In a news story on March 20, 2000, “Snow falls are now just a thing of the past”, the UK’s Independent newspaper reported:
Sledges, snowmen, snowballs ... are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters—which scientists are attributing to global climate change—produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries ... According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event ... Children just aren’t going to know what snow is”.
This millenarian prediction from the world’s most prominent climate research centre was a dud. When the news story appeared ten years ago, an unanticipated pause in global warming was already taking place, and global warming has not resumed since then. On January 7, 2010, a NASA satellite photographed the UK covered entirely by a blanket of snow. The published photograph shows the familiar shape of the map of England, Scotland and Wales, frozen white, and set in an ocean of dark blue silk, with the edges partly obscured by wisps of cloud. In the winter just ending, Britain underwent yet another winter of heavy snowfalls. On November 29 the Independent had a story headed, “Cold comfort for a Britain stuck in a deep freeze”.
With Julia Gillard’s sudden switch to support for a carbon price, Australia in 2013 could be the first country to hold an election with anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as the pivotal issue. If Tony Abbott is still Opposition Leader he will see an emissions trading scheme (ETS), or carbon tax, as a target that is as vulnerable as John Hewson’s GST proposal in 1993. At that time Abbott was Hewson’s press secretary, and Hewson was “cooked slowly” by Paul Keating in a protracted election campaign.