Sunday, 19 August 2012

Global weirding, media lies and why I miss knowing what month it is

That joke isn't funny any more.
I know when you get to this age, everything in the past looks better. But I'm pretty sure that when I was young, we had seasons.

I know people always complained about the Great British Summer, the same way that they complained about the Great British Rail Sandwich. Well, most of us miss British Rail now. And I miss knowing what time of year it is.

There was comfort, even some joy, in watching winter turn to spring, summer into autumn. Knowing (roughly) what to expect as the year turned.

The people that sell us stuff have been trying for years to blur the edges of the seasons (yesterday, the hottest day of the year, I saw Christmas cards in a charity shop). Now nature's doing it too.

There have been many times this year when I've genuinely forgotten what month we were in. Most of the spring felt like February. Much of the summer has felt like autumn. And then you get the occasional heat wave and no-one's acclimatised and everyone's complaining.

It frightens me. I've seen the stuff about 'global weirding' and I know there's something going on.

But it also makes me angry. Because no-one is saying anything. Husband switched on the news yesterday and I saw a chirpy reporter saying: 'We can boast that it's hotter here than in the Caribbean.' Cut to cheery pictures of small children eating ice-cream.

It's almost as if there's a conspiracy of silence going on.

Please can someone admit that this isn't actually good news? Please can someone report the real story?

In the 2003 European heatwave, a lot of people died. Today, in this country, crops are failing. I've pretty much failed as a gardener this year. That's OK because I don't depend on it. But the man who brings me my veg box is struggling.

We've had floods, we've had drought, we've had once-in-a-century weather turning into annual events.

This isn't a theory. This isn't just something that happens to other countries (although a lot of other countries have got it a lot worse.) This is real, and it's happening to us. Now.

Believe me, I'd much rather write another essay about punk rock. But I'm angry now. And I'm tired of being lied to. Please can someone just tell us the truth, before it's too late?

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