Following the non-existent December freeze, I saw Cherry-Plum (Prunus cerasifera) in flower today, January 3rd 2016, while on my rainy run around the estates of Moredon. Normal flowering in the UK would be the end of February. I suppose this is more how it behaves in the southerly places where it's a native tree.
Annotating unseasonal bloomings has long been a pastime of the peacefully prosperous west. And this has become even more frequent since the Internet allowed us to pool such observations. The Facebook Wild Flowers group is full of them. But it's no longer possible to feel quite the same way about a mild season as in the past. It's nature, but it's also an indictment. When are we going to stop burning?
People will pull together and brave the funny weather, even if they're flooded, so long as they're kept sweet. Weather remains what it's always been, a conversation-piece; perhaps with a slightly sharper tone than in the past, but still.
That's what oil-capitalism is clear about. It has no fear of the poor. The rich can be sweetened. Governments will sign but they won't do. Paris has become the city of sick photo-opportunities.