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« Looney green tunes | Main | An outbreak of sanity »

Indy disappears legendary climate quote

Anthony Watts has the extraordinary information that the Independent has disappeared the now legendary "children won't know what snow is" article.

You've heard of something called a newspaper of record? I guess the Independent is whatever the opposite of that is.

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Reader Comments (57)

For those worried that children will grow up not knowing how stupid the climate science insanity was, could people post links here as a handy reference guide?

A little refresher for politicians in the run up to Paris would not be a wasted effort (unlike most climate science)

Nov 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It must be a muck up not a conspiracy.

Why would the Indy delete one of its few web pages that gets any traffic?

Nov 13, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney


The Indy should be asked to outline its IT husbandry.

Does it 'remove' everything that is say 15 years old, or only selectively remover articles of this age, and if so what criteria are used is the selection process involved?

What needs to be established is whether this has been removed as a matter of routine procedure, or because of some specific and underlying motive.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

You've heard of something called a newspaper of record? I guess the Independent is whatever the opposite of that is.

But somewhere there is a good old fashioned paper copy of the original publication, that isn't reliant on servers and format changes. Just as long as some clown doesn't come along and burn the place down.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Sorry to see that the Indy's 'no more snow' is no longer with us. I am consoled by the fact that my other favourite, the BBC's 'Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013', appears to be in rude health.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlabicyclette

Eh up, that's just increased the chance of snow this winter!

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand


LInk rot is common. I have written some 15 climate articles and none of the earlier ones still have 100% of their links remaining. I suspect this is such an occurrence or just a housekeeping matter.

The original story did get a little distorted in the telling and sceptics and alarmists alike have had their own take on the matter.

Desmogblog gave their version of events here, quoting a delingpole article into the bargain.

Worth reading. Were the original comments embellished by an Indy sub editor?

However, there is a wider story here which is that regular snowfall is not a common occurrence in lowland Britain, although more common in the North of the country and East Anglia (where CRU is located) and of course mountainous areas

The image of snowy winters is largely an artefact of folk memories of the harsh conditions of the intermittent little ice age. Charles Dickens’ formative years were in such a cold period and some years ago I wrote a tongue in cheek article that highlighted the actual lack of snow-especially around Christmas. It is here and was entitled

“Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change?

Charles Dickens. Victorian winters. A Christmas Carol. Ice fairs on the Frozen Thames. Cold Cold Cold Cold Cold. Dickens has irrevocably moulded the climate views of generations of Anglo Saxon peoples as TV, Films and plays all promote his image of icy winters in that era. Is this view of Dickens winters correct? We take a look at his life through the prism of climate.

——- ——- ——-
So Did David Viner say something that seems to have been distorted in time? Yes, probably. Has snow been such a frequent occurrence in lowland Britain, that its demise is worthy of especial note. No. Other than during periodic harsh spells, snow events come and go and were especially lacking in modern times during the 1930’s and 1940’s


Nov 13, 2015 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

M Courtney, LOL.

Green Sand, nah, the Met Office already torpedoed a cold winter by predicting three months of significant cold. Though we might get snow for COP21 ;-)

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"We've always been at war with Eastasia"

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterNickM

Let us allow climate scientists and other trustworthy parties investigate the matter before jumping to any conclusions. They have been right about everything else so far.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

I have never heard David Viner's name in any other context. I am very grateful for his outstanding contribution to the credibility of climate science. Hopefully this intervention by The Independent, so well timed in the run-up to Paris, will not go unnoticed by the World's media.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I think we of the sceptical persuasion, need to keep an eye on these older articles & claims of doom & gloom, to see when they are "dissappeared", as if they never existed. However, the warmistas will always fall back on the good old, "we were merely going on the best available science at the time", argument, which is a wonderful catch-all excuse & cop out! It's the sort of excuse used by so many in society, bureaucracies, Social Services, MOD, HO, FO, etc. I appreciate that in some circumstances this may be actually true, however, it covers the backside so well in principle!

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

This was I think - very deliberate.

The Independent exists solely at the whim of Alexander Lebedev who apparently bought it for £1 in 2010. A quick scan of the antics of the Indy's present Environment & Energy "editor" Tom Bawden's blatherings shows him to be an unalloyed and zealous agitator who has a distaste for evidence - and that piece has very obviously been a stone in his shoe like forever.

UK newspapers have been getting bolder about disappearing inconvenient online content. I'm aware that The Telegraph has quietly removed significant content about UK official corruption and incompetence once the page hits dropped to "nobody'll notice" level.

This is not link rot - it's deliberate and shows the Indy to have an even bigger credibility deficit than I gave them credit for.

