Two days ago this blog published a post arguing that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is engaged a disgraceful manipulation of information about the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.
While it will not be news to those who are well informed, the Met Office itself has kindly provided a clear ‘follow the money’ rationale for DECC’s spin and distortion in its Ministerial answers to questions from MPs about the winter forecast. The rationale can be found in a Met Office news story about the wholly unsubstantiated claim by Dr Pardeep Pall at Oxford University that CO2 emissions contributed to the floods in Worcester in the autumn of 2000:
Developing the science
The Met Office Hadley Centre has been commissioned by DECC, Defra and DfID to work with international partners as part of the Attribution of Climate-related Events Group. The group is developing the science of attribution of extreme weather that will be needed to provide regular and scientifically robust assessments of how the odds of these phenomena are changing.
This demonstrates there is DECC credibility, money and resource at stake. It would explain why DECC is throwing a protective shield around the Met Office, rather than serving the public interest and addressing the failings of the department. It all boils down to vested self interest. Further, it shows the public cannot have confidence in government departments because their own narrow interests do not match our own.
This is a scandal. Or at least it would be if anyone was watching and the media had the integrity to report it.