I suspect today, many bloggers in the UK are writing about the weather.
It is strange for me as I am in Greece and although the temperature here is predicted to reach 31C, which is very hot, this is almost ten degrees colder than the forecast for the UK.
Writing this makes me think of the boiling frog apologue (We are all amphibians in a simmering pot).
We are having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave.
The song doesn’t sound as jaunty in the age of climate crisis.
They tell us we shouldn’t read too much into a single weather event, that a very hot, cold, or rainy day is not an indication that the planet is warming. It is more complicated than that, it has to do with averages, trends, statistics. And yet, today my house in Doncaster will be reach temperatures higher than those in Greece. Or Cairo. Or Honolulu (I’ve checked).
Something isn’t right.
The last major weather event that I can remember was in 2007 when there was so much rain that our little village in Doncaster was cut-off from the rest of South Yorkshire. (That and the day in February where the temperature reached 28C, I remember sitting in my car outside Sheffield Medical School, appreciating the warm, wondering what was going-on).
I think about my office, at home. It is south-facing and heats-up through the day. On a normal summer’s afternoon, it is almost too hot to bear. I can’t imagine what it will be like today.
I won’t be cynical and suggest the tory party have orchestrated this to draw attention away from their mess. I am sure some of them, the media officers at least, are secretly delighted.
When I think of this it always recalls the ‘good day to bury bad news’ quote from a political adviser in the US, leaked before the Twin Towers had collapsed.
I have written in the past about the existence of the ‘anxious Jew’ – this is the inheritance of increasing anxiety related to the survival of those who were most worrisome and would run away at the earliest opportunity from the Romans/Assyrians/Babylonians/Inquisition/Cossacks/Nazis. (Recall the saying, you don’t have to be the fastest person running from the bear, you only need to be faster than the slowest person.)
He who worries most about weather extremes is unlikely to be the one who expires from heat-stroke or is swept away by rising water levels (although they might, for much of their life, unnecessarily fret about something that never happens).
It is the modus operandi of the right-wing. Keep your spear/sword/katana/gun polished as the ever-present threat from ‘the other’ (Communist/illegal immigrant/youth/leftie) is increasing by the day. Vote for me as the other guy/gal will take you to disaster/penury/subservience/unemployment/etc.
And yet, it is very hot.
Well, not as hot as in Yorkshire.
And the irony?
It is 9am, I am sitting at table on the porch of an Ionian villa and the air conditioning repairmen are fiddling with the outlet pipe (we had an AC event yesterday).
It is a mess. It is upside down.
I’m sure it is not my fault.
I have an electric car, I mostly eat vegetables (celery and tomatoes), then again, I used a plane for this holiday (and Lord forgive me, on Saturday I ate grilled Calamari).
I recently listened to Ezra Klein’s podcast. He answered the question as to whether people should consider not having children to ease the planetary pressure from the burden of too much.
His conclusion was that for individuals to not have children (so long as they perhaps don’t resort to the extremes), is unlikely to have much impact on rising sea temperatures.
That, in a way is a relief.
It looks like the AC guys will abandon their efforts. (They have spent the past hour trying to work-out where the AC water drains. No success. I want to suggest they look for the outlet where the grass is greenest; I don’t want to insult their professionalism. I sit in silence, typing.)
We still have units working through the rest of the house.
We should be grateful.
I think of my dog Stella.
She finds it hot on regular days.
She will have water and a fan.
After all, what more do you need?