I cannot believe that after all the evidence that has accumulated about how this kind of 'relevance' hunting actually hurts the most vunerable kids, ie those from low socio-economic and immigrant backgrounds, most, that it is still being pushed by an educational elite that clearly needs to be sacked en masse.
Teachers aren't there to be the friends with "the kids." They are supposed to be there to pass on an inheritance of great value, not to dish up whatever happens to be fashionable at any particular moment with "the kids."
Another generation of children are going to be short-changed by an education that failed in its duty to challenge them and broaden their horizons and their imaginations.
This is little more than a highly refined type of child abuse.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
"Relevance" means I should have been taught only Thomas the Tank Engine and Train Driving for Dummies
A-grade artistic arrogance from British playwright Jonathan Holmes:
If only we were brave enough to pay them even more.
By “systematically attack”, he means “reduce public funding”.
Dear God, I do believe he’s actually going to say it:
While I’m speaking vomit to carpet, please visit David Thompson for a far more comprehensive review of Holmes’s pleading. In other news of our superiors, James Campbell joins the queue of those taking exception to the views of Cate Blanchett.
We've written many times about the seemingly odd-bedfellow alliance between the Left and Islamic radicals. Today, the Telegraph reports on the "infiltration" of the Labour Party by Islamists:
Full post here
A 21st Century version of Militant's effort to subvert the Labour Party.
Beware the Chinese century - and the kind of leaders who will eat the Chinese cake:
So really, Greece (and Italy and Spain and Ireland and Portugal - the so-called PIIGS) desperately need a Margaret Thatcher to get them out of the mess they've made for themselves.
Mmmmm, handsome blond lederhosen-clad Aryan lads.
Damn. Just when I try to do the noble thing and give Tim Lambert credit for having argued the science against Lord Monckton, rather than engaged in his more typical sneering and sliding, along comes JoNova to demonstrate that a willingness to believe the best of the worst is usually an error. Her deconstruction of Lambert’s trick against Monckton here.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Kevin Rudd ends his ban on Insiders.
First question from Barrie Cassidy is on whether Peter Garrett is now just a vice-minister.
The answer is pure spin about Garrett needing to concentrate on his core responsibilities. Making Garrett seem like he’s got bigger fish fo fry is not the message he needs to send, when his spinning and lack of accountability are the issues.
Cassidy is right: the problem isn’t just some failing by a bureacrat but the very notion that the Federal Government should be running such a program at all. As he says:
Rudd’s response? He’s backpedalling now on that bold threat to take over hospitals by this year. Now he stresses that he really wants local control of hospitals.
Barrie: Was last year’s deadline of July for a hospital takeover “ridiculous”?
Rudd: Didn’t realise how hard it was to get things delivered. Offers the excuse of the financial crisis, and says that’s not an excuse (sic).
Barrie: Why did you underestimate how hard it was?
Rudd: ???? Blather.
Barrie: 600 promises was surely too many.
Rudd: But we delivered on many (oh yes?). Says will take a pounding on non-delivery of promises, and admits they deserve it.
The rest here
Yet again, us evil neoliberals could have warned the government about the likely consequences of programs designed to spend vast amounts of borrowed money quickly by said government. Maybe that could be the topic of K R Puff'n'Fluff's next article in The Monthly?
Jamie Dimon, chairman of JP Morgan Chase, has warned American investors should be more worried about the risk of default of the state of California than of Greece's current debt woes.
Full article at The Torygraph
Wasn't Glenn Milne going on just a few months ago about how wonderful California was as it led us into a future of green jobs and whatnot?
