A strange question perhaps, considering the considerable political influence the Met Office has within political circles when it comes to energy and climate policy. But certainly one worth asking following a comment by Northern Ireland’s Regional Development Minister last month.
On the topic of burst water pipes and the sevehttps://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpre supply problems affecting thousands of people in Northern Ireland over the Christmas period, the Belfast Telegraph reported on 19th January:
Forecasts of another seven years of the extreme winter that triggered the burst pipes crisis in Northern Ireland may force changes to how water is plumbed into homes, the regional development minister has warned.
Conor Murphy, facing questions from his Stormont scrutiny committee on the Christmas emergency, said some meteorologists believed the region had entered a weather cycle that would see successive deep freezes.
In the face of that, Mr Murphy said the Executive may have to look at changing building regulations to ensure that water pipes are buried deeper and insulated better.
What makes the comment interesting is this response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Autonomous Mind (using an alias), enquiring which Meterologists provided this advice and requesting a copy of the advice that was provided to the Minister enabling him to make his assertion.
The response from the NI Department for Regional Development (click to enlarge) is telling:
This shows that for all his multitude of failings, Conor Murphy is listening to what meteorologists other than the Met Office are saying about changes to our weather that contradict the Met Office line of ever increasing warming. Not only that, they are using what they have listened to in official evidence to government committees.
A very small example maybe, but marginalising the Met Office in this way – intentionally or otherwise – represents a visible crack in the climate consensus that has consistently told us mankind is changing the climate, making the world warmer and the result will be warmer and wetter winters. The structures are weakening.