The jet-setting, climate-campaigning celeb and poet Emma Thompson recently dismissed Britain as a “tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island”.
And presumably since the vote for Brexit, we’ve sunk even further in her estimation. However, not all of us are misery-laden these days, especially since the referendum. (NB, what on earth has she got against cake – any idea?)
But the “rainy” and “grey” bits are quite accurate, as, I suppose is “cloud-bolted” (although if you think about it, clouds are notoriously difficult to attach bolts to, being wispy masses of water vapour, essentially). And she’s in good company – fellow poet William Shakespeare must have had the British weather in mind when he had the Fool in King Lear sing “the rain it raineth every day”.
Even in the UK, though, it doesn’t actually rain every day. Once in a while, the skies clear, the sun comes out and – miracle of miracles – daytime temperatures briefly rise to 30 degrees Celsius (or heavens, even slightly above.)
Good news, wouldn’t you think? Well, think again! Even as the thermometer rose, the BBC – in its inimitable way – went over the top in a short, sharp climate alarm offensive. Here’s a transcript of David Shukman’s report that was broadcast during Wednesday’s 6 o’clock news on BBC1.
The language is relentless. “Climate experts say… we are now close to dangerous levels of climate change… a record rise in temperatures… a planet that’s getting hotter… scientists are surprised at the scale of the increase… they’ve been warning for years… we’re scarily close to dangerous levels of climate change… The fear is of more scenes like this… a war zone… a warmer world is set to see more violent rainfall… this year is on course to be the hottest on record.”
Indefatigable climate blogger Paul Homewood has a different take on this story of “the hottest June around the world in modern history”, pointing out that according to the satellite records, June 2016 was nowhere near the hottest. But the interesting divergence between GISS and RSS, from 1998 onwards, is not a topic that the BBC are likely to spend much airtime on, as it woefully fails to conform to the “dangerous levels of climate change” narrative.
Now they’ve moved swiftly on to fresh stories deemed newsworthy, such as the Melania Trump Speech Crisis which is apparently engulfing the U.S. at the moment. And the brief UK heatwave has also run its course.
But we’ll probably have another hot spell or two before the end of September, here in Britain. And then the BBC will no doubt wheel out the big guns of climate fear and alarm again.
In the meantime, my advice would be to remain calm and enjoy the sunshine, while it lasts.
And do please have some cake – it’s good for you.