David Lappi is a geologist from Alaska who has sent in a set of beautiful graphs–including an especially prosaic one of the last 10,000 years in Greenland–that he put together himself (and which I’ve copied here at the top).If you wonder where today’s temperature fits in with the grand scheme of time on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out, here’s the history. We start with the whole 65 million years, then zoom in, and zoom in again to the last 12,000 from both ends of the world. What’s obvious is that in terms of homo sapiens history, things are warm now (because we’re not in an ice age). But, in terms of homo sapiens civilization, things are cooler than usual, and appear to be cooling.Then again, since T-rex & Co. vanished, it’s been one long slide down the thermometer, and our current “record heatwave” is far cooler than normal. The dinosaurs would have scoffed at us: “What? You think this is warm?”With so much volatility in the graphs, anyone could play “pick a trend” and depending on which dot you start from, you can get any trend you want. — Jo
From Watts Up With That?:
Reposted from Climate Audit:
A savage article in the Times today by Ben Webster about the UEA submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry – the letter in which they tried to “trick” the Committee about the contents of the letter from the Information Commissioner. (A “trick”, according to Gavin Schmidt and the Penn State Inquiry, is a “good way” to solve a problem.)
The article – worth reading in full – re-caps correspondence discussed in yesterday’s post on the topic.
The UEA has now posted up all its correspondence.
Webster provides an interesting new statement from Dr Evan Harris, Liberal Democrat member of the Science and Technology Committee:
When the history of the exposing of the anthropogenic global warming scam is written, I hope a special place is reserved for the contribution of people like James Delingpole.
And yes, if you aren't reading the Spectator, why not?! And following Delingpole on Twitter too.
I promised I would write about Post Normal Science. The Institute of Physics has given me the perfect peg. It has just made the following devastating submission to the Parliamentary investigation into the Climategate scandal. It argues that the behaviour of the scientists involved has “worrying implications” for “the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.”
Too right it does. Of course the Institute of Physics is doing no more than people like Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have been arguing for years. What’s refreshing, though, is to see a serious scientific institution with a membership of 36,000 physicists worldwide taking such a firm, outspoken public stance on scientific integrity. Compare and contrast the behaviour of the Royal Society – once perhaps the world’s most distinguished and revered science institution, but now with its credibility almost irretrievably damaged because of its uncritical stance both on AGW and on the dubious scientific method behind it.
How has it happened that so many distinguished scientists around the world have got it so very wrong? Why is that more than a few of them think it’s OK to manipulate evidence, hide or destroy data after inconvenient FOI requests, conspire to silence dissenting scientists, lie and cheat in official hearings, and generally engage in the kind of activities that those of in the non-scientific world had naively assumed that a real scientist would never do?
In three words: Post Normal Science (PNS).
Without PNS, the whole AGW scam might never have got off the ground. PNS was the evil philosophy that gave the scientists involved the intellectual justification to do the wicked things they did.
You’ll find a handy basic guide to the phenomenon in a piece I did for the Spectator the other week. (Why incidentally do so few of you seem to read the Spectator? I know I’m biased but there’s some seriously good stuff in there and its editor Fraser Nelson – by a million miles the most brilliant political journalist of his generation – has the kind of views which will delight readers of this blog, I’m sure).
Anyway, here’s the link to the piece, which I urge you to read in full because it’s not rubbish. And here’s the bit where I talk about PNS.
Then I have a dig at Mike Hulme of the Tyndall Centre, who always sounds so nice and reasonable when he appears on the radio but is an arch Post Normal Scientist, followed by a wholly deserved pot-shot at the utterly reprehensible Royal Society.
Meanwhile, over at Watts Up With That, who should have been invited to make not one but two guest postings – but the arch-fiend himself Jerome Ravetz? Because Ravetz has a rambling, long-winded style, an air of mild reasonableness, and a gift for academic double-speak and obfuscation, the readers at WUWT rather took to him at first. They even fell for his line that Post Normal Science was the best way for science to negotiate its way out of the post-Climategate mess – completely missing the point that it was thanks to PNS that science got into that mess in the first place.
Fortunately he was rumbled just in time, most notably by ScientistForTruth whose brilliant expose here remains the best thing anyone has written – and probably ever will write – about the sly dangerousness of Post Normal Science. It’s long but worth reading in full.
