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Booker Responds To Bob Ward’s Letter

January 20, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Last week, Bob Ward, in a self serving letter to the Telegraph, tried to persuade us that several recent extremely cold US winters did not actually happen, in response to an article by Booker about the latest freeze up in New England.

Unfortunately, this line of argument had already been challenged by his many of his warmist chums, who had tried to argue that these bitter winters, far from disproving global warming, had actually been caused by melting Arctic ice.

Booker today responds, and lays bare the contradictions at the heart of the global warming scam.


One of Shakespeare’s persistent themes in Hamlet is that when people set out to fool others, it will eventually catch up with them. Repeatedly he emphasises that “purposes mistook fall on their inventors’ heads”, that such people end up “hoist with their own petard”, or get caught like a “woodcock” in their own trap.

There was a delightful example of this on our letters page last week, when that well-known propagandist for global warming, Bob Ward, tried to challenge what I had written about the recent series of unusually cold winters in North America.

The winters of 2007-08 and 2013-14, which Mr Booker highlights as particularly cold, were respectively only the 68th and 33rd coldest since records began in 1901. The mean temperature for the US in December 2017 was above average.Bob Ward, letters

Mr Ward is employed by the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, sponsored by a climate change-obsessed billionaire, and challenges anyone who publicly questions global warming orthodoxy. His point last week was to claim that, contrary to what I had written, recent US winters have not been unusually cold at all.

But the only evidence he could cite to support his point was the latest figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), suggesting that seven out of the past 10 US winters have in fact been “warmer than average”.

What Mr Ward has not said here is that, in a way which has aroused widespread suspicion, NOAA’s figures have lately been significantly “adjusted”, to suggest that several famously severe recent winters, such as those in 2008 and 2014, were not unusually cold by the standards of the 20th century.

Several expert bloggers have been analysing the surprising picture given by NOAA’s new figures, as in a post by Paul Homewood on his blog Notalotofpeopleknowthat headed “US cold winters mysteriously disappear”. Indeed, this is only the latest in a whole series of similarly suspect adjustments made to official US temperature figures in recent years, which I have described as one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.

Even odder in this instance, however, was the way Mr Ward failed to mention the continuing stream of academic papers and other interventions by scientists on his own side of the argument trying to explain how these freezing US winters are in fact further proof of global warming.

Their theory, as I mentioned in the item Mr Ward objected to, is that a warming Arctic is pushing the jet stream further south, to grip North America in a swirling “polar vortex” of sub-zero air, snow and ice. All of these papers are predicated on the claim that recent US winters have indeed been exceptionally cold.

Mr Ward may happily ignore all this, preferring to rest his case only on those questionable NOAA figures. But what makes it indeed delightful is that the warmists themselves have now come up with two wholly contradictory ways to explain why the runaway global warming in which they all believe should repeatedly be giving the people of North America such a horribly cold time. Only one of them pretends that this isn’t really happening at all.


For those who have not been following this story, this is the relevant graph:




If NOAA’s figures are to be believed, all of the recent cold winters, all blamed on polar vortexes and global warming, never actually happened.

So if Bob Ward is right, and recent US winters have been mild, then umpteen scientists, not to mention John Holdren, have been lying their heads off by saying that “melting Arctic ice” has been making cold winters more extreme.


I’ll let you decide who is telling the truth.


The relevant posts are here:

  1. Tom Dowter permalink
    January 21, 2018 12:50 am

    Generally speaking, unusually cold winters in Europe, North Asia and the Northern parts of North America are associated with more than the usual amount of cold air coming down from the Arctic. This cold air has to be replaced by, presumably warmer, air from elsewhere. One would therefore expect a negative correlation between extreme arctic temperatures and other Northern regions.

    Obviously, as the Arctic gets warmer, we would expect a bit more of the ice to melt. There would therefore also be a correlation between Arctic temperatures and Arctic ice.

    Given these two “obvious” correlations one would also expect there to be a correlation between melting ice and other northern temperatures. In the case of Europe and North Asia, ( I haven’t looked at North America yet), this correlation is marginally worse than one would expect. This means that the unusually cold winters are NOT caused by melting Arctic ice.

    • January 21, 2018 10:19 am

      But ‘as the Arctic gets warmer’ shouldn’t the cold air it’s sending to the northern land masses be getting less cold? If not, then we would have to doubt that the Arctic is getting warmer.

  2. jim permalink
    January 21, 2018 2:45 am

    We are back to anomalous anomalies again! When N America has a cold anomaly ( like now) its bloody cold. Like below freezing in Tampa this week. The ‘hot’ anomaly in Russian arctic was MINUS 16C rather than MINUS 19C. Really sweltering conditions.
    Its just COLD, its winter , its what you expect!

