Neverending winter

After the beautiful bright crisp day yesterday, I'd begun to think we might be seeing the end of the extreme cold weather we've been experiencing.

Woke up this morning and opened the curtains to this.

Fortunately, it seems to be thawing pretty quickly so fingers crossed it won't cause me too much hassle getting to work tomorrow - assuming we don't get any more overnight.

Having grown up in rural Norfolk, I can remember far more extreme winters. We got cut off by snow once back in the 80s, for the best part of a week from what I remember of things. I can also remember the roads being cleared at the same time, resulting in a huge 10 foot plus bank of snow at the end of one road. I can also remember one year when the snow filled a derelict railway bridge near my home with snow completely - a massive drift, which must have been at least 15 feet deep. Certainly, the amount of snow we've been having is pretty trivial by comparison. What I can't remember though is a winter where it snowed so often. We seem to have had snow at least once a week for the last three months. That does strike me as unusual. You have to start wondering whether there's an increase in water vapour in the atmosphere due to global warming, leading to increased precipitation and hence snow. The same effect would presumably reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth, insulating the earth from warming and keeping temperatures lower.

I watched "The Age of Stupid" yesterday, expecting it to be a revelation. I'd thought it might change my life forever, making me realise that global warming was something I ought to suddenly take notice of, making me change the way I behave accordingly. But it wasn't any of those things. Pondering it afterwards, I realised that it wasn't a life changing experience because it wasn't saying anything I didn't already know. I think we all know. We have to change. It's just that we choose to ignore the fact. I guess that's the point of the film. Unfortunately, I think that a) it slipped by largely unnoticed and b) it seems to have failed in motivating the viewer to actually do something to change. I can see countless people watching it, thinking "yep, we're stupid" then turning up the heating or driving half a mile down the road to buy African vegetables, half of which they'll throw away.

If global warming is an earth threatening reality, the real heroes aren't the ones pointing it out now. Or the hemp wearing vegans living life frugally in the hope that their tiny contribution will somehow make a difference. If we're to survive without destroying the earth, the real heroes will be the ones who acknowledge that humans are self obsessed consumers and find a way to work with the fact in a way which stops scouring the earth of its resources. And I'm not sure whether that's a concept which can ever work in practice.


February 21, 2010 В· admin В· No Comments
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