I also highly recommend the spanking he gets from Willis Eschenbach in the comments below his follow-up post. It may seem unduly harsh if you look at the sweet elderly gent in Ravetz’s byline photograph or if you’re taken in by Ravetz’s gentle, let’s-all-be-reasonable-here style. To which I say: “Smooth, easy, inoffensive down to hell.” And Eschenbach is of a similar persuasion, as here when someone tries to defend Ravetz on the disingenuous grounds that he was only observing the phenomenon of Post Normal Science not actually advocating it.
(PS one tiny thing: re-reading my Speccie piece I was mortified to notice that the introductory paragraph kind of implies that I think I broke the Climategate story. Which I don’t, obviously. It was careless writing, nothing more. I think I’d probably meant to say something like “In the British blogosphere” or whatever. It’s OK, I do know that loads of US websites were there before me.)
Friday, February 26, 2010
The research was conducted by a team headed by Schuster and geneticist Vanessa M. Hayes of Children's Cancer Institute Australia in Sydney. They completely sequenced the genomes of one Bushman and one Bantu and sequenced the protein coding regions of three other Bushmen.The Bantu was Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who served as a surrogate for the agricultural peoples who account for about 80% of southern Africa's population. The four Bushmen, also known as Khoisan or San, were the heads of their tribes living in the Kalahari Desert. Their names were !Gubi, G/aq'o, D#kgao and !Ai and they spoke Tuu, Ju/'hoansi and !Kung. (The unusual characters denote clicking sounds in the languages.) One immediate surprise to emerge from the research, at least for Tutu, was that one woman in his lineage was of Bushman origin. It is not clear, however, how many generations back that woman lived.
...that is, economic rationalism, they wouldn't be in the mess they are now in.
Man who broke the Bank of England, George Soros, 'at centre of hedge funds plot to cash in on fall of the euro'
Well yes, as neoliberals warned would happen sooner or later.
Both Greece and Italy owe more money than what their entire economies are worth.
Australia's prime minister, K R Puff'n'Fluff, may play the philosopher prince in writing long essays about how neoliberalism caused the Global Financial Crisis, (which has turned out to be not so much a global crisis, as one mostly affecting the North Atlantic), but the reality is something very different.
One message of neoliberalism is that even countries cannot go on living beyond their means forever.
Whether it is vast systems of social welfare and other government benefits that are essentially free money being given away to people, as in most of Europe, or a people financing lifestyles by way of vast borrowings from China that weren't underpinned by domestic savings and productivity, as in the United States, eventually the chickens of such excess come home to roost.
As they have, just as the much maligned neoliberals said they would.
The so-called global financial crisis has yet again shown in terrible detail the long term costs of the unlimited welfare state.
It was Margaret Thatcher who decades ago made the still relevant and now prescient observation that the trouble with socialism is that "sooner or later you run out of other people's money."
Greece has effectively run out of money. It cannot survive economically without the EU bailing it out.
Just remember though, thirty years ago it was Great Britain that had been brought to its knees for similar reasons and needing the IMF to bail it out.
No, I'm sorry kiddies, Britain prior to Margaret Thatcher was not a wonderland of plucky communities mining coal during the day and playing in volunteer brass bands and the like in their spare time until Thatcher wrecked it all.
That's the movie version of history.
The reality is that the post-war big government consensus between Labour and the Tories involving massive welfare payments and large scale government involvement in the economy had failed spectacularly.
It was the country itself that had been wrecked.
Britain was known as the "sick man of Europe." It was an international laughing stock.
Only a person as determined as Margaret Thatcher, armed with a clear and simple understanding of what had gone wrong, had any hope of restoring Britain's fortunes.
Sadly, despite Tony Blair's remark that we "are all Thatcherites now," the hard learnt lessons of this time have been forgotten.
So while Britain may not be in as bad a position as these others - maybe - it too has suffered a continuing errosion of its economic base as government spending on unproductive parts of the economy have gone up and up and up.
So much so, that at the height of the financial crisis there was even speculation that she would become a high profile victim of it.
