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Drought Getting Worse In Scotland (As It Gets Wetter!)

March 30, 2021

By Paul Homewood



The BBC’s obsession with climate change gets worse every day!




I drive a diesel car, eat meat and just a few months ago had a gas boiler installed in my house, that’s quite an admission for an environment correspondent who reports on climate change.

The problem is that greener options are financially out of reach for me and – it seems – most Scots.

That is something I have been investigating for BBC Scotland’s Disclosure.

We commissioned a survey of 1,009 Scots, conducted by Savanta ComRes, which suggests price is putting many people off making greener lifestyle choices.

Full story here.

The poll finds that 71% won’t buy an electric car because of cost, with 64% saying the same about low carbon heating. Other concerns about fitness for purpose feature highly. I suspect also that many responders don’t even have a clue how much extra electrification costs, which put the figures even higher.

It really does not take a genius to work any of this out.

And, of course, behind all of this is the fact that most people realise that whatever personal decisions they make will have zip all effect on the climate.

But what really took my eye was this totally gratuitous segment of the report:




The idea that droughts are increasing in Scotland is absolutely absurd. Indeed the opposite is true, it is getting wetter. Neither is it getting drier in spring or summer, when fires are most likely to occur




The BBC article uses the Flow Country wildfire in May 2019 as an example. The Flow Country lies in the north of Scotland, but that spring was not an unusually dry one there. In fact it was wetter than normal, the 28th wettest since 1862, according to the Met Office.

Whatever the cause of it, it was not drought.

As for the fire chief’s comparison with the Portugal climate, I can only suggest he sticks to his day job!

  1. Philip Mulholland permalink
    March 30, 2021 11:19 am

    That Flow Country fire is clearly happening on pristine mossland that has never been ploughed or drained.

    They cannot even show a picture without making a mistake.

    • March 30, 2021 12:44 pm

      It started next to a layby that has only been there a couple of years, i.e., a discarded cigarette is the most likely cause.

      • Beagle permalink
        March 30, 2021 5:39 pm

        Jit, off topic but who is your book aimed at. I get the impression it takes more of a climate alarmist attitude rather than climate realism? If I’m wrong maybe you can put me right.

      • March 30, 2021 6:11 pm

        @ Beagle far from it.

        I accept that elevated CO2 levels will cause some warming. In the book I go through what level of warming we might expect and what effect that might have on sea level, ice caps, weather, diseases, crop yields, biodiversity, etc. Nowhere (and I think I have looked carefully at the evidence) do I find any serious threat.

        I don’t think there are any threats to civilisation from climate change that a civilisation worthy of the name would not deal with easily.

        I think there is far more threat to us from Net Zero policies than from climate change!

    • Cheshire Red permalink
      March 30, 2021 1:27 pm

      Sorry you need to look closer, Philip. Those lines are plough lines where the field has been ploughed. It will almost certainly have been drained at some point if needed.

      In other words that’s an agricultural field not a natural, unmanaged moor.

      It actually looks like a controlled burn, but either way there’s very little vegetation to burn.

      The idea Scotland is about to explode in a man-made fireball is fanciful (or wishful!) thinking.

      • March 30, 2021 4:13 pm

        Actually, the photo is of a recently clearfelled plantation. If you want to see exactly where it was taken, the position is: 58*25’45.87″N, 3*58’21.12″W. It’s about 4 miles west north west of Forsinan. (The latest Google Earth imagery shows part of the area burnt, including this bit.)

        This is actually quite a long way from where the fire started, which was about 8-9 miles north of where the photo was taken.

        It was in no way a controlled burn. As stated, the likely cause was a discarded cigarette.

      • bobn permalink
        March 31, 2021 4:01 pm

        Fire in photo probably set by landowner to clear the ground for replanting a forest. Since you cant get permission for this cheap n easy way of clearing he’ll just have accidentally dropped 20 lit cigarettes.

