When I told the December 2012 UN climate summit in Doha that there had been no warming for at least 16 years, the furious delegates howled me down.
The UN later edited the videotape to remove the howling. The delegates were furious not because I was speaking out of turn (they did not know that at the time) but because the truth was inconvenient.
The Guardian carried a sneer-story about my intervention. When a reader sent in a politely-worded comment to the effect that, objectively speaking, it was true that over the relevant period the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Hadley/CRU global surface temperature data was as near flat as makes no statistical difference, within two minutes The Guardian deleted the comment from its misleadingly-titled "Comment Is Free" website.
The determined reader resubmitted the comment. This time it was gone in 45 seconds, and - what is more - the stub indicating that he had commented disappeared as well. Just 28 years after George Orwell's 1984, the hard Left are still dumping the inconvenient truth down the memory-hole.
The Met Office, as WattsUpWithThat revealed recently, has noticeably downshifted its lurid warming prediction for the rest of this decade.
When it predicted a "barbecue summer" (wrong: that summer was exceptionally cold and wet), and then a record warm winter (wrong: that was the second-coldest December in central England since records began in 1659); and then, this spring, a record dry summer for the UK (wrong again: 2012 proved to be the second-wettest on record: not for nothing is it now known as the "Wet Office"), it trumpeted its predictions of impending global-warming-driven climate disaster from the rooftops.
And the scientifically-illiterate politicians threw money at it.
If the Met Office's new prediction is right, by 2017 the global warming rate will have been statistically indistinguishable from zero for two full decades.
So, did the bureaucrats call a giant press conference to announce the good news? Er, no. They put up their new prediction on an obscure corner of their website, on Christmas Day, and hoped that everyone would be too full of Christmas cheer to notice.
That raises - again - a question that Britain can no longer afford to ignore. Has the Wet Office committed serious fraud against taxpayers?
Let us examine just one disfiguring episode. When David Rose of the Mail on Sunday wrote two pieces last year, several months apart, saying there had been no global warming for 15 years, the Met Office responded to each article with Met Office in the Media blog postings that, between them, made the following assertions:
- "... [F]or Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading."
- "What is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming ...".
- "The linear trend from August 1997 (in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Niño) to August 2012 (coming at the tail end of a double-dip La Niña) is about 0.03 C°/decade ...".
- "Each of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade."
- "The models exhibit large variations in the rate of warming ... so ... such a period [15 years without warming] is not unexpected. It is not uncommon in the simulations for these periods to last up to 15 years, but longer periods are unlikely."
- The assertion that Mr Rose was "entirely misleading" to say there had been no global warming for 15 years is not just entirely misleading: it is entirely false. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the global temperature data is statistically indistinguishable from zero for 18 years (HadCRUt4), or 19 years (HadCRUt3), or even 23 years (RSS).
- What is absolutely clear is that the assertion that "it is absolutely clear that we have continued to see a trend of warming" is absolutely, clearly false. The assertion is timescale-dependent. The Met Office justified it by noting that each of the last n decades was warmer than the decade that preceded it. A simple heuristic will demonstrate the dishonesty of this argument. Take a two-decade period. In each of years 1-2, the world warms by 0.05 Cº. In each of years 3-20, the world does not warm at all. Sure, the second decade will be warmer than the first. But global warming will still have stopped for 18 years. By making comparisons on timescales longer than the 18 years without warming, what we are seeing is long-past warming, not a continuing "trend of warming".
- In August 1997 global temperatures were not "in the middle of an exceptionally strong El Niño": they were in transition, about halfway between La Niña (cooler than normal) and El Niño (warmer than normal) conditions. Likewise, temperatures in August 2012 were not "at the tail-end of a double-dip La Niña": they were plainly again in transition between the La Niña of 2011/12 and the El Niño due in a year or two.
- The Met Office's assertion that each of the past ten years has been in the top ten is dataset-dependent. On most datasets, 1998 was the warmest year on the global instrumental record (which only began 160-odd years ago). Therefore, on these datasets, it cannot have been possible for each of the last ten years to be among the warmest on record.
- Finally, the Met Office shoots itself in the foot by implicitly admitting that there has been a 15-year period without warming, saying that such a period is "not unexpected". Yet that period was not "expected" by any of the dozens of lavishly-funded computer models that have been enriching their operators - including the Met Office, whose new computer cost gazillions and has the carbon footprint of a small town every time it is switched on. The NOAA's State of the Climate report in 2008 said this: "Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model's internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate."
The Fraud Act 2000 defines the serious imprisonable offence of fraud as dishonestly making an express or implied representation that the offender knows is or may be untrue or misleading, intending to gain money or other property (here, grant funding) or to cause loss or risk of loss to another ($30 billion a year of unnecessary "green" taxes, fees and charges to the British public).
So I reported the Met Office to the Serious Fraud Office, which has a specific remit to deal with frauds that involve large sums (here, tens of billions) and organized crime (here, that appreciable fraction of the academic and scientific community that has been telling similar porkies.
Of course, there is one law for us (do the crime, do the time) and quite another for Them (do the crime, make a mint, have a Nobel Peace Prize). The Serious Fraud Office is not interested in investigating Serious Fraud - not if it might involve a publicly-funded body making up stuff to please the corrupt politicians who pay not only its own salaries but also those of the Serious Fraud Office.
The Met Office's fraud will not be investigated. "Why not try your local police?" said the Serious Fraud Office.
So here is my question. In the specific instance I have sketched out above, where a journalist was publicly named and wrongly shamed by a powerful taxpayer-funded official body telling lies, has that body committed a serious fraud that forms part of a pattern of connected frauds right across the governing class worldwide?
Or am I going too far in calling a fraud a fraud?