And it maybe be not over yet. The other thing Mr Soros is doing is buying gold. Lots of gold. The suspicion is that he sees trouble ahead.
I certainly think that those people who think that this genie can just be put back into its bottle are mistaken. Too much has now come out for a return to the previous orthodox status quo.
The Institute of Physics, representing 36,000 members, submits a devastating assessment of Climategate to the British parliamentary inquiry into the scandal:
This submission in effect warns that this recent warming may not be unprecedented, after all, and those that claim it is may have been blinded by bias or simply fiddled their results and suppressed dissent.
I’ll repeat: Climategate reveals the greatest scientific scandal of our lifetime.
These pointless kangaroo courts really must be abolished. As Mr Bolt says, public opinion has already made it clear to McGuire that he crossed a line and that his foolish and infantile behaviour was not appreciated. That should be the end of the matter.
And really, they just act as lightning rods for time-wasting activists who are consumed by their own self importance and the need to chase publicity.
This is a press release from OutRage!
London – 24 February 2010
Yousef has written a memoir, “Son of Hamas” (with Ron Brackin), which will be released next week in the United States. He fled the West Bank in 2007 and now lives in California.
Full post at Harry's Place
Thursday, February 25, 2010
1. Hitch your insurance company to the climate change panic wagon.
2. Increase insurance premiums due to impending climate disasters.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
From Tim Blair:
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh once predicted that brother Mark would be the first player to hit 200 runs in a 50-over game. But the younger Waugh never quite made it; his 50-over peak was 173. And now India’s Sachin Tendulkar claims that double-hundred milestone, 126 years after the same mark was first reached in Tests. Remarkably, Tendulkar’s 200 came off one delivery fewer than Waugh faced in compiling his highest score …
Sadly reflective of the pseudo-scientific rubbish about diet and health that so easily gets into the media these days without any background checking or research.
As the Food & Health Skeptic http://john-ray.blogspot.com/ observes:
This is all just assertion. Where are these findings in the published literature? I know of no double blind studies supporting these alleged therapeutic effects of food in humans. On the Angiogenesis Foundation site, all the reported studies about food are just said to be "suggestive"
Indeed, it is not a virtue. Saw some fool from, I think, the Victoria Police on TV the other day saying how the bashings of Indian students in Melbourne was a reason why they had to recruit more people of Indian descent, because they were under-represented in the organisation (you can't call it a force anymore, literally) compared to the general population......blah, blah, blah.
I'm sorry, I don't want a diverse and representative police force, (oops), I want one that I know and trust will do its job and protect me and mine from violent criminals. How does having more officers from Indian backgrounds prevent other people, (some from Indian backgrounds as it turns out), assaulting Indian students?
Don't get me wrong, from what I've seen of the Sikhs, I'd be more than happy for a dull and monochromatic police force composed entirely of them and their turbans. Have you seen those buggers? Impressive. Traditionally a warrior people from North India and I wouldn't want to mess with them! Perfect police officers.
I don't care if there are no women or no gays (okay, charge me with treason against my 'community').
I just want an honest copper who, when required, can handle himself or herself in a street fight. I want the crims to be scared of them, not the other way round. If that's the case then they can come from whatever friggen group, community or subculture you can point a stick at. It could be the black lesbian everyone keeps going on about, just as long as she isn't missing an arm or a leg.
I DON'T CARE.
I know how pleased all we poofs were when Cristine Nixon marched in a pride parade as chief commissioner of the Victoria Police. Seems so long ago now.
The fact remains that she was the most disastrous chief commissioner in a long time, maybe ever. She set about feminising the service, promising that recruitment and training standards would be maintained.
They couldn't be of course, as everyone knew. The training was simply too physically demanding on most female recruits. So what to do?
As the idea was not to get the best people to be police officers, (and I'm sorry, but the job does require you to physically fight and subdue some very violent and dangerous people at times), but to "diversify" the force and make it more representative of the general community (which naturally meant redressing the "shocking" gender imbalance), the way forward was clear.