In my direct experience the Indy has an editorial policy that embraces eco-PC-ness and blocks anything even remotely negative about the way the green blob operates - surprised it's taken them this long to expunge unwelcome evidence.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:22 PM | Registered Commentertomo

I wonder whether it is just this article, or old articles in general. Anthony's post suggest that it is just this article.

I did a search for David Viner, and found this article from 1995, Experts warn fossil fuels must be curbed, about the 1995 Madrid IPCC meeting.

"It's very difficult to predict with any accuracy," said Dr Viner, one of the UEA team which investigated the topic in a 1992 report for the pressure group Greenpeace.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Aila, you keep missing off the /sarc from your comments. But don't worry, we can tell you're not serious.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I suspect the reason the page has been disappeared is because it was a real embarassment, especially as in winter at least, the page regularly topped the 'most viewed' list in the Independent's Environment Section.

As Sparky and others have pointed out at WUWT, it is still there on the wayback machine at

For the record here are some of my favourite climate bollocks links (apologies if some of the links are now dead) -

WWF uber-alarmist Mark Lynas also predicted snow is “probably gone for good” in 2004 -

Met Office (Vicky Pope). "by 2014 we are predicting that it will be 0.3C warmer than 2004". Met Office climate change expert Vicky Pope sets out the consequences of temperature rises -

The Guardian 2005 (Monbiot): No more cold winters, Climate change exposes progress as a myth
By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 14th February 2005

It is now mid-February, and already I have sown eleven species of vegetable. I know, though the seed packets tell me otherwise, that they will flourish. Everything in this country - daffodils, primroses, almond trees, bumblebees, nesting birds - is a month ahead of schedule. And it feels wonderful. Winter is no longer the great grey longing of my childhood. The freezes this country suffered in 1982 and 1963 are - unless the Gulf Stream stops - unlikely to recur. Our summers will be long and warm. Across most of the upper northern hemisphere, climate change, so far, has been kind to us.
(sorry, no link).

BBC 2006 Prof. James Curran (SEPA) Warning over climate 'time bomb' - "That would make climate change irreversible. The earth itself is generating carbon monoxide (sic) and climate change becomes unstoppable." Prof Curran said this could mean up to a third of the world's species becoming extinct. He urged people to start living a more "sustainable life".

BBC 2007 - Prof. Wadhams - 'Arctic will be ice free by 2013' -

IPCC projections - the current global temperature record on the IPCC's graphs:

AGW causes volcanoes etc -

Met Office, Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office's director of climate change - Scotland to get milder winters and warmer drier summers and the rain would become more intense, which can cause flash flooding. Met Office, Jan 2008.

Met Office (2012): expect colder drier winters -

Prof Wadhams again: "Arctic sea ice 'to melt by 2015" -

Scotsman & The Guardian 2009 - Arctic will be ice-free in 20 years, new survey predicts
Published Date: 15 October 2009 Catlin Arctic Survey, explorer Pen Hadow, Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics and head of the Polar Physics Group, has spearheaded the team analysing the results. He said: "The summer ice cover in the Arctic will completely vanish in 20 to 30 years time. There won't be any sea ice there at all.
"In much less time than that, the ice in summer will be shrinking back to this last bastion north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island, so within a decade we will see a largely ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer.
"It won't be very long before we have to start thinking of the Arctic as an open sea. Man has taken the lid off the northern end of his planet, and we can't put that lid back on again.
"There will be a small enough area left, but you can regard the Arctic Ocean as open as far as transport is concerned.
"You'll be able to sail across the Arctic Ocean from the Bering Strait to the Atlantic without any hindrance." (404, Jan14) but much the same at
see also

The Guardian - report on new Times Atlas which shows Greenland with 15% ice loss since 1999 -
see for blink comparator map

The Guardian - CO2 is turning the rivers of the Mekong Delta salty. The prediction is for sea level to rise 75cm by 2050, which is almost 2cm/year. (actual rate has been 2mm pa) -

climate bollocks, Scotland, SNH's 5 year base-line study on "impacts of Climate Change", which amount to two extremely cold winters, a windy day on Harris, and a thunderstorm with local flooding in Perthshire. (a complete waste of public money)

Met Office, Alex Hill. Scottish ski industry could disappear due to global warming, warns Met Office. Alex Hill, chief government advisor with the Met Office, said the amount of snow in the Scottish mountains had been decreasing for the last 40 years and there was no reason for the decline to stop.
He added: "Put it this way, I will not be investing in the ski-ing industry. Will there be a ski industry in Scotland in 50 years' time? Very unlikely."

climate bollocks - [Scottish] Skiing is Doomed - enjoy it while it lasts" Alex Hill, the chief government adviser with the Met Office, told The Scotsman there was no future for skiing in Scotland because climate change would see winters become too warm for regular snowfall. -

SEPA bollocks again, Scotsman, 2010: Global warming 'will split South Uist in two' as rising sea surges inland
Published Date: 27 March 2010, By Jenny Fyall
"...Under climate change scenarios published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), the seas around South Uist will rise by at least 37cm by 2080. Warmer, wetter winters are also predicted."

