December 27, 2012

THE BIG FREEZE: Cold Weather Across Europe, Asia Kills Hundreds.

Cold weather in the past few days has sadly gone from severe to deadly. While unusually high snowfall has disrupted the travel plans of millions of Americans, freezing temperatures have taken the lives of hundreds of people from Central Europe to South Asia. The BBC reports that in Poland, 49 people have died; in Ukraine, 83; in Russia, 88; and in India, at least 93. The majority of those dead are the elderly and the homeless.

Besides being an obvious tragedy for many across the world, this is a reminder that “weather” is not “climate,” unless it suits the needs of environmental hotheads to claim that it is. When there’s a hot spell or a dry spell or a wet spell that can somehow be connected with the climate change narrative, the media resounds with panicky warnings. But when people die of frostbite in Punjab and temperatures hit -58F in Russia, the silence of the alarmists is deafening.

In the past few years we’ve seen climate change blamed for hot weather, for floods and for droughts. It’s been blamed for both the presence and the absence of storms. It’s been blamed for excessive snow as well as for the absence of snow. We don’t blame the smart greens for these recurring epidemics of media foolishness, but we wish they did more to focus the public discussion on practicalities and realities.

For the record, Via Meadia accepts the scientific evidence pointing to rising temperatures around the world. But we remain deeply skeptical that the nostrums proposed by green activists offer much in the way of practical steps, and the more green policies we see that fail due to ‘unexpected’ complications the less confidence we have.

More significantly, we’ve seen how the press selectively conflates weather and climate to advance a predetermined narrative. As they do in so many areas. I think it’s because they’re insufficiently diverse, like the all-white New York Magazine.