By Ray Fleming DRIVING home late on Thursday night on the Inca motorway, after a great Balearic Symphony Orchestra concert, I met conditions that resembled those I last remember in Finland. So this is global warming, I asked myself as the car slid and slithered along the country lane near home. No more articles on that subject for a while, I think. But, of course, the point is climate change and we certainly seem to be getting that just as the organisers of the Vancouver Winter Olympics are shipping in snow to make up for the lack of it when it should be plentiful.

Fortunately, our politicians still have their eye on the long-term ball. Yesterday Gordon Brown announced the formation of the United Nations High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (I'm not even going to try to find an acronym for that) which he will co-chair with the prime minister of Ehiopia, Meles Zenawi who was one of the more helpful third world representatives at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

The purpose of this new group is to raise US$30 billion over three years to form a fund to help poor nations adjust to the economic effects of climate change. Some progress was made towards this objective at Copenhagen but it was lost in the political wrangling of the conference's later stages. This initiative will revive the issue in time for the next major Climate Change conference in Mexico later this year.