Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 January 2010

Global warming chills the north

WHAT WOULD we do without some comic relief during this big freeze? Fortunately, we have Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker. In his column on 2 January, he attacked the Met Office: "The year 2007, it predicted, would be 'the warmest ever' - just before global tempratures plunged by more than the entire net warming of the 20th century."

Pete Mason

Ignore the misspelling - we can all struggle with the word 'temperature', even the elite educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, like Booker. But Booker could mislead his faithful readers - purely unintentionally, of course! - into thinking that 2007 turned out to be cold. 2007 was the second warmest year on record. It tied with 1998, while 2005 was the hottest on record. The year 2007 showed that the recent trend of record-breaking years has not abated. The Met Office's prediction (and it only said it was 'likely') was not so far off.

But, Booker protests - surely it should not snow if there is global warming? Yes, it can snow - it can snow a great deal. But he is not interested in the science.

What is happening to our weather? Why is there record flooding, snow falls, and hurricanes, let alone record heatwaves and droughts, leading to record crop failures and food prices?

When you heat up a planet the weather becomes stormier. Weather systems are more energetic. Relatively stable weather systems are displaced by more unstable ones - the rain no longer falls where it has fallen for centuries. Drought and crop failures follow. This might not greatly concern the wealthier readers of the Telegraph and journalists like Booker but it hits those with less disposable income much harder.

More water evaporates and falls as rain or snow, in great storms. Instead of reinvigorating the ground, flood water washes away the top soil, denuding fertile ground, while bringing death and destruction, particularly to low lying areas like Bangladesh.

The recent cold weather is due to an unusual shift in weather systems which prevented the prevailing winds, usually flowing over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, from warming our islands. Instead, the winds are greeting us via the Arctic Circle.

2007 marked the greatest loss of ice in the Arctic Circle on record - so far. A vicious circle has cut in. The loss of ice further warms the arctic waters. Not enough, of course, to unchill the British Isles. But it is accelerating the trend of arctic ice loss.

This has also accelerated the release of methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide - once trapped in the permafrost.

Now scientists say the icy melt water released from Greenland's ice sheets could shut off the Gulf Stream. Perhaps this decade or next, or maybe much later, the result could send the north Atlantic region into an ice age while the rest of the world slowly cooks.

Plenty of snow, then, is forecast, alongside global warming. Booker is wrong: global warming is a serious issue.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 13 January 2010:

Decent jobs - not slave labour

Protest against bankers' bonuses

Leeds City Council Future Jobs Fund is no solution

Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition

Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's leadership crisis - time for a new workers' party

Global warming chills the north

The real cost this winter

Iceland debt crisis: Make the 'dirt bags' pay!

No to County Council cuts in Warwickshire!

Fast news

Northern Ireland

Corruption scandal grips Northern Ireland

Socialist Party workplace news

Fujitsu workers say: "Enough is enough"

Signallers' strike spreads

Buses - privatisation means worse services

Teesside fight to save jobs

Twinings jobs meeting

Hospital workers battle on

Unison Witchhunt

Unison witch-hunt: Shock exposures at Employment Tribunal

Workplace Feature

Call centres: Union campaign makes important gains

Socialist Party international feature

Greece - on the edge of a volcano

International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka presidential elections: No to the two warmongers!

Israel: Instability, class polarisation and socialism

Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela


Hard chimes for Pompey


Home   |   The Socialist 13 January 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Global warming:

triangleTV Review: Apocalypse Cow

triangleTories look in wrong place for climate solutions

triangleStop climate change - fight for socialist change

triangleProfit system rapidly destroying environment

triangleExtinction Rebellion

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Young Socialists

Young Socialist day of action


Socialist Party

Campaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism


Black Lives Matter

North London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest



Engage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online


Socialist Party

Why I joined - Covid changed my outlook


Socialist Party

Socialist Party meetings: Online and in-person


Young Socialists

A-level results day 2020: Fight for our future!



GE Aviation workers march to save jobs



80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky rally



Fighting to end racism and capitalism



Doncaster: Vigil for murdered women


The Socialist

The Socialist summer schedule



Unite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts



Oppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed



Sick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020