What I'm about to write could seem anything from unlikely, through impossible, to downright misguided depending on your point of view, but there's a chance that the whole global warming crisis - the one about the threat that will end the world as we know it - could be over by the end of the year. And why am I suddenly aware of this possibility? Because of a letter that appeared in The Times last week.

The author was Piers Corbyn, a man who runs a weather forecasting company called Weather Action. Corbyn, an ex-Marxist activist and holder of two impressive degrees, uses what’s called the ‘Solar Weather Technique’ to predict future weather patterns.

"The recent end-of-October rain, local floods and severe gales in the North of the UK were forecast by the same method, as were more seriously damaging storms which will hit much of Britain and Scandinavia - and have echoes across the world - around Nov 8-13 and Nov 24-28," he wrote. "Safety preparations should be made now, and not just against the anti-scientific brainwashing which will follow."