Should we delight in the promise of an ‘Indian Summer’?

So August has arrived – the schools have broken up, it feels like holiday time and the weather is wavering between wet and windy and hot and sticky. Welcome to the British Summer!  My advice is if you are going out, always take a sunhat and a raincoat!

One of the advantages of living where we live is that in these summer months we get to witness the most glorious sunsets – something which we never tire of. As those who subscribe to the Dyserth Times Facebook page will know, there are some very keen amateur photographers in the village who delight in capturing these scenes and sharing the results for others to enjoy, some of which really are quite stunning.

Furthermore, if the North Wales Daily Post is to be believed, this year we can look forward to an extended ‘Indian Summer’ with above average temperatures extending right into the autumn. How they can predict this so far in advance is anyone’s guess, but if true it’s something to look forward.

Warmer weather and beautiful sunsets might be good to lift our spirits (as well as providing a boost for the tourist industry) but should we be surprised? For years scientists have been telling us that the earth is warming up as a result of climate change and that we are to expect warmer and wetter summers, as well as more dramatic extremes of weather. If the deluge we experienced last Wednesday is anything to go by this certainly seems to be happening already.

So rather than being pleased that we are promised an Indian Summer perhaps we should be more concerned, particularly if this is a symptom of a change in our climate which is already having a devastating effect on the lives of those living in parts of the world already prone to drought or flooding. The Paris treaty on climate change, signed in December 2015 by 195 countries and which Donald Trump has recently turned his back on, commits its signatory countries to keeping global temperatures “well below” 2.0C above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C. This will be achieved mainly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human activity so that nature can absorb the carbon dioxide and the natural balance of the earth restored.

This might sound easy, but in reality is a very tall order requiring significant changes in the way we currently produce and use the energy which supports our lives and livelihoods. Advances in technology will help as more and more ‘green’ solutions come on stream, but there does, I think, also need to be a personal commitment in recognising the impact we all have on the earth we share with our fellow human beings.

So I hope we can enjoy the lengthy spell of warm weather so eagerly promised in the papers, whilst at the same timing sharing a concern for the future of life on our fragile and beautiful planet.