#2 in the Is A Tosser series, begun by Andrew Marr. But Boris is a bigger tosser because – hard to believe I know, but there are really no limits to some people’s credulousness – he takes Piers Corbyn’s predictions of a new ice age seriously.
Boris hedges his bets, of course: Is he barmy? he asks (errr, try asking anyone who has attended a scientific meeting at which Piers has turned up to ask a “question” which actually turns into a long exposition of his theory). Then Boris gets hideously snarled up trying to have it both ways Nothing he says, to my mind, disproves the view of the overwhelming majority of scientists, that our species is putting so much extra CO2 into the atmosphere that we must expect global warming is correct, but then comes the std.septic schtick: Is it possible that everything we do is dwarfed by the moods of the star that gives life to the world? The Sun is incomparably vaster and more powerful than any work of man. Idiot (Boris, that is, and whatever fool on the Torygraph that commissioned this trash).
It is all a bit mixed up. Boris is really talking about seasonal prediction rather than the ice age nonsense, and lauds Piers’ forecast, presumably based on not having actually bothered to read it. But if you actually look at the “forecast” (I’ve no idea when it was made) it predicts Floods & Thaw floods. Thunder & rain deluges. Mild Wet & windy. Gales / Sev gales esp North. Which is hopeless, exactly as you’d expect. [Note: when I first wrote that, I mistook the year of Piers’ forecast. That is obviously inaccurate for “now”, but actually that forecast I’m quoting is for 2009-12-19. But its also wrong for then, so all is well. here is a met analysis for the 19th (from http://www.wetterzentrale.de/topkarten/tkfaxbraar.htm). Or you could trust the Mirror: “UK weather chaos: Big freeze causes distruption on roads and rail as 1,500 schools are shut”. Or the Torygraph]
Since I’m here, a nice story:
There is an unsubstantiated story that during his meeting with Hitler, Mannerheim lit a cigar. Mannerheim supposed that Hitler would ask Finland for help against the Soviet Union, which Mannerheim was unwilling to give. When Mannerheim lit up, all in attendance gasped, for Hitler’s aversion to smoking was well known. Yet Hitler continued the conversation calmly, with no comment. In this way, Mannerheim could judge if Hitler was speaking from a position of strength or weakness. He was able to refuse Hitler, knowing that Hitler was in a weak position, and could not dictate to him
This is coming from me reading through Enigma-related stuff, since Bletchley Park isn’t far away (and my great-aunt worked in Hut6, which I’ve only recently discovered).
Occasionally, when there was a particularly urgent need to break the German naval code, such as when an Arctic convoy was about to depart, mines would be laid by the RAF in a defined position, whose grid reference in the German naval system did not contain any of the words (such as sechs or sieben) for which abbreviations or alternatives were sometimes used. The warning message about the mines and then the “all clear” message, would be transmitted both using the dockyard cipher and the U-boat Enigma network. This process of planting a crib was called gardening
* For Green Boris read Greed Boris
* JEB on Corbyn
* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qi8oZ2vG0c&feature=related – watch Piers in action!
* Looks like the “meto predicts mild winter” thing is a Daily Express fantasy (thanks DM)
* Winter forecast? – no, the UKMO didn’t issue a winter forecast (ht Deltoid)