Wet by Barbara Nadel

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It’s wet here. In fact it’s wet everywhere in the UK right now. There are people down in Hampshire and Somerset whose properties have been flooded for almost a month. Where roads once were, people now do their weekly shop or the school run in boats. Sewerage is everywhere and the countryside looks like a great lake split up by just a few islands here and there.

Up here in the Pennines we are much more fortunate. Although it has rained almost continuously since Christmas, flooding has been minimal and no-one I know has, as yet, lost their business to the water. But it’s still been bad. At the weekend we had water gushing through the sealant round our window frames and the house now looks like a rest home for old buckets and towels. The window man can’t come until next Monday and so we’re going to have to live like this for a bit, but it’s not really too bad. You just have to avoid hazardous spots like underneath the front door and anywhere nearly the bay window in the living room.

But why am I writing about the weather? It’s always variable in the UK. I’m writing about it because this weather we’ve been having for the past four or five years is weird. A friend of mine had the most beautiful hillside garden until all this got going, now he just has a quagmire which will not shift whatever he tries to do to it. Of course it’s global warming which is now making it’s presence felt in other parts of the world in the shape of monstrous tsunamis, droughts and weird unseasonable storms.  What else can it be

And yet still some people, many of them in our government, refuse to accept that climate change is even a possibility. That way they can continue to pollute and often make a lot of money doing it without fear or guilt. I think the received ‘wisdom’ is something about this climate change thing having happened before. Which is probably the case but I doubt very much whether the cause was excessive carbon emissions. I’m sure the ice age was a proper ball ache to your average woolly mammoth but he and his friends didn’t, as far as I know, burn a load of old tyres to bring that about. Human beings have burned quite a few loads of old tyres on and off as well as releasing zillions of other nasty substances into the air and the sea.

I don’t honestly know whether having a serious go at reducing carbon emissions will do any good at this stage of the game. As far as I can tell, we’re well down the road to climactic armageddon. But I also can’t see how the reality of what is happening can possibly be denied and I’m all for giving putting it right a go even if our attempts fail. Pity my government don’t give a toss.

But I’m told by people of an optimistic nature that we have to be ‘positive’ and so I will end on a more cheerful note – maybe. I wonder what all this climate change gubbins will do to what goes on in crime fiction. Off the top of my head I anticipate way more drownings and perhaps in some areas of the country that will be absolutely cut off by the floods, instances of cannibalism. In fact society could completely break down and great swathes of flooded land could be ruled by vicious overlords cut off from the government and unimpressed by their laws. Gawd blimey we could have a full scale end of the world scenario on our hands soon!

I wonder if anyone else will be expecting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to come riding through thigh high water carrying wellies?

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