By the way, it was snowing here in Perthshire this morning.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:42 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

History rewriting is one of the most important talents of a posh red rat.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusCold

When you meet a "Coming Ice Age Denier"
..You know those ones that say .."that's all myth that some some 1970's scientists really thought an ice age was coming"
..Then you can thank god that this Leonard Nimoy Ice Age Scare 1979 video clip has not YET been deleted by the THOUGHT POLICE.

Nov 13, 2015 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterstewgreen

He did not rest on his laurels, he later suggested that we would have much warmer summers replacing the Med locations for holiday choices. From Not A Lot Of People Know That.

"In 2006, he wrote a report that claimed
Climate change could "dramatically" change the face of British tourism in the next 20 years, with European tourists flocking to the UK to escape unbearably hot continental summers, experts say.

Research shows that European tourists may choose to holiday in Britain as resorts nearer to home become too hot.

Weather changes may provide revival opportunities for northern seaside towns such as Blackpool and put new strains on roads and development in southern coastal resorts, a study in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism said.

The likelihood is that Mediterranean summers may be too hot for tourists after 2020, as a result of too much heat and water shortages.

More at including the subsequent actuality:

Nov 13, 2015 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

God bless The Wayback Machine.. :-)


Nov 13, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp


"We've always never been at war with Eastasia"

Fixed it. ;)


Nov 13, 2015 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Looking at the archived link of The Independent, they were right about one thing: Gordon Brown was the Tories best asset.

Nov 13, 2015 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart, when it comes the the Labour party, the Conservatives have had an embarassment of riches. The downside is that it's made them think they've got a winner in Cameron. He didn't so much win as the Miliband SNP puppet lost.

Nov 13, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Down to what level?

Nov 13, 2015 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

"You've heard of something called a newspaper of record? I guess the Independent is whatever the opposite of that is." A newspaper of discord.

Nov 13, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

I dread to think how much of that sort of drivel has been spouted by consultants, journalists, UN apparatchiks, third-rate scientists, and sundry political and financial opportunists over recent decades. It is good that some of it is being captured for what will surely be the dismay, amusement, shock and horror of generations to come. It will help inform them about this period that has been, and remains, a disgraceful one for both science and politics. Well done Anthony Watts.

Nov 13, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Back in the 1980's there were some truly remarkable predictions of how much sea level rise we could expect.

I am unable to find references to any of these any more. Can anyone help?

Nov 13, 2015 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

dave, for a laugh, try searching google using the term "rise by x meters", where x is any number greater than 1.
The alarmists seem to have predicted just about anything and everything, and yet are still managing to miss the barn door with a shotgun.

Nov 13, 2015 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Here comes the snow! Parts of Britain are blanketed by the white stuff as storm Abigail rolls in (and floods are on the way for the weekend)

But has it set a record?

Nov 13, 2015 at 5:10 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

He who controls the past, controls the present. He who controls the present, controls the future.

Wow. The ideology IS conscious. I'd given the eco-green more credit than they deserved, thinking them just naive and self-blind.

Nov 13, 2015 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Procttor

There is deletion. There is also re-spinning. For example the hard-line champagne socialist Timothy Wirth boasted of his stage-management to get unpleasantly hot conditions for his performing seal, James Hansen, at that notorious senate hearing in 1988. But now he wants that forgotten:

I wonder if there are many more of these opportunists deciding the political winds are changing direction, and their past records, once no doubt felt by them to be heroic, are going to look anything from foolish through squalid to just plan stupid to modern eyes?

Nov 13, 2015 at 5:23 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Robert Christopher
No, apart from pre-event hype.

Nov 13, 2015 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Ah the good old days of global warming when we could only guess it was all BS and and the inconvenient truth was yet to be leaked.

Nov 13, 2015 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

No worries..... sent the Independent the link for the missing report so they can re-establish it within their data base :)
Someone should be taken to task at the Indy for accidentally deleting important news history such as this.

Nov 13, 2015 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBLACK PEARL

'"We've always been at war with Eastasia"' --NickM

And the Jamestown Colony was never founded as a communist enterprise. If you don't believe me, read the Wankerpedia entry and look for that fact.

