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Discussion > Predictions for 2015

Yes, boys and girls, it's that time of the year, the time where I have another go at guessing what might happen in the world of climate in the next twelve months. But as usual, here is a review of how I did with last year's predictions.

1. Mainstream politicians will take sceptical viewpoints in the run-up to the election and feel safe doing so.

For some reason I seemed to believe there would be an election last year, or that the campaigning would have started already. So it's a big fat zero on this one, based on the fact that electioneering hasn't happened yet. I can't count Owen Paterson, because he was always leaning this way anyway, and his post-job sniping has been a little bit embarrassing for us, rather than beneficial - perhaps if he'd said these things whilst still in the post then I'd have has more respect for him.... UKIP have also stopped talking about climate altogether, this is something I am eternally grateful for, the more overlap rational scepticism has with them, the worse it will go. Going on the current political environment, I don't see any major figures campaigning on this issue. Nil Points.

2. Michael Mann will lose a court case.

Who'd a thunk the Steyn case would still be rumbling on in the early stages? Zero on this one too, I'm afraid. There have been a few amusing moments, such as the lack of amicus briefs, but no actual defeat. Oh well.

3. Fracking will get the go-ahead in the UK on a limited number of sites.

Yay! I got one! The House of Lords report published in May said it should go ahead, so talking 1 point for this one.

4. A repeat, but I think a mainstream climate scientist will switch sides this year

I think this is a wishful thinking one, I'm considering giving it up. Even last year, Richard Betts questioned it on the basis that defining it as 'sides' in the first place added a level of complexity which made it difficult to fulfil. I suppose when I first came up with it, the idea was some sort of public admission by a person of scientific credibility, that the claims of disaster have been unfounded. Something the BBC would have to report outside of the places in its website it likes to bury these things, I mean. I realise this idea comes from the same 'Nuremberg Trial' fantasy area of the brain where the visions of Michael Mann being publically flogged on TV by the Royal Academy for disservice to science come from. It aint gonna happen that way. Zero points.

5. Ed Davey loses his job (either via election or just sacked)

I'm really annoyed by this. Roll on the annihilation of the Libs in May, and for this talentless little toad of a man to be consigned to the environmental compost heap of history where he belongs.

6. The bish will get some mainstream TV time.

Well, that's the way it was looking this time last year, the Bish was all over the place getting on committees and etc. but it all seems to have gone flat this year. I think we're see stage two of the big "loss of interest" in environmental issues. The general public got bored, and now even politicians and the media have gotten bored, and are not even speaking much about it at all any more, definitely not on TV.

So, that was pretty dire. One point. Ah well, it's supposed to be a mixture of hopes and desires...
Anyway, onwards and upwards... what about this year.....

1. I predict in 2015 that the idea that we've been needlessly scared by climate science will enter the public domain in some way. This may be by mainstream stand-up comedy taking a punt at the previously untouchable material, or by a generation of scientists feeling sufficiently distant in time from the original doom-mongering to feel they can point at it without being tainted by it, or by someone like Andrew Neil doing it politically. A bit woolly this one, but the idea that some part of public life or entertainment will start poking fun or pointing out that we've been needlessly scared, and the ideas of the excesses of alarm being a cry wolf, entering the public domain this year.

2. I think that the Mann v Steyn case will be dropped on a technicality this year, and Mann will not stand in court. His credibility in science is plummeting, and eventually Mark Steyn will see that he's already won the war, without having to go into battle. Climate science has pretty much thrown Mann under the bus, where he belongs, it's almost not worth wasting time or money on this any more, and I think this is what will happen this year.

3. I think that a new millennial temperature reconstruction will be released this year which will re-instate the MWP and the LIA. I have no idea of there is a study in progress doing this aiming for release this year, but for the sake of chronology sciences of all flavours, they need to reclaim their fledgling specialisms back from the charlatans before they go under with them. This is their last chance, the boat is holed below the waterline, do it this year.

4. I suppose being the year of the election, I have to give some sort of punt... my prediction is I think it will be a tiny conservative victory, but relying heavily on an unofficial coalition with some minority parties. I think this will be a tiny remnant of an obliterated LibDem party, a UKIP bloc of about 10 MPs, and the SNP who will be led by Alex Salmond and use the position to accelerate devolution. I predict this year will mark the maximum size of UKIP in parliament. Labour will be obliterated in Scotland, and Ed Miliband will leave after the election. I don't believe climate will feature heavily in the election, except in the roundabout notion of green energy taxes. Ed Davey WILL GO THIS YEAR.

5. I predict rises in both Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice extent and volume this year. It's blooming cold today.

That'll do for starters.

Dec 29, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Your predictions are tinged with an element of reality, TBYJ. My own is more fantasy:

The entire governmental edifice – national, European and global – comes crashing down, taking all the troughers with it, leaving the world a free and fair, and far, far cheaper place for everyone else.


That’s it.

Dec 29, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Starring Tom Cruise?

Dec 29, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

1. I predict in 2015 that the idea that we've been needlessly scared by climate science will enter the public domain in some way. This may be by mainstream stand-up comedy taking a punt at the previously untouchable material,...

Yes, I've often thought that when it becomes the butt of mainstream comedian jokes, the end will be in view.

I'd add a prediction for 2015:

The will be a significant scandal of some sort involving a key climate agency (Met Office? NASA? NOAA.???) perhaps involving a mole or whistle blower.

Dec 29, 2014 at 8:18 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Good try. Don't feel bad about the failures last year. Prediction is a noble art when based on proper data and logical reasoning. Modern society couldn't function without it.

