It wasn’t so long ago that people – not just cynics, or even sceptics – expressed the view that climate change was an entirely natural phenomenon. They said it was to do with sunspots or natural cycles and that, in any case, whatever it was, it was a problem for the twenty-second century, not the twenty-first.

Acknowledging at most that coal was not an ideal fuel and that improved household insulation was probably a good idea, they mocked the scientific consensus that warned of the chaos to come, appealing instead to “good sense” to see us through. Those who wanted to put the climate version of Project Fear into a historical context liked to recall that vines were grown in England in the time of the Tudors and that Victorians sometimes got to skate on the Thames over Christmas and New Year.