Nov 13, 2015 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Down to what level?
Nov 13, 2015 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commenter SandyS

Hi Sandy, 300ft. Only an inch and it was wet and gone by the afternoon. Glen Lyon mountains got a good covering this morning, and snow level will be about 1500 feet now. Yes, from the traffic cameras it looks like a little snow lying at Drumochter and Glen Ogle.

Nov 13, 2015 at 7:29 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Does anybody read that pile of crap?

Nov 13, 2015 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I think David Viner should be credited as one of global warmings most accurate forecasters. Many others can only dream of such precision.

Nov 13, 2015 at 10:37 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Looks like the Paris Climate Change Conferance will have to rethink Surcurity and perhaps the rest of the worlds priorities.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

President Hollander and President Obama think Carbon Dioxide is the biggest threat to the world perhaps they should turn the television news or look out the window right now.

Nov 13, 2015 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

@ TinyCO2

Please, please, please can we keep the /sarc tag nonsense off this site and where it belongs - on the US sites.

Here in the UK we realise sarcasm isn't funny when you say "I was being sarcastic" afterwards.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

I think the drama surrounding the loss of this article is a bit ridiculous, it was 15 years old, things get deleted and links get broken. Anyone deleting this to 'disappear' it would be well aware that sceptic blogs had screenshots or it would be saved at wayback.

When the sceptic community jumps on something like this they just look foolish, quite rightly people call us conspiracy theorists and joke about tin-foil hats.

Like all the crying over the denier tag every time it comes up, things like this just serve as a diversion, instead of talking about real issues we drip about name calling and tripe. I bet the alarmists can't sleep for laughing.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Or foolish for saying it 15 years ago in the first place.

Or foolish for saying Climate Change is the biggest threat to the Surcurity of the world.The people of France may rather beg to differ.

Gives you something to think about when you're going through the Surcurity check points in Paris in two weeks if they don't decide to cancel it.

Or president Obama smugly stands up and proclaims this non legally binding Climate Agreement that every intelligent nation will ignore anyway will be a fitting tribute to those that died.Watch the Smarmy politicians spin their way out of this one.

All Climate Change is just an urban myth turned into spin.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

As a heart attack, TinyCO2.

I just don't want to be "disappeared" by BigOil's death squats.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

lapogus, I've saved your comment for posterity - I hope yers don't mind mate;-)))))

Would that it where, I lived nearer a few nice big mountains. Though, on a clear day I can see the far Pennines and even the vague outline of the Peaks. Aye, I could watch it night and day - though during a cold clear winters eve, the dancing, twinkling distance of sodium yellowed lights.
For I'd love an attic, a loft with a large windowed panoramic view of this locale and outlying area. Whence, I would spend hours sitting, chatting, in thoughtful silence or, reading, listening to music and occasionally just gazing at the lights and trying to guess where the headlights on the roads where heading to and who lived....did I know them, maybe chanced upon, meet them in the past? Those lives and getting on with it - in the streets, whose lights I could espy.

And to jaffa - imagery, metaphorical device, irony most people get it on here, well - the ones who count anyway.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

jaffa, don't worry about it. Over at wattsupwiththat, Paul Ehrlich has been writing to support Michael Mann's professional integrity. What more appropriate reference could climate science ask for at this critical moment, with limited time to save the planet? With Ehrlich's timely intervention, Earth is going to be a safer, and more secure place.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Aila 12:38, I think you will find that "death squats" are rare in developed countries with flush toilets.

Nov 14, 2015 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You say.

Nov 14, 2015 at 1:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

jaffa @ 12:15AM

You have a stone in your shoe ..... so what do you do?

As I said earlier - the Indy's eco/climate coverage is suffused with dishonesty at best and more often than not littered with downright lies and twisting. It is BS to say that it might have happened by accident - it was a clear affront to their sense of dignity and quite surprising that they didn't expunge it earlier.

A bit of clucking about the matter is neither here nor there - the fact that they did it is enough.

Nov 14, 2015 at 1:48 AM | Registered Commentertomo

"[..] I bet the alarmists can't sleep for laughing.

Nov 14, 2015 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

It's quite possible that may be true in some circumstances, jaffa. I still regard incompetence as usually a better explanation than malice or conspiracy.

But many of the greenshirts will also believe that The Independent did do it wilfully, because they so clearly believe themselves that it is right to behave in such a manner. Their paranoia is palpable every time we read of 'well funded fossil fuel deniers blah blah blah'.

Nov 14, 2015 at 2:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

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