Every day, traveling to work, I look at a corner of Leasowe playing field, an area which is almost permanently flooded. Now this is showing effects of the dry, hot April and has shrunk considerably, a wide margin of ruddy brown mud now surrounding a shallow puddle, barely deep enough for the mallard to swim in. Periods of warm weather such as this always seem to lead to speculation about ‘climate change’, just as the cold period in December/January resulted in scepticism. Conclusions about climate based on single events such as this are always flawed.
Climate change is nothing new. What would be surprising would be an absence of climate change. History shows us that very dramatic climate change has been seen in the past. For instance, at the end of the last ice age average July temperatures rose by 9 degrees centigrade within 50 years. This is far greater than even the worst predictions for our current climate. Through this, nature has shown its resilience. What is not resilient is the modern human perspective. Animals and plants can move, even if only slowly. Our human perspective does not. Property does not move; homes do not move. In any significant climate change event the suffering of people will be severe, more severe than the suffering of nature. Along our east coast, when erosion causes the land to fall in the sea it is people who lose as their land disappears and the value of their properties plummet. In coastal areas as sea levels rise it is peoples homes which get flooded.
The other major natural events in the news currently are forest and moorland fires. Again, it is important to remember that fires of this nature occur as natural events, although occurrence at this stage of the breeding season is particularly unfortunate. This is like the common cold in man, though – if the individual is healthy this is a mild illness from which full recovery occurs but if the individual is already ill, the common cold can be fatal. So the question to consider – is our environment healthy or ill?