Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pointing in the wrong direction

Given a choice between a heatwave in southern Australia, which is reckoned to have cost the lives of 19 people, and a severe ice storm in mid-Western USA, killing at least 42 people and leaving 1.3 million without power, which story would you run?

Well, for the warmist Telegraph, that is a no-brainer. You run not one, nor two but three stories on Australia in quick succession, making sure all your readers are told that this is the "worst heatwave in more than 150 years", where the temperature has climbed to 43°C for three successive days in Melbourne, about 7°C less than a typical summer in southern Iraq.

What you don't point out is that if it was hotter 150 years ago, then this pre-dates the infamous "global warming", concern for which drives this piece. Just for balance, though, you include two lines telling us, "In the southern areas of the United States, thousands of people were still stuck without power after terrible ice storms."

In those "southern areas" things are bad. In some parts of rural Kentucky, there is no water because the power supply to the water utilities has failed. About a million people were still without electric Friday, and small communities are frantically struggling to help their residents.

Some are asking people to evacuate their homes and head south to find shelter, with tiny Crittenden County housing about 9,000 people in emergency accommodation in the town's elementary school and other public buildings.

The fight to return power to Kentucky and other areas affected by the ice storm is difficult because of the sheer number of outages, but also because of the ice itself. Crews have joined the effort from around the country but, even as conditions ease, it gets worse. As ice is melting, power lines and tree limbs are springing upward and hitting other power lines.

Currently, reports indicate that there is no immediate relief in sight. In Kentucky alone, about 545,000 people are still without electricity, and 200,000 are without mains water systems, three days after the devastating ice storm hit the state.

The wider point, of course – which has been made several times on this blog – is that, between the notional (but non-existent) warming that the greenies are twittering about, and cooling, the latter is far more dangerous. Al Gore and his mate Jim Hansen, in diverting attention to what is increasingly looking like zero possibility, may be doing more damage than can possibly be imagined, by pointing in the wrong direction.