Why DECC is running interference for the Met Office

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.


>> The whole saga in posts from its beginning in December 2010 <<


8 Responses to “Why DECC is running interference for the Met Office”

  1. 1 MrT 17/02/2011 at 10:50 am

    Would be nice to be able to see the figures and details relating to Dr Pall’s research…eh?

  2. 2 Anoneumouse 17/02/2011 at 11:12 am

    Go to google and type in “senna the soothsayer” and see who appears in the number one spot :-)

  3. 3 Uncle Badger 17/02/2011 at 12:24 pm

    I groaned when I saw last night that even Sky News was running this non-story.

    The irony is that on BBC Radio Four earlier I had endured a pundit axe-grinding against the expansion of Murdoch’s empire because of the need to ensure a ‘plurality of news sources!

    With Sky as ready to promote Mystic Met nonsense as the BBC, what on earth has he and his fellow Leftists to worry about?

    As for DECC, is there really no MP willing to take up this story? Clearly our media are a waste of time but one might have hoped for at least one willing trouble-maker in the house, if nothing else.

  4. 4 Barry 17/02/2011 at 1:00 pm

    Jobs for the boys (and girls) when 3 Government departments all have been tasked with tackling the same ‘issue’. Helps to disguise just how much it is costing too.

    Things like this blatant advocacy via the FCO really get my goat.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 17/02/2011 at 1:08 pm

    I have sent documents to several MPs so hopefully the seed will find fertile ground.

  6. 6 Barry 17/02/2011 at 1:42 pm

    About those seasonal forecasts: The Met expends 2.1% of their computer time doing them.(pdf)

    As for DECC/Defra: The attribution of climate events may be part of the very brief summary of funding on page 2 of this pdf.

    I find it mildly amusing reading on page 4 that the Met looks to be exporting their seasonal forecasting skilz. Who would want them?

    The pdfs are available on the Met Office Scientific Advisory Committee publications page.

  7. 7 jameshigham 17/02/2011 at 5:29 pm

    I was looking for the hard evidence and you gave it:

    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.


  8. 8 Martin Brumby 17/02/2011 at 8:24 pm

    I think all the ‘energy geeks’ who came from the DTI to DECC have now jacked or been pensioned off.

    So our energy policy is all down to the true believer eco-warriors. Led by the Huhnatic and little Greg Barker. Fitting successors to Ed the Milipede.

    Kind of makes you feel all warm inside. Or perhaps, thinking about our future energy prospects, I fear I may have pissed my pants.

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