COULD it be that, with climate change, every cloud has a silver lining? Is there a bright side to incineration (not including the fact that this will mainly affect other people elsewhere)?

I witter thus in the wake of claims that climate change could bring a tourism boom to Britain, providing a vital boost to the post-Brexit economy as the warmer weather persuades Britons to holiday at home and foreign tourists to flock here, much as happens in Spain today (for tomorrow Spain will fry).

But who’s making such controversial claims, setting a gigantic moggie among the pigeons? Well, it’s someone who knows a thing or two about the weather: former television forecaster Bill Giles.

Bill says we need to start gearing up now for this brilliant opportunity as, by the middle of the century (ie the dreaded 2050 most often quoted as the deadline for everything going wrong or, in this case, right), Britain’s climate will be “among the best in the world”. He adds: “Climate change is on our side, and now is the time to start planning for it.”

This is incendiary stuff for, while climate change deniers tend to be right-wing nutters, climate change panickers tend to be shrieking liberals sensing another way in which they can browbeat people for their behaviour not being good enough.

You say: “Perhaps yon Bill has been influenced by the recent heatwave. But this was followed by it pouring down with rain in the traditional manner. Should that not have doused his ardour?”

That is a good point, well made. People keep looking at deviations in our current weather patterns as evidence for chronic climate change, or its lack, but I’m not sure that’s how it works. And, while I know doom-saying is an integral part of the human psyche, particularly in Scotland (Private Frazer etc.), melting polar ice caps are not be sniffed at.

However, it was on learning casually from a Finnish nature vlogger about her dry, wrinkled blueberries – victims of the heat – that I felt a rising sense of panic myself and was tempted to start running around shrieking, like a liberal Chief Warden Hodges: “Put that ruddy light out!”

My sense of panic deepened after I read a scientific article (can’t remember where: The People’s Friend? Trousers Monthly?) that suggested our stay on Earth was destined to be ridiculously short, hastened by our daftness in breeding willy-nilly, destroying this, consuming that, burning the other.

So, what to do? Well, another of the world’s leading Bills – Gates of that ilk, the billionaire Microsoft founder – has suggested sending more than 800 giant aircraft a day up into the stratosphere, there to sprinkle millions of tonnes of chalk dust, creating a giant sunshade that will reflect some of the Sun’s rays and heat back into ooter space.

Funny, that’s just what I was thinking we should do. Bill is serious, with a $3 million test due soon and conducted by right proper scientists with HNDs and everything, one of whom said: “Our idea is terrifying … But so is climate change.”

Captain Mainwaring might say: “You’re getting into the realms of fantasy now, Gates.” But it’s better than fiddling while the planet burns.

At the same time, while eschewing stringed instruments, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t take Mr Giles’ advice and cash in before the balloon goes up. Global warming may be dreadful for other parts of the world, and the wider planet might be up a polluted creek without a paddle, but balmy Britain can still get these tills ringing in the meantime. Let’s make hay while the sun shines.

Hairy decision

IN a landmark decision for the human rights of menfolk, the Royal Air Force has relaxed its ban on beards.

Perhaps bizarrely, an RAF survey found that many airmen had quit their military careers as a result of being forced to shave. The bare-faced cheek! Surely, their motto should have been: “My country, bearded or clean-shaven.”

Older readers might recall that there used to be a Second World War and, key to Britain winning it as usual, was the heroic effort of RAF fighter pilots, many of them extravagantly moustachioed. It was the hirsute in pursuit of the dastardly Messerschmitts that won the Battle of England in the skies.

However, even back in those relatively louche times, beards weren’t allowed in case they got in the way of respirators, as breathing was widely thought to be quite handy when flying.

Even today, airmen must present their beards for inspection to make sure they’re “neatly trimmed” and uphold “high standards of appearance”. However, given recent desperate attempts by the military to widen the recruitment pool to “woke” liberals, it can only be a matter of time before these start walking out because insistence on a high standard of appearance disrespects their human rights.

Overpaid entertainers

FOLLOWING recent complaints by Johnny Lydon (aka Rotten of yon Sex Pistols) about louts misbehaving near his hoose in Venice Beach, California, it emerged this week that Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has objected to plans by former Take That star Robbie Williams to put up a garden trellis.

Williams lives next door to Page in wealthy Holland Park, west London, and both of these upstanding ratepayers have previous, with Page also opposing Williams’ plans for a basement swimming pool. Not a Whole Lotta Love there, then.

It’s all rather sad, an indication that suburban misanthropy comes to us all (if not in houses of their size). All of these problems are caused by entertainers being paid far too much money. If they were kept on the minimum wage, they wouldn’t lose their edge the way they do and might still be singing angry or angst-filled songs, even if they are about trellises.

Same with comedians: they make so much cash that they give up performing and retire early, devoting their time to meetings with accountants rather than to gigs. If Corbyn wants to win popular support, he must do more to punish rock stars and comedians.