Sunday, March 5, 2017

whether the weather

After spending a nice visit with Crow and some of his old friends he and I shared some Remy and fruitcake while we talked long into the night. Here's the gist of our conversation:

Global warming had us all worried for a while. Luckily, conservatives aren’t fooled by the 97% of scientists who insist that global warming is indeed a provable fact, and we should be comforted by the U.S. Republican Party’s assurances that it doesn’t exist since it isn’t mentioned in the Bible.

Because global warming is such a controversial (of course not generally among those with two neurons to rub together) issue these days, it has allowed for the emergence of a more accurate, and far more fascinating term in our humble opinion  - climate chaos.

The climate chaos theory explains that although the climate will get hotter due to carbon emissions, that isn't the end of the story. I don't know what kind of weather patterns you've witnessed lately, but around here we've had many warmer days than seems typical for the Atlantic provinces in winter as well as a few heavy rainfalls that would have seen the place under deep blankets of snow had it been colder at the time. Not that we haven't had snow, but it was washed away every time.

While it's true we haven't been here long enough to know about what factors define a normal winter in these parts other people have said it's been weird. Crow says that basically, it's not just the heat that is cause for concern, rather the strong divergence in the intensity of various forms of nasty weather on a regional basis (and he should know because he flies everywhere). Those who choose to live in the fantasy world where humans have no obvious negative impact on our natural environment rightly point out that climate change is simply an inevitable environmental  fact, and the Earth regularly goes through cycles of warming and cooling - therefore it is simply human pride to assume we have anything to do with it.

Maybe so, yet the biosphere of Earth has also undergone cycles of mass extinctions based on environmental factors. Call us crazy, but I think that’s probably what the scientists are worried about. It’s hard to argue this with people who believe the world is only 6000 years old and that dinosaur bones were put there to trick us. 

The concept of climate chaos is an attempt to explain climate change in terms that anyone can understand (since nothing else seems to be getting through). As Mark Twain once said, “Climate is what we expect.  Weather is what we get”.

Let's hope we still have good reason to have high hopes for the in-between seasons. Spring will soon be here and autumn is on its way to our friends in the southern hemisphere.

ps: I found an international weather page app you might like to check out.

wonderful artwork by Peter deSeve
known for New Yorker covers


Tom said...

I know it's a serious subject, but paras 2 and 6 did make for a little giggle on my part.

susan said...

I can't help getting frustrated, Tom. A bit of sarcasm helps.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Now when I was engaged in business (and I would suggest as applies to anyone else) what a rare treat it would be to have 97% agreement about any complex matter.
But as you know global warming is not the issue, but rather the raging debate as to how much is due to human activity. For the chaos theorists, (apart from the fundamentalists to which you refer) the debate is how to apply weightings to the many variables; the determinants of future weather patterns. There remains a degree of subjectivity in such complex climate modelling. Hence milder outcomes predicted risk complacency and ill-preparedness for the future whilst severe exaggerations can lead to ungrounded fears. But on a more positive note I see plenty of evidence the middle consensus adopted by most scientists is being adopted more and more by both business and individuals.
Best wishes

Should Fish More said...

I'll let Frost speak for me:
"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."

Ol'Buzzard said...

The facts are out there, the scientist agree, the rate of climate change is unprecedented. In one hundred years we have gone from one billion to seven billion people on this earth and the environmental pollution has increased proportionately - It is to the financial benefit of corporations to deny their complicity, and their lackey politicians who's major concern is remaining in office are prostituting themselves for corporate support. Baring some major catastrophic incident (nuclear, volcanic, asteroid) climate change is going to bit us in the ass sooner than later.
the Ol'Buzzard

Ol'Buzzard said...

Damn, I love your art
the Ol'Buzzard

susan said...

Hi Lindsay, I know what you mean about scientists, or anyone else, being so totally in agreement about complex modelling patterns. Nevertheless, it's true there has been a tremendous increase of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and especially greenhouse gases due to polluting substances emitted as a result of industrialization and deforestation. Plus, humans are emitting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, faster than the absorbing rates of plants and the oceans.

Emissions like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and other greenhouses gases will remain in the atmosphere for many years making impossible to eliminate global warming for several decades.

The most important consideration is to be fully awakened to the situation and that I think is happening as you've described here and on your own site.
All the best

susan said...

and one of my favourites by 'The Kinks':

"The Village Green Preservation Society"

We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society
God save Mrs. Mopp and good Old Mother Riley
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
God save the George Cross and all those who were awarded them
We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity
God save little shops, china cups and virginity
We are the Skyscraper condemnation Affiliate
God save tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the Village Green.

susan said...

I agree with your conclusions, OB. As a longtime member of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, I strongly believe in our motto: “May we live long and die out”. Nevertheless, for the time being we're all here and we can only hope that through education and living modestly on the planet (as you and your wife do) our numbers will soon diminish.

In the meantime I have a growing list of greedy individuals to send as 'tourists' on outward bound space launches.

susan said...

I'm glad you do. Unfortunately, this one isn't one of mine.

Halle said...

Dear Susan, I too loved your use of sarcasm in this piece. You have reminded me of a video that was made of Jane Goodall speaking about what she has learned in her 80 years, and her hopes and dreams for humanity. About halfway through this five minutes (all well worth a listen) she speaks of our misuse of the planet and its causes.

Hopefully we all can begin to enjoy some warmer and gentler rain soon here in the Northern parts of the Americas.

susan said...

Hi Halle, Yes, that was a wonderful little summing up she gave about her fears about how things are worsening and her wishes for what could change. Jane Goodall is an inspiration, a person I wish was paid more attention by those who could effect some change.

Meanwhile, I wish you a long and gentle spring.

okjimm said...

well, it's pretty damn good. Almost as good as your stuff.

okjimm said...

You can never go wrong with a little Kinks. I wonder what Lola is doing tonight?

susan said...

They seek her here, they seek her there..

susan said...

You really are far too kind, Jimm. :)

Andrew R. Scott said...

Whose art is it. Shouldn't you say?

It is very good. Possibly a bit "Disney" (not a criticism, maybe it even is "Disney" the corporation?).

And I also love your own art.

susan said...

Hi Andrew, Actually I did say whose work it is
right at the end of the post; but here it is

wonderful artwork by Peter deSeve
known for New Yorker covers

He's a highly skilled commercial artist known
for having a somewhat twisted sense of humour.

No wonder you liked him.
It's good to know you
like my work too.

Andrew R. Scott said...

Ah, I "speed read" (aka missed) that, thinking those end lines were all about the app, cos I don't do apps... I took a look at his website. Great stuff.

susan said...

I don't 'do apps' either, Andrew, largely because we don't even own a cell phone. Nevertheless, the interactive weather map was pretty neat.
Yeah, Peter deSeve is one of my favourites. Among others I loved his cartoon of the lobsters escape.