Drop the standards required so more women could pass the course.
Political correctness became the new orthodoxy.
Now Victoria has a police service where the word "gang" is banned, and crime statistics that are inconvenient for reasons of political correctness or just sheer embarrassment are massaged and adjusted so that they give the, um, "right" result.
The absurd fetishising of diversity as somehow a worthy end in and of itself has got to stop.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Yet another climate alarmist on Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne morning show was allowed this morning to claim, unchallenged, that global warming would cause devastating droughts in Africa.
No sooner claimed than disproved:
Desertification, drought, and despair—that’s what global warming has in store for much of Africa. Or so we hear.
Emerging evidence is painting a very different scenario, one in which rising temperatures could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent.
Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.
This desert-shrinking trend is supported by climate models, which predict a return to conditions that turned the Sahara into a lush savanna some 12,000 years ago... Images taken between 1982 and 2002 revealed extensive regreening throughout the Sahel, according to a new study in the journal Biogeosciences.
The harder the experts try to save Americans, the fatter we get. We followed their admirable advice to quit smoking, and by some estimates we gained 15 pounds apiece afterward. The extra weight was certainly a worthwhile trade-off for longer life and better health, but with success came a new challenge.
Officials responded by advising Americans to shun fat, which became the official villain of the national dietary guidelines during the 1980s and 1990s. The anti-fat campaign definitely made an impact on the marketing of food, but as we gobbled up all the new low-fat products, we kept getting fatter. Eventually, in 2000, the experts revised the dietary guidelines and conceded that their anti-fat advice may have contributed to diabetes and obesity by unintentionally encouraging Americans to eat more calories.
That fiasco hasn’t dampened the reformers’ enthusiasm, to judge from the growing campaign to impose salt restrictions. Pointing to evidence that a salt-restricted diet causes some people’s blood pressure to drop, the reformers extrapolate that tens of thousands of lives would be saved if there were less salt in everybody’s food.
But is it even possible to get the public to permanently reduce salt consumption?
Full article here
Via the Instapundit
What absolute and astounding (not to mention delusional) pomposity. This is your rolled-gold special pleading for sectional interests from the top of Mount Stupid.
What Cate wants is for ordinary taxpayers to shell out more of their money on an insular and out of touch artistic elite, who make no bones about the fact that they despise said ordinary people and hold them in utter and complete contempt, so that these self-appointed "tellers of our stories" can continue to make films virtually nobody watches and art that hardly anyone goes to see.
Films and art already largely paid for (either directly or indirectly) by taxpayers.
So, does the self-assessment of their own vital importance hold up to even cursory examination?
If they genuinely did "tell our stories" (in a phrase redolent with their own fixation with themselves), why do so few of us recognise them as being our stories? Why do we stay away in droves when given an opportunity to make a free decision with the money in our own pockets?
Why do these people then have to get us to pay anyway via the backdoor and the backroom, by way of the various grant and other support schemes?
Are the arts in Australia really operating "at the cutting edge of a science that is now trying to unravel the puzzle of consciousness and identity?"
Gosh, sounds rather grand doesn't it?
But what, if anything, does it really mean?
Is this the "science" that allows them to "change" gravity? Though again, what on earth does this actually mean?
If you have to plead your case with this kind of drivel, what does it say about the strength of your case.
Then she brings out the dodgy economics.
Er, no we don't know this actually Cate. The argument runs something like this - look at New York or London. They are very rich cities with some of the most vibrant art markets in the world. Therefore, there must be something about promoting us luvvies that attracts wealth and success.
Apparently there are "studies" that prove this. But as anyone who pays attention to these things in relation to public health, government programs of all kinds etc, one thing you do know is that you can pay someone to prove exactly what you want them to prove, and produce a lovely glossy report to prove that you've proved it.
But the same problem with assumed directions of causation that plague so many epidemiological studies about the supposed health benefits or dire consequences of this or that, (with different studies often giving quite contradictory results about the same thing), are manifestly obvious here.
