With Lancaster's temperature higher than Portugal as I left– and actually not that far off Dakar, as stark reminder back home that something's not quite right about the global weather system. It might be good for the British spirit but its hard not to feel the sign of less welcome changes yet to come... or for countries elsewhere. I have with me ( for a bit of light reading) the latest report from the North West Public Health Observatory The Impact of Climate Change upon Health and Health Inequalities in the North West of England . Among other things it highlights that by the 2080s in North West England temperatures are expected to increase by 2.6 degrees in winter and 3.7 in summer. Feels like that could happen far sooner just now.
The report goes on to predict the effect of the temperature rises on health, or rather illness, demand on the NHS. Needless to say there is going to be massive increase (eg 15% increases by 2020 in annual hospital admissions from respiratory diseases alone). Just as destruction of the NHS comes into full force? “This week as we turned the clocks forward by an hour, Cameron turned the NHS back by 60 years”
Back to Dakar – Abdoullah Wade, Senegal's president for the last 10 years was peacefully ousted yesterday as I was arriving (events not related), even though he was hoping to subvert his own legislation of limiting the president to 2 terms of office. Despite foreign office warnings of riots on the streets it was completely calm and almost deserted on the way from the airport to the hotel. The manager was asleep on the reception sofa, the TV was showing crowds cheering from earlier in the day and the the interviwed ex –president was, if my French serves me well, blaming the French and the US Governments. ‘Tant pis’ said the manager