Any variety of weather whatsoever can be traced, if you keep the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined, to the One Holy Underlying Theory of All Weather
Of course I believe in global warming. How could I not? It happens even in the meteorological riot ward I know as home, dear, cruel Newfoundland. Yes, even in Newfoundland you see it every year. It’s cold and dirty and heartbreaking in February, and yet by June, well — sometimes a little later, say July to be safe — it is actually measurably warmer. In places. Sometimes. Most years. Once every decade, for sure.
With a few exceptions. There are parts of Placentia Bay in mid-June, when the fog is in, the wind onshore, and an iceberg in the harbour, that could freeze the nuts off a banker’s conscience. But, as we in the warming communion remind both heretics and hecklers — that’s weather, not climate, you dummies. Overall though, fairly regularly, most likely on the west coast, it warms up in the summer (as we like to call the late weeks of June and bits of July) and then tapers off for the rest of the year.
The folks back home are pretty steady on this. Come winter, no matter how often the water pipes freeze up, the lights go out from another sleet storm, the snow piles up such that you can’t get out the door, and the Witless Bay Line is clogged from Holyrood to Bay Bulls with the latest blizzard, our folks show no slack. “Cursed weather,” they exclaim. “Cold as a nun’s beads.” (Ed. note: a necessary edit has been made here. For the children.)
No. The faith is strong. They curse the weather. But they never blame the climate.
During the most savage Hyperborean blasts and numbing cold even the little ones busy themselves with exercises to remind themselves of the truth of things. Children in schools hang up posters of the Amazon rainforest, check the temperature in Tanzania, have revivalist reruns of An Inconvenient Truth to keep the sense of global peril fresh in their anxious empty little heads. They gather round the red-hot, pot-bellied stoves in the outport schools and plan a Thousand Acts of Green for when the snow clears. And pin little green David Suzuki and Bono buttons on their survival suits to manifest their creed.
I wish I could say things were as healthy, attitude-wise, on this front up in Ontario right now. As I peck away at this incomparable aria there’s a huge sheet of frost mist stretching full across Lake Ontario, half a mile high. Generated, beyond question, by the terrible, fierce, glacial pall that has lain over the province for the past 10 days or so, the mist is a shroud of pure ghostly frigidity, “as cold,” in Mr. Swinburne’s evocative couplet “as a winter wave/In the wind from a wide-mouthed grave.” Cheerful lad, was old Algernon.
It is so cold that the downtown scalpers in Toronto are selling tickets for next year’s March of the Penguins, which it is anticipated will start in Buffalo and terminate just off the Toronto Islands. David Attenborough will MC.
“Colder than when Mike Harris was Premier,” says a local Liberal. Up here folks are tending — a curious turn I agree — to a more lukewarm stance on the crucial climate/weather distinction. So too, in other ice-embalmed regions of the country and continent. There are mutters from icicled lips of “this is not what we were promised.” A like sentiment prompted a little-attended (it was too cold) labour protest recently that featured plaintive cries of: What do we want? Global Warming! When do we want it? Now.”
Of course the absolutely hopeless global warming skeptics are making great fun of all this, taunting the faithful, mocking the past predictions of snow-free winters, glaciers melting in 30 years, the fading industry of ski resorts. In equally bad form, they call up all the hot summer days of years past when even the TV meteorologists or “weather specialists” as they delight to call themselves, marked every humid breeze, every tilt upwards of a degree, the start of forest fires, the demands on air conditioning as “yet another sign,” another proof of the incontestable fact of our ever-heating globe. Not so much talk during those torrid days of the great cleavage between Climate and Weather. For some reason on hot days it is not thought necessary to make the distinction. Scientific scruple, I guess.
Fortunately, the Jesuitical mandarins of Pembina and Greenpeace and Sierra, assisted by the sovereign intellects of Bill Nye (your smarmy weather guy), Neil Young, Prince Charles and the concentrated brain power of the entire Green Party (Elizabeth May Inc.) are on the case: batting away their simplistic mockeries and confounding them with whole buckets of settled science and clips from We Day. And reminding everyone that they have long ago “rebranded” Global Warming so it does not mean that anymore. It’s Climate Change now, up, down, across and around. Climate Change, meteorology’s ToE (Theory of Everything).
We are fortunate to have such guardians, to direct us away from our senses, and beckon us back on the road to faith. Climate Change can cause cold temperatures, too, they intone. And wet weather. And dry. Hurricanes and cyclones. Droughts and floods. In fact, any variety of weather whatsoever can be traced, if you but model hard and often enough, keep the grants flowing and the contradictions unexamined, to the One Holy Underlying Theory of All Weather. Climate Change, everything proves it. It’s the scientific method at its best.