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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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The climate scaremongers: Extreme weather is the new normal

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CLIMATE alarmists realised long ago that the public would not be frightened by the promise of a slightly warmer climate. Hence their shift of focus to apocalyptic claims that our weather is becoming more extreme, with deadly hurricanes, floods, droughts and the rest.

As I warned a few months ago, the BBC/Met Office were determined to label last year as one of the most extreme on record in the UK, in spite of the fact that it was probably one of the least extreme.

Last week those respected climate experts, the National Trust, set the ball rolling with a report claiming that extreme weather was now the new normal in the UK. Naturally it was given widespread coverage by the BBC. 

The bases for their claim were:

•       A hot summer

•       A mild autumn

•       Three storms in February

•       A cold snap in December (something clearly unheard of).

Certainly we had a handful of very hot days, but the summer overall was not as hot as 1976, 1995, 2018 or even 1826. And the weather was so extreme that many flocked to the beaches!

The other claims are simply absurd. Nobody would regard a mild autumn as ‘extreme’.

The National Trust say February 2022 was the first time that three storms had hit in a week since we started naming storms in 2015. Winter storms are perfectly normal, and it is common for two or three depressions to follow in quick succession. Just because the Met Office began giving them silly names does not mean that they never happened before. Meanwhile rainfall in February 2022 was not unusually high.

The alleged purpose of the National Trust is to preserve the nation’s heritage, so maybe they should have a look at what the weather was like in 1895, the year the organisation was founded. They would find out what extreme weather really looks like.

The winter of 1894/95 was truly dreadful, the second coldest on record in the UK. Only the winter of 1962/63 was colder. The Thames froze in places and was blocked by ice floes up to 7ft thick. Snowfalls continued into March and April. May saw wild swings in weather, with light snow in mid-month, followed by a scorching heatwave with temperatures reaching 87F.

In contrast, the summer was dominated by heavy rain and severe thunderstorms. September was extremely mild, a full degree warmer than last year’s. The rest of the year saw a return to cold weather, storms and heavy rain.

I am sure most of the National Trust’s visitors would much rather learn about the weather of the past instead of being lectured about global warming!

BBC’s fake hurricane claims

IF the BBC told you that last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was the third most active on record, you would naturally assume that it had the third most hurricanes. But this is the BBC we are talking about!

In December 2021, just after the Atlantic hurricane season officially ended in November, the BBC published a report with the headline ‘2021 hurricane season was third most active’.This was reinforced by the first words of the article: ‘The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has now officially ended, and it’s been the third most active on record. Though the last month has seen little tropical storm activity, all the pre-determined names have been exhausted for the second year in a row.’ 

Strange, because the number of hurricanes was nowhere near being the third highest. Since 1851, there have been 50 other years with as many or more than the seven recorded in 2021 in the Atlantic. Indeed the overall average is seven.

So on what did the BBC base their fake claim? It turns out they were not referring only to hurricanes, but to tropical storms, a term which encompasses hurricanes but includes much weaker storms with wind speeds as low as 39mph.

Nowadays satellites can spot every puff of wind in the middle of the ocean. For most of the past 170 years the majority of storms were never observed at all and so could not be counted. It is grossly misleading and extremely dishonest to compare storm totals these days with years past without mentioning this fact. But that is exactly what the BBC attempted to do.

It gets worse. Just as our own Met Office regularly gives silly names to every storm that comes our way, so do the Americans. Dr Neil Frank, who was Director of the US National Hurricane Center from 1974 to 1987, maintains that many of the storms now named would not have been in his day. Many of those now named, he says, are not tropical storms at all but normal winter storms. 

These two factors explain why we now run out of letters in the alphabet, not that there are more storms. Ironically the BBC itself reported on all of this in an article published a few months earlier, Should the hurricane season begin earlier? – BBC News by the very same Simon King who wrote the December report.

I complained to the BBC at the time, and have only just received the response from their Executive Complaints Unit. Unsurprisingly they have rejected my complaint, stating that they do not think their article was in any way misleading. I say unsurprising because they very rarely accept any complaints regardless of the topic.

The article was clearly designed to make people think that hurricanes are getting worse, and it is part of a campaign to convince the public that hurricanes are becoming both more common and powerful. There is no evidence for any of this, and hurricane experts insist that there are no such long-term trends. But as far as the BBC is concerned, when it comes to the climate the truth is expendable.

Texas blackouts narrowly averted thanks to gas

TWO years ago, the electricity grid in Texas came close to a catastrophic collapse after snowstorms had shutdown much of the state’s wind power. It was only the availability of gas power capacity which avoided this disaster. As it was, millions still suffered blackouts and hundreds died as a result.

Over Christmas another blast of Arctic weather hit Texas, and amid record power demand the US Energy Department was forced to declare a state ‘grid emergency’ which essentially allowed the grid operator to exceed certain air pollution limits to boost generation – translation: Fire up more coal and gas plants.

Just as in that storm two years ago, wind power dropped off a cliff at the same time as demand rocketed when the cold weather hit. Some wind turbines may have frozen, or it may have been too windy. Either way the collapse was weather-related.

Fortunately Texas was able rapidly to ramp up its gas power to meet the shortfall. Over Christmas Eve, coal, gas and nuclear were supplying nearly all the state’s electricity. Wind power was next to nothing, and solar power is always a joke in winter. I doubt whether solar panels will produce much power when they are covered in snow.

Neither would renewable electricity from the rest of the US have been able to make a difference as both wind and solar power were in short supply nationally.

Joe Biden still wants carbon-free electricity by 2035. How many millions of Americans will freeze to death if he gets his way?

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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