Archive for the ‘apocalypticism’ Category
Posted on June 12th, 2007 by Pali Gap No Comments
This cartoon is published by kind permission of Cox & Forkum
The third volume of Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons “Black & White World III” covering November 2004 to October 2006, is available from Amazon
Posted on February 9th, 2007 by Pali Gap No Comments
I live in the UK where the climate is notoriously fickle. This characteristic of our climate is of great assistance to the powers that be as they programmatically seek to replace the concept of “global warming” with that of “climate change” in the vernacular. Any moderately significant weather event can now be harnessed to the Great Cause and taken to add to “the weight of mounting evidence” that confirms the truth of climate change. It matters not whether it be a drought in the south, a flood in the West Country, a tornado, a spell of hot weather in London, severe gales in autumn, water spouts in the Channel – the media will tend to hype them all up as harbingers of the coming apocalypse.
However as 2006 came to an end there was an excellent piece by Philip Eden in his Weather Watch series for the Daily Telegraph (Dec 30) that added a much needed sense of perspective:
A year for the record books
It was a year when unusual weather events frequently occupied the headlines, several records were broken, and many people were convinced that the climate really was changing.
January ’06 was the wettest for almost 30 years in southern England , then on Feb 8 a severe thunderstorm accompanied by hail and violent squalls caused much damage across the Midlands and the South-east.
Spring was wet in the north and west of Britain, but very dry in the south and east; June was mostly fine, apart from a 12-hour-long, steady downpour on the 29th which deposited between 2 and 3in of rain in a broad zone across southern, central and eastern England. That apart, it was a memorably long and sunny summer which culminated in record-breaking temperatures in early September with 35°C widely approached or exceeded.
October and November were both remarkably mild though often cloudy and damp, but the year ended with a dramatic burst of wintry weather with widespread snowfalls of 6in or more, and level depths approached 2ft in eastern Scotland.
You might not remember all those events. In fact you should not remember any of them as the year was 1906, not 2006. The purpose of this exercise has been to illustrate that, weather-wise, there is nothing new under the sun. Any year will deliver a handful of records and a host of unusual events, and we should not be surprised when they turn up.
(This article was reproduced by kind permission of Philip Eden. However I should say that this does not imply that he would endorse any of the views expressed here!)
Philip Eden is an independent meteorologist. As well as lots of other excellent articles and features (e.g Spin Between the Raindrops) He has published a number of books:
- Change in the Weather: Weather Extremes and the British Climate (2006)
- “Daily Telegraph” Book of Weather (2003)
- Great British Weather Disasters(due 2008)
Posted on February 21st, 2006 by Pali Gap No Comments
The Sunday Times, London February 19 2006. A big two page spread titled “The Climate Of Fear“.
There’s an excellent Simpsons episode in which Bart becomes a TV journalist and brilliantly mimics the faux-concerned, hand-wringing tone of news reporters. As I read the first paragraph of this article it was Bart’s voice intoning in my head:
“It should have been a chill midwinter day in St Louis as Professor James Zachos laid out his findings last week on how the world could be about to change for ever. But as the expert in earth sciences addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on the dangers of climate change, the weather was noticeably warm and muggy”
A deeply significant harbinger of doom or what!
Yet this article was not all hot air and tosh. In a rare show of balance space was given over to the views of Richard Lindzen (professor of atmospheric physics at MIT) and Philip Stott (emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London). The latter was especially good on “apocalypticism“:
“The language of climate change is also becoming religious. Part of the myth is that it has to be our sin that causes it. The second part of the myth is that you have to offer up a sacrifice — and here we have to flagellate ourselves, cut down on products, stop the car, actually sacrifice to the earth.”
But no sooner do you read that than up pops Bart Simpson again (aka journalists Jonathan Leake & Jonathan Milne):
“Lindzen and Stott, however, are part of a tiny minority, with most scientific experts accepting that climate change is a serious threat”
How often that mantra is repeated! Could it be false?
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