The Year the Winter Never Ended

Sunday 24th March

And the Winter never seems to end, does it.  Just when we get a couple of days where the weather seems a touch milder, the wind drops and the sun peeps out, back Winter roars in again.  I am at Walton, on the East coast and there is nothing between here and Denmark.  The wind is almost enough to knock you over, the sea is angry with huge white capped waves, and there is ice and sleet in the air.  It is almost the end of March and it still feels like January.

Now whether this long cold Winter, and indeed the almost non-appearance of Summer last year are the result of Global Warming or just plain old-fashioned variations in the weather is beyond my comprehension.  I can remember all the conferences about the environment that went on in the nineties and right up until a few years ago, and the almost Doomsday scenarios of a rise in temperature of just a few degrees.  But since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 no-one has the time (or money) anymore for what may well be a far greater problem for mankind.   The newly emerging economies of China, India, Russia and Brazil are rapidly burning fossil fuels as fast as they can in their attempt to catch the West up.  And even America has recently started developing Shale Gas which could turn out to be an even bigger environmental disaster than Oil ever was.  To say nothing about the worlds burgeoning population which may in the end be our biggest problem.

So, where do you start?  Maybe it will take a really awful man-made disaster to stop this mad rush for development at any cost, or maybe things will just carry on, even if the planet is getting warmer, and low-lying countries get flooded.  Will we as a human race just move to higher ground?  In a way the rich have done that already, isolating themselves from the effects of their greed.  And meanwhile both the economic and real Winter just drags on and on.

And I, one of the ones who profess to care, will soon be off to (hopefully) warmer climes in a week’s time, so what hope is there for the rest of you. Enjoy the rest of the Winter, it could last all year.