There is an acerbic commentator in the UK, called Rod Liddle, who has recently written and interesting piece in the Specatator. I point it out, as Rod Liddle ends his piece with:
None of this means climate change — which, incidentally, I think is probably a fact — is happening or not happening.
I assume he means significant anthropogenic climate change in this statement, as nobody (sane) suggests the climate does not change. The subject of his article is the ongoing news of climate records being set. He opens the article with this:
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.
He is, of course, quite correct, and it seems that this is the kind of news that we can commonly find in New Zealand, but I have found similar articles in the U.S. press, and in other countries. The point in these stories is that they give an impression of something special taking place, that the climate is somehow out of whack, out of kilter, that anthropogenic climate change must indeed be real. If I think back to my childhood, there were occasional mentions of unusual weather patterns, but I do not remember this constant onslaught of weather records.This is what Rod Liddle has to say on the subject:
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).
Quite reasonably, he goes on to skewer other examples, and notes that what we are really seeing weather…that sometimes deviates from the mean in some places at some times. Perhaps even more interesting is that he has noted that the promises of a warm UK have come to nothing, and that there has been a shift in the climate change narrative:
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.
The problem for those that promote the climate change scare is that they predicted that it would not be long before the UK saw no snow at all, and the predictions were found to be false. So a new narrative is created, in which all unusual weather, regardless of general trends, is highlighted. For Joe Public who does not take a great interest in the climate change controversy, it seems that the world is indeed changing around them. A continual blizzard of records appears to suggest that the climate situation is going to hell in a handcart.
Is it any wonder that people become convinced of the anthropogenic climate change story when it appears that there is such strong evidence, even though the evidence is not strong at all. It is, quite simply, manipulation. Sadly, most people do not have the time to dig into the details of the climate change controversy, and will instead rely on a sense of disquiet generate by these kinds of stories.
Note: Apologies for the lack of posts, but time has been very short of late, including a trip to China which was one of many distractions.