Australian Sunday Telegraph | July 15, 2007
What we’re dealing with, apparently, is weather.
by Tim Blair
LAST month Australians endured our coldest June since 1950. Imagine that; all those trillions of tonnes of evil carbon we’ve horked up into the atmosphere over six decades of rampant industrialisation, and we’re still getting the same icy weather we got during the Cold War.
Not that June should be presented as evidence that global warming isn’t happening, or that we’re causing it. Relying on such a tiny sample would be unscientific and wrong, even if it involves an entire freakin’ continent’s weather patterns throughout the course of a whole month, for Christ’s sake.
No such foolishness will be indulged in here.
Sadly, those who believe in global warming – and who would compel us also to believe – aren’t similarly constrained. A few hot days are all they ever need to get the global warming bandwagon rolling; evidently it’s solar powered. Here, for example, is an Australian Associated Press report on May’s weather, which in places was a little warmer than usual:
“Climate change gave much of Australia’s drought-stricken east coast its warmest May on record, weather experts say.
“Global warming and an absence of significant cold changes had driven temperatures well above the monthly average, said meteorologist Matt Pearce.
According to Mr Pearce, May’s temperatures were “yet another sign of the widespread climate change that we are seeing unfold across the globe.”
If that’s the case, shouldn’t June’s cold weather – coldest since 1950, remember – be a sign that widespread climate change isn’t unfolding across the globe? We’re using the same data here; one month’s weather. And, in fact, the June sample is Australia-wide while May only highlights the east coast. Fear the dawn of a great “coldening”!
While Australia freezes, it’s kinda hot in California. Again, local toastiness is evidence of global warming; one San Francisco Chronicle writer this week referred glibly to their “global-warming-heated summer”.
What phenomenon was responsible for previous summers? Maybe they got by on the superheated fumes radiating off Lateline host Tony Jones.
Snow cone Tone hosted an in-studio discussion Thursday night after the ABC presented The Great Global Warming Swindle, and he was hotter than a Christina Aguilera video. “Welcome to our debate on this deeply flawed and utterly mistaken documentary, which is wrong in every regard and was made by a zombie,” Jones said in introduction (I’m only lightly paraphrasing).
During an interview with filmmaker Martin Durkin Tone was visibly sweating; no easy achievement during a typical summer in the UK, to where he’d flown for his heated little chat. Perhaps Tone was anticipating the phantom British summer forecast by The Independent’s environment editor, Michael McCarthy, in April:
“The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer even reaching 40C, or 104F, a level never recorded in history.
“This would be quite outside all historical experience, but entirely consistent with predictions of climate change.”
As Wimbledon watchers would be aware, what with the rainiest tournament since Jimmy Connors defeated John McEnroe in 1982, those unheard-of high temperatures remain unheard-of. Someone might conclude, therefore, that the not-hot summer is not entirely consistent with predictions of climate change.
But climate change is like Michael Moore’s tracksuit – it can fit anyone. In 2005, Greenpeace rep Steven Guilbeault helpfully explained: “Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that’s what we’re dealing with.”
What we’re dealing with, apparently, is weather.
What will the weather be like 100 years from now? Don’t ask Britain’s Guardian, which, like the Independent, is full of Warmin’ Normans whose warm warnings never come true. “It could be time to say goodbye to defining features of British life,” the paper claimed a few months ago, “like rainy picnics and cloudy sunbathing . . .”
Other defining features of British life – screaming, inaccurate nonsense from the Guardian, for example – will never be farewelled. Cue wet Wimbledon, the coldest day for Test match cricket (7.4C) in English history, and this BBC online headline: “Where has the UK’s summer gone?”
Maybe it migrated to Australia, like Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the American LSD enthusiast and manufacturer.
Possibly influenced by his product, Owsley moved to outback Queensland about twenty years ago, reportedly convinced that imminent global warming would cause – in the tradition of warm meaning cold – the whole Northern Hemisphere to be covered with ice.
Owsley, now 72, is still in Queensland, and likely not a little confused. Things didn’t exactly turn out as predicted. While his former Californian haunts melt due to “global warming”, this year Queensland has gone frosty. Townsville’s June was its coldest since 1940; June 24 saw the coldest Brisbane morning on record.
Think of these little factoids the next time your read a report linking a hot day or month or year to global warming. And, if you run into this Owsley bloke, please ask him to quit adding things to environmentalists’ water supplies.
Record cold in June
It’s official – Tasmanians last month shivered their way through one of the coldest and driest Junes on record.
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