What if man-made climate change is all in the mind?
Written by Sean Thomas, The Telegraph
Sometimes it’s the silliest statements that tell you the most interesting things. Take, for instance, this Financial Times report into Britain’s latest floods.
Here are some quotes.
Professor Corinne Le Quere, director for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia [said of the floods], “Even though we can’t blame the current weather in the UK on climate change, we expect heavy rains like this to occur as a result of climate change”.
What exactly is Professor Le Quere trying to tell us here, with her eerie and echoing syntax? My inner psychotherapist translates it as: “Even though I mustn’t directly blame individual weather events on climate change, I am desperate to do exactly that, because it’s what I believe.” It therefore resembles a statement of faith. Right down to the repeated mantra: like a prayer.
Here’s the next paragraph.
“Professor Le Quere added that Britain faced particularly unpredictable conditions because it was close to parts of the world already changing rapidly, such as the Arctic. “The Arctic is melting so fast that it changes the weather patterns…”
This is an interesting one, given that the latest evidence shows that, right now, the Arctic isn’t “melting so fast”: indeed, Arctic ice coverage has just increased by 50 per cent. So maybe our recent floods are not, therefore, the work of the melting Arctic, but of some other agency. But what? Perhaps it is the Norse Gods.
This is the last paragraph:
“The UK has suffered a spate of unusual weather recently: 2012 was the second wettest year since records began, while this year saw the coldest March in more than 50 years and the longest heatwave since 2006.”
Wow, the longest heatwave since 2006? A whole seven years? That is so unusual. Will we see a spate of usual weather ever again? Just last year we had the blusteriest Thursday in late June since records of blustering began in 2004, and December 2011 saw the seventh fluffiest snowflake to fall on Croydon since the Pleistocene. Something is up.
Now we come to the FT’s emphatic final sentence.
“The cost of extreme weather to business is growing, with flooding in 2012 alone costing the economy more than £12bn.”
Now that sounds incontrovertible. Rain is getting worse, likewise storms, and this is costing us more money. Extreme weather is ON THE MARCH.
But is this true? As islanders in the changeable north Atlantic, Brits have been obsessed with “unusual weather” for centuries, and recorded the same. Here are some excerpts from a highly intriguing database of weather events.
1270AD, the Thames: “The downpour and the ensuing inundations were never so bad since the days of the flood of Noah”.
1948, Scottish Borders: “it was the principal scene for the worst series of washouts and storm damage… ever experienced on the railways of Britain”.
1091, London: “Terrible flood followed by a great frost and then a second flood as the like was remembered by none”.
1875, the Trent: “the flooding is stated to be the worst on record”.
1947, East Anglia: “In the main stream of the Great Ouse.. the discharge of water was 50 percent higher than ever previously recorded”.
1346, the Trent: “an extraordinary visitation of Providence, in the sending forth the most terrible floods of rain almost ever recorded to have taken place in England.”
1893, Sussex: “such extensive flooding never having been experienced before”.
1900, Yorkshire: “The heavy rains of Sunday and Sunday night caused Melton to experience the worst floods that have ever occurred in the town”.
1258, the Severn: “torrents of rain fell on and raised all the waters… from Shrewsbury to Bristol to a degree that has not been seen in our times”.
1918, Beds & Bucks: “At Hockcliffe the floods were severe and at Leighton were the worst ever known”.
AD38: “10,000 drown”.
There are thousands more entries like this – “worst deluge in living memory”, “the worst rains ever witnessed”, “floods and rains the like of which no man has seen” – but you get the gist. This vast database shows that any notion that our rain, right now, is getting “worse” is farcically incoherent. What does “worse” even mean? Worse than what? Worse than the Ice Age? Worse in the sense of “colder”? “Spittier”? What?
But that’s not all. These records show something else, too. They suggest that humans are prone to exaggerate the historicity of “unusual weather”, and that humans possibly have an evolutionary tendency to perceive patterns in weather, especially worsening weather, that do not exist. This is because (as Darwinists know) evolution favours the paranoid and the over-careful – as they are more likely to survive if anything bad really does happen.
All of which raises a fascinating possibility. Perhaps man-made climate change is all in the mind – because, in our instinctive terrors, we always think that something wicked this way comes, especially from the sky: as a punishment from God, for things we have done. This paranoia, should it exist, would be hardwired into the human psyche, so we would rarely notice it – as the mind deceives itself.
If this is true, it means that lefty and greeny believers in man-made climate change are merely the Mormons of Meteorology, the Wahhabi of Warmism: they are the psychic equivalent of apocalyptic religious maniacs, forever spying signs of the promised Endtimes, and yet forever being disappointed.
Which, if nothing else, explains the faintly theological tones of the estimable Professor Corinne Le Quere, UEA.