In what follows, I want to strike the right balance. I am not a sceptic of the anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) theory, in the sense of one who says that man definitely has no measurable impact on the climate. We ought to take account of the risk and continue to try to understand it. But neither am I an alarmist who is convinced that the science is done and dusted. I think we also ought to take account of alternative (or complementary) theories of why our climate is changing. What I say below does not mean that I have now joined the ranks of those sceptics. It is a criticism of the worst kind of credulous, proselytizing alarmist. It says, we should represent the facts accurately, and keep our eyes and our minds open to all possibilities.
A reporter on BBC Radio 5Live has just said something like "Of course, no one could have forecast the recent downpours, but experts say that extreme weather events like this will become more common if climate-change theories are correct." This was echoed by that other peddler of received wisdom, The Independent. Michael McCarty writes:
"Even though yesterday's remarkable downpours seem very much out of the ordinary, no scientist is going to say that in themselves they prove the climate is changing. There have always been floods; there have always been severe floods. The natural variability of the climate has always included extremes. However, if the predictions of supercomputer climate models are correct, rain of the unusual intensity experienced in many places yesterday is going to become a much more commonplace feature of the weather in Britain as the century progresses."
A couple of problems:
- Every AGW model forecasts lower rainfall in England in summers. It is in winters that rainfall (and therefore flooding) is expected to increase. This event is contrary to the models, not evidence of them.
- Someone did predict the downpours. His name is Piers Corbyn. His company is WeatherAction Long-Range Forecasters. He forecast on the 30th May the downpours of both the 12-14th and the 24-26th June. In the case of the 12-14th, he forecast the downpours six months previously. Piers is an astrophysicist, and a leading AGW sceptic, whose weather-forecasting models are based on the same principles that lead him to contest the AGW theories. I have asked him for permission to publish his 30th May forecast, and will put them up on this site if he agrees.
This is not probitive. But it is illustrative. The attempts by the AGW alarmists to shoehorn, by implication and innuendo, the recent events into their view of the world was entirely predictable. And thoroughly dishonest.
UPDATE: Piers has allowed me to make his 30th May forecast available. I have attached the Acrobat file (PDF) containing the detailed forecast to this post (click "Read more" if you are viewing this from the home page and can't see the link), and have copied the relevant parts of his accompanying email in the Comment below.