As non-British TV viewers may have discerned, the whole of the United Kingdom is presently underwater. Something to do with that rising of the oceans that Barack Obama promised to reverse?
Mr Miliband says: "This winter is a one-in-250-year event" (yet it's nothing like as wet as 1929-30 if you count the whole of England and Wales, let alone Britain) and that "the science is clear". The chief scientist of the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, tells us "all the evidence" suggests that climate change is contributing to this winter's wetness. (Why, then, did she allow the Met Office to forecast in November that a dry winter was almost twice as likely as a wet winter?) Lord Stern, an economist, claimed that the recent weather is evidence "we are already experiencing the impact of climate change".
In fact, before the prophets of doom drowned out everyone else, the "consensus" was that flooding was nothing to do with "climate change":
Here's what the IPCC's latest report actually says: "There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale." Here's what a paper published by 17 senior IPCC scientists from five different countries said last month: "It has not been possible to attribute rain-generated peak streamflow trends to anthropogenic climate change over the past several decades..."
As for the organization Julia Slingo represents:
In 2012, the Met Office agreed: "There continues to be little evidence that the recent increase in storminess over the UK is related to man-made climate change." So please will Lord Stern, Dame Julia and Mr Miliband explain why they are misleading the public about the science?
That's the question my old Telegraph colleague Matt Ridley asks in a London Times column headlined "The Sceptics Are Right. Don't Scapegoat Them". Mr Murdoch has paywalled it, but Down Under the invaluable Jo Nova has excerpted a few choice quotes:
In the old days we would have drowned a witch to stop the floods. These days the Green Party, Greenpeace and Ed Miliband demand we purge the climate sceptics. No insult is too strong for sceptics these days: they are "wilfully ignorant" (Ed Davey), "headless chickens" (the Prince of Wales) or "flat-earthers" (Lord Krebs), with "diplomas in idiocy" (one of my fellow Times columnists).
These wilfully ignorant flat-earthers with diplomas in idiocy are, of course, at odds with 97 per cent of the world's scientists:
That consensus, by the way, has never said that climate change will necessarily be dangerous. The oft-quoted 97 per cent agreement among scientists refers to the statement that man-made climate change happens, not to future projections. No climate change sceptic that I know "denies" climate change, or even human contributions to it. It's a lazy and unpleasant slur to say that they do.
Sceptics say it is not happening fast enough to threaten more harm than the wasteful and regressive measures intended to combat it. So far they have been right. Over 30 years, global temperature has changed far more slowly than predicted in 95 per cent of the models, and has decelerated, not accelerated. When the sceptic David Whitehouse first pointed out the current 15 to 17-year standstill in global warming (after only 18 to 20 years of warming), he was ridiculed; now the science establishment admits the "pause" but claims to have some post-hoc explanations.
By the way, what was the consensus at the start of that 18-to-20-year warming period? Ladies and gentlemen, from the 1978 version of James Cameron's forthcoming Years Of Living Dangerously, Mr Leonard Nimoy:
Climate experts believe the next Ice Age is on its way.
For Years Of Living Dangerously, Dr Michael E Mann has been signed as scientific advisor to celebrity climate correspondent Jessica Alba. I'm not sure if he's also served as Leonard Nimoy's personal "climate expert", but, if so, perhaps he could boldly go where no Mann has gone before and ask Mr Spock to admit he was wrong. Warm me up, Scotty!
(Vulcan doom-mongering via Steve Hayward)
~Speaking of my forthcoming trial, my old boss Conrad Black, who's also been on the receiving end of American "justice", delivers a few thoughts on the republic's jurists. His observation on the Delaware judge who "feeds on the sycophantic laughter of counsel and their clients appearing before him" reminded me that one of the most repulsive sounds in the world is that of fawning attorneys chortling over the lame witticisms of the guy on the bench. Conrad's recollection of Richard Posner, an over-venerated appellate judge, reminded me immediately of how astonished I was upon listening to the audio transcript of his hearing in the Black case:
When we first appeared before Posner, he seemed not even to have read our papers, and much of his fatuous judgment that would soon be shredded by the high court was a description, in reference to the so-called Ostrich Rule, of the habits of the ostrich.
Ha-ha. Hilarious, your honor. At least for those who don't have years in the slammer riding on your musing.
Posner struck me as a vain preening third-rate vaudeville act who seems to find actually grasping the basics of the case beneath him. And he's supposedly one of the smart ones - which nobody ever said about my slapdash judge, Combs Greene, in DC. Americans' unwarranted reverence for the judiciary is unbecoming of a free people.
~Just a reminder that, unlike the auld sodden sod across the Atlantic, we're trying to keep our heads above water. If you'd like to help fund the upcoming trial of the century, I hope you'll consider a visit to the Steyn store, where personally autographed copies of all my books are available, as well as our new SteynOnline gift certificates, which are doing a lot of the heavy lifting on the expenses of this case.