an eddy in the bitstream

Day: February 18, 2005

Weather != Climate

I was at the dentist this morning, and amid the smalltalk, the dentist made this off-hand comment that I hear so often from my fellow Minnesotans: I wouldn’t mind more 40-degree days.

Around here, that’s a very warm winter day.

Comments like that really bother me. They’re symptomatic of our culture’s myopia. I enjoy the occasional 40-degree day in February — the annual February thaw is a holy thing — but that’s not the problem. The problem is when we have lots of 40-degree days in a winter. Winter after winter. Then it’s not weather anymore; it’s climate. And climate change, while perhaps unavoidable in the long run, is going to alter human life on this planet — and not for the better.

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