A snowflake writes about the weather…

“Sunny day snowflake Britain had a meltdown…” Daily Mail.

The front of today’s Daily Mail mixes the meteorological metaphors to show what sunburnt softies we all are nowadays.

Perhaps they are trying to cool us down by mentioning snowflakes; or maybe the editor is a climate-denying, Brexit-besotted barmpot who must have something new to whinge on about until time cracks apart at the weary stupidity of it all.

Funny, isn’t it, how many of those who helped pull the union flag-patterned woolly jumper over our eyes when selling us Brexit now try to do the same with climate change.

It strikes me that this line of thinking is mostly favoured by people who have left their heads out in the sunshine for too long. I’ve had beads of sweat that talk more sense.

An accompanying leader in the Mail criticises “apocalyptic climate change pundits” and the BBC, only to then say, “Of course we shouldn’t be complacent about intense heat…” When that’s exactly what they’re doing. Angry complacency is their thing, you see.

Yes, 1976 was hot in Britain and the heatwave lasted for two months. I was 20 and had a short holiday on a canal boat or on a boat in a canal. Not a narrowboat or anything. Just a boat big enough for two young men who kept cans of beer hanging over the side in a net.

It might have been the Macclesfield canal, or it might not. The boat belonged to a friend’s dad and progress was slow as the locks shut to save water, occasionally sabotaging our plans to moor up besides pubs. Sometimes we even had to walk to the pub, which shows how tough we were then.

Professor Hannah Cloke is a climate scientist at the University of Reading. That probably makes her woke in overheated Mail-land; it’s always overheated on that cruel continent and never mind the weather. On a fact-check report on the BBC website, Prof Cloke says: “1976 was indeed a heatwave and we have had heatwaves before, but the point is they’re happening more often and they’re becoming more intense.”

In the summer of 1976, the UK, France and a few other countries experienced a heatwave (as did that canal somewhere south of Manchester). Now many more countries are affected, with heatmaps from NASA suggesting the global climate has become much warmer since 1976.

The highest temperature in the UK then was 35.9C, whereas the temperature in York today as I foolishly tap sweaty fingers over the laptop is 40C, with another degree a possibility.

That is clearly much hotter, and should alarm us, unless you are a backwards-bending Daily Mail editor type such as Ted Verity. Or the real editor Paul Dacre, who is reportedly being lined up by Boris Johnson for a seat in the Lords, presumably for services to client journalism and the tireless writing of front-page press releases.

Life seen through a Mail lens is always braver and better in the past, whether in the Second World War or during that long summer of 1976.

With a dull clunk of predictability, that Mail leader ends by combining those favourite topics ­­– “What ever happened to keep calm and carry on?”

And guess what, proud fellow snowflakes, that wartime slogan was dreamed up by Britain’s wartime propaganda department – and was never seen by the public. Until it was rediscovered in 2001, after which it was revived to flog us anything you might care to mention, including misleading sinewy visions of the past.

A closing thought. We should all vote Green as they talk sense about climate change and the environment. Why so few of us do (me included) is a mystery that needs unravelling before life becomes even more uncomfortable.

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