The weatherfolk who never were

George Monbiot usually pays more attention to the climate than weather, but his recent interest in the latter should provide many hours of merriment, and not just in the UK;

This month, I questioned the credentials of the alternative weather forecasters used by the Daily Mail, the Express, the Telegraph and the Sun. I suggested that their qualifications were inadequate, their methods inscrutable and their results unreliable. I highlighted the work of these two companies: Exacta Weather and Positive Weather Solutions (PWS).

Now the story has become more interesting: do the people from Positive Weather Solutions, making its forecasts and quoted in news articles, exist?

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Some the comments after the article say 'whats the big deal?' Apart from the fact that the DM (and the Express) are facinated with extreme weather (but don't believe in AGW)and often use a fake source to prop up a story, you have to wonder what other sources are real. Aits not just the DM - what about the rest of the media.

Autism? Climate Change? Cancer and other medical matters? All sourced from questionable sources at best (and Wakefield is way worse than that). And who knows what else?

I wouldn't worry personally, but for the fact that
a) pretty much every UK politician slavishly seeks the DM 'vote'
b) my parents buy it and my mother believes the medical stuff she reads in it (although a former nurse). Since she is someone with multiple medical conditions, I kind of worry that she will actually put some store by what they say..

Check out http://www.mailwatch.co.uk/ for the full horror.

Merriment, indeed. The PWS Web site from July 18, 2011 (see the Wayback Machine) shows the photos of these "employees" clearly. It lists Serena as "contributing forecaster." Little doubt remains about what she contributes.

(An announcement on the live site regrets that PWS has ceased trading due to illness.)

By Chris Winter (not verified) on 26 Jan 2012 #permalink

Wow. Simply incredible. I think it's a good lesson to us all who look up to expert advice: apply healthy skepticism.

By Pierre Caron (not verified) on 31 Jan 2012 #permalink

Problem is, some "skeptics" don't apply *healthy* skepticism. And never to the people they agree with.

And remember: this wasn't an expert advice, this was advice from the newspaper in disagreement with most other experts.

I guess if these people had listened to a consensus of views, they wouldn't have been lied to.