Boris Johnson, employing Anglo-Saxon rather than Latin for once

Fair enough to my colleague the Mayor of London: he gives as good as he gets. Pace the guys at Guido, I’m pretty sure that’s an F before the beep, not a T, but frankly, if someone’s yelling “scum” at you as you walk along, you’re really within your rights to call them anything you…

Is Hurricane Sandy the product of global warming?

[ooyala id=”VnYTNmNjrDtSiGl59m-5l1ZZhuDtIQNk” ] As Hurricane Sandy, perhaps the biggest storm in the history of the United States, draws closer to the Eastern Seaboard, there has been an inevitable outburst of the obvious question: has climate change caused it? The answer is no, or yes, or better yet “you’re asking the wrong question”. Imagine you have…

Poppies: a praiseworthy choice, not a moral obligation

Before writing this piece, I should say I am wearing a poppy. Sort of. It fell off, as they are wont to do, and I accidentally rolled over it in my office chair, but I’ve salvaged it and it’s sticking out of my jacket pocket. I’ll lose it in a few hours, though, so I’ll…

Shove your $5m, Donald Trump

Is there a bigger chump in the global public eye than Donald Trump? The man beneath the hairpiece has been building up all day to a Big Announcement about Barack Obama. Against its better judgment, the world has been pondering what it could be. Rumours have gone around that it’s a set of divorce papers…

Locking up scientists won’t stop earthquakes

From Wednesday’s paper: No one could have predicted L’Aquila – and false warnings are as bad as no warnings Of all the natural disasters that mankind faces, earthquakes are the least susceptible to prediction. Hurricanes and tropical storms can be tracked by satellites; tsunamis, sometimes, can be detected while they are far enough from land…

Clichéwatch: ‘if [x] didn’t exist, [y] would have to invent it’

“Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer“, said Voltaire. The great French polemicist had complex views on God – he disagreed profoundly with Leibniz, who thought that all the evil in the world was perfectly commensurate with a perfect God. Leibniz had claimed that in the same way that it would be impossible even for…

Want petrol from fresh air? You need a carbon tax first

As exciting as the “petrol from fresh air” development is – and it is exciting – it’s a heck of a long way from transforming the world. One obvious problem is that it’s taken the firm three months to create five litres of petrol. At that rate it’d take a long time to fill the…

A note to our commenters, on the subject of free speech

It’s a funny thing. You write a piece saying that the state shouldn’t outlaw rudeness and insults, and about one comment in three underneath it says: “Aha! But Telegraph Blogs sometimes moderates/disallows comments! How about THAT, eh, hypocrites?” Well, my eagle-eyed friends, you’ve certainly caught us out. We, the autocratic rulers of Telegraphuania, are indeed…