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The New Weathermen

Recently, pretty much on a whim, I decided to monitor the accuracy of radio and TV weather reports, since these affect our daily behavior in all sorts of different ways: what we wear, whether we go in to work or not, look to the repair of the shutters, go up on the ladder to check the rain gutters, don’t forget the sunglasses, etc. I gave the weather experts one week to prove their credentials and began keeping careful score.

The TV reports were terribly impressive. They were also impressively terrible. For all the intricate color charts, the high pressure areas and low pressure areas marked in bold, the sweeping curvilinear lines, the little puffy clouds extruding rain drops, the smiley-face suns, the luminous chromatics of competing “systems,” and all the rest of it, it turned out that the cocksure prognostications were as just wrong as they were right.

After the week had passed, my scorecard showed that the weather person had blundered grievously on three days, had been correct on three days, and was partially correct on one day when the rainfall forecast for the morning arrived only in the evening. A 50% success rate hardly qualifies as confidence-inspiring, seeing that it approximates nothing more convincing than the results of a coin toss.

It’s tempting to extrapolate from the quotidian to the planetary, from the small tomorrow to the big tomorrow, and inquire into the competence of our “official” climatologists, who have assured us that we are heading for meteoric catastrophe, noncompliant weather notwithstanding. Climate warm-mongers naturally try to rescue their hypothesis by dishing up vain distinctions, like the climate “expert” interviewed on CBC Radio’s As it Happens who, confronted with the fact of colder winters, claimed there is a difference between climate and weather!

The game works like this. If the weather is warmer than usual, it is an infallible sign of global warming. If the weather is colder than usual, it is an equally infallible sign — owing to some ludicrous formula straight out of an alchemist’s notebook — that the climate is heating up alarmingly and we must all go green, pass cap and trade, drive Volts, turn down our thermostats, and set up phalanxes of unsightly, bird-shredding, budget-breaking, and neurosis-inducing windmills that may, on good days, produce enough electricity to power a 40-watt bulb. A massive snowfall climbing over the window ledge indicates the approach of desert-like winters when parents will recount nostalgic tales of snowball fights of yore to their wondering children. The predictions, though, need not always be counter-intuitive. A dry season means the baking inferno is nigh. A wet season signals the onset of Noahide floods, rising sea levels, and the submerging of Pacific islands. An ordinary day is merely the ominous quiet before the impending storm. It makes no difference what the data may be, they always point in the same direction.

Quite frankly, we have, most or at least many of us, gone stark raving mad. Experience counts for nothing. Theory is everything. One thinks of the old joke: It’s fine in practice, but will it work in theory? Only it’s not fine in practice, in defiance of which the theory must be patched together and upheld at all costs.

Thus, increasingly unable to rely on the accuracy of their findings, which had the annoying habit of turning into fables, mainstream climatologists, like their colleagues in the political arena, were compelled to fall back on their next best option. If reality refused to cooperate, then all that needed to be done was to change the terminology. First it was global warming. When the earth decided not to play along and pummeled us with a series of colder winters and major snow storms, we suddenly discovered we were the victims of climate change. When it became evident that there were fewer rather than more hurricane events, as confidently predicted by Al Gore, we were now subject to global weirding, whatever that was supposed to be. When the latest substitution didn’t catch on, it became global climate disruption, an umbrella term big enough to shelter climatologists from the facts pelting down on them.

The technique of blatantly merchandising outright lies as uncontested facts was evident in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report claiming that the period 2002-2009 was “the warmest on record worldwide,” when something very close to the opposite was the truth (AP, February 8, 2010). Not content with passing off one whopper, the NOAA, which derives its evidence from the dubious NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, claimed that June 2010 was the warmest month on record and that Arctic temperatures had risen by close to four degrees from average. The problem here is that Goddard has no thermometers north of eighty degrees latitude and so projected their readings from their more southerly apparatus. “Really,” comments meteorologist Art Horn, who has closely tracked these facets of the climate fantasy, “they make it up.”

And that’s the truth. They make it up. Of course, making things up turns out to be a profitable business, generating all manner of perks, titles, offices, grants, and funds, an appanage without limit. Take UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who has recently been implicated in a conflict of interest, as he sits on the boards of companies poised to profit from the “climate change” industry. And when it comes to pure invention, let us recall that he was also the chief backer of the great “Himalaya melt” scare, which has now been shown to be based on an undocumented, unchecked, and unproven “speculation” of a single Indian scientist, Syed Hasnain, who was then recruited by Pachauri to his The Energy Research Institute (TERI). The IPCC’s 2007 report, vetted by Pachauri, said there was a 90% chance that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. This claim has now been decisively refuted. The Pachauri gang also had to admit that its 2007 statement that 55% of the Netherlands lies below sea level was in error — it is 26% (Big Journalism, February 13, 2010).

The plot thickened — or thinned — in late November 2009 when the Hadley Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was hacked, releasing thousands of files suggesting a covert mega-operation to propagate an anthropogenic global warming myth. This is an excellent instance of the Groves of Hackademe doing what they do best — misconceiving the world and then misleading it. “Warmist scientists,” wrote James Delingpole about the Hadley contretemps, “have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause” (Telegraph.co.uk, November 21, 2009). The CRU was clearly practicing counterfeit science. It had become undeniable that measurements were tampered with to paint the desired canvas, that counter-evidence was deliberately squelched, that character assassination against climate skeptics was an accepted tactic, and that experimental results were falsely replicated.