Some Idle Thoughts on the Weather

“It always is wretched weather according to us.” So says Jerome K. Jerome in The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, describing a situation familiar to anyone who has seen a weather forecast or read the apocalyptic commentaries one finds in the newspapers. Jerome goes on to comment that “The weather is like the government – always in the wrong. In Summertime we say it is stifling; in Winter that it is killing; in Spring and Autumn, we find fault with it for being neither one thing nor the other, and wish it would make up its mind. If it is fine, we say the country is being ruined for want of rain; if it does rain, we pray for fine weather. If December passes without snow, we indignantly demand to know what has become of our good, old-fashioned winters, and talk as if we had been cheated out of something we had bought and paid for; and, when it does snow, our language is a disgrace to a Christian nation. We shall never be content until each man makes his own weather and keeps it to himself.”

Not a word would be out of place in a treatise on climate change or a documentary on ‘extreme weather’.

Later on in the same book, he declares, “It is this glamour of the past, I suppose, that makes old folk talk so much nonsense about the days when they were young. The world appears to have been a very superior sort of place, then, and things were more like what they ought to be. Winters were something like Winters, and Summers not at all the wretched things we