Saturday, 08 January 2011

In Passing

Snow Job

Brendan O’Neill, exploring the “chasm that separates the warming-obsessed elite from the rest of us”:

Perhaps the most revealing thing about the snow crisis is that it was held up as evidence, not that the experts were mistaken, but that the public is stupid.  Apparently it’s those who ask ‘Whatever happened to global warming?’, rather than those who predicted ‘no more traditional British winters’, who need to have their heads checked.  Because what they don’t understand - ignoramuses that they are - is that heavy snow is also proof that our planet is getting hotter, and that industrialised society is to blame, just as surely as the absence of snow was proof of the same thing 10 years ago.
...What we have here is an updated version of the elitist idea that the better classes have access to a profound and complicated truth that the rest of us cannot grasp.
As it turns out, they did. But not as you might predict:
Met Office knew big freeze was coming but hushed it up

The Met Office [the UK’s national weather service, a government agency-o.g.] warned [government] ministers to expect an ‘exceptionally cold winter’ but then kept the prediction secret from the public.

The forecaster decided not to reveal the information because it was embarrassed after wrongly predicting a ‘barbecue summer’ in 2009, BBC analyst Roger Harrabin said.
The Register:
But back in October, the Met published maps showing a high probability of a warmer-than-average winter.  The Met vigorously denies the map, reproduced below, is a “forecast”.

Meanwhile, Britain’s government explores ways to shame the proles into eating their vegetables:
Shoppers will be bombarded with messages at supermarket check-outs about eating fruit and vegetables, under plans being considered by Ministers.

Trolleys could even come with a painted line marking where customers should put their healthy produce as part of the proposals which critics will see as an expansion of the nanny state.

Unhealthy options – such as crisps and pies – may be placed on higher shelves than low-calorie and high-fibre foods to dissuade shoppers from buying them.

The proposals are part of the Coalition’s attempt to ‘nudge’ Britons towards healthy choices and are the brainchild of the Behavioural Insight Team...

“Behavioural Insight Team.”  How nicely Orwellian.

BBC’s Open Secrets Weblog:  The Met Office and its seasonal problems
The Met Office:  Record cold December 2010
Met Office News Blog:  In the Media (January 4, 2011)
(added 110112): Watts Up With That:  The Plot Thickens

HT:  Insty (for O’Neill)

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