The Mayor’s latest musings on climate change

24 June 2013: The Mayor has turned to the issue of climate prediction in his latest column in the Telegraph. A piece entitled The weather prophets should be chucked in the deep end suggests that “Homeowners lumbered with useless swimming pools know precisely who they should blame”. The piece continues:

“For more than 20 years now, we have been told that this country was going to get hotter and hotter and hotter, and that global warming was going to change our climate in a fundamental way….We were told that Britain was going to have short, wet winters and long, roasting summers.”

“That’s what they said: the BBC, and all the respectable meteorologists – and I reckon there were tens of thousands of people who took these prophecies entirely seriously.”

“They thought they were doing the sensible thing and getting ready for a Californian lifestyle – and they were fools! Fools who believed that the global warming soothsayers really meant what they said or that they had a clue what the weather would be in the next 10 years….and now these so-called weather forecasters and climate change buffs have the unbelievable effrontery to announce that they got it all wrong. They now think that we won’t have 10 years of blistering summer heat; on the contrary, it is apparently going to be 10 years of cold and wet.”

It should be noted that the Mayor has released a comprehensive climate change adaptation plan for London in 2011 which states as a key headline message [p12] that “London has already experienced some changes to its climate and we should expect warmer wetter winters and hotter, drier summers in the future.

The strategy also goes on to sensibly point out that There will be years when summers are wetter, or winters are colder than the predicted trend. This does not mean that the climate change projections are wrong, or that efforts to reduce emissions are working, but it underlines the complexity and natural variability of the climate. Adaptation actions must allow for this variability.” [p27]

A previous article (and see here) penned earlier this year by the Mayor, pontificating over the extended winter weather period London had been experiencing, and its possible relationship to sun spots, elicited a number of critical responses, including one from London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, as well as questions being asked in the London Assembly (here and here).

In contrast to Boris’s purple prose today, it’s interesting to see the comments made at the launch of the New York climate change resilience strategy earlier this month by Mayor Bloomberg:
“Citing the perils of climate change and the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday called for a sweeping $19.5 billion initiative that would include new coastal protections and zoning codes for the city as well as new standards for telecommunications and fuel provision.“I strongly believe we have to prepare for what scientists say is a likely scenario””.

The report – A Stronger, More Resilient New York – can be downloaded here.

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