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UK Met Office (and the BBC): A Warm Summer Is A Good Summer

Now it’s the UK Met Office and the BBC delivering us the “good news” that a warmer-than-average summer is indeed a “much better” summer. Who would have guessed, when in the past they have been warning us no end about the risks, dangers, threats caused by…warmer-than average temperatures?

The story starts with dear old Roger Harrabin near the end of the BBC Radio4 Six O’Clock News for April 30, 2009 (click here to listen to the programme in full). Harrabin interviews Pat Boyle from the Met Office about their just-published seasonal forecast for Summer 2009 (“Summer temperatures across the UK are likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or below average for the three months of summer“).

Imagine the happy surprise upon hearing Harrabin describe Ms Boyle as “delighted” about the “good news“; Ms Boyle herself talking of “good news” for the “UK tourism industry“, for “people staying at home” and for “farmers“.

That’s right: “farmers“, as in “people able to produce more stuff from the cultivation of the soil and the husbandry of animal because the summer is going to be warmer than average”. And so it is official: a warmer summer is a better summer indeed.

Note also the phraseology used by Chief Meteorologist Ewen McCallum (full transcript) in a YouTube-available interview:

I think last year and the year before were absolute miserable summers. […] This summer will be back to much better summers […] So, much better – get the BBQ out. […] So, a pretty good summer.

Even when avoiding any positive tone in the related web article about a possible “sizzling summer”, Harrabin can’t help mentioning “cheery optimism” near the end in the sense of “being optimist it is going to be a good summer”.


So is the idea of “warming” finally presented on the BBC in a positive light? How can this be for real? Remember back in 2005, when “millions” were expected to be “hit by global warming”, and “animals” too, and the English country garden was “unlikely to survive in the South East in its present form” because of 1.5-3C of warming?

But don’t you worry. With Copenhagen’s huge Climate Change Extravaganza coming up in December 2009, expect plenty of warming stories in the BBC, and elsewhere in the media, as soon as the thermometer will hit the 30C/86F mark.

0 replies on “UK Met Office (and the BBC): A Warm Summer Is A Good Summer”

Copenhagen December 2009 will be interesting indeed. The UK government has already committed itself to an 80% reduction of CO2 by 2050, so an agreement at Copenhagen might not appear to make a lot of difference here. However, if there is an agreement, I think the government will then feel itself to be vindicated and can claim to have led other nations by example. If there is no clear agreement, however, IMO the UK may start to look rather isolated…

I suspect that the BBC took into consideration the likely reaction of their viewers if they had started banging the old global warming drum at this stage. Widespread derision probably, with the memories of the cold winter and last year’s horrible August still fresh. Mind you, I was still taken a little aback by the chirpy tone – surely warmth is… evil?

Maurizio, like you I’ll be curious to see whether the Beeb starts to change its tune once we get our usual hot few days followed by the obligatory thunderstorm.

“Copenhagen December 2009” is everything for the politics of AGW. The ramp-up will be humongous, and Milliband (can’t tell which one) is already advocating for people to protest against himself, so that there will be even more pressure for something to be done.

Yea, and the Met Office forecast warm fine Summers for 2007, then we suffered serious floods and 2008, which was just cold and very wet. Trust the BBC to forget that.

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