Three non-Brexit articles in the MSM grabbed my attention this week – on ‘climate’ and on drugs.
Anyone reliant on BBC for their information would have little doubt that the ‘unprecedented’ hot weather is down to unprecedentedly rapid climate change. This is turn is due to either ‘losing’ the Gulf Stream that normally brings us winds and wet from the West altogether, or that it has irrevocably veered southwards.
They’d also think that the daily weather was a reliable indicator of climate change. And if they were now wondering why the normal thunderstorms had arrived to break this hot summer spell (perhaps the Gulf Stream suddenly resuming its rightful place?), they’d find the BBC rather silent on that matter, suggesting a mere pause before the storm – ie inevitable warming.
For Roger Harrabin and the rest of the hot air team at the BBC and the Met Office, this heatwave is unquestionable proof that we are in the grip of man-made global warming. By deduction we must therefore accept that weather is a daily measure of climate change – the two terms ‘weather’ and ‘climate’ now being interchangeable. I am only surprised that the ‘weather’ forecast has not already been recast as the daily ‘climate’ forecast.
So it was some relief to find Christopher Booker letting some hot air out of this particular balloon in the Daily Mail last week.
For anyone with climate alarmist friends still in their address book, his article contains plenty of conversation-stopping facts to put them right:
One – we have not so far seen anything to equal the 101.3F (38.5C) recorded near Faversham, Kent, on August 10, 2003.
Two – the reliability of the measures is up for question anyway as readings are distorted by the ‘urban heat island effect’, which can exaggerate temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius or more.
Three – this kind of summer heat is far from unprecedented. The UK has the longest-running set of temperature data in the world, the Central England Temperature Record (CET) going back to 1659. June of this year was in fact only the 18th warmest June in more than 350 years, the hottest being as long ago as 1846.
So there, I would say if I was still under 12.
For his breath of fresh air you can read the whole article here.
Another voice of common and scientific sense that came as a blessed relief was Patrick Cockburn’s in the Independent.
He asked: Why do we so consistently underplay the links between cannabis and psychosis? He is one of a small band of brothers calling out the ‘deniers’ we should be worrying about – the cannabis risk deniers. As I have argued myself (endlessly) cannabis is not a benign drug and is already coming at a high public health cost to us.
The metrosexual elite and legalising lobby has been so busy praising Home Secretary Sajid Javid for relaxing the law on the prescription of medical cannabis that no one has stopped to ask how efficacious a low THC-based drug can be, exactly what THC levels are needed to make it work for the epileptic children it is sought for, or the attendant risks for them. Given that the higher the THC content, the higher the risks of psychosis and other negative health outcomes, this is a curious omission.
This is broadly the starting point for Cockburn, whose son was tipped into madness by cannabis. It was as a journalist that he set out to investigate his son’s descent into psychosis. What he found was an astonishing history of medical indifference to cannabis risks and harms, and more recently cumulative and irrefutable evidence of the causal link with psychosis. For him the depressing aspect of the present debate ‘is that so many proponents of legalisation or decriminalisation have clearly not taken on board that the causal link between cannabis and psychosis has been scientifically proven over the past ten years, just as the connection between cancer and cigarettes was proved in the late 1940s and 1950s’.
If you remain in any doubt about this verdict, the article will be an eye-opener for you. I only hope that Mr Javid takes time to read it. For as Cockburn points out, the current debate engendered by the Billy Caldwell case misses the main point, which is that regardless of the merits and failings of prohibition, ‘the legalisation of cannabis legitimises it and sends a message that the government views it as relatively harmless’.
The further problem, he goes on, is that ‘these rancorous but sterile’ arguments divert attention from what should and can be done: a sustained campaign to persuade people of all ages that cannabis can send them insane. Quite so. And everything else it can do too – continued addiction and reduced IQ, employability prospects and competence at life management.
Anyone who is unaware of the powerful commercial interests behind the case of Billy Caldwell and others or who thinks that this cannabis legalising push is purely about medicinal needs could read Sophie Borland’s report in the Mail too. It confirms Cockburn’s view – if it were needed – that commercialisation of cannabis holds as many dangers as criminalisation.