Apology, compensation and retraction of alleged lies by Roger Harrabin BBC demanded. This is PUBLIC for publication anywhere.

Freeman Dyson :- “When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science.”

This just in from Piers Corbyn –

Delta House, 175-177 Borough High Street.London SE1 1HR Tel +44(0)20 7939 9946
From Piers Corbyn +44(0)7958713320 or office above, piers@WeatherAction.com

17th Jan 2010


You write in the article
Met Office’s debate over longer-term forecasts
By Roger Harrabin
Environment analyst, BBC News

= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8462890.stm

….And many other meteorologists mistrust Mr Corbyn himself because he refuses to publish his scientific methods. I have been asking him for several months to offer independent corroboration of his forecasting successes but none has been supplied. …..

I find that what you write is a LIE.

I have referred you to plenty of independent corroboration* of our forecast accuracy and successes – sources and documents available via the public link:
The link refers to published independent peer-reviewed verification of the significant skill of our gale (eg) forecasts, weather bets where we consistently won money and have as a consequence had that arrangement terminated by the bookmakers, and independent assessment by a loss-adjusters of our extreme events forecasts showing high skill around the world.

I demand that you forthwith publicly apologise for, compensate for, and retract your false and gratuitously damaging claims which are directed against me personally (you say: mistrust Mr Corbyn himself) as well as our forecasting technique or I may have to take the matter further.

I demand you also NAME many names referred to in ‘the many meteorologists’……….. in your claim:
………And many other meteorologists mistrust Mr Corbyn himself because he refuses to publish his scientific methods

The facts are
(i) a number of important aspects of our SWT have been published and/or presented at conferences in the UK, USA and Russia
(ii) All known assessments (public, published or private) of any statistically significant size and scope of WeatherAction long range forecasts show they have significant SKILL and there are no such honest robust assessments which show they are not skilled in the parameters and periods and stages models where we and forecast users have claimed skill.
(iii) Meteorologists/physicists who said they wanted to know more about our forecasting technique failed to attend – despite invitation – our public conference on 28th Oct at Imperial College where I explained some important matters concerning our forecasting technique. You were there.
(iv) The proof of reliability is nothing to do with publication or not of part or all of material which may have a privileged status (and received no state funding); any more than the fact you cannot find out published material on how your mobile phone, Ipod or Coca Cola is made stops you trusting them.

I haven’t noticed a statements from you on the lines:

‘Roger Harrabin says he doesn’t trust Coca Cola, mobile phones or Ipods because the makers have refused to publish how they are made’.
‘Roger Harrabin doesn’t trust Bill Gates himself because he hasn’t published the Microsoft computer code or the microprocessor production techniques which makes his Ipod work’

When will you announce these things?

Your claim on this point is also gratuitously damaging. I require you to

1) name MANY such meteorologist who hold with your statement including that they do not trust Piers Corbyn himself. I remind you that refusal to divulge such sources of libel is itself something which may have to be taken further.

2) justify the assertion that it is valid to not trust something because how it is made is not known to you or been published.

Do you know that most of the science and technology in most hi-tech stuff and military equipment is NOT PUBLISHED. Do you know that a large number of physicists work for the military and their work is never published, yet it is applied in many things on which daily life depends.

Ah yes I forgot
Roger Harrabin refuses to fly in an Airbus 360 because the software running the take-off process hasn’t been published
Roger Harrabin doesn’t support the Army in Afghanistan because they haven’t published the names of Intelligence sources..

Let’s get real. When you Roger Harrabin Environment analyst, BBC News make claims people expect them to have weight and believe in your assertion in (2) above. The world of travel, machines, communications and high technology will stop if people believe in this principle. What works is what works independently of whether how it works is known to you or anyone.

Are you a public service broadcaster or what?

I had thought you were more honest than David Shukman. Was I wrong?

* Note. Your request in November for companies especially large corporations who use(d) our forecasts to be put in touch with you with a view to (ongoing) assessment – has had some consideration but it depends on
a) whether they are willing to be divulged on any basis – and the largest ones or NOT
b) whether we AND they can trust you
c) whether such an exercise and the interference it involves with our commercial operation will prove anything more than the INDEPENDENT CORROBORATION already made available to you and the public (which includes peer reviewed work and scientific betting records ).

So far I have had conflicting advice on this project and now wonder what is its true purpose from your point of view.

We do have a system whereby some farmers communicate with each other on forecast applications and potential usage but I have no intention of involving you in that.

Quotes from some of our users (which we do circulate anyway at times) although very positive are not really independent corroboration in the scientific sense and could be attacked as such – because proper assessment requires a look at full data sets preferably defined in advance – eg ALL our published extreme events forecasts in defined categories over a reasonably long defined period of time. Those are on the web and have been verified by insurance company based loss adjusters and you have been directed there and know of there existence. Why didn’t you cite these?

Piers Corbyn
MSc (astrophysics), ARCS, FRAS, FRMetS

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