Monday, 17 June 2013
Perhaps it does take a weatherman after all.
This year we had the coldest spring for 50 years. Last summer was the wettest for a century. The weather seems to lurch between draught and flood and now UK farmers are predicting a 30% reduction in wheat yealds this coming harvest. We are used to changeable weather in this country, it's the price we pay for being situated in the path of the prevailing South Westerly winds bringing moist, unstable air from the Atlantic, but the last few years have seen a lot of what meteorologists like to call "extreme weather events". The Met Office, and meteorologists are not normally prone to panic, are so concerned that they have called an emergency meeting tomorrow to try and decide if the recent weather extremes are related to climate change and advise the government accordingly. If we had to double our flood defence budget and at the same time face up to a serious reduction in farm output, all against the background of a stagnant economy and the current program of austerity, we could be in for some unprecedented hard times. The big question is, could a genuine upsurge of mutual aid and egalitarian feeling keep us all afloat or will this be yet another example of the the rich and powerful commandeering all the lifeboats while the rest of us go down with the band playing the national anthem?