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End of the World Blues

Sorry – nothing to do with allotments or growing really, just a rant!

Climate Change Change?

One of the ‘difficult’ discussion topics, along with politics and religion, is climate change. Climate change is almost an article of faith amongst the greens but the non-believers are just as firm in their denial of that faith.

However, it’s a fact that climate change is a generally accepted theory amongst the scientific community and overwhelmingly so amongst those scientists in the climate field.

All theory has to fit the facts though and is subject to change if new facts are discovered. Now it looks like a new fact has come to light which could change everything.

Back in the period between 1645 and 1715 there was a very cold period often called the ‘mini ice age’. It was so cold in winter that the Thames froze over and winter fairs were held on the ice. Snow lay on the ground for months on end and agriculture was severely affected by the shorter growing seasons.

The most likely reason for this is thought to be a decrease in solar radiation linked to a lack of sunspots. And this is the new fact that has come to light: sunspots are in decline and so we may be entering a new mini ice age.

So, instead of the planet warming due to CO2 we could find ourselves getting colder. With a bit of luck, the global warming caused by our industry will mitigate the global cooling caused by the sun and we’ll find out we’ve been worrying for nothing. Theories are useful, but the truth is we’ll find out when it happens. In the meantime gardeners will carry on as usual and we’ll moan about the weather. It’s never right really; too dry or too wet, too cold or too hot. That’s life and it’s pretty confusing.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Now if you’ve stopped worrying about us being overcome by the weather, there’s another man-made, world-ending catastrophe to worry about. The bomb! I was born in 1955 which means I was vaguely aware of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 when, for a few days, it really looked as if there would be the war to end us all.

It really was a close run thing, families of those ‘in the know’ were taking holidays in October loading up the valuables to take with them. Luckily for the world it didn’t happen.

Running through to 1991 the threat of the cold war turning hot remained in the background. Unknown to us minions, in the 1980s the Soviets misinterpreted a NATO exercise as a cover for an impending attack. Lucky again, western spies warned NATO the Russians thought it was for real and we throttled back before it was too late.

So now there’s a new film coming out, Countdown to Zero, to scare the socks of us all about the bomb. Both the USA and Russia still have arsenals big enough to kill us all but the likely threat is probably a terrorist group getting hold of a bomb.

Whatever, I refuse to worry about the bomb again. Besides we need them nukes to blow up the massive, dinosaur-killing asteroid that’s got our name on it. I’m settling down to read something cheerful like The Death of Grass by John Christopher whilst munching on some beansprouts.

Posted in Rants and Raves

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