Saturday, 19 December 2009

Five joys of snow

Well, the Copenhagen climate change summit ended with a strong message. That message being 'throw another polar bear on the coal-fired power-station, I don't think the Maldives are quite under yet.' Or alternatively, 'finally, we sealed the deal', if you are the UN Secretary General (planet? which?). 

So the only thing left to do is to get out and enjoy the snow before Sussex looks more like the Sahara. Meanwhile, here are a few ideas to give you hope for the lovely low-carbon future that the spineless ninnies 'world leaders' could have made - and still could make - possible.

Five things I love about snow:

1. The light: the shortest day is almost upon us, so I am almost weepingly grateful for the massive increase in reflected light. If we decided to cool our overheated planet by making like the Mediterraneans and painting our towns and cities white to reflect the heat,* wouldn't all that extra sunlight be a lovely side-effect in the winter?

2. The silence: I love the way that you know it has snowed as soon as you wake up because the quality of light and sound is so different. Wouldn't it be marvellous to live in a world without all that horrid noise pollution from cars, lorries and aeroplanes?

3. The way grown adults instantly regress to childhood: when the snow started coming down in Brighton in huge blizzarding flurries, nearly everyone stopped going about their everyday business and surrendered to the joys of SNOW! Pedestrians had snowball fights in the impassable roads and car drivers jumped out to throw snowballs back at them. This is what roads are for!

4. The way snow brings complete strangers together: yesterday a new neighbour was moving into Madame la Moue's street, but the removal lorry couldn't get through. So all the neighbours came out with their spades to dig a path down the road. I can't think of a more memorable way to meet your new neighbours.

5. The excuse it gives me to borrow friends' children, dress up in newly-swished clothes and play 'let's pretend we live in the Boden catalogue':

Me and Spoddy la Moue. In 2050 he will be 47. Will he be living in a snowless world of droughts, rising sea-levels and climate refugees, or a low-carbon heaven, driving a quiet, clean car, in a happy local community, with a gorgeous swishista on his arm? I know which one I'm voting for.

* Isn't this just the most genius plan ever?