Prediction works reasonably well on subjects like demography, macro-economics, and energy needs. We can be fairly certain that by the year 2100, countries in Africa you've never heard of will have populations several times that of the UK, and educational and living standards roughly equal to ours. What they'll do about it is another matter.

The IPCC and Sir Paul Nurse have admitted that they don't know within three or five degrees what the average temperature will be then, but who gives a flying frack? Let them stew (green) in their ignorance.

Nothing on Paris, 2015? I have some predictions there, based on the fact that the French socialist government is heading for the high jump like a coach full of day-tripper lemmings at Beachy Head, and President Hollande is counting on his Minister of Ecology and Renewable Energy to save him and his party. Trouble is, he left her for a journalist on Paris Match, and she's the mother of his four children. I foresee a UN Climate Change conference half way between a Greek tragedy and a Feydeau farce – Oedipus with his trousers round his ankles.

But one good death-dealing heatwave could change everything - with denialism banned from Google?

Dec 29, 2014 at 9:08 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

I predict in 2015 Andrew Montford will be on Hardtalk.

Jan 1, 2015 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Although I wouldn't enjoy the physical consequences, a modest but significant global cooling trend would focus the minds on a number of related subjects such as global warming, climate change and energy policy.

Jan 1, 2015 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

I suspect they'd blame a cooling trend on 'carbon' too, since we all know 'carbon' is a code word for 'humans' amongst the Malthus brigade. I wish they'd heed their own fears and stop breeding themselves.

Jan 2, 2015 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Since the bookies are better at predictions than our useless media, perhaps someone woth time could check the odds they give for climate issues.

- haha Geoff (chambers)

Jan 3, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I'm still intrigued by this tweet

from José Duarte. Presumably much will become clear on Monday.

Jan 3, 2015 at 12:49 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

re Prediction 1on mainstream comedy
- the BBC just ended 2014 with a comedy show just parodying the allegation that the BBC conedy is just "Liberal"
It began : "here's a rightwing comedian: Bring Back Hanging", "Yes that's his catchphrase"
.. half the show was like that .caricaturing people as bigots.
BBC Radio 4 - Comedian Andrew O'Neill: Episode 1- 16 Dec 2014

Jan 4, 2015 at 3:25 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Jonathan Jones,

If mainstream science is going to move away from the ideas of extreme alarmism, Lew is one of the people they will have to throw under the bus to get there. It will become important to stress that there was doubt in the science community, and made-up stats like the 97% thing will become an increasing burden to a mainstream trying to distance themselves.

Jan 5, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

4 Botched environmental predictions for 2015
By Maxim Lott on
1several models that all predicted that by 2015, the Earth would have warmed by at least a degree Fahrenheit. ... hey error bands ?

2. All Rainforest Species Will Be Extinct
Dr. Paul Ehrlich,
“Half of the populations and species in tropical moist forests would be extinct early in the next century [the 2000s] and none would be left by 2025,” he warns on page 291. He added that that his model indicated that, on the upper bound, complete extinction would occur as soon as 2010
. .(well 2025 is not 2015
quote uses would instead of will ?)

3. Oil will run out by 2015
A Pennsylvania state government “Student and Teacher Guide” reads: “Some estimates of the oil reserves suggest that by the year 2015 we will have used all of our accessible oil supply.”

4. Arctic sea ice will disappear by 2015.
“Peter Wadhams, who heads the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge… believes that the Arctic is likely to become ice-free before 2020 and possibly as early as 2015,” Yale Environment 360 reported in 2012.
Update: Wadhams responded Friday and said he stands by his prediction (Anyone else ?)

And extra one for 2020
5 ...1bn will be dead by 2020 from CO2 caused famine
Dr. John Holdren, who currently serves as the White House Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Ehrlich cites Holdren in his 1987 book “The Machinery of Nature”, noting that: “As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”

Holdren told that he does not view that as a prediction.
“It is a bit too soon, on the eve of 2015, to make any firm pronouncements about what will or will not happen by 2020,” Holdren wrote.
(really ... I'll have a bet with him)

Jan 5, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Brent Crude oil price drops below 50 dollars a barrel

Jan 7, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMet Office

That happened several hours ago, but I get the joke.

Jan 7, 2015 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Reluctantly, I will get with the program and make a prediction myself:
An agent of the BBC will get to travel to a tropical coral reef to report on how they are being totally done in by all that acid, man.

And they won't get there by wind and/or solar power. Or pedalo. Or surfing while being towed by a basking shark.

Jan 7, 2015 at 2:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Brent Crude oil price drops below 50 dollars a barrel

Jan 7, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Met Office

No harm in a bit of hindcasting ;)

Its what the climate models do all the time, going forward they are a useless as a chocolate fireguard but less tasty.

Jan 7, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I'm on the record at Dr Curry's blog:

I predict that it [Paris UNFCCC meeting] will be hailed by the attendees as “a tremendous success”, having “made important strides towards establishing a process for the framework of a global agreement to reduce total emissions starting in 2030″. And that they should all get together again in a year, someplace warmer, perhaps Sydney.

Jan 7, 2015 at 8:35 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Another whole website
2015 forecasts

Jan 20, 2015 at 7:24 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Al Gore will admit that he's just taken the piss all along and had a bloody good larf about it in private with his mates whilst he's done so.

Jan 22, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

30 years of satellite temp measurements goes missing\satellite failure irreparable

Feb 2, 2015 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

My grammar will go from bad to worse.

Feb 2, 2015 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn