Feeds

UK media: 'Met Office computer will destroy the world'

Oh for f*ck's sake

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Tate Modern - source of more than one kind of pollution

Care to guess which building, according to the government energy rating scheme, is the very worst environmental damager in the land?

It's Littlehampton Community School in West Sussex, actually, a rather ordinary secondary school just now celebrating excellent exam results. Maybe the school could stand to get some new insulation or something, but it seems a bit extreme to say it's the worst place ecologically in a country which contains the Drax power station. Other notables in the top 100 enviro-villainy ratings include a police station in Romford, a primary school in Worksop, Durham Uni's science labs, several buildings at Nokia UK's research campus - and yes, some of those evil hospitals again. Best of all perhaps: number 98, far more eco-evil than the Met Office, is the Tate Modern.

Why, it's almost as though energy usage per square metre is also a pretty stupid way to decide how wasteful a building is. Particularly when some people choose to get a DEC for every building, and others get one for a whole campus or complex. And when some buildings have supercomputers in them, or massive dinosaur skeletons, or large amounts of books or modern art, and others don't.

So it's absolutely plain that it's stupid to point the finger at the Met Office in particular here. How did that happen?

Well, it looks rather as though the Telegraph might be responsible. They were first to go mainstream with the story, apparently lifting Rosenbaum's information without crediting him, and they seem to have come up with the Met Office angle. If carbon-warming sceptics have a voice in the British broadsheets it's the Telegraph, and such sceptics are often a bit down on the Met Office these days.

That's because the Met Office has taken up carbon-driven warming not only as its position, but as a key revenue source. In recent times the office has lost a lot of its traditional revenue (from the Ministry of Defence) and opened the Hadley Centre for Climate Change. A lot of people at the Met Office nowadays stand to lose their jobs if global warming turns out not to be as serious as it's painted. As there's actually been a slight dip in world temperatures lately - causing the Met people to angrily reaffirm that carbopocalypse is still definitely on - and this year's forecast of a baking UK summer has also turned out wrong, some people might wonder whether the Office is maintaining strict scientific rigour.

Frankly, there would be a certain amount of irony here if a) one could be sure that the Met Office were definitely allowing their eco-hippy stance to affect their science and b) they actually were being really eco-naughty in some meaningful way.

But the first isn't in any way provable, and the second is evidently not true. You might just as well say that hospitals are destroying the planet, or universities, or the British Library, or the Tate Modern, based on this data - and that would still be wrong because it's a limited and foolishly-organised data set.

The people who're really wasting energy in this (apart from the media) would seem to be those who set up the DEC scheme with its senseless kilowatt-hours per year per square metre rankings. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.