Rejoice, heat fans: the Age of Heat is upon us! Let’s have a look at all the new records – I mean, why not?

China managed to hit a spiffing all-time high of 52.2°C on 16 July, which does sound jolly hot, doesn’t it, and I’m sure the people living in the northwest township of Sanbao were delighted. But that’s nothing: Iran’s Persian Gulf International Airport in Asaluyeh achieved a ‘feels like’ temperature of 66°C on 16 July!

Meanwhile, over in the land of the free (to get very hot indeed) the Arizonian city of Pheonix’s record run of days over 43.3C (110F) has come to an end. The toasty town managed 31 days on the trot, which must have been a wonderful experience for all concerned.

And all this localised heatiness combined to deliver the hottest month globally on record, with an average surface temperature of 16.95°C.

Celebrating the news, UN secretary general António Guterres said: “The era of global boiling has arrived. Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning.”

Also celebrating the news, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced the granting of over 100 new North Sea oil and gas drilling licenses. “I’m a serial driller!” he didn’t quip.

In more good news, genuine serial drillers BP have announced profits of £2bn. Likewise, British Gas have revealed record profits of £969m for the first six months of 2023, up almost 900% on the same period last year. So, should all this heating up stuff turn out for the worse, at least there’s a chance that a handful of our best and brightest will survive under the earth, keeping cool and well fed in vast opulent lairs.


More Rishi news: Britain’s most prime-ministerial person has suddenly taken against the idea of phasing out internal combustion engines and gas boilers, linked no doubt to the apparent ominous rumblings of the voters in the Uxbridge byelection.

According to Sunak, meddling in such matters shouldn’t “unnecessarily give people more hassle and more costs in their lives” – which could be taken to mean, “vote Tory: you might not be able to buy or even rent a house or even afford enough food but at least you won’t have to buy an electric car”.

To be fair to the man, there is a general feeling that the British public might not be fully onboard with the cutting carbon agenda. Just Stop Oil’s terror campaign of throwing bits of glitter and jigsaws around at sporting events has been roundly condemned by the simple folk. Indeed, cricketist Jonny Bairstow was lauded after he carried a protestor off the pitch at some cricket game somewhere, with many going as far as to demand he be given a knighthood.

And Rishi didn’t miss out on that that, either, praising Bairstow’s “swift hands”.

Some are fine with the likes of Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain protesting, but as long as they do it behind closed doors, at home, alone, preferably in the dark.

Meanwhile, that bastion of humanity, common sense and working class values, the Sun, has launched a ‘campaign’ backing the put-upon British motorist – a critically-endangered species that’s being threatened by green crusaders. Sounds like a movement tailormade for Sunak to bless and gorge on. Of course, when the poor, beleaguered motorist was being/is being crushed by sky-high fuel prices, Conservative ministers and their analogues are always ready to step in. Well, they aren’t, but you know what I mean. Don’t you?


Another day, another brilliant, crazy scheme. Last month I wrote a bit about the EU’s fantasies to indulge in a bit of solar radiation management (SRM), a terrific idea that would see tonnes of reflective particles pumped into the atmosphere to deflect the sun’s rays, possibly leading to catastrophic consequences.

This week, Rishi Sunak (him again!) joyfully announced plans for two carbon capture plants, which he seems to believe will seriously offset the 100+ new North Sea oil and gas drilling licenses he’s blessed.

Clearly feeling left out of all this, István Szapudi, an astronomer who does all his astronoming down at the University of Hawaiʻi, has penned a proposal to launch a big space shield into the heavens to block the sun before its dazzling opalescence even reaches our troubled bauble.

Space parasols aren’t a new idea, but the notion hasn’t ever really ‘taken off’ because of problems around weight and costs – ‘costs’ being the ultimate problem with climate change, as in we might be able to save the world/humanity but it will cost shareholders, CEOs etc too much.

Conscientious Szapudi thinks he fixed all that, but you’ll have to read this article to find out how because I can’t be bothered to explain.

More worthy of note is that this is yet another harebrained scheme designed to mitigate climate change without actually dealing with the source of the problem: using capitalism to mend a disaster capitalism has, to a very large extent, caused.

What could possibly go wrong?