Monday, January 4, 2016

What's causing all this bizarre weather?

What's causing all this bizarre weather? The answer, at least on my side of the Atlantic, seems to be: "Someone or something I happen not to like."

Britain, like the U.S. and, indeed, much of the world, had an unusual December. Balmy weather brought daffodils freakishly into flower where I live; a neighbor saw cherry trees in blossom. Further north, the unseasonable warmth was accompanied by floods, driving hundreds of people from their homes.

What triggered the floods? People on social media had several answers. Leftists blamed the Conservative government for spending too little on flood defenses. Euroskeptics blamed the EU's Water Framework Directive, which discouraged the dredging of rivers. Councilors in the afflicted areas blamed the Treasury for spending money in other parts of the country. People who dislike state bureaucracies blamed the colossally inefficient Environment Agency, which is supposed to be in charge of managing rivers. George Monbiot, one of Britain's leading radical journalists, blamed aristocrats for draining their grouse moors upstream of the stricken towns.

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