Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playing Chicken Little

Today there was a classic example of how rushing out notions in support of your beliefs can end up doing more harm than good.

It cannot have escaped most folks' notice that of late, the weather has been less than clement. As I write a cold drizzle decorates my window. I can only imagine how those in the campsite opposite are feeling.

And this has been picked up by the 'news'. So we have the odd spectacle of the BBC reporting crew exchanging barbed commentary with the weather guys. 'How did you get it so wrong', was about the most polite interrogation.

To which, reasonably, the reply was that such things were almost impossible to predict.

Trouble is, a lot of folk seem to make a lot of noise based on predictions. And this summer was going to be long, hot, and non-stop BBQ. It may yet get there, and I am hoping for something nicer for our camping trip in a few weeks' time. It's hard to keep kids entertained under wet canvas for long.

But for now, there is quite a lot of egg on faces, and I rather fear more sober cautions on climate will get rather swamped by overly enthusiastic folk - using what they think will 'prove' their case - getting a bit of a hammering from those equally keen to 'prove' the exact opposite.

Frankly, from floods to heatwaves to hurricanes to even melting Greenland glaciers (some have used a piece on this to enquire as to how this country acquired its name, pre-Humvee), I think those advocating caution, moderation and even reduction might be better tasked looking at ways to motivate other than 'the sky is falling'. Especially when they put quantitative data on it all which proves unsound.

Telegraph - NEW - Start with the Met Office, Dave - It seems others have noticed, and views

BBC - NEW - Met Office cools summer forecast - Ten ways to beat the heat

Indy - NEW - The Big Question: Why did the Met Office get it so wrong?

Guardian - NEW - Rain puts dampers on 'barbecue summer' - the inevitable exchanges have rather made my point

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