So it appears that Arctic ice isn't vanishing after all
There was some coverage of the chaos caused in central and southern China by their heaviest snowfalls for decades - but little attention was paid to the snow that last week carpeted Jerusalem, Damascus and Amman, none of them exactly used to Dickensian Christmas card weather.
Similarly, Saudis last month expressed amazement at their heaviest snow for many years, in Afghanistan snow and freezing weather killed 120 people and large parts of the United States and Canada have been swept by unusually fierce blizzards.
If the northern hemisphere's chilliest winter in a long time was bad news for
the propagandists of global warming, they also had to face serious questions
about some of the most iconic images used to support the claims that the world
is heating up towards disaster.
Last autumn the BBC and others could scarcely contain their excitement in reporting that the Arctic ice was melting so fast there would soon be none left.
This body is committed to warmist orthodoxy and contributes to the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet its graph of northern hemisphere sea ice area, which shows the ice shrinking from 13,000 million sq km to just 4 million from the start of 2007 to October, also shows it now almost back to 13 million sq km.
A second graph, "Global Ice Area", shows a similar pattern repeated every year since satellite records began in 1979; while a third, "Southern Hemisphere Ice", shows that sea ice has actually expanded in recent years, well above its 30-year mean.
Still more inconvenient was the truth about an image that has been relentlessly exploited to promote this panic over the "vanishing" Arctic ice. It is the photograph of two polar bears standing forlornly on the fast-melting remains of an iceberg which has been reproduced thousands of times to show that there will soon be no bears left (ignoring evidence that their numbers have risen recently).
Now, thanks to a Canadian journalist, Carole Williams (on NewsWithViews.com), we can read the story behind this picture, which was taken in 2004 just off Alaska by a marine biologist, Amanda Byrd. As Ms Byrd is happy to point out, the bears were in no danger so close to the coast (they can swim 100 miles). She wanted a photograph more of the "wind-sculpted ice" than of the bears.
The image was copied by another member of the crew and passed on to Environment Canada. Then it was eagerly adopted by the warmist propaganda machine - above all by Al Gore, who used it to powerful effect as an emotive backdrop to his highly lucrative lectures.
"Their habitat is melting," he likes to declaim, "beautiful animals, literally being forced off the planet."
As the old joke has it, it seems those famous bears were not drowning after all, they were just waving. But the BBC is no more likely to tell us that than it was to lead the news with last week's snow in Jerusalem.
Brussels steps in - to stop a wind farm
A delightful row has blown up in Scotland over the plan to erect 181 600ft wind turbines on the Hebridean island of Lewis.
For years we have been told how this largest onshore windfarm in Britain was going to help the UK to meet its now mandatory EU target to produce 20 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 - even though the 200 megawatts of electricity the turbines would intermittently produce represents only a quarter of the output of a modest-sized gas-fired power station.
But the £500 million scheme, which would involve building 100 miles of new roads, has aroused vehement opposition not only from the majority of the island's inhabitants but from an array of conservation bodies, led by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
They are horrified at the immense damage this vast industrial installation would do to wildlife over a huge area of specially-designated peatland, not least to Scotland's largest population of golden eagles.
Now the "Scottish government" (as it likes to call itself), which was shortly expected to give the go-ahead to this scheme, has been told by the European Commission that this would be in serious breach of various EU environmental directives.
So, on one hand, the EU exhorts us to build thousands more giant turbines, as the only way to fulfil our environmental obligations on renewable energy.
On the other, when a highly unpopular project is proposed to do just that, the EU turns round to say that this would be so environmentally damaging that, if the project goes ahead, the UK could face a colossal fine from the European Court of Justice.
If anyone suggests that, under the EU, you cannot win, who could disagree?
Tory MEP is hoist with his own canard
When smoking was banned in English pubs last July, many landlords realised that the only way to keep a good many of their customers was to install patio heaters.
As the Irish discovered when they introduced a smoking ban, the only pubs that didn't lose business were those that bought heaters, allowing smokers to continue their wicked habit in relative comfort outside. English publicans accordingly spent £85 million following suit.
But then up jumped Friends of the Earth to demand that, since these heaters give off carbon dioxide, they too should be banned. This naturally made a huge impression on the greenie Lib Dems, with the eventual result that last Thursday one of their MEPs moved a motion in the European Parliament calling on Brussels to ban patio heaters.
So imbued are MEPS with a priggish desire to save the planet that 526 voted for the ban, with only 26 against.
In a letter in next day's Daily Telegraph, a Tory MEP, Richard Ashworth, pointed out that the amount of carbon dioxide saved by banning patio heaters in the EU was only slightly less than the amount emitted every year by MEPs themselves, as they engage in the laborious farce of transferring the entire European Parliament every month from Brussels to Strasbourg.
Apart from the car, train and plane journeys of the MEPs, this involves a convoy of some 60 trucks trundling 100 miles between the two cities and back again, loaded with trunks-full of parliamentary papers.
Mr Ashworth will doubtless have won plaudits from Telegraph readers reading his letter over the marmalade, for such a telling comment.
But any who then bothered to examine the list of those 526 MEPs who supported this absurd ban might have been surprised to see among them the name of Mr Ashworth.