Now everything is the consequence of man-made global warming. That cold December we endured was the consequence and so too was the mildly mild weather we enjoyed in the February of the following year. Drought is a consequence of global warming; so too are floods. Hot weather and cold weather. Sunshine and no sunshine. And it helps if they can imply that there is something abnormal about it all, something terribly extreme and disquieting.
deccanchronicle.com | Jun 21, 2011
By Rod Liddle
What do you suppose the chances are of this being the coldest June since records began, or maybe the dampest June since records began? My guess is that it will almost certainly be the most dramatic of some climatic variation since records began; paradoxically, every other month is. Every season is. Every year is. Every year is something. The weather is on a roll, it keeps breaking records, nothing can stop it.
Why is this? The most obvious answer is climate change; we are seeing more extreme weather patterns both globally and locally. We know that the weather patterns are more extreme because we are told that they are, every week, every month, every season. Extreme weather is a consequence of man-made climate change, so we shouldn’t be surprised at this. Don’t take my word for it — read John Vidal, writing in the Guardian this week, about what he called the “climate roller coaster” and the establishment of what some experts call the “new normal” for weather, i.e. the following: “Drought zones have been declared across much of England and Wales, yet Scotland has just experienced its wettest ever May. The warmest spring in 100 years followed one of the coldest UK winters in 300 years. June in London has been colder than March… February was warm enough to strip on Snowdon’ and so on. John then quotes some climate expert who tells him: “We are being battered by the adverse impacts of climate change”. QED, then.
Well, let’s take a look at this ambitious, hyperactive weather we’re all enjoying. The comment “drought zones have been declared across much of England and Wales” seems to refer to, er, East Anglia. A few other areas are indeed at the “near drought” stage, and the water companies are warning, as they do every year, that restrictions on water usage might be brought in. However, no restrictions are in place anywhere, yet at least, not even in the parched Mojave wastelands of Norfolk. Spring? April was lovely and warm, well above the average. March was a little cooler than the average, May a little above. The Met Office pronounced spring to be the driest for 20 years in some areas. In other areas, presumably, it wasn’t. January was colder than usual — bloody nippy, to use the technical term — while February was pleasantly warm (the ninth mildest in 100 years, in point of fact. Which means you could quite regularly get your kit off on Snowdon, if you wanted, over the last century).
My point is that almost every month qualifies for some shock and horror headline about its extreme weather, because there are so many variables with which one can do the measuring and so many different records to be broken. We might say that in June we had the longest continual spell of rain for the month “since records began”, or the most rain (a different thing) in one area, or the least rain in another “since records began”. And those records — the Met Office refers to at least four starting points. There is 1971, which it uses each month as a reference point for recent climatic variations, and then there’s 1910, 1766 and 1659. When you multiply the number of record books by the number of variables on offer, you are statistically certain to come up with a shock horror headline every day, never mind every month or season. The most snow in a single day since one or another record began; the most continuous snow; the most days with snow; the coldest, the warmest, the most sunshine, the least sunshine — and so on, ad infinitum. The mean temperature for a single month may be 10°C, but the local variations will be massive (indeed, in May this year the range of temperature stretched from minus 6.3°C to 25.4°C). It is not evidence, by itself, of a “climate roller coaster”; it is what happens when you are calculating a mean figure.
Does any of this statistical arcania matter? The problem, I think, is that totally normal variations from the mean and the continual screaming headlines about records being broken are used by the climate change lobby to insist that this is a consequence of our own actions, a direct result of man-made global warming. This is a slight change of tack, of course; previously we were told that global warming meant Britain would become, well, warmer — but two sharpish winters put paid to that prediction. Now everything is the consequence of man-made global warming. That cold December we endured was the consequence and so too was the mildly mild weather we enjoyed in the February of the following year. Drought is a consequence of global warming; so too are floods. Hot weather and cold weather. Sunshine and no sunshine. And it helps if they can imply that there is something abnormal about it all, something terribly extreme and disquieting.
I am not suggesting that they are trying to hoodwink us; I think they probably believe it themselves, much as those millennialist end-timers believe that we are about to be devoured by the righteous wrath of God. And then, when the much-vaunted wrath fails to materialise, they move the goalposts, just like the climate change monkeys.