Sunday, October 15, 2006

As our climate changes, are we borrowing days from our descendants?

With our Indian Summer drifting into mid October it would be hard to argue that the climate in Britain hasn’t changed in the last fifty years. How much of this is due to mankind’s activities is a subject of some discussion, some science and lots of emotion. As a part time very amateur geologist I’m aware that the climate has changed many times before and that the planet will survive even if our species doesn’t. And I’m pretty confident that our species will although whether six billion of us is really about five billion too many of us to be sustainable as some have suggested is something I can’t begin to blog about.

Defying stereotypes, I was very fond of my mother in law even though she was one of the most pessimistic people I’ve met (apart of course from John). She provided a fine balance to my father in law who was one of the most cheerful ditto.

One of her typically gloomy Cumbrian sayings would be trotted out if we had a fine day, say in February, and someone remarked how nice the weather was. ‘Aye but we’ll pay for it in the summer’ she’d assure us, ‘it’s only a borrowed day!’

There’s a puritanically gloomy streak running through some sections of the environmental movement and some of my friends on the left as well. ‘You may be happy today but just wait a few months/years/decades and things will get far worse’ they delight in opining. But that’s not been my experience so far...

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