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London has long enjoyed a Goldilocks climate — rarely boiling hot or freezing cold, neither too wet nor too dry, home to a people that have long flourished in a dull, shadowless land that the author Bill Bryson once compared with “living inside Tupperware”. This is changing.
Think back to the recent floods - in Knightsbridge last week and those extraordinary images of Pudding Mill DLR submerged in water in July. Climate change is no longer confined to scientific models, dystopian literature or far away lands — it is happening right now, in our fair city.
For a today’s paper, I spoke with climate scientists and others about how the capital needs to gear up for our new warmer, rainier reality.
Think of adaptation as the phrase “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing,” except instead of carrying an extra jacket, we need to invest billions of pounds in new and upgraded infrastructure.
But it may not shock you to learn that as a nation, we’re not doing nearly enough. In June, the Committee on Climate Change concluded that the UK was failing to keep up with increasing risk and was in fact “less prepared for the changing climate now” than it was five years ago...
In the comment pages, the economist Stephen King makes a not obviously wrong statement: If EU workers can no longer come here, capital may instead go there. At which point, levelling up may occur in... Poland.
Meanwhile, Natasha Mwansa writes that, savvy as ever, Kim Kardashian has worked out we now want our celebrities to be flawed too.
And finally, remember what Kings Cross used to be like? The area celebrates 10 years of regeneration with a new photo exhibition and, naturally, two new bars — including one by Idris Elba — as local restaurateurs reflect on the changes they’ve seen.
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