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