That’s Gotta Hurt

Daily Best of the Web   —   Posted on February 19, 2014

The following is an excerpt from’s “Best of the Web” written by the editor, James Taranto.

image1305That’s Gotta Hurt 
“However, Alexander Martinkevich, deputy director of Belarus’ High Technologies Park (HTP), said no Belarusian software companies took part in developing the system. ‘If we did, it would work from the first day of its launch,’ Martinkevich said in an email.”–Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon, Feb. 12

Tennis Anyone?
BBC headline: “Met Office: Evidence ‘Suggests Climate Change Link to Storms.’ ” (The Met Office is Britain’s equivalent of the National Weather Service.)

The first paragraph supports the headline: “Climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months, the Met Office’s chief scientist has said.”

But the second paragraph equivocates: “Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was ‘no definitive answer’ to what caused the storms.”

The third and fourth paragraphs switch back: ” ‘But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,’ she added. ‘There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events.’ “

The fifth paragraph gives us the short-term trend: “More than 130 severe flood warnings–indicating a threat to life–have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012.”

Well, OK, but every time we joke that it’s freezing out so global warming must be a myth, some pedant points out that weather isn’t climate. That of course is true; the gag is that the global warmists frequently elide the distinction in fair weather.

Skip down a paragraph and we get a superlative claim: “Speaking ahead of the launch of a Met Office report–produced by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology–into recent climatic events, Dame Julia said the UK had seen the ‘most exceptional period of rainfall in 248 years.’ “

But as noted above, it hardly rained at all in 2012. An outlier isn’t a trend–as the BBC report notes in the next paragraph:

Unsettled weather at this time of year was not unexpected–but the prolonged spell of rain, as well as the intensity and height of coastal waves, was “very unusual.”

“We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this,” she said. “We have seen some exceptional weather. We can’t say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional.” . . .

“The attribution of these changes to anthropogenic [caused by humans] global warming requires climate models of sufficient resolution to capture storms and their associated rainfall,” it says.

The bottom line seems to be that the science isn’t settled after all.

[The excerpt above is from the Feb. 11 BOTW archives.] For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”