So, I walked the dog about 10 o’clock in the evening, as I do everyday and I got to thinking… I’m only wearing a hoodie and a t-shirt… and it’s a couple of weeks before Christmas. Why am I not freezing cold? The other day, I got to work and felt a bit sweaty (7:30am, this is) – and I only had on a thin rain coat and a shirt. I could easily have skipped the coat layer – in December, in London, which is not too dissimilar a latitude to Moscow. Have I relocated to northern Spain without noticing?

The world community is meeting in Paris to talk about cutting this and doing that and fiddling about a bit. They’ll decide it’s been a success and pat each other on the head and everyone will be spared global warming and all that this (apparently) entails. The world will rejoice. Long haired folk will unchain themselves from the trees that they’ve been hugging and release giant puff clouds from strange cigarettes into the warm night air.

If you look though, you’ll see industry will continue to pump out all the stuff that’s bad into the atmosphere in ever increasing quantities as the world population gets ever more out of control and developing nations burn stuff to make energy – we did, why shouldn’t they? Strangely, I will still feel compelled and shamed enough to wake up in a cold sweat and sprint down to the front room at 3am to extinguish that evil red standby light from consuming a friction burn’s worth of energy. After all, I do want to save the planet. Nations will pay fines and deal in carbon emission certificates and argue that proportionate to their population, they’ve decreased usage, etc. etc. They’ll probably all fly somewhere else and have another conference. How nice. Perhaps Australia next time?

It’s worth remembering too, that nature heats up the planet and releases carbon dioxide all by itself anyway – which ultimately ends up causing an ice age (which freezes carbon dioxide in the soil and under the ocean) – it IS a natural cycle. It has happened before. We are speeding it up, no doubt but the Earth has been pretty inhospitable for a vast number of its 4.543 billion years. We seem to think it’s an unspoilt paradise that we’re all ruining with our standby lights and diesel cars but it’s a red hot molten lump of iron with a rocky crust spinning around a giant ball of hot plasma (that’s the Sun) at 1,000 mph in a freezing cold and mostly empty void (that’s space). The universe is not cuddly.

The speed of change is really quite dramatic. You can see it in many practical ways. I’m 44 at time of writing but I remember winters were very cold and there was always snow – often big piles of the stuff. I remember summers that were almost always full of hot sun. If you went on a UK holiday, it was very bad luck to get rained on. Not any longer, as I can testify after visiting the lovely Cornwall in the summer. The good weather used to peak during school holidays, particularly August. 3.8 billion years ago, a meteorite had the audacity to land on our planet and cause a lot of mess. Fortunately, we didn’t have a conference and clean it up. It had bought change with it – life. The World will go through many iterations on its journey. I’m not saying we should be reckless with the environment, not at all – I’m saying that change is inevitable and global warming and ice ages do and have happened before. All the Canute kings of the COP21 Conference can say what they want but those waves are going to come in.

Incredibly, my rose bush still has some bloom in it. No one appears to have told it that it is December. These days, I find that the weather is very similar all year around. It’s often “cloudy with a chance of rain and some sunny intervals”. We rarely see snow these days and the train companies are very grateful. We seem to have a hot period early June to mid July and then it’s back to the new normal. The summer and winter seem to be about 15 degrees Celsius apart with few other differences. When it rains, it rains a lot and this is why we see all these awful floods in the north of England currently – events I don’t remember from childhood. Cold air hitting hot air = rain.

Forget conferences, if you want the old UK climate, move to Iceland. I’d recommend a property on an elevation for future proofing…  In England, particularly the south, I’d recommend putting together a vineyard!