It will be a cold, cold day before News Corp abandons its love of obsessive, crackpot climate change stories. Indeed that was exactly the story in the Oz yesterday — a Graham Lloyd exclusive, sorry, a GRAHAM LLOYD EXCLUSIVE, alleging skullduggery at the Bureau of Meteorology. This was after — prepare TO BE HORRIFIED — a couple of low-side temperature findings from high-altitude stations near Goulburn did not appear online for a period.

The readings — of -10.4 degrees — went below the standard calibration of the meters, so the automated reporting system excluded them, before human examination. This is standard scientific procedure. But not for the tinfoil hat/one-world government/chemtrails crowd, for whom it is clearly more evidence of the global climate conspiracy hoax.

The “logic” of this is that the Big Climate Change/George Soros/Platecucks cabal is deleting results across the world, because if anyone were to discover that it hit -10.4 in the Snowy at the end of July, the whole of climate change science would collapse in an instant. Tinfoilers obsess over the idea that because it got cold somewhere, catastrophic climate change, and the rise of new sustained average high temperatures inimical to human life, aren’t occurring.

The centrepiece of this story is investigations by a mountain man named Lance Pidgeon, variously described as an “amateur” or “bush” meteorologist. Pidgeon is well-known around the traps, for trawling through decades of pre-1910 temperature listings, to argue that the Bureau of Meteorology is excluding data, etc, etc. He’s often featured on the website of Joanne Nova, whose Skeptics Handbook was distributed in the US by the Exxon-funded Heartland Institute (i.e. Exxon). Nova is a former children’s broadcaster (credits include Space Cadets).

In this case, Pidgeon has been feted by Jennifer Marohasy, who has edited the IPA’s latest climate change denialist volume, which included the deranged rant by Clive James published in the Oz a couple of months ago. Lloyd’s beat-up is then linked to a typically sane and measured piece by Maaaaurice Newman, which claims that the entire world climate monitoring system can now not be trusted. How will we now monitor contamination of our precious bodily fluids?

The usual storm in a tinfoil hat, in other words. It does contain one interesting variation — in a story that explicitly quotes and names BOM head Andrew Johnson, Lloyd states:

“… the peak weather agency was caught tampering with cold winter temperature logs on at least two occasions.”

That’s not a reported accusation by others: it’s a direct claim by Lloyd about BOM and an attack on the professional reputation of its leader. ‘Twere me, I would be consulting a lawyer or two about an accusation of surreptitious tampering with government records. Maybe things will get hotter a little closer to Surry Hills soon.