      • George Lawson permalink
        April 1, 2021 8:07 am

        It certainly looks like the field is ploughed, but when did you last see a ploughed field burning? and was the ploughed area for the nine miles of the burn? The picture shows lines of some sort of farmed vegetation showing regular lines of different colours. Surely someone would know what was growing and whether it was the same over nine miles!

  2. March 30, 2021 11:41 am

    Can’t say I’ve noticed a drought – just wish it would stop raining. Press has been full of photos of floods with warnings of more, e.g.

  3. March 30, 2021 12:04 pm

    But, you see, a wetter climate proves climate change too!

  4. 1saveenergy permalink
    March 30, 2021 12:30 pm

    Looks ploughed, drained & managed to me !
    It’s a deep ploughed forestry site that’s been clear cut.
    More about it here –
    You can see the stumps in the Thurso Fire Service pic

    This is pristine mossland

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      March 30, 2021 12:32 pm

      That was supposed to be a reply to Philip Mulholland , don’t know what happened ???

  5. cookers52 permalink
    March 30, 2021 12:33 pm

    I asked my local nature trust for the details of their wildfire prevention plan, as they seem to leave lots of dry wood and tinder all over the place.

    It appears they haven’t got one!

  6. Broadlands permalink
    March 30, 2021 1:49 pm

    To save the planet I was under the impression that all of us are supposed to plant lots and lots of trees to suck up all the CO2 from whatever source. Is this a great opportunity? Or perhaps a good location for solar panel farms and windmills? A win-win situation?

  7. Malcolm Johnson permalink
    March 30, 2021 2:31 pm

    BBC Scotland, in its trailer for its Disclosure programme interviewed a couple whose well had run dry “because of droughts due to climate change” and they were having to bore a deeper well. Nobody considered any other reasons for a lower water table; possibilities like neighbours using more water in lockdown, a landowner extracting more water for cattle, etc. There is certainly NO shortage of water in Scotland.

    • Mack permalink
      March 30, 2021 4:30 pm

      Hit the nail on the head their Malcolm. In many places the decrepit infrastructure, overbearing bureaucracy and poor or inappropriate land management is to blame for inadequate water retention. Having had dealings with both Scottish Water and SEPA it would seem that some of their representatives wear their incompetence as a badge of honour. It could rain steadily for 5 years (sometimes it seems like it does) and Noah could park his Ark on the banks of Loch Lomond and the officials would still be wittering about drought, record warming, our models say, blah, blah, blah.

  8. Charles Duncan permalink
    March 30, 2021 5:19 pm

    Rainfall, like temperature, just follows sunshine hours, which have risen by more than 10% since 1970.

  9. Ben Vorlich permalink
    March 30, 2021 7:10 pm

    I’ve no idea about the data, but in investigating wildfires in Scotland I’d look into the controlled burning of Grouse Moors.

    50 years ago strips of Heather were burnt back before the start of the nesting season. Even back then this was met with opposition by various groups, the anti-hunting lobby for obvious reasons, anti-pollution groups because of the smoke, and environmental groups because it damaged what is a manmade environment.
    I suspect that this pressure has had an effect. Heather grows into what Robert Louis Stephenson describes as bushes. These bushes have a lot of dry combustible material on the ground below them in last year’s dead growth.

    “In the Isle of Mull, at least,” says he, “where I know every stone and heather-bush by mark of head. See, now,” he said, striking right and left, as if to make sure, “down there a burn is running; and at the head of it there stands a bit of a small hill with a stone cocked upon the top of that; and it’s hard at the foot of the hill, that the way runs by to Torosay; and the way here, being for droves, is plainly trodden, and will show grassy through the heather.”

  10. iain Gately permalink
    March 31, 2021 9:47 am


    Have you seen this yet:
    another nail in the coffin for AGW!

  11. James Watson permalink
    March 31, 2021 3:30 pm

    A Ha

    I went to Glasgow University in 1982 and complained that I got soaked every morning walking to lectures. Everyone laughed when I asked if the rain was very unusual (I’m from the east coast and Glasgow is very wet) – but from the Graphs I see that 1982 was a very wet year. Finally Justified 🙂

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