Since 2023 was the hottest year ever and there’s more where it came from as we’re into the era of global boiling in the mouth of hell, or in António Guterres’ latest unbalanced rant “We are living through climate collapse in real time – and the impact is devastating”, it’s pretty obvious that winter is toast. After all “We have given Earth a fever” according to some trendy award-winning author you never heard of. Which leaves us wondering why schools in Cornwall and Devon, in balmy practically tropical southwest England, had to close as white stuff fell from sky. And what the heck the Weather Network was thinking telling us “Canada’s first -40 reading a harbinger of a frigid week to come”. Don’t they read UN press releases?
The BBC is up to the challenge. It reported “Coldest November night in 13 years for parts of UK” with more to come. “On Aonach Mor in the Scottish Highlands, it was a bitter -8C (18F).” Bitter. Moreover:
“Snow has fallen across Scotland and east England, as far south as Norfolk…. Freezing fog is making travel treacherous in parts of the Midlands, north-west England and Northern Ireland, and could develop elsewhere.”
Probably you should blame the Danelaw or some such. The Beeb explains that:
“The current blasts of cold air are coming from Scandinavia where people are experiencing near-record cold November weather.”
Why are they doing such a thing? It’s pretty bad:
“the UK Health Security Agency has issued an amber cold-health alert for the health sector for northern regions of England, meaning ‘significant impacts are probable’. The amber alert indicates that the cold weather is likely to affect the whole health service, with the potential for the entire population to be at risk, the agency says.”
And it adds that “Typically, November temperatures are 6C to 10C, making this spell particularly unseasonal.” Not climate-related, you understand. Just “unseasonal”. Whereas let it be warm in January and you know exactly what they’ll say.
Now we know, it’s just a regional blip, sort of like the Little Ice Age. Mind you NBC did report “More than 40 inches of snow blankets the Northeast as arctic blast sweeps the country”. But naturally the story did not contain one single instance of the word “climate”. Nor did any scientists say. Though it did mention that:
“Wednesday morning was also the coldest of the season so far for much of the East Coast, including as far south as Florida, with New York City reaching the frosty upper 20s…. freeze-related advisories are in place from the Florida Panhandle to south Georgia as temperatures may dip again Thursday morning to near or below the freezing mark, which could damage or kill sensitive crops, the weather service warned.”
And here we thought warming was the big threat to farming. Has someone been peddling fibs?
Alaska also set some daily snowfall records in November on its way to its snowiest month of November “ever”, a term journalists use to mean “in the very recent past”. But it wasn’t just the English-speaking world. Central Europe saw flight and rail chaos due to snow from Munich to Zurich. And as if things weren’t already bad enough further east, ABC reports that:
“A weekend storm that pounded the Black Sea region toppled trees, tore down power lines and flooded coastal areas of southern Russia and Ukraine, leaving more than a half-million people without power Monday, officials and media reports said. The Moscow region, meanwhile, was blanketed with snow that piled drifts up to 25 centimeters (almost 10 inches), three times heavier than normal, the Tass news agency said. The storms were part of a weather system that created blizzard-like conditions in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia on Sunday, dumping snow and causing power outages and fatal traffic accidents.”
Again, literally not one instance of the word “climate” in the story. Or “scientist”. Or “expert”. But when it’s warm, they always seem to flip through the Rolodex for some expert to opine that while you can’t link individual events to climate, this one is certainly because of it.
For instance “Climate change brings death, violence to Uganda’s Karamoja/ In Karamoja, an arid region in northern Uganda where nomadic herding tribes struggle for access to water, climate change is causing increasingly frequent droughts and last year at least 900 people died of starvation due to meager harvests.” Or when it rains before snowing and “Torrential downpours this week could be an early signal of a climatic weather shake-up, experts warn.”
We do want to give credit, of a perverse sort, to Reuters for reporting that “Temperatures in Siberia dip to minus 56 Celsius as record snow blankets Moscow” because it did then mention climate. As in “Temperatures of minus 50 C have become less common in recent years because of climate change, with permafrost showing increasing signs of thawing.” So climate change is causing warming even when it’s unbelievably cold.
Meanwhile GB News blithely warned that “The winter of 2023 is poised to potentially be the hottest on record, in the wake of an already sweltering summer and warm fall.” On Dec. 1, the same day the Telegraph alerted readers that “UK weather: Temperatures plummeted to -10C as new snow and ice warnings issued”.
Here in Canada we’re told:
“Chilly nights and snow-covered slopes may not be easy to come by in much of Canada during the first part of the winter season, according to the winter outlook from one of Canada’s prominent forecasters. The Weather Network predicts El Niño conditions will lead to above-average temperatures and lower-than-normal precipitation levels in much of the country, particularly in Western and Central Canada.”
The weird thing is that actually, in Ottawa at least, we’ve pretty much had snow on the ground throughout November.
And that business with the -40°C “polar vortex”. Ah well. Probably just autumn weather.
Interestingly, after warning of a brown Christmas in Western Canada, “Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network… predicted, is that temperatures in cities like Toronto and Montreal will likely average out to be near seasonal norms.” Gosh. And here we thought it was the hottest year ever. Or was that just talk?
P.S. For lucky locals, Hydro Ottawa mentions that it gets cold in winter and “That’s why we’ve curated a set of practical tips tailored to help tenants stay warm and cozy without breaking the bank.” Aaargh. Curated. Besides, how exactly turning down the thermostat meets the first goal isn’t obvious. Maybe moving to a planet with runaway warming would be a better plan.