Year 2: Weeks 67-68: California Cold Rush

Huge destructive storms, big bruvver racism, what’s going on back in the uk? Over here we’re still in deep freeze – there’s no snow, not even a cloud, in California’s central valley, but there is frost on the fruit, and the price of oranges and other citrus is going to rise dramatically as a result. Yes, yes I know that the storms in Europe are trashing coastlines and blowing trees all over the place, and yes I know that enormous ice storms across the rest of the US have brought states of emergency, but here in (still sunny) California we’re having record low temperatures overnight. It’s still nice in the daytime, but first thing in the morning it’s a bit nippy, brrrr. And blimey, I don’t know how I’ll cope with having to pay a bit more for my tangerines.

Seriously though, it’s even made the BBC world service news, the citrus crop could be utterly destroyed, as well as other crops – avocadoes, for example – and this has a knock-on effect on the state’s economy. California is one of the most important agricultural bread-baskets of the US, and we just aint used to this sort of weather. Even in southern California they have been getting flurries of snow in the hills above Malibu. They’re making snowmen in LA. But it’s been so dry in most of California that there is the additional risk of wildfire, especially with the high cold winds.

So, since I’ve come here, we’ve had the heaviest rain on record, the hottest summer on record, and now the coldest winter on record. Bloody hell. And this sort of thing is going on all over the planet. I heard that in Russia they are having one of the warmest winters they’ve ever had. Last year at the same time was one of the coldest. Tornadoes in Kensal Rise. Yesterday Stephen Hawking said that the threat of global warming and its knock-on effects has brought humanity that little bit closer to doomsday. I think it’s about time we took this climate change thing a little bit more seriously, or I might have to give up eating oranges altogether.

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