The English winter is not to be underestimated. As a child I remember my father sat at the kitchen table wearing a huge fur hat and a long scarf, with a Calor gas heater beside him. The great Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef told me he had experienced winters in Patagonia, Norway and Canada, but had never known such cold as he found in London. He said, “It is the damp there that gets into your bones”.

I had the privilege to live through a winter in Finland. It reached 40 degrees below zero, the ocean froze over with ice a metre thick, and the Helsinki people spilled out over the glistening ...


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