Time was when people would talk about the weather when all other topics were exhausted. Nowadays our conversations, news, documentaries and current affairs are all about the weather because most of us are concerned.
We are concerned about the unpredictability of weather.
We are concerned about the increasing incidence of extreme weather conditions.
We are concerned about the wider implications for our planet; and in some instances we are concerned about inactivity or too little activity on the part of our governments to combat climate change.
Are we over-reacting? The facts suggest we are not. Why then do so many of our parliamentary leaders act like an assemblage of latter-day Neros? It surely can’t be for fear of abandoning their principles. Or should that be their principal?
It almost makes me laugh to hear some politicians and business leaders bemoaning the high cost of dealing with climate change. Others even doubt the truth of climate change despite the advice of a vast majority of experts and the overwhelming evidence.
What good are savings and profits when there may be nowhere left to spend them? Where would be the fun? Not everybody has a huge vault where you can swim in cold cash like Scrooge Mc Duck.
Ignorance is no excuse. Wilful ignorance is worse. Nor is it acceptable for executives to claim to be acting in the best interests of their shareholders.
It may be a simplistic approach but I have relied upon my own observations of changes in the weather over my lifetime. Once upon a time, Hawaiian shirts and short skirts heralded the warmer weather. Now, so many people wear singlets, shorts and thongs all year round, in all kinds of weather, clothing has ceased to be a reliable indicator. Thank goodness that many birds continue to fly north.
That said, it seems the gods must indeed be crazy. Football is no longer a strictly winter sport and cricket never ends. Other games take place both indoors and outdoors, dictated by seasons that are almost nomadic in nature. Surfers ride their boards all year round. The term silly season seems to cover just about everything and anything.
I remember when things were much simpler. A time before we punctured the ozone layer; television had fewer channels; guernseys bore club crests and carried no advertising; politicians seemed less self-centred and public transport was more affordable. We didn’t exactly live in a land of milk and honey; it was more like peanut butter and vegemite. Those days have gone from all but memory. However the necessity to live and survive is still with us. That is why we need a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. A wind farm here, a solar panel there, a single desalination plant and pitifully small carbon reduction targets will not suffice. We must succeed. There is nowhere else to go.