Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The politics of snow

In common with just about everyone else, we've had large amounts of snow dumped on us over the last week or so. I haven't been able to get my car out, as it is garaged on a road with a very steep and, I might point out, ungritted, gradient. The upshot of this is that we've done our shopping locally (something which is fairly easy, as we live in a proper little town with all the day to day shops you might need), and I've spent more time indoors than I might otherwise have done. This has given me time to potter about, drink coffee, and think.

The climatologists are busy berating us ordinary folk at the moment, accusing us of confusing "weather" with "climate". Every time some newspaper columnist pops up and says, "what's happened to this global warming, then? I'm under six feet of snow!", s/he is accused of being a climate change denier, and the point is re-iterated that these cold blips have nothing to do with global warming, which is progressing nicely thanks to the use of fossil fuel that we are currently using to keep ourselves warm.

Okay. So this cold weather has nowt to do with climate change. But what if there is some other force at work? They say that 100% of statistics can be used to prove 75% of things 88% of the time, so perhaps you will not be surprised to learn that this current cold snap is due, not to cold fronts and all that stuff, but the the people we currently have in government. It's Labour's fault that we've had so much snow.

You don't believe me, do you? I don't blame you; I quite often wrong about things (so Mrs. H tells me). But I've done the maths, and I'm perfectly willing to share my findings with you.

Since January 1900, we've had fourteen political administrations. Of these, seven have been conservative, six labour and only one Liberal. The Tories have been in government for about 60 years and ten months since January 1900. During their terms of office, there have been fifteen winters described by the Met Office as "snowy", one winter "very snowy", and six White Christmases in London. So under the Conservatives we're likely to have a snowy winter every four years or so, a very snowy winter only once every sixty years, and a White Christmas every ten years or so. But thinking about it, the only really bad Conservative winter (1962/3) was under PM Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who was MP for Kinross and Western Perthshire in Scotland. The weather's pretty awful up there at the best of times. Perhaps he brought it with him.

How about Labour? What do they do to our winter weather? Well, they've been in office for about 31 years and 5 months, during which time there were eight "snowy" winters, two "very snowy" winters, and four White Christmases. So, with Labour you're looking at a snowy winter every 3.9 years (very similar to the Tories), a very snowy one every 15.75 years, and a White Christmas about every eight years. So perhaps Gordon Brown could stand for re-elction on the basis that you're more likely to get a White Christmas under his administration than under David Cameron's. But this year is likely to go down in history as "very snowy", which skews the figures somewhat, and means that under Labour we're likely to suffer a very snowy winter every ten and a half years!

But I'm forgetting the poor old Liberals. They were last in office in October 1922, having been in power for around 16 years and 10 months. During their era, there were four "snowy" winters, one "very snowy" winter, and two White Christmases. Curiously, this is close to a snowy winter every four years (just like the other parties), a very snowy one every 16 years, and a White Christmas about every eight years.

Now, I'm probably the least political person I know, and I realise that politics is about more than having to stock up with de-icer and firelighters. It's not for me to tell you who to vote for this year; I'm simply quoting the facts. If it's a White Christmas you're wanting (and don't we all love those, dear bloggy friend?) then there's nothing to choose between Labour and LibDem. Likewise, "snowy" winters are fairly evenly distributed amongst the parties (anyone would think there was some kind of conspiracy, wouldn't they? A bit like "paired voting" in the Commons!). The big difference comes when we look at the "very snowy" winters. Under Labour, we'd get one every ten years or so. The LibDems would see to it that, if they came to power this year, our next major snow fall would be in November 2026. But the safest party would seem to be the Conservatives, with a really bad winter only every sixty years.

So, not for the first time, I ask, "what am I on about?" This is the bottom line, I'm afraid: Every time we get a really bad winter, we whack up the central heating and produce more of those greenhouse gases. Statistics show that, under a Labour administration, we're six times more likely to get snowed in and, therefore, six times more likely to burn more of those naughty fossil fuels. If we want to cut down on our production of CO2 - vote Conservative! You know it makes sense. Possibly...

11 comments:

Stevyn Colgan said...

Perfectly rational, sane, logical and not at all in the slightest way the ravings of a small bearded maniac. How are the voices?

chris hale said...

Very loud today, thanks for asking. Now, where did I put that gnu...

Derrick said...

Hi Chris,

I reckon the political parties will be beating a path to your door (if the snow's cleared)to enlist your services for all manner of statistical analysis. You could start a trend; how about sunny summers? Now that might be a vote winner!

rallentanda said...

Scary!

chris hale said...

Derrick - I'm on it!

Rallentanda - Isn't it just!

rallentanda said...

I meant you scallywag!

chris hale said...

Rallentanda - Oh! Ah! Um...OK...

Ivy Black said...

Well, I'm convinced! I'm voting Monster Raving Looney this year...

chris hale said...

Ivy - Excellent! I bet with them it'd be summer every day. Avoid Moody Blues singer Justim Hayward. With him it'd be "Forever Autumn".

Raph G. Neckmann said...

It would be interesting to see what the statistics are in other areas of planet Earth too!

chris hale said...

Raph - It surely would! Perhaps I should look at why Australia is so dry and sunny, and why rainforests have so much...rain! And do our own very tall African Giraffes have their own microclimate all those feet up in the air?