Great swaths of Britain are buried under more than a foot of snow as the country shivers through the coldest winter since 1981. Airports have been shut down, trains have been canceled, and the army had to be called out to rescue more than 1,000 motorists stranded in Hampshire.
In Germany, most of which is also blanketed in white, temperatures have dipped to record lows of -7.6 F degrees. In Norway, reports the AP, the thermometer read -42 F degrees Jan. 5, the coldest reading since 1987.
The eastern two-thirds of the United States are coping with unusually severe cold. Atlantic, Iowa posted a temperature of 29 below zero, breaking a record set in 1958. Florida's $9.3-billion citrus crop hangs in the balance as the coldest weather in years is draping palm fronds with icicles and causing iguanas to drop frozen from the trees.
Could it be global cooling? A Tory MP was jeered for suggesting as much in parliament. If the members had been hooting the unscientific use of particular weather to draw vast conclusions about climate, the derision would have been justified. But the avatars of climate change have been over-interpreting changeable weather for years. So the members were probably just towing the climate change party line with their catcalls.
The cold snap has spurred the "warmists" to spin control. Here's a typical AP headline: "Cold Weather Doesn't Disprove Global Warming: Experts." And this from the Voice of America: "Meteorologists: Global Warming and Cold Weather Go Hand-In-Hand." The World Meteorological Organization is at pains to distinguish between weather and climate. "I think we have to be careful not to interpret any single event as a proof of either warming or the fact that warming has stopped," cautioned Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
Ah. Where has he been? As recently as 11 months ago, when brushfires raged across Australia, the "experts" were ready with interpretations. "Why Global Warming May Be Fueling Australia's Fires," reported Time magazine. The Huffington Post quoted Neville Nicholls, "an expert on climate change and wildfires" at Australia's Monash University: "The terrible events of the past couple of weeks are, without doubt, partly the result of global warming and the greenhouse effect." Can't have doubt, can we?
CBS's morning show chimed in with this report from correspondent Daniel Sieberg: " ... a dire new warning from scientists says the amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide is higher than predicted ... Scientists say those higher temperatures are fueling the intensity of wildfires, now raging in places like Australia ... (It's) a vicious cycle -- each changing ecosystem affecting the other and made worse by human activities. For environmentalists and many others, it's a cycle that needs to be broken. And soon."
When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf coast, "warmist" gnomes were thick on the ground, inviting us to conclude that Katrina's deadly force resulted from global warming and that the world was entering an era of fierce storms, fires, and floods -- a green apocalypse. Al Gore mentioned Katrina in "An Inconvenient Truth," asking, "How in God's name could that happen here? There had been warnings that hurricanes would get stronger. There were warnings that this hurricane ... would cause the kind of damage that it ultimately did cause. And one question that we, as a people, need to decide is how we react when we hear warnings from the leading scientists in the world."
Those scientists (whether they are "leading" or not is a subjective matter) supplied their own panicky conclusions. A study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists" concluded that "Global warming caused by humans is largely responsible for heating hurricane-forming regions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, probably increasing the intensity of the storms." The Boston Globe quoted lead scientist Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, "Natural variability doesn't cut it for the observed ocean temperatures. The study suggests we are responsible."
Just by the way, the 2009 hurricane season was unusually mild.
For more than a decade now, the climate avengers have seized upon every warm summer, forest fire, hurricane, and tornado to grind their ax. Here's one last example from the Washington Post two years ago: "Last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112 years -- capping a nine-year warming streak 'unprecedented in the historical record' that was driven in part by the burning of fossil fuels, the government reported yesterday ... Many researchers are concerned that rising temperatures could lead to widespread melting of the polar ice caps, resulting in higher sea levels and more extreme droughts and storms."
They hooted when a British politician cited the cold weather as evidence of a "cooling trend." But she learned her "science" from the masters.