I agree wholeheartedly with both Joe’s recommendations.

  6. 6 Rereke Whakaaro 06/01/2011 at 12:15 am

    From the New Zealand experience, you only need to change the person at the top, and replace them with somebody who understands the scientific method, and who has an appreciation of the strategic differences between projections, extrapolations, and forecasts.

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