It is not only as likely but, on balance, far more likely that the thriving artistic scenes in places like New York are the products of having so many people with plenty of disposable income concentrated into one place.
Throughout human history it is wealth that has ultimately provided the environment that has allowed high art (if not artists themselves often times) to thrive, not the other way round.
There is zero reason to expect that somehow, other than in the tracts devoted to special pleading for the arts community, this has changed for some reason.
Monday, February 22, 2010
James Delingpole celebrates comments:
Without wishing to flatter you too much, you blog-addicted, foaming-mouthed, swivel-eyed loons – I’ve found the comments sections on blogs to be bastions of wisdom, rough-hewn common sense, wit, and often amazingly well-informed insight. And I don’t just mean on my blogs. What I always find equally heartening is when you look up an article online by, say, Polly Toynbee or some crack-papering fraudster from the Met Office and find its inconsistencies and idiocies being torn to shreds by a readership far more intelligent and on the ball than almost anyone in the liberal commentariat.
An Ilyushin Il-76 takes off from Canberra's airport with commentary from the control tower (you'll probably need to turn your volume up).
From Tim Blair's blog http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php
Somebody in comments points to a picture of an Il-86 passenger jet taking off from Phuket's airport. Just. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Vaso-Airlines/Ilyushin-Il-86/0995911/L/ (apparently a total aviation nerd website - depending on which boxes you tick under the photo, you can view other photos of just this particular aeroplane taken at airports around the world)
Also from comments for Tim's post:
"Reminds me of the corporate pilot sitting in the lounge of the local small airport one August afternoon, toying with his calculator. He eventually pronounced, “Given temperature and density altitude, and our fuel load, our legal payload is… me.”"
Called a waste of money? It IS a waste of money.
I have no objection to stupid people wasting their own money on useless quack treatments. They've been warned again, and again and again and if that means they die, well too bad.
(Though of course children in the care of such idiots need to be removed immediately for their own safety, as the tragic case of that poor little girl in Sydney who died because her irresponsible parents put their beliefs ahead of her clearly deteriorating health.)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Gobsmacking. Just gobsmacking. (Though it is good to see that that my opinion of Nicola Roxon was well founded.)
If you want to understand why so many people have lost trust in the climate science community, due to the acts of a few, just take a look at what Real Climate has done to spin the disaster issue regarding the IPCC. They write in a post that (emphasis added):
WG2 did include a debatable graph provided by Robert Muir-Wood (although not in the main report but only as Supplementary Material). It cited a paper by Muir-Wood as its source although that paper doesn’t include the graph, only the analysis that it is based on.As readers here well know, the analysis of the Muir-Wood mystery graph does not appear in the cited source (or any other). Real Climate's claim is easily shown to be wrong. Perhaps they made an honest mistake. I pointed this fact out to them and asked that they correct the error:
Real Climate has decided to leave the error uncorrected. When does an honest error become something different?Instead of just correcting the factual record Real Climate responds to my request with the following:This statement in your post is in error:“It cited a paper by Muir-Wood as its source although that paper doesn’t include the graph, only the analysis that it is based on.”The cited paper does not include the analysis that the graph is based on. In fact, it includes no discussion of temperature trends and disasters. You can confirm this for yourself:
http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/sparc/research/projects/extreme_events/munich_workshop/muirwood.pdfYou should correct the error in this post.
You've been working hard to scandalize your personal quibbles with IPCC here - how consistent is this with your self-proclaimed role as "honest broker"?
Saturday, February 20, 2010
As one Sunderban island disappears under the waves, another grows (& a journalist has fit of scruples!)
The disappearance of the island of Lohachara from the Sunderban chain was of course trumpeted by the media as "the first inhabited island to be claimed by climate change".
Except it wasn't.
And then there is New Moore island...
The interview below is just painfull. And I do actually feel sorry for Garrett (for a certain value of sorry anyway). This isn't just his stuff up. It was the government's need to throw vast amounts of free money at as many people it could as quickly as it could that inevitably caused this disastrous and tragic mess.
