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Cold summers, more trees: the new climate paradigm.

The latest wheeze from the Met Office is that the British Isles could be in the middle of a ten to twenty year cycle of dismal summers, due to an ocean current pattern grandiosely called the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation. Apparently scientists have known about this since forever, but didn’t realise it might undermine the balmy, grape-growing Mediterranean-like future which they had previously been predicting for us, and on which basis so many British people now ridiculously dress in flip-flops and flimsy clothing all year round, as if they lived in Sorrento.

Lurking beyond all the scientists’ laughably confident predictions lies the largely unconsidered possibility of another mini ice age (the last one endured for five centuries and ended just 150 years ago) occurring, which would be tremendous fun – think Christmas markets on the frozen Thames, skiing in the Black Mountains, and vindication for all the millions of SUV-owners barrelling along British roads – as well as being great for business.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with carbon dioxide accretion in the atmosphere, but what does is the phenomenon called ‘Global Greening’ whereby previously arid parts of the globe are sprouting vegetation. Whatever your views on the links between CO2 and temperature, it is a happy corollary of the rising levels of the ‘greenhouse gas’ that more plants are growing, and that they are growing faster and better.

This is especially true for stove users, of course. There are more and more of us worldwide, and numbers are set to increase, for more reasons than just because stoves are a fine way to heat your home: as the toxic legacy of the bank bailout plays out, impoverishing millions, as rising energy prices keep pushing growing numbers into fuel poverty, and as environmental subsidies prod homeowners towards biomass, demand for wood is set to increase dramatically, without even taking account of the myopic Panglossian drive by the government to generate electricity from burning forests in power stations.

Given this increasing demand, thank goodness for Carbon Dioxide!