24th November 2023

We have a small weather station in our back garden which wirelessly transmits its data to a receiver in the sitting room. On top of the station are three connected cups that spin in the breeze, sending a measurement of wind speed to us indoors. Our then four-year old granddaughter spotted this device and, not unnaturally, wanted to know what it was for, but after hearing the explanation made no further comment. However, next day she solemnly announced, ‘there’s no weather today, Grandad.’ When I asked her why she thought that, she said it was because ‘the things on top’ weren’t going round – and nor were they on what was a very still morning.

Of course, there’s never a day when there’s no weather, and in these times of climate change we’re only too aware of it. The British Isles get warmer and wetter, with weather patterns growing more variable and extreme. Our children experience hotter summers than I ever knew, but they’re also denied the joy of playing with deep, fresh snow in the street or garden on crisp, winter days. The reason for these changes is that the atmosphere is having to hold more and more energy, and the best reliable, scientific consensus is that this comes mainly from man-made, fossil fuel emissions, which in turn encourage global warming. In the Bible, the older of the two creation stories tells us that ‘the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it’ (Genesis 2: 15). Sadly, as our weather increasingly testifies, we find exploitation easier than keeping!

Ken Stewart