As any Neo-Liberal could have warned Mr Rudd and the rest of the cabinet, governments handing out free money invite every shonk and rent seeker around to come out of the wood work.
It was inevitable and totally predictable. And I am prepared to be fair and non-partisan in this regard. Any government distortion of the market inevitably produces trouble, much of it in the form of unintended consequences, though others again perfectly predictable, such as when Mr Howard and Mr Costello decided to give a tax break to rich doctors and lawyers so they could indulge their fantasy hobby of growing vines and making wine.
Colour me unsurprised when a few years later there had been so many hectares of new vines planted that the over-supply of grapes caused prices to crash.
A lesson that seems never to be learnt by some.
From Andrew Bolt:
The wonderful Donna Laframboise sets Mr Obama right:
Oh, for heaven's sake. If the President of the United States is going to lecture people about the science of climate change, could someone on his staff do a bit of homework beforehand?The fact that snow is conspicuously absent from some of the venues at the Vancouver winter Olympics was held up by President Obama yesterday as evidence that global warming is, in fact, occurring. Responding to a question, the President declared:
I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn't mean that every place is getting warmer…But...Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees… [bold added]
Excuse me, but I happen to not only live here in Canada, but to have had family and friends who resided for years in or near the breathtakingly gorgeous (not to mention murderously expensive) city of Vancouver.I know, therefore, that they don't own many winter coats in that part of our vast country - and that mowing their lawns is a perfectly ordinary February activity. Vancouver's weather is much like Seattle's and, as a friend of mine who lives in the American city mentioned this week, her daffodils have begun to bloom.
You can read her full post here.
The long, hard winter looks like dragging on into March. And if the bitter winds carry on for the next two weeks, there is a very good chance that this winter will turn out to be the coldest across the UK since 1929.The National Trust reports that spring flowers have been set back by up to four weeks compared with recent years, although they expect that when some decent warmth arrives it could unleash a huge burst of flowering.In the latest outbreak of wintry weather, heavy snow swamped much of the South West, Wales, the Midlands and parts of East Anglia, with the threat of ice on those roads not covered with snow. There’s a risk of a similar snowfall returning on Monday, stretching from the M4 corridor across Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia and parts of the North.These snowfalls have come from a collision of wet, mild, Atlantic air smashing into freezing colder air stuck over northern parts of Britain. This stems from a problem that has plagued much of this winter — the weather patterns have become blocked and sent the jet stream running south.This wind runs a few miles high and marks the battlefront between Arctic air and tropical air, and usually lies close to the UK during winter, delivering mild but wet weather. This winter, though, bitterly cold air from the Arctic thrust down into Europe and sent the jet stream off-course.And the same happened in the eastern US, where the bitter cold has produced monster-sized snowfalls that have set new records in many places.While much of Europe, North America and Asia have shivered, other places have been ridiculously warm. Just like squeezing a balloon, mild air has shifted to other regions such as Vancouver, where the Winter Olympics are in dire trouble with incredibly warm weather, heavy rains and fog.The blame for this mess is partly thanks to El Niño, the warming of the tropical seas of the Pacific, which causes a huge upheaval in weather patterns across much of the globe. [Though as I understand it, the current El Niño reached its peak some seven weeks ago, and the values for the anomaly has since "dropped like a stone." Garth]This current El Niño is fairly powerful, and has swept warm air across Alaska and the West Coast of Canada, which is why Vancouver broke its record for the warmest January. Even the UK has caught the turmoil from El Niño, despite being thousands of miles away. Warm air from El Niño shot up into the stratosphere and shunted a surge of cold air from the Arctic down across the Continent and the UK this month.Despite the snow and recent rain, this winter could turn out to be one of the driest on record, based on Met Office figures up to February 15. Although snowfalls through January and February were often heavy, they did not amount to much in terms of rainfall. Even showers forecast next week will not substantially change the average rainfall for the whole winter.SOURCE
From Greenie Watch