Christmas vacation is over and it's time to go back to work, and to resume blogging.
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and to those who were able to spend the holiday in the bosom of their extended family - you have my deepest sympathy.
I won't have time to put anything other than this up today due to some end-of-year work issues, but I couldn't let this go by without sharing it. This is from the Telegraph and is by Christopher Booker:
Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.
The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts" , reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation" , reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".
Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.
First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.
Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.
Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).
Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.
Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades, harsh reality at last began to break in on those self-deluding dreams which have for so long possessed almost every politician in the western world. As we saw in this month's Poznan conference, when 10,000 politicians, officials and "environmentalists" gathered to plan next year's "son of Kyoto" treaty in Copenhagen, panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for "combating climate change" with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.
Suddenly it has become rather less appealing that we should divert trillions of dollars, pounds and euros into the fantasy that we could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent. All those grandiose projects for "emissions trading", "carbon capture", building tens of thousands more useless wind turbines, switching vast areas of farmland from producing food to "biofuels", are being exposed as no more than enormously damaging and futile gestures, costing astronomic sums we no longer possess.
As 2009 dawns, it is time we in Britain faced up to the genuine crisis now fast approaching from the fact that – unless we get on very soon with building enough proper power stations to fill our looming "energy gap" - within a few years our lights will go out and what remains of our economy will judder to a halt. After years of infantile displacement activity, it is high time our politicians – along with those of the EU and President Obama's US – were brought back with a mighty jolt into contact with the real world.
I have said before that global warming is the most effective hobgoblin that the left has ever invented to terrorize the masses into surrendering their wealth and liberty. I have gone on to say that it will not be abandoned, no matter what the actual science says, until a new hobgoblin is contrived.
It is possible that our politicians will see the current global recession as just that hobgoblin and we will soon see the increasingly fragile global warming house of cards collapse once and for all.
This would be a very good thing since the earth is probably entering a protracted cooling period which will see shorter growing seasons and a reduction in arable land. This will result in food shortages and increasing prices for agricultural products and sharp increases in the demand for energy as people try to keep warm.
The measures which were/are being proposed to combat the fantasy of global warming would dramatically increase the cost of energy while just as dramatically decreasing its supply. This would be a recipe for disaster on a global scale. Famine weakens the population's resistance to disease and creates a fertile ground for pandemics (Black Plague got a foothold in Europe only after lower temperatures reduced the food supply and led to widespread hunger).
A few moments thought will reveal what a dangerous mix this is even for the advanced nations of the West. How hard will it be for the Unites States to control its southern border when Mexicans see the US as not a good job or a welfare check but as the only refuge from starvation and plague?
How will Europe, which is already being overrun by Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, cope with even greater numbers of even more destitute - and radical - and possibly diseased - refugees? Will the EU be able to refuse them entrance when so many European nations are already infested with so many of their brethren who have already demonstrated a propensity for violent rioting when denied any whim?
It would be a marvelous example of the providence of God if the current financial troubles hit us at exactly the right time to derail the global warming juggernaut before it could send the world into another dark age.