    • CheshireRed permalink
      January 21, 2018 1:15 pm

      This is a very good point. NOAA/NASA show anomalies in scorching yellows, oranges and reds on their global maps, using those colours to insinuate to the uninitiated that it’s hot, hot, hot!
      In reality it’s just slightly less freezing than previously, but it’s still freezing cold nonetheless. -19C or -16C is still frozen solid. Thus their ‘overheating Arctic’ claims are to all intents and purposes in the real world, completely irrelevant. ‘Lies, damned lies and statistics’ combined with ‘how to lie with pictures’.

  3. NeilC permalink
    January 21, 2018 5:28 am

    Nice reply Christopher. Everything Mr Ward spouts on AGW is never the truth.

    Adjusting actual observations, and not maintaining the raw data, as NOAA have been doing recently, is ANTI-science. Isn’t it damning that the adjustments, and there are many, always cool the past so the present appears warmer.

  4. January 21, 2018 7:02 am

    Thank goodness that there are a few reporters with honesty, integrity and intelligence – Christopher Booker, David Rose and James Delingpole spring to mind. There are no reporters at the BBC, Channel 4, the Grauniad etc with honesty, integrity and intelligence. Until such time as there are reporters with honesty, integrity and intelligence in the MSM (when hell freezes over?), the truth will not get to TPTB and the general public.

    • Paddy permalink
      January 21, 2018 7:21 am

      TPTB – ACRONYMS !! I had to look it up. The Powers That Be for other luddites.

      • January 21, 2018 9:31 am

        Sorry about that! I hate TLAs and FLAs, but I hate typing lots of words!

      • January 21, 2018 2:27 pm

        I suggest you don’t ready Mark Hasara’s “Tanker Pilot” which I bought for my niece’s husband who flew Phantoms in the Marines. I read it and finally gave up on the military acronyms, realizing that it did not matter if I knew them, but Roger would. A great read once I absolved myself of the acronym problem.

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      January 21, 2018 2:22 pm

      Phillip — I reckon by the time hell freezes even Bob Ward might have started to ask questions, though I’m not about to place any large bets.

      As for the integrity of British journalism …

      “You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God!, the British journalist.
      But, seeing what the man will do, unbribed, there’s no occasion to.”
      (Humbert Wolfe).

      I am sometimes ashamed to admit that I was at one time a (lowly) member of that “profession”. The modern pressure of 24-hour news has resulted in a sort of intellectual lobotomy which has removed the critical ability to ask “why does this guy want us to publish this stuff?”

      BUT, even in 1962 in that classic That Was The Week That Was, David Frost (assisted by one Christopher Booker) gave us the 10 Commandments for Journalists, one of which included “For thou knowest that soon thy Editor will be shouting not ‘Where is Thy Original Manuscript?’, but rather ‘Where is Thy Copy?’” Nothing new, there, then!

  5. David Richardson permalink
    January 21, 2018 8:14 am

    Must be added to this archive

  6. daver permalink
    January 21, 2018 8:30 am

    Traffic chaos at Nevis Range and Glencoe ski centre.

  7. daver permalink
    January 21, 2018 8:43 am

    Meanwhile, wiv cute juxtaposition, choosing to banner

    ‘Air quality has improved slightly on Scotland’s most polluted streets, according to figures from Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland.’

  8. Dave Vought permalink
    January 21, 2018 10:48 am

    Dud reviews from dud scientists from dud models of past temperature records.
    What’s happening around the world is nothing out of the ordinary.
    The duds have just got to spend a few hours researching the past and they’ll see it’s all happened before.

  9. Bloke down the pub permalink
    January 21, 2018 11:35 am

    Surely the issue is that the US is a large place. When a meridional jetstream pushes cold Arctic air down over one part of the country, it also sucks up warm air over the rest. Looking at the average temperature is therefore a pointless exercise and broken temperature records would be far more useful.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      January 21, 2018 11:41 am

      I suggest that you have a look at IceAgeNow then, because they have lots of them.

    • January 21, 2018 11:48 am

      That’s why I’ve specifically focussed on the Northeast region, rather than the whole US

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    January 21, 2018 11:39 am

    I was reading the many, many comments over at the DT. It was educational, but not entirely unpredictable, that those who supported Ward and talked down this site never seem to come over here to exercise their arguments. They usually rely on questioning PH’s qualifications without seeing the irony that they will not disclose theirs.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      January 21, 2018 11:43 am

      Funny how you have to have “qualifications” to quote the DATA put out by NASA/NAOO/GISS/HADCRUT when they are the ones supplying the data in the first place.
      I am surprised they haven’t also asked for some “Pal Reviewed” papers from P H as well.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        January 21, 2018 12:25 pm

        Scientists are famously easy to fool, magicians say that they love audiences of scientists. Accountants are trained in auditing and understand this well, so are probably the best qualified to assess data and fiddles. In addition, science means knowledge and anyone can have an understanding that is knowledge, it is not the prerogative of qualified people: historically many of the great scientists were generalists (poets and writers etc).

