Silver lining

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The Independent Online

Rain. It's going to come again, only more so, according to a major study of the impact of global warming on Europe, which was published by the University of East Anglia yesterday; while the south of the continent will get drier and drier as the century goes on, these islands look as if they are set to endure more and more of the Venetian conditions presently swishing and sloshing their way around.

Rain. It's going to come again, only more so, according to a major study of the impact of global warming on Europe, which was published by the University of East Anglia yesterday; while the south of the continent will get drier and drier as the century goes on, these islands look as if they are set to endure more and more of the Venetian conditions presently swishing and sloshing their way around.

Do not, however, despair. Part of our role down here is to provide an optimistic and encouraging view when things look a bit grim; that is why we shall now attempt to locate and underline the real positives in precipitation, over and above its vital - if not at this moment particularly consoling - function in the area of fertilisation, propagation and irrigation.

Look, for example, at your Mancunians: despite all that rain, they are genial, jovial souls mostly, apart from odd exceptions such as the Gallagher brothers and the late Albert Tatlock. You may recall, too, that we performed particularly badly at swimming in the recent Olympic Games. And rain stops cricket. Other key precipitation plus-points: 1) you get the wear from your wellies; 2) it's an excellent conversational topic; 3) ducks like it. Better?

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