Temperature's risingPosted by Michael Wale
Michael Wale examines the global warming controversy, and finds gains and losses.
Global warming is dominating all political discussions, but has anyone told local politicians about this yet? I wonder.
Global warming does have its advantages, and I presume they will not go away, never mind how many low-power light-bulbs we plug into our sockets. And how are the majority of us 50 pluses going to read by less light!?
As I write we are bathed in unaccustomed sunshine and warmth, making me dash to the allotment and plant 20 new potatoes, days before St Patrick’s Day the traditional date in London for potato planting. I have also pushed in no less than 96 broad bean seeds, as well as a small field of shallots. The cold is forecast to return. Optimism, meanwhile, rules.
I did enjoy the heat waves of last summer, be they due to global warming or not. Sun makes even the grumpiest people smile. In general everyone is happier and relaxes. The horrible cold and rain seems to make the British more uptight then ever, and resort to violence and drunkenness.
The great green debate has at last grasped the fact that we do not need vast Chelsea tractors to drive about in inner cities. By all means let the country folk have their Land Rovers, which they need to use for work, as well as get them through the worst of the weather when they well may be cut off. So there should be a big difference in the taxation of these pointless four wheel drive vehicles in towns and the country. Already the wise council in Richmond, Surrey, have decided to charge their Chelsea tractor owners double or even more the price to park outside their own homes. But we must not charge those living in the country the same, in fact we should lower their motor taxation. Let us not forget that most villages in Britain are not served by public transport, and even if they are it comes at ludicrously inconvenient times. So you can never use it for a night out in a neighbouring town, or just for a quick shopping trip.
There are many flowers that like the heat too. Some of our basics do not do well in this new weather, notably runner beans and leeks. We have never had such a poor leek crop on our allotment as this season. The runner beans just curl up and almost die if they are overheated. However, the much nicer French beans, imported by the supermarkets from as far away as Kenya, love the heat, and reward the grower well. So the message is: adapt. As for potatoes my advice is to stick to planting earlies.
The discussion has started. Let us all join it, and remove selfishness to make first a better nation, and then a better world.
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