Snow in winter is hardly surprising, but the falling of the white stuff doesn’t suggest global warming isn’t happening. Or it doesn’t unless you are Nigel Farage or Donald Trump.
I apologise for bringing up those two distraction magnets, with their attention-pulling ways, but both have pointed to cold weather to ‘prove’ that global warming is a myth.
For Trump it was all that snow in the US a while back; and for Farage, it was our present spell of harsh wintriness. The provocateur turned LBC radio host took to Twitter to rant: “Large parts of central London have no salt on the roads. Perhaps they are all so convinced by global warming they never thought any would be needed.”
The non-existence of global warming is a badge of honour among some on the right. Listening to Farage harrumphing about climate change is enough to make you want to bang your head on an icy pavement. Luckily you can instead read the responses on Twitter.
If you don’t much like Nigel, they might cheer you up.
Comic writer Alex Paknadel took Farage to task for his lack of understanding, tweeting: “It’s because warm air pushed arctic air south. The arctic is currently 35 degrees warmer than it should be this time of year. Because of climate change. Climate change. Climate change. Climate change. Ye gods, you’re dim.”
Then we have ‘Technically Ron’ who describes himself as “Idiot, Disaster, Author.” He tweeted: “that’s not how global warming works you gammon faced shitflute go read a book.”
I like that one so much, it’s going under my pillow to make me sleep better at night.
The problem here, apart from dimness, lies in the words we use to describe what is happening to our climate. The phrase ‘global warming’ allows the likes of Nigel Farage to look out of their frosty windows and tut: “Damn cold here today – proves that global warming is a myth.”
As people flocked to point out on Twitter, it is possible that the cold weather is caused by global warming. For ten consecutive days last month, the world’s most northerly weather station – Cape Morris Jesup at the chilly tip of Greenland – recorded temperatures above freezing.
This suggests that our climate is going dangerously weird. This warming of our coldest places could be a one-off and will need further study. But it’s alarming and could well account for the unusually cold start to March.
If so, Nigel Farage suggests that global warming doesn’t exist by pointing to proof of its existence, which is pleasing karma if nothing else.
But here’s the thing, or another thing. If Nigel Farage can be so catastrophically wrong about our changing climate – evidence of which has been recorded by scientists around our over-heating globe – what if he is also wrong about Brexit?
It was his obsessional hatred of Europe that got us into this quagmire; and all that was based on nothing more than feeling and emotion. Maybe he is completely wrong about that, as we’ll discover one frost-bitten day in 20 years’ time.
Not that anyone will ever be able to prove whether Brexit was a good idea. That argument will run for years without ever finding a neat answer.
As for the words we use to describe what’s happened to our planet, I prefer climate instability, although a close second is: “that’s not how global warming works you gammon faced shitflute go read a book.”