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        January 21, 2018 2:37 pm

        I keep trying to pass the more intelligent (sounding!) ones on to Pierre Gosselin. I know they’ve been brainwashed into not liking blogs (given the rubbish you read ln some you can scarcely blame them) but I tell them to follow his links to paper after paper after paper over the last couple of years — all peer-reviewed, all published in reputable journals, and all either debunking or at least casting doubt on much of the global warming theory.
        I usually try to pose two questions: 1 Do you have an open mind?, 2 Why do you *want* this pessimism to be true?

        I don’t know what else we can do. Until people get the chance to hear that there is a genuine alternative position we’re stuck with what we’re told as (it turns out) we were for decades with Ancel Keyes’ self-serving pseudo-science about fats and carbs. Nature will prove them/us wrong eventually by which time we might have impoverished ourselves to the point where we will be back to the 17th century, like it or not!

    • Alan Haile permalink
      January 21, 2018 2:21 pm

      You may also have noticed a letter in today’s Sunday Telegraph which references Bob Ward’s letter of last week. It tries to ridicule Mr Ward, successfully I think, by agreeing that coal produces more CO2 than Diesel and telling drivers of coal fuelled cars that they should be ashamed of themselves. Strangely the writer of this letter has the same name as me.

  11. A C Osborn permalink
    January 21, 2018 11:46 am

    Paul, I do think that Mr Booker missed a trick not mentioning Russia with their -89F temperatures.

    • January 21, 2018 1:34 pm

      But the argument is that one heatwave is not a trend. Likewise, neither is one ‘cold snap’.

      • John189 permalink
        January 21, 2018 11:58 pm

        I was not listening too closely, but I believe I heard Mr Harrabin on the BBC explaining that record heat in Australia was due to climate change, but heavy snow in Scotland and northern England was merely “weather”. No intellectual rigour whatsoever.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        January 22, 2018 4:25 am

        What record heat in Australia? In Adelaide we have had maybe 3 days running of hot weather, followed by a warm humid day (35℃), then a warm not so humid day and today is a fairly pleasant 27℃. Neither the length nor the max. temps. (41℃, 42℃ on 2 days) were unusual nor records.
        The hot days are less horrific than those who live in London would think, as the relative humidity drops to less than 20% and often less than 10%. The humid 35℃ day was ? [about 35%] (I felt a bit uncomfortable as I was playing lawn bowls in it).
        The best way to handle the heat is to retire to a shady spot with a light breeze and drink plenty of fluid. This coming W.E. is forecast to be just as hot in good time for the local Crush Festival where local wineries showcase their wines. (Included just in case you are thinking of avoiding next year’s winter).

  12. January 21, 2018 2:30 pm

    The main thinking with these climate miscreants seems to be, “if in doubt, take it out.” That applies to inconvenient truths from Mikey Mann’s Hockey Stick removal of the Medieval Warming and Little Ice Age, to just about everything which does not suit their prejudice du jour.

  13. January 21, 2018 7:51 pm

    Off immediate topic but of some interest to most here I think.

    Claire Perry – Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

    My route into politics came via involvement with Green activism locally

    and more HERE courtesy of ahem… Carbon Brief … Royal Meteorological Society, London on 17 January 2018

    using the might of the public sector to drive differential behavior

    lung cancer + climate change

    and more – I nave not the enthusiasm today to sit through the entire speech – but maybe somebody a bit more determined can pluck some more from the lady’s presentation.

    It would seem that the lady is a fifth columnist …. since she plays down her connections to the Green Blob while trumpeting a series of egregious untruths at their behest.

  14. John F. Hultquist permalink
    January 21, 2018 8:47 pm

    In the USA the media, printers of calendars and so on, use “astronomical” dating to define seasons. Thus, “winter” starts on about Dec. 21st., and lasts until March 21st.
    Meteorologists use a different method. Winter in the norther hemisphere is a 3 month period, namely Dec/Jan/Feb.
    Atmospheric Rossby Waves, polar outbreaks, polar vortex, “January Thaw”, snow storms, and blistering cold spells come and go on shorter time frames than either astronomical or meteorological defined seasons.
    Further, as Paul makes note, the Northeast US is a long way from Washington and Oregon.
    With the above in mind, an “average” of weather measurements is a poor substitute for real experiences. For example, a friend lives just an hour north of Detroit, MI. After the last bitter cold a couple of years ago, she wrote that never again would she spend a winter in such a place. She was not speaking of the “average.”

  15. enarhem permalink
    January 22, 2018 1:10 am

    Not sure if this was already mentioned, but this is the passing of a good guy.

  16. Andrew permalink
    January 22, 2018 12:43 pm

    Bob Ward has a degree in geology so I assume he knows the truth about AGW and that he is fully signed up to ‘man is evil, we need to destroy capitalism, de-industrialise and reduce the population’. I think we need laws so that in the future anybody in a responsible public position who can be shown to have knowingly lied to influence policy and/or public opinion can be prosecuted.

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