On Tuesday this week, the high temperature in Ballyhaise, County Cavan, clocked in at 16 degrees Fahrenheit. As Head forecaster Gerald Fleming told the Irish Times, "That's the lowest daily maximum ever recorded in Ireland, which makes it the coldest day ever recorded in Ireland."
This new low did not shock the Irish. They have been getting used to sub-freezing temperatures. This is the coldest December on record in Ireland and throughout much of Northern Europe. It is likely the snowiest as well. The weather has thoroughly disrupted European travel and is starting to damage the economy.
Not all winters are like this. I saw no snow the year I lived in Ireland in the early 1990s, and in the early 1980s, during the winter I spent in France-Nancy to be precise-the temperature never dropped below freezing, even at night.
For old time's sake, I have been tracking the weather reports out of Europe. Yet in all that I have read in the mainstream European press, I have seen no attempt to reconcile the present cold with the promised heat, not even to chalk the flagrant disparity up to "climate change." It is as if the reader is not supposed to notice.
But many do. The blogs and editorial letters boil over with outrage. Writes one not atypical letter writer in the UK, "Snowfall, ice, Arctic-level cold and all the rest have caused major disruption to the UK infrastructure in the last few weeks, not least because our gilded civil servants have been looking in the wrong direction. And they still are. . . . The country is grinding to a halt NOW, and they are still prattling about global warming in the period 2030 to 2100? These people are truly off their trolleys. They are seriously mentally ill."
The Europeans are learning what we have always known, as Michael Savage might put it, "Liberalism is a mental disorder."