Mayor Trump has called a meeting in the market place. He is looking quite angry today.
‘Ahem. Some people here, bad people, have caused a trail of chaos and destruction in the town. It’s bad. Very bad. My new conservatory has been totally totalled. Gone. Not a conservatory anymore.’
Yes,’ said Mr Troop, the Town Clerk, who had been reinstated again and was learning to be a bit more mindful of who paid his wages. ‘The total bill for damages amounts to over £45, which is very serious.’
‘Serious,’ said Mayor Trump.
‘It was the b****y hurricane,’ said Chippy Minton, the carpenter and a known activist (trouble maker). ‘You’re smoking the wrong dope!’
‘My shop was flattened’ said Mr Clamp the greengrocer. ‘Fruit and veg everywhere, all mashed up.’
‘You could sell veggy smoothies now,’ said Mrs Minton.
‘Not funny,’ said Clamp.
‘I read a report by the UK Committee on Climate Change’ said Mrs Cobbitt the flower seller. ‘It said that we are already experiencing the symptoms of global warming and that it’s no coincidence that there are more hurricanes and fires and things now.’
‘Totally fake news,’ said Mayor Trump. ‘There have always been hurricanes and fires and bad stuff. Anyway, it snowed last week so how can there be global warming?’
‘Because,’ said Mrs Cobbitt, ‘warming causes more moisture in the air which leads to more extreme precipitation events. More snowing is just a symptom of that.’
‘I don’t believe it,’ said Mayor Trump, getting more orange, as he did whenever he was challenged and couldn’t get his way by bullying people. ‘Global warming is just a Chinese plot.’
‘Well global scientific opinion seems pretty unanimous about it now,’ said Mr Wilkins the plumber. He always kept himself to himself, so it was a surprise to hear him pipe up now.
‘I’ve been reading up on it,’ he said, as the others looked round at him with raised eyebrows. ‘We badly need to reduce our carbon emissions and clean up our act, or we’ll be in the doo-doo. I’ve started installing a heat pump in my house. It’ll work a treat, and the subsidies are fantastic. I’m actually going to save a lot of money compared to my oil-fired system.’
Miss Lovelace the Milliner started to see Mr Wilkins in quite a new light and moved over to stand next to him.
‘It’s a trap,’ said Mayor Trump.
‘No. I’ve had an independent assessment and it all stacks up,’ said Mr Wilkins. ‘Heat pumps are great. They’re clean; and the rate of subsidy is the best. It’s really going to help my bottom line.’ And he winked at Miss Lovelace.
‘Actually, we could set up a shared ground loop around the town and get lots of properties on it,’ said Mrs Cobbitt, who seemed to have become the local expert on these things. ‘The government is really keen on that now. It’s a good way for everybody to benefit.’
Mayor Trump was about to say something really quite rude, but luckily – as it was before 9pm – at that very moment the fire brigade arrived to rescue the town cat who had got washed up onto one of the roofs during the flood that came with the hurricane.
And the rest is history…