I’ve just been out for a walk across the scorched fields. The heat was oppressive and it was eerily quiet. Even the roads aren’t as busy as usual, but perhaps that’s got more to do with the summer holidays. On the way back I saw an abandoned BMW. Not that long ago it was someone’s pride and joy but now it’s a rusting heap, fit only for the scrap yard. That’s how we should see all cars, not as objects of desire but as tomorrow’s wrecks.
The other night I cycled to the pub to meet a mate for a pint and a chat. It was dark when I came back, not drunk you’ll be pleased to hear. Cycling in the moonlight was exhilarating, made all the more pleasant by the cool evening air. If the weather stays like this I’ll do it again next week. There’s no way I’m cycling or running in the heat of the day.
I can’t cope when it’s this hot and I’ve spent most of the week indoors trying to keep cool. With the family away and my energy sapped, I’ve spent my time reading and doing crosswords. To be honest I’ve been bored. Usually I’m good at finding things to do but the weather has got the best of me. Roll on the weekend, when the temperature is due to fall. The only constructive thing I’ve managed is a bit of painting in the kitchen and even that has taken all week to get round to.
The difference between weather and climate is a subtle one and it would be wrong to to jump to conclusions. But, if these temperatures are a consequence of global warming and this is the shape of things to come, the future won’t be very pleasant. This should be a wakeup call, but slowing down our carbon fuelled lifestyles to the point where we can actually make a difference is another thing altogether.
I’m convinced that real change will only come when the crisis is upon us. Until that time it’s too easy to carry on as we are, hurtling towards a brick wall with our foot pressed hard on the accelerator pedal. Rather than obsessing over the triviality of my own life I should concentrating on finding ways to reduce my carbon footprint.
The changes I’ve made so far are small beer. I’m eating less meat, I’m walking and cycling rather than driving, I’m … in all honesty it’s hard to think of anything else. And it’s no good making excuses about it being hard because my family doesn’t buy into my half-hearted philosophy. If I really want to make a difference I can.
What I’m Reading:
The Killings at Badgers’ Drift by Caroline Graham. The first book of the series that inspired Midsomer Murders. I couldn’t resist. There’s the same tongue in cheek tone as the TV series but the book is grittier, using Barnaby and Troy to expose the unpleasant underbelly of Graham’s gruesome little England. It’s a better book than you might think – Agatha Christie with vitriol and sex.