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Climate Change Explained (As the British Obsession With Weather)

A telling choice of words in the latest issue of Nature may reveal an important aspect behind the unrelenting fixation among scientists and journalists to see (global, anthropogenic) climate change everywhere and in everything:

Changing weather patterns, producing the wrong kind of snow, have transformed the population dynamics of lemmings in northern Scandinavia

The wrong kind of snow“?

That’s a very familiar phrase with every British commuter, alongside “wrong kind of leaves on the line“, “wrong kind of rain” and whatever else is quite common and should be reasonably expected (until, that is, it can be used as a bizarre excuse to mask the shortcomings of public transport, such as delayed trains).

And in fact: here’s the publisher’s presentation of a book that came out exactly a year ago: “The Wrong Kind of Snow” by Antony Woodward and Rob Penn (£9.10 on Amazon in the UK):

It’s the great British obsession and not surprisingly: no other country in the world has such unpredictable weather, with such power to rule people’s lives as we have. The Wrong Kind of Snow is the complete daily companion to this British phenomenon. From the Spanish Armada to the invention of the windscreen wiper, each of the 365 entries beautifully illustrates a day in the weird and wonderful history of the British and their weather.

And in fact: where do the authors of the “Lemmings Doomed by Climate Change” (“Population biology: Case of the absent lemmings“) article work?

Tim Coulson and Aurelio Malo are in the Department of Life Sciences, Silwood Park Campus, Imperial College London, Ascot, Berkshire UK

And in fact: where is “Nature” managed from? Why,

The Macmillan Building, London, United Kingdom

And in fact: what major news organization immediately picked up the “Lemmings” story and published it without a comment in an unsigned article? Of course: the British Broadcasting Corporation, aka the “BBC”.

And so when in a few years’ time people will be scrambling to explain the absence of catastrophic climate change, expect the blame to be placed on this: the wrong kind of Anthropogenic Global Warming!

0 replies on “Climate Change Explained (As the British Obsession With Weather)”

Something I read today reminded me of this thread, and your earlier post about the medicalisation of society:

“It suits the culture to dump a whole set of unrelated symptoms suffered by completely different kinds of people as a result of completely different kinds of events into a box with that phrase on the label. It’s about as useful and as intellectually valid as stamp collecting.”

This was a character in a novel talking about post-traumatic stress disorder, but he could equally have been discussing ADHD or several other rather nebulous psychiatric conditions.

This mirrors the current climate orthodoxy: the “planet has a fever” and the doctor diagnoses a bad case of AGW, brought on by an overdose of man-made CO2. And once diagnosed, the symptoms turn out to be everywhere, from receding glaciers and rising sea levels to the horde of horrors listed on Number Watch. Everything that just used to be part of the variability and the ebb and flow of nature has taken on a special and sinister significance.

As someone once said, there’s power in a name.

Good post! I agree with Geoff, lots of delicious ironies here, for those of us who appreciate them. As for the lemmings – my first thought was, here’s another cute, fluffy creature threatened by horrible Global Warming. It hasn’t escaped my notice that GW is incredibly bad for nice cuddly creatures like polar bear cubs and these little fellows, but good for the life forms we don’t like, such as poison ivy and malaria. In other words, as far as the plant and animal kingdoms are concerned, GW rewards the nasty and punishes the nice, a bit like Santa Claus in reverse.

I also like your point, Geoff, about the coincidence of GW with satellite and computer technology. This reminds me of the old joke about the hypochondriac who buys a medical book and then suddenly discovers he is developing symptoms of most of the diseases in it.

How wonderfully apt that global warming alarmists should be worrying about lemmings. (What’s the slogan of a lemming catastrophist, by the way? “Help! We’re doomed! We’re all going to live!”?)

Off-topic thought for the day: Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that the Arctic ice cap should be on the point of disappearing just at the moment we’ve invented satellite imagery to be able to record the event? Likewise with the fantastically complex calculation of mean global temperature, which is about to soar at the very time we’ve developed computers powerful enough to calculate it. Luck or good forward thinking by the scientific establishment?

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