I hate the cold. It HURTS. I love heat. The hotter the better. My ideal climate is somewhere like the Sahara desert. Boiling. I want to crack an egg on the pavement and watch it fry. I want all windows open all day and all night with a giant fan whooshing from the ceiling. I want sweat to be pouring off me in cataracts. I want to be able to remove the six layers of clothing I wear most of the year to fend off a hypothermic coma. I want to be able to switch off the central heating so the gas bill doesn’t bankrupt us. I want it to be so hot the Bay evaporates and Carwyn Jones spontaneously combusts. Preferably while he’s standing at his First Minister’s rostrum giving the UK government his usual hard-hitting message: “You are being so horrible to Wales – do continue.”
Cardiff is on the same latitude (51°N) as freezing Newfoundland and Kamchatka. We only have a reasonably temperate climate thanks to the Gulf Stream and the Jet Stream bringing comparatively warm currents of water and air from the west. Without those benign influences Cardiff would have the average temperatures of Ottawa and would thus, for me at least, be uninhabitable. This diabolical, never-ending Winter, coming after last year’s non-existent Summer, is testing my Cardiff credentials to breaking point.
Every morning when I wake I look out of the window at the chimneys of the Celsa Works to see which way the CO2’s blowing. Day after day, month after month, the air flow is from the east, the north or, worst of all, the dreaded north-east – meaning the plume drifts off towards Devon. I need it to be coming my way, because that would mean the air is coming from the south or the west. Sod the particulates; I’d happily take lungfuls of ’em just to feel warm. Oh for the balmy zephyrs, sweet breath and sensuous massage of a gigantic high pressure system over the Azores!
Man-made climate change is a scientific fact, disputed only by the petrochemical industry, Nigel Lawson, Sarah Palin and my father. Australia burns, America parches, Asia floods, Africa starves, Pacific islands drown, ice-caps dissolve, glaciers retreat, storms get more extreme…and world governments do nothing. Wales, without a voice in global affairs, is a powerless onlooker. And, typical of Welsh luck, we won’t even get the short-term bonus of higher temperatures. The Atlantic currents are switching off and our prevailing weather increasingly comes from Siberia. Here it will be global cooling. Much more of this and I’m off to Timbuktu – if Mali will have me.