Return to Website

Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

Number Watch Web Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
View Entire Thread
Re: What's the point of the Met Office

That's an interesting point J. In Harrabin's shortlist there are two weather forecasting organisations of substantial size, MeteoGroup and Metra, who could potentially act as replacements for the Met Office. The Met Office has lost its long running contract with the BBC, but the successor has not been announced as yet. It will be interesting to see if the new provider turns out to be MeteoGroup or Metra.

The other four weather forecasting organisations or individuals in Harrabin's shortlist - Piers Corbyn's Weather Action, Joe Bástardi, David King (not to be confused with the former UK Chief Scientist) and Positive Weather Solutions, are all small-scale forecasters who specialise in long-term forecasting and are probably all inclined towards AGW scepticism.

One of the four long range weather forecasters in the shortlist, Positive Weather Solutions (PWS), actually ceased trading only a few weeks after the shortlist was announced, as a result of adverse publicity inflicted upon it by another Green activist in the news media, the Guardian's George Monbiot.

link

Monbiot noticed that PWS was pretending to be a bigger organisation than it really was, in the form of inventing employees for its website who did not really exist. He is unlikely to be familiar with the business world, but it is not unknown for small businesses to do that. One of the humorous "Bluffer's Guide" series of books, "The Bluffer's Guide to Small Business", explains this issue as follows:

"Of course, the title 'Small Business' is something of a misnomer. No bluffer particularly wants to head a small business. He or she would probably prefer to own a big business. Alas, it is a great social injustice that few are able to go straight in at their preferred level. For most, the best way to own one's own big business is to start with a small one and make it bigger. And the best way of doing that is to convince everyone that the small business is already a big business.

Indeed, if a small business is to stand any chance at all, it is not merely desirable, but essential, that it appears to be what it hopes to become."

I believe the owner of PWS, Jonathan Powell, started up another company called "Vantage Weather Services" a few months later, but any 'reputation' that he might have been able to establish through PWS was ruined by Monbiot.