The climate of change

I wrote the following piece around 2007 just as the so-called credit crunch began to bite. I can’t recall why, or even who I wrote it for but its re-emergence today caused me to stop and think how easy it is sometimes not  to see the wood for the trees

Whilst I knew about climate change back in 2007 I was largely ignorant of how it would wreak the type of devastation we see evidenced in media reports on an almost daily basis. The Irish physicist John Tyndall was already talking about the greenhouse effect in 1861. Margaret Thatcher, who possessed a degree in chemistry, said in 1989 when she called for a global treaty on climate change that:

We are seeing a vast increase in the amount of co2 reaching the atmosphere…the result is that change is likely to be more fundamental and more widespread than anything we have known hitherto.

The following insignificant little article (3- 4 minute read) shows just how my own experience of the changes to our weather systems was noticeable enough for me to make a comment on it, whilst I still remained ignorant concerning the cause of the effect.

British summertime – by Sandra E Manning

I am British, proud to be so and am generally intolerant of those who, take every opportunity to malign the quality of life we enjoy on these fair shores Recently I found myself defending our small island against some very negative comments concerning the weather Talking about the weather is a peculiarly British pastime, and usually, something I avoid because it seems pointless to discuss something you have no choice but to accept.

However, once I had been drawn into this discussion and because now that I am of a certain age I feel almost compelled to relate the halcyon days of my childhood as being characterised by endless sunshine, jam sandwich picnics and hours of daylight that seemed to stretch well into the night. Nowadays it not only seems that all of these things belong not just to a different era but to a different climate too.

The tendency towards more inclement weather typical of British summers of recent years necessitates greater restriction on us than we probably realise. In these days of the great credit crunch, hard-up parents are reluctant to shell out for expensive theme park tickets for instance. The chances of a family turning up to one of these said venues to find that rain has closed most of the attractions is depressingly high. The unpredictability of the British weather has also spoiled many an outdoor sporting event, trip to the park or local tennis courts to washed-out days at the seaside.

Whilst members of my generation can rely on memories made in more favourable and cooperative conditions I got to wondering if the younger generation of today might eventually not even recognise the distinction between the seasons. I was quite sad that future summertime recollections might consist mainly of the sound of rain hammering on the roof of a car escaping from a soggy shore, and then seen only through the rivulets trickling down the windows.

We didn’t plan barbeque’s back in the summers of my childhood because the delights of eating charred meat cooked outside were an unknown quantity then. A bit ironic when you think that the weather was far more accommodating towards eating food cooked in the garden then than it is now.

Buoyed by typical British Bulldog spirit we refused to allow the rain to call a halt to a long-planned family barbeque recently by using umbrellas and alerting people to the distinct advantage afforded to our ever-hungry labrador of rain-sodden paper plates. The sun made a brief return which caused our clothes to steam, though didn’t put off the midges that were emerging from the long grass as a result of the rain. I laughed as I watched people slap themselves and each other trying to avoid getting bitten and thought at that moment that my fears for their summertime memories might be unfounded after all.

Their recollections may well be a little damper than mine and have been gathered under umbrella’s rather than parasols but they will still have a lot of the ingredients of a typical British summer. Spending time with friends and family having fun will be the memories that endure rather than the vagaries of the Brish summertime weather and our seemingly constant need to talk about it.