Bold Predictions?


Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...
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A good friend told me several months ago that there are only two types of events that occur – those that cause global warming and those that are caused by global warming.  I’ll leave the science to the experts and the politics to the politicians as far as climate and climate change are concerned.  In other words, I am not going to express a personal opinion other than to say that the subject seems equal parts politics and science. 

I’m not sure why global warming is on my mind this morning other than it has been so unseasonably cold this year.  Honestly, it feels a great deal more like February than April at the moment.  From what I understand, it should be really nice this weekend and the temperature will climb to the low 70s.  I’ll take it.  Sign me up.  Sign me up for several for that matter. 

Last year Sara and I did a loan for a meteorologist and couldn’t help but laugh when on his Facebook profile he indicated the rain was driving he and his wife to consume large amounts of alcohol.  My opinion of weathermen/women everywhere improved dramatically when I realized that even people who have a reputation for dispassionately and objectively studying Doppler 2000 weather patterns, satellite images, El Nino, El Nina ad nauseam can get sick of the cold and the wet too.  Lack of vitamin D will make even an Oregonian eventually go nuts.

Accurately forecasting the weather has been an issue for centuries.  When my daughter completed a research project on Cleopatra and commented that life was difficult in Egypt during her reign because of a bad harvest, it’s not too hard to see the importance of weather when it comes to food, politics and survival.  True, most of us are city dwellers and are about as removed as possible from the weather cycle and the production of food as is possible in this age.  But truth be told, all of us suffer if there is a bad season for wheat, corn, soybean etc.  We’re more apt to talk about it under the guise of economics and inflation but our reliance upon a good harvest is still there.  It’s just hidden a bit.

My take on this whole climate business is that it is infinitely more complicated than any of us can imagine.  Just as we think we have things figured out,  a volcano will erupt in Iceland or a huge earthquake will devastate Japan and weather patterns will change for a year.  As we change our climate models and thought processes, something else is added to the mix.  No matter how sophisticated the theory or how advanced the computer modeling system, we’re still in the dark when it comes to knowing what the weather is going to be.

Donald Fagen composed a song about the future indicating that eventually “there’ll be perfect weather for a perfect world there’ll be spandex jackets, one for everyone.” The song itself was poking fun of the optimism of the Kennedy era; however, there are still those that honestly think that at some point we can control our environment either by our activity or even our lack of activity.  Personally I don’t think it will be that easy. 

So until there’s a better answer, I think I’m going to adopt my friend’s stance; events are either caused by global warming or cause global warming. 

Hand me my sunglasses – I hear it’s going to be nice this weekend.  Please?

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