You know, it was about this time last year that I first looked at an article in the online Independent entitled “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” by a certain Charles Onians, dated Monday 20th March 2000. It was written at a time when the mild rainy winters of the 1990s seemed as though they would go on for ever and it probably appeared a run-of-the-mill and uncontroversial story back then, attracting no comments. Now, of course, it is one of the Independent‘s most-read and best-loved articles – an authentic treasure of the internet, in my opinion.
It starts: “Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.” I won’t reproduce the whole thing here but would urge you to read it for yourself via this link. The best lines are from Dr David Viner of the Met Office (now in charge of climate change orthodoxy at the British Council) – he states that within a few years, winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”, he adds.
To be fair, he also tells us that heavy snow will return occasionally and find us unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time.” Which is quite right. Although I tend to think he had in mind the type of short, sharp cold snap I remember from the start of 2007, not the prolonged episode of wintry chaos we have been experiencing now for a solid month, with airports and motorways shut down, people trapped in freezing trains, local councils predictably running short of road salt and the frequent crackling, popping sounds of low temperature records around the country being broken.
In the article, the Hadley Centre’s David Parker ‘says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.’ A Museum of Winter, where kids could don virtual-reality goggles and run around wearing refrigerated “cold suits”, perhaps? An interesting idea, but something tells me it might not be the most popular or successful of attractions in today’s climate.
Now, of course, we’re being told by the Independent (link here) that harsh winters are actually signs of global warming: “Expect more extreme winters thanks to global warming, say scientists”. And there you have it. Whatever conditions prevail, there it is, at the heart of everything we see in nature. Milder winters, cooler winters, freezing winters, average winters, Arctic winters. All accounted for and perfectly explained by global warming. Truly it is omnipresent, omnipotent and infallible, sometimes working in mysterious ways – a bit like God.
All the comments that appeared, from December 2009 onwards, below the Charles Onians article have been deleted, but there were quite a few! Mine was the first, I think.
Hello? Charles Onians in 2000? Don’t ask me to explain but I’m posting this back to you via a time warp from December 2009. Yes, the future! You probably won’t believe me and will think I’m mad or joking, but get this. Britain is suffering its second extremely cold winter in a row – we have enough snow, ice, frost and freezing fog to cobble dogs with (whatever that means.) Far from being “a very rare and exciting event”, snowfall has become a major hazard in this country twice this past year – and we haven’t even got to February 2010 yet. Also (again you will probably think I’m joking) but the CRU has just become a liability to climate science – leaked e-mails and files have revealed a web of deceit and manipulation that threatens to undermine the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming itself. I urge you to pull this article immediately, as it will become a laughing stock in years to come. Charles? Hello? Hello? … Rats, I’m probably too late.