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The Noel Coward song ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’ has been playing in my head for much of the day. Not that I was mad enough to go out in the midday sun – I’d plenty of work to do so stayed indoors until after 14:00, by which time the temperature here in the Calder Valley had hit an amazing 37 degrees. When I did venture out for a walk it was like stepping into an oven after sheltering indoors. Dawn had kept the house cool by keeping the windows closed and the curtains drawn – which made a huge difference. I’d foolishly opened my office window but soon learned the error of my ways! The woods around the house provided shade and a break from the heat but walking along the roads to get to them was hot, hot, hot! Thankfully, a breeze sprang up in the afternoon which began to take the edge of the heat. Then, by late afternoon cloud cover rolled in and noticeably reduced the temperature. Even so, some of our neighbour’s front gardens had turned ‘crispy’ and desiccated in the heat. I’d managed to save most of ours due to persistent watering but it was a close-run thing.

Now the heat’s subsided and we’re looking forward to more normal temperatures returning. But the picture is grim. Wildfores happened around Doncaster which is not what you expect in Yorkshire. East of London’s suffered badly too. Despite what the muppets on social media are saying, this is no ‘ordinary’ summer and to try and pass it off as another 1976 is just an excuse to ignore the science. Climate Change is real – and it’s happening. Now.

Looking at the nonsense posted by the deniers I’m struck by how many tick nearly every right-wing box. If you drew a Venn diagram of climate-change deniers, brexiters and anti-vaxxers you wouldn’t be far off a perfect circle. I sometimes wonder if the human race is just too stupid to survive. Some people’s ability to ignore or dismiss empirical evidence and science is breathtaking, but then if you’ve ever watched the film ‘don’t look up’ you’ll understand the problem. No doubt many will keep fiddling whilst the planet burns, but I hope enough folks wake up before it’s too late. I won’t be around to see the worst that human stupidity may bring, but it doesn’t stop me caring.

On that pessimistic note I’ll go straight to the picture of the day which is another old slide showing the beauty of the world we seem so determined to screw up. I took this picture at Lake Maninjau, Sumatra in 1992. One day I’ll get back here – before we screw it all up…

I’ve a small favour to ask…
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