The lucky ones or, The difference between climate and weather…

I’m about to say something controversial, or at least controversial among some of my more right leaning friends. Here it is: the Global climate is changing.

It’s shocking I know, but there are a whole sea of scientists who tell me it’s happening and in cases of science, I’m generally inclined to go along with the majority rather than hang in with the outliers. For purposes of this post, I’m just going to stipulate that climate change is a real thing. In fact that’s all I’m going to stipulate to, because I don’t know (and it really doesn’t matter) whether that change is being caused by humans or whether it’s the result of natural phenomena. The cause, at this moment, isn’t actually the important thing.

If we accept that the earth’s climate is changing and that this change will result in a number of negative consequences, the only question that really matters is what are we going to do about it? We can do nothing, let the temperature creep up, let the oceans rise, and get use to the idea that the breadbasket of the world will end up in central Canada instead of the American Midwest. We can adjust to record rainfalls and droughts, to stronger and more frequent hurricanes, and to the coming unprecedented migrations out of areas that will no longer be suitable for human habitation. Those things are coming regardless of whether we cause the earth to warm or if it’s just part of a natural cycle. It’s going to happen.

Why am I saying this? Well, you see I’m one of the lucky ones. Most people my age have had a few kids and might be interested in leaving the world a better place for their offspring. I’m not tied down with that kind of long range baggage. What I’ve got on my side is the fact that global changes come on fairly slowly and that I’ve already exceeded half of my average life expectancy. Playing the numbers, I’ll most likely be able to ride out the last of the good times and then promptly drop dead before things really go to hell in a handbag, so even if we collectively decide to do nothing, it’s mostly wine and roses for this old boy. You bunch out there with kids or grandkids, on the other hand, wow. The world is going to be a different place for them.

The world is getting warmer and that means life is going to get harder, more violent, and generally less pleasant. We can piss and moan about what caused which, or we can throw in and come up with some solutions to get after the worst of the consequences. The only thing that the pop science I have access to seems certain about is that we can change now or change later, but either way a change is going to come. I’d say it’s better now while we have a chance to think it through instead of just reacting to external stimuli. Then again, what do I know, I’m just a guy sitting here who’s smart enough to know there’s a whole world of things he doesn’t know. As a rule, though, when big groups of smarter people than me say there’s a problem I tend to listen to them rather than dismiss them as hokum and witchcraft.

Now I’ll just sit here quietly while someone from the RNC comes to collect my Republican Party ID card and decoder ring because I think it’s ok to know the difference between climate and weather.

Four letter word…

Sure, sure, I know plenty of you out there on the interwebs are enthralled by how wonderful the post-Christmas snow has been. I’m here to tell you that you are, quite simply wrong. It’s cold, it’s wet, and it requires inordinate amounts of effort to move from Point A to Point B. Simply put, snow is just another four letter word. Like most other four letter words, its use is almost always inappropriate. It’s even more inappropriate on days when I’m already off and want to go out and do things and see people. Under the circumstances, snow is pretty much just an enormous pain in the ass with the singular redeeming quality of being kind of pretty.

Like a hot girl with the personality of a water buffalo, sometimes being pretty just isn’t good enough. The frozen nonsense can stop dropping out of the sky any time now.

Older, fatter, and balder…

In the face of “impending weather catastrophes” it seems that everyone becomes an older, fatter, and balder version of their 12 year old self… with the most prominent questions of the day focused on pondering the mysteries of how and when a decision might be made to close the office and whether it’s best to pick up a cubic yard of toilet paper after work or wait to the early hours of the morning to make a market run. Since I’m already taking the day off Monday, the question is pretty much academic… unless the whole system slows down and doesn’t start rolling in until late in the day Monday or very early Tuesday morning. What I’m really looking for here is a healthy dose of mayhem and chaos, by which I mean enough to extend the weekend, but not enough to cause a disruption in the power supply… because let’s face it, a day with no electricity isn’t really any better than a day at work.