Thursday, March 28, 2013

Climate change: if in doubt, photoshop

snowploughs ukr.jpg

The German media (such as here) is having great fun with the municipality of Kiev. It has recently been stricken with record snowfalls, invoking a flood of complaints about the lack of snow clearing.

In response to the complaints, the administration on 26 March posted on its website a glorious photograph of three of its snowploughs, clearing the streets to let the traffic through (above).

Spotted by Facebook user Jaroslaw Debeli, though, there were slight problems with the photo. It came not from Kiev, capital of Ukraine on 26 March, but from Moscow on 29 November 2012. In an attempt to conceal its identity, Russian license plates and other telltale detail had been digitally obscured.

Despite this, a spokesthing for the city government dismissed the image as a "technical error". The web administrator responsible "was probably tired because he had been working non-stop for several days", the spokesthing said.

Clearly the British authorities could learn from this. Complaints of failure to clear snow can so easily be addressed by posting photos of successful snow clearance from other eras.

After all, since Dr Viner told us that snow was "a thing of the past", this snow cannot be here. It must be virtual snow, in which case virtual snowploughs are the obvious answer.