Environment: Global Warming
Photo from The Telegraph
No matter how many times you tell the yobbos that weather is just a subset of climate, they don't get it, of course. Loud and raucous is their laughter as they, for example, point to conditions in the UK today. Agence France Presse (AFP) is reporting that last night, temperatures in the UK fell to -22C, which is approximately -8F. Pretty fucking cold, says your friendly neighbourhood Cat. In case there's anyone out there who doesn't know, cats prefer warmth, at all times.
You can bet your hairy ass this Cat does not like temperatures below, oh, at very worst, let's say in the 50s, Fahrenheit. I remember standing right in Trafalgar Square, with my hand in that very same fountain, back when the fountain's contents were closer to liquid than the very solid appearance in that picture.
And another thing you can bet your hairy ass on: the day won't come when I go swimming like Jocko here.
Photo from The Telegraph
Srsly, why the fuck is this man not some cyan shade of fucking blue? Does anyone know? In case you hadn't guessed, the fool is chipping chunks of ice out of his swimming hole to make more room for other would-be swimmers. Fuckin' loon.
If you're wondering what these temperatures mean, suffice it to say that hundreds of flights from the UK have been scrapped, leaving some very angry passengers — or, perhaps, grateful, given the weather conditions — stranded. Hundreds of Eurostair trains scheduled between London and Paris have also been cancelled.
UK authorities are calling this the coldest winter in 30 years. Britain is rationing both LNG (for heating) and salt for keeping the roads clear, as more cold weather is expected.
Meanwhile, in Norway, temperatures are at -42C (that's approximately -43 Fahrenheit) in some places.
In Poland, some 139 people have died from the cold since November, mostly homeless alcoholics.
Germany is expecting 15 inches of fresh snow plus gale force winds over the weekend, giving rise to warnings about impassable roads.
Temperatures in France are below freezing in some cities, notably Aurillac, and Arles, in the south, has seen about a foot of snow take down power lines, leaving some 15,000 people without electricity — and, no doubt, very, very cold.
Spain is on alert for fresh snowfall, strong winds, and freezing temperatures, and in southern Andalusia, floods.
China is also bracing for additional freezing weather, with Beijing seeing the heaviest snowfall in six decades, and the lowest temperatures since 1971 (that's nearly four decades) this week, reports BusinessWeek. Temperatures in the city of Mohe, Heilongqiang province, are around -37F. Beijing is at a balmy 8F. Balmy for them, anyway. No cat would consider that a balmy temperature without an additional digit.
Meanwhile, three days ago, the Guardian reports, an earthquake and a tsunami combined to leave homeless one-third of the population of Rendova, part of the Solomon Islands. Two hundred homes were destroyed by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which was followed by waves up to 10 feet high. Relief efforts are under way. Terrible, really. Fortunately, they don't have freezing cold weather to deal with. Coastal dwellers, especially those living in earthquake country, expect more of these events as the globe continues to warm.
Five days ago, the Guardian reports, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake left 20,000 in Tajikistan homeless. Tajikistan is a very poor region of central Asia, and many houses have been damaged, and roads blocked. It is not clear whether relief operations are taking place.
In Brazil, also five days ago, floods killed some 76 people, and mudslides are occurring all over the southern states from heavy rain, also as reported in the Guardian.
USA Toady (no typo) is reporting that temperatures in the midwestern states of the U.S. are expected to drop to -50F. That is some fucking balls-climbing-back-into-your-abdomen cold weather, folks.
Snow and ice are expected in the south, too, from South Carolina to Louisiana. Even Florida is expecting near-freezing nighttime temperatures, although orange growers assure us that the nation's favourite juice crop isn't threatened. With lizards falling out of the trees, this sort of assurance simply makes us at La Casa de Los Gatos go "Humph." Airports in the Chicago area have canceled 500 flights due to the weather. The message seems to be, "Don't travel unless you fucking have to."
So? Whadya think, people? Global warming? Climate change? Or more evidence that there is a nasty old man in the sky who fucking hates us all and is making our holiday season as miserable as he can manage?
Throw another cat on the bed, Matilda, I'm freezing!
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