british-snow.jpg

All I Want for Christmas is for Al Gore to Go Somewhere Else

Britain is experiencing its coldest winter since record keeping began in 1910, with snow and ice closing London’s Heathrow airport and stranding half a million Christmas travelers, including your correspondent (I would like to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of some good friends).  

  1. Duane Oyen

    Yeah, our daughter called this afternoon, snickering about Heathrow- 9 centimeters of snow, and 23 degrees F, stop the world!

    Our airport closed last weekend because of the 17 inches of snow and 35 MPH wind gusts, but it was less than a day.

  2. J. C. Casteel
    George Savage

    .  ..However, like my friend I am concerned about the creeping zero-risk-tolerance mindset at work here.  Do you see this sort of attitude creeping into the US, or is the Atlantic Ocean protecting us from this latest threat from Europe?  ·

    In another recent thread I mentioned seeing Mike Rowe speak, and his observation that the trades had been denegrated in the U.S.  Another interesting point he made relates directly to this.  I think I can remember what he said well enough to quote: “I got a lot of heat from OSHA for saying this before, but I gotta say it.  Safety is not first.  Safety is second or maybe even third.  Getting the job done is first.”

  3. AmishDude

    From The (UK) Independent March 20, 2000:

    Snowfalls are a thing of the past.

    h/t Ace of Spades HQ

  4. outstripp

    Changing  times:

    The 1955 Le Mans disaster occurred during the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans when large parts of racing car debris, from a crash, flew into the crowd, killing many spectators. The driver (Pierre Levegh) was killed, as were 83 spectators. A further 120 people were injured in the accident. In terms of human toll, it is the most catastrophic accident in motorsports history.

    And the race went on …

  5. J. C. Casteel

    I worked for several years with the former head of the Ilinois State Police, who was part of a Marine tank crew that fought on Okinawa.  He told me more than one story I will never forget, but this one comes to mind:

    The crews in those days did most of the maintenance and repair on their own tanks.  Another guy and me were working on one of the treads of our tank when the brake slipped and the tank rolled back just a couple of inches.  My buddy held up his hand and said, “Huh, look at that”, showing me where the tread had pinched off the end of his ring finger right at the last joint.  He wrapped the stub in an oily rag and walked back to an aid station where a medic sewed up the end and put a bandage on it.  He came back in about an hour and went back to work on the tank.  That’s just the way we were.

  6. George Savage

    Amish Dude makes a great point.  From his link to the Independent:

    The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London’s last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.

    Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

    Not the best prediction, eh? I wonder if my inability to travel to the UK is related to a lack of investment in de-icing equipment because AGW theory made snowfall officially impossible.

  7. Underground Conservative

    The safety obsession is definitely here, and has been growing for a long time, especially in Portland.  We tend to blame it on the huge influx of Californians that occurred in the 1990′s (a non-scientific conclusion, admittedly), though we all know it’s a national phenomenon. Snow, in particular, is a pathological fear here now. My two favorite stories are the following: 15 years ago, a snowstorm was coming during the work day. Everyone was panicking, “Go home! Go home!”  Suddenly, thousands of people got in their cars and clogged the streets so badly, that they wound up sitting through the storm stuck in their cars in gridlock. Stuck for hours. The second one was not too long ago when the school districts closed school the day before a snowstorm was supposed to come…. it didn’t snow… everyone got a free day off.

    I’ve been out of the country in Russia which has no such inhibitions (to a fault, though).  I only missed one flight while I was there due to weather. Since I’ve returned, I can clearly tell that the safety obsession has only gotten worse in the 6 years I’ve been away.

  8. Underground Conservative

    And by the way, I’ve already seen the AGW flock defend the recent cold weather.  They still say that the year as a whole was one of the hottest ever. Until the penguin becomes our national bird, I don’t see them standing back.

  9. George Savage
    Dave Molinari: And by the way, I’ve already seen the AGW flock defend the recent cold weather.  They still say that the year as a whole was one of the hottest ever. Until the penguin becomes our national bird, I don’t see them standing back. · Dec 19 at 8:05pm

    Whatever the weather, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is just around the corner.  It is the non-disprovable hypothesis.

    Next time you meet an AGW enthusiast, ask what evidence would satisfactorily disprove or at least call into question the underlying hypothesis.  My bet is that he will splutter and obfuscate but finally be unable to answer.  

  10. Kenneth

    Here in Marin County, we call Meals on Wheels whenever the temperature drops below 60 degrees. 

  11. Stuart Creque

    The UK still leads the USA by a long ways in the risk avoidance bureaucratic sweepstakes:

    A girl fighting for her life after a car she was travelling in plunged into an ice-cold river was not rescued for almost two hours because health and safety rules prevented police from entering the water.
  12. Kenneth

    A girl fighting for her life after a car she was travelling in plunged into an ice-cold river was not rescued for almost two hours because health and safety rules prevented police from entering the water.

    Similar story out of Maryland.  A deer was struggling in an icy river.  The Fire Department and Maryland Natural Resources Police were on the scene, debating whether rescuing the deer was worth the risk.

    Two passers-by saw the deer and took an inflatable raft out of their van.  The police warned them not to go out into the river without life vests, but they went anyway.  After rescuing the deer, they were cited by police for not wearing flotation vests.

  13. Stuart Creque
    Kenneth

    Similar story out of Maryland.  A deer was struggling in an icy river.  The Fire Department and Maryland Natural Resources Police were on the scene, debating whether rescuing the deer was worth the risk.

    Two passers-by saw the deer and took an inflatable raft out of their van.  The police warned them not to go out into the river without life vests, but they went anyway.  After rescuing the deer, they were cited by police for not wearing flotation vests. · Dec 19 at 8:44pm

    That seems awfully petty of the cops.  However, the real question is whether they’d have behaved differently if it was a little girl and not a deer struggling in the water.  (I can understand the public policy rationale for discouraging human beings from risking death to save a wild creature.)

  14. Stuart Creque
    George Savage

    Whatever the weather, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is just around the corner.  It is the non-disprovable hypothesis.

    Next time you meet an AGW enthusiast, ask what evidence would satisfactorily disprove or at least call into question the underlying hypothesis.  My bet is that he will splutter and obfuscate but finally be unable to answer.   · Dec 19 at 8:25pm

    That’s because all the evidence is asymmetrically unidirectional: it can only support the AGW hypothesis but can never be cited to disprove it.

  15. ManBearPig
    Stuart Creque

    That seems awfully petty of the cops.  However, the real question is whether they’d have behaved differently if it was a little girl and not a deer struggling in the water.  (I can understand the public policy rationale for discouraging human beings from risking death to save a wild creature.) · Dec 19 at 9:00pm

    Shouldn’t the “public policy” be to let people die doing stupid things if they choose? I agree that saving a drowning girl is a moral imperative, but if two people want to risk their lives to save a deer, I say, good luck with that!

  16. Freeven
    George Savage: Next time you meet an AGW enthusiast, ask what evidence would satisfactorily disprove or at least call into question the underlying hypothesis.  My bet is that he will splutter and obfuscate but finally be unable to answer.

    I usually ask why, if man is the culprit, is there global warming on Mars? This typically prompts a change in subject.

  17. Stuart Creque
    Ryan Gaines

    Shouldn’t the “public policy” be to let people die doing stupid things if they choose? I agree that saving a drowning girl is a moral imperative, but if two people want to risk their lives to save a deer, I say, good luck with that! · Dec 19 at 9:33pm

    Maybe it should, but it’s not.  If it was, there wouldn’t be seat belt laws (at least, not for adults), but there would be a provision that someone who wasn’t wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash could be left on the roadside, or billed 100 percent for the cost of the accident response, or denied insurance cover if they haven’t paid a special premium for seat belt non-users.

    And by the way, what if the little girl was drowning because she went in to save some wild animal?

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