The recent weather was a taste of global warming | Matt Mohan-Hickson
A few weeks ago the Met Office warned that if carbon emissions remain very high then we could see temperatures of 40C regularly in the UK by the end of the century.
I remember reading the stories and it not really sinking in at the time.
Maybe it was the tag of end of the century, when it is highly likely I’ll be dead – that or been turned into a cyborg owned by Amazon or some other cyberpunk nightmare.
Or perhaps it was the fact that wrapping your head around the idea of 40C here in the UK is tricky – when you think of temperatures that warm, you think of the hot countries you visit on holiday. Dashing from air conditioned buildings to the pool and back to the comfort of air conditioning again.
Now after days upon days of scorching temperatures – and fearing that I would spontaneously combust at any moment – it feels like a glimpse of a very dark future. If this was only 31 or 32 degrees, what on earth would an extra nine or more degrees feel like?
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In fact stepping outside last week reminded me of that daft blockbuster from the early 2000s called Reign of Fire – about dragons returning and setting the UK ablaze – and not just because it was set in 2020. Making the mistake of stepping outside at lunchtime one day and it felt as if the world was being set on fire by a dragon.
Leaving aside the flippant jokes about mythical fire-breathing beasts for a moment, it really is starting to feel like we are at the tipping point when it comes to climate change.
So far this year we’ve seen Australia literally on fire – which in hindsight was quite the starting gun for the disaster that has been 2020.
But closer to home our city was battered by numerous storms to start the year – I remember fearing that the windows in our office would explode such was the force of the wind during one of these storms.
Now we’ve been hit by almost record temperatures and the last decade was the hottest on record.
If the world doesn’t unite and tackle climate change now, we might be too late.
Is it finally time to get air conditioning in our homes?
If we are truly facing the possibilities of 40C temperatures in the coming years, then we will have to start thinking like residents of hot countries.
When you go abroad to a warm place to sun yourself for a week or two, you expect things like air conditioning.
But back in good old Blighty, it seems like an unnecessary luxury. Yet if temperatures are going to continue to rise – then will we see it become normalised in the UK in the coming years? Sitting alongside other must-have accessories like Amazon’s Alexa, coffee machines and Netflix.
It would seem ridiculous for all of us to sweat constantly in our homes and struggle to sleep if these warm spells continue.
I feel so sorry for students and teachers getting results
Look we all know that 2020 is a totally unprecedented – loathed as I am to use this term.
I do not envy the people who had to draw up some sort of plan for giving hundreds of thousands results without being able to take tests.
But the scenes last week, with people having their grades dropped from A* to Bs or even Cs, were utterly dreadful.
Living in Britain you are all too familiar with the gaping chasm that is the class divide which has been baked into our society for hundreds – if not thousands – of years.
The stress, anxiety and excitement of finishing school and hopefully starting university are bad enough, without having that thrown into turmoil by an algorithm.