Piers Review – A Tale of Two Brothers

PiersLooking at his website, WeatherAction, you might think that Piers Corbyn is a bit of an eccentric. But he is not stupid. His younger brother Jeremy Corbyn has an indifferent academic record, scraping together just 2 bare pass (“E grade”) A levels. By contrast, Piers has a first class degree in physics from Imperial College and an MSc in astrophysics from Queen Mary College.

As I have remarked before, I rather like Jeremy Corbyn, although I agree with the consensus view that he will probably keep the Labour Party out of power in the UK for quite some while. And I do not think Jeremy is wrong about everything. Piers, I like rather a lot. As a Marxist (ex-Marxist?), his politics are even pottier than Jeremy’s (they get it from their parents, it seems), but as a scientist, he is a breath of fresh air. He is not just a global warming sceptic, but an outright denier. Like many of us, he has noted that the predictions of CO2 induced warming over the past 18 years are a busted flush – the actual data simply do not support the CO2 theory. But unlike many of us, he has answers as to why this is.

These are largely to do with the sun. We have always (well, since Maunder, anyway) known that the earth’s temperature is related to solar activity, and in particular sun spots. But the correlation is not direct. Piers’ analysis also factors in the moon. We all know that moon causes ocean tides, but other influences of the moon are less well recognised – few of us are aware that continental land masses rise and fall by about a foot every 12.421 hours, as a result of lunar gravitational pull. The sun has a similar effect of about half that amount every 12.000 hours[1]. Each of these also causes horizontal movement as well, and 450px-Ice_Age_Temperatureof course there are complex interactions as the distances we are from sun and moon vary, and because of a whole load of other stuff that causes long term patterns. Piers points out that the earth’s natural state is ice age, with relatively brief interglacial period lasting between 10,000 and 12,000 years. The current interglacial is less warm than the last few, but has been unusually stable. When it ends, we will probably get another 100,000 years of ice age[2]. We are now 11,700 years into the current interglacial, and so there is good reason to predict that “winter is coming”[3]. And an ice age is going to be very bad news indeed for mankind. On any sensible test, global cooling is massively worse for mankind than global warming.

Most weather predictions are made by feeding past data into a computer, and looking for patterns. If the temperature here and there, and wind speeds, and tiddly-push tum-tee-tum were such and such before, and a certain weather result followed, then that same weather result is likely to follow those same conditions again. What Piers does with his computer, it appears, is to feed in not only data about conditions on earth, but also solar and lunar factors. Without them, Piers says, weather forecasts can only be good for short periods – a few days.

Piers makes a living out of selling long-range weather forecasts that are not perfect, but are rather better than those of the Met Office. He used also to make money by betting on the weather, and he won more than he lost. Now, it seems, he has been banned from betting by the bookies.

Piers thinks that the global warming scare has been whipped by the oil companies because they want to push oil prices up. Well, if so, the oil companies are certainly not winning that campaign at the moment – oil prices are very low and getting lower (so much for all that “peak oil” nonsense[4]).

PC and ANPiers used to be banned from appearing on the BBC, but it was welcome the other day to see him being interviewed by Andrew Neil on This Week. I thought he came across rather well. As indeed he did a while ago on the longer if less prominent Eerie Investigations interview.

The Met Office recently lost its contract with the BBC to supply weather bulletins. Given the Met Office’s recent politics, that is hardly inappropriate. There have been reports that Piers’ company has been pitching for the job. Not such a bad idea, perhaps? If that happens, and if he can turn around the group-think, Piers might well end up having a longer and more profound effect on our world than his younger brother.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_tide

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interglacial

[3] For what it is worth, recent work by anthropomorphic global warming enthusiasts at Potsdam suggests that we might be putting the next ice age off for a while; see https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/human-made-climate-change-suppresses-the-next-ice-age

[4] In another spectacular fail, Al Gore predicted in 2006 that, “We almost certainly are at or near what they call peak oil, defined as having recovered a majority of the oil reserves at a certain price, affordability range. And so with the new pressure on the consumption side from China and India, if they come back down, they won’t stay down long.” http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-06-14/al-gore-were-or-near-peak-oil


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