REGULAR readers will be familiar with Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s Environment Analyst, who is to retire this month but will continue working as a freelance. He has been accused by the Telegraph’s Charles Moore of being ‘a prophet of doom who belongs in a pulpit’, and has had several complaints upheld against him for fake news reporting.
Last week he tweeted a claim, which apparently originated on BBC Radio Four’s Farming Today, that the Wye and Usk region has received no rainfall at all since March 10. This on the face of it absurd claim should have set the alarm bells ringing, but our Roger does not seem to believe in checking the facts first where the claim suits his agenda.
Sure enough, on checking the data from the Met Office, his claim had no substance at all.
Although below average, rainfall in the SW region was only the 26th lowest since 1836 for the period March to June, and clearly there is no long-term trend in rainfall there:
Zooming in on Ross-on-Wye, rain has fallen in all four months:
Met Office rainfall maps confirm that around 200mm fell over the Wye and Usk region, (mainly along the England/Wales border and Brecon area):
Harrabin’s Twitter thread has been full of comments from his green chums declaring the end of civilisation and demanding world communism to placate the climate gods.
Strangely, there has been no response at the time of writing from Harrabin to my own reply offering the facts! Such is the world of BBC climate reporting!
What, no water? Part II
A few weeks of dry weather, and the climate crooks come out of the woodwork.
According to the Eastern Daily Press:
‘Generations ago, families swam in the Little Ouse by the Nuns’ Bridges in Thetford in the summer. Now you can almost walk across its dry bed without getting your feet wet, as the flow falls to a trickle. A level gauge at Abbey Heath shows the river is running at a level of 0.106m – below its usual lowest ebb of 0.13m. “This is climate change and it’s going to get worse,” said Clare Higson, who is part of the Thetford River Group which looks after the town’s waterways. “This is the river crying out I need water.” Hotter, drier summers are forecast in what is already one of the driest regions in the country. East Anglia averages 630mm a year, almost half the national average of 1,163mm.’
Needless to say, this has nothing to do with climate change, nor is East Anglia getting drier. On the contrary, there are no long-term trends in rainfall, either annually or in the summer months:
The real problem is abstraction, or taking water from the river for irrigation and domestic use. Currently Anglian Water is licensed to abstract 7.8million litres a year from eight sources in the Thetford area. The average water use per person per day in the Anglian Water region is 146 litres, nearly double the consumption of 85 litres in 1960. To add to the problem is the population increase. Norfolk’s population, for example, has grown by a fifth since 1991.
Given that East Anglia is the driest region of the country, it is inevitable that water supplies are tight.
Bee-eaters are a ‘worrying sign of climate change’
The BBC reported last month:
‘Rare “rainbow birds” trying to breed in the UK was a “worrying sign of how our climate is changing”, the RSPB said. The charity said bee-eaters had been making nest burrows in a small quarry at Trimingham, near Cromer, Norfolk. The exotic birds are usually found in southern Europe and northern Africa.
‘Mark Thomas from the RSPB said: “While an incredible sight, we mustn’t forget that the arrival of these birds to our shores is due to changes to our climate and subsequent pressures on wildlife. Pushed northwards by climate change, these exotic birds will likely become established summer visitors in the future, having been an early and unmissable sign in the past two decades that the nature and climate emergency has reached our shores”.’
One of the saddest aspects of modern life is how organisations like the RSPB have been taken over by the woke left. Ordinary members must be pulling their hair out over the nonsense emanating from the small minority of extremists who now control their organisation.
Mark Thomas is clearly talking drivel, as he would have known if he had bothered to talk to the experts in these matters. There have been many well-documented sightings of bee-eaters over the years including:
• Isle of Wight – 2014
• Durham – 2002
• East Sussex – 1955
• Edinburgh – 1920
• Yorkshire – 1905
• Durham – 1862
The Handbook of British Birds by H F Witherby in 1945 stated: ‘[Bee eaters] have occurred at intervals in all East & South coast counties, but very rarely elsewhere.’ More detail here.
It is worth noting that Mark Thomas is the RSPB’s Head of Investigations. His job is to investigate crime against wild birds. He has consequently become embroiled in conflicts with gamekeepers and game sports.
For instance, the Campaign for Protection of Moorland Communities had this to say two years ago:
‘In his last interview with BBC Radio 4 in October, around the time of the RSPB’s AGM, [Thomas] was shrieking down the microphone so angrily any validity he might have had to the points he was raising were lost. His credibility became laughable further with his description of gamekeepers as “groups of armed criminal gangs roaming across great swaths of our uplands” . . . This yet again shows the levels of defamation that people like Thomas are happy to continue to throw at our moorland communities, seemingly to justify their own organisations’ existence.’