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Discussion > Met Office Propaganda Gateway?

Recently we have seen the appearance of "My Climate and Me" - a blog run by the Met Office, apparently trying bring some balance. Is it as simple as that, or is it a gateway to more extreme CAGW views? Have other commenters noticed new ways that the Met Office is using to get its message acress?

It states Our Mission:

...We think people deserve a clearer understanding of what’s going on with their climate. My Climate & Me is dedicated to explaining climate change science. It’s your go-to resource for an unbiased account of the scientific evidence around climate change, straight from the scientists themselves....

I looked at the latest vid "OK the earth is warming, but how do we know it’s us?"
- Dr Kate Willetts (PhD, UEA, according to her Met Office bio) explaining how we know it's CO2 that has caused the 0.8 C rise in global average temperature.

[Essentially "we can't think what else could have caused it and, after all, CO2 is a greenhouse gas".]


I don't know if the Met Office has intentionally set up My Climate and Me as a gateway to other more extreme CAGW propaganda than appears on the Met Office's website or on My Climate and Me, but that's what it seems.

End of the vid, it offers a matrix of other vids to watch. I clicked on one and got the following.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bX8JNpn0mE0#t=92s

This is a slideshow, rather than a video. I noted the captions and the accompanying pictures, as follows. It was only at the final slide that there was anything to suggest it was not simply a Met Office production.

0:04 "Global warning is here to stay"

0:14 The Earth has crossed the threshold where there is now a runaway green house (sic) effect underway [background pic: hockey stick style temperature graph]

0:25 "Even if us humans (sic) drastically reduce C02 emissions, which we won't, it is too late... other effects are underway which cannot be stopped. [background pic: polar bear jumping]

1:02 "There will be less ice, higher sea levels, more water vapour in the atmosphere, thus coastal flooding and strong "super" storms"
[background pic: polar bear in icy water]

1:32 "It is not if or when any longer ...now it is time to figure out how to cope with the inevitable" [background pic: House being washed away, man being rescued.]

1:58 "As with all runaway processes change in the Earth's climate will accelerate with the passing years - surprising all of us" [background pic: hurricane]

2.23 "Many living today will remember the mild climate of the past with fondness and nostalgia" [background pic: kid with skateboard and road flooded]

2:51 "The food supply around the world will be severely disrupted - crop failures will lead to widespread starvations (sic) [background pic - forest fire]

3:33 The changes will result in mass population movements and disruptions [background pic - people wading along a flooded street]

4:01 "Global Warming will likely be the main challenge that humanity faces in the next 200 years - Without a rapid adoption of new technologies and eceonomic (sic)/political systems the loss of life and reduction in standard of living is inevitable" [background pic - Manhattan deeply flooded - at least to 5th floor level]

4:21 Graffiti "I DON'T BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING" on side of flooded building.

4:28 Thank you. John A Serri. Music Copyrighted March 2013

Mar 8, 2013 at 2:40 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Don't torture yourself Martin. They've hosted their video on YouTube, which inserts a set of icons for linked videos at the end - the Met Office can't control this list, it's generated by keyword search by YouTube itself, so don't get wound up about it.

Mar 8, 2013 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Bigyin - well I wasn't going to loose sleep over it but it seemed strange to be watching stuff, while still on the My Climate site, that I finally realised had nothing to do with the Met Office - and which I would never had seen had I not gone to the MC&Me site.

Mar 8, 2013 at 3:51 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I agree with the BigYin, there is no use about getting worked up about the Met Office - they are a government department and they can get away with murder (just like the NHS at Stafford, and the JIC with non-existent WMDs). Just keep pointing out the absurdity of their position, such as the infamous Vicky Pope video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WyDmdcPw7Uw

More porkies than Vicky Pryce - it just makes them look pathetic.

Talking about pathetic, I just found this:

"People underestimate the power of models. Observational evidence is not very useful" Words of wisdom spoken by John Mitchell, chief research scientist at the Met Office:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/13/downing_cambridge_climate_conference/page3.html

Where do they find these idiots?

Mar 8, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

I am old fashioned enough to be of the school of thought that a government promoted website shoulkd not inadvertently lead you to information that would not normally be promoted or supported by that government department.

Imagine if an HMRC linked video about how to fill in your tax return led you to further videos about how to avoid tax and which tax advisors to contact.

Or perhaps a Home Office video about how to apply for a visa led you to videos about how to have the best chances of succeeding when applying for asylum.

No - if any government agency is going to direct people to a particular source of incformation, then they had better be comfortable with any of the links available from that source of information.

Following this line of logic, it is clear that the Met office should not be using Youtube as a medium of education since they cannot control whatever other information may be conveyed which the individual may casually believe has the same level of authority as that emanating from the Met Office.

Mar 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

It has become a common practice to host videos on YouTube and/or Google Video, etc., but that does not mean it is a good or proper practice for a govt. department or publicly funded entity.

Videos can still be hosted directly for an individual website only, which allows stricter standards (potentially) than the wide open "wild west" of the web. If the Met Office does not intend to be associated with every extreme alarmist twaddle that is out there the they should host their own videos and maintain only the content and links for which they can vouch scientifically.

Otherwise the Met Office becomes the "gateway" drug leading to any or every bad drug out there.

Mar 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

I agree with all comments that say that a big well-funded government agency like the Met Office can afford to host the video on its own server, and be able to control or omit random scary links being inserted at the end and leading people off to non-Met Office video content which looks as if it's hosted by the Met Office because it's playing in the same page frame. Very sloppy.

Mar 8, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

It's the concept of "plausible deniability" in operation.

The Met Office gives exposure to extremist websites but retaining the option of saying "nothin' to do with me, gov" if it were to be challenged on it.

Mar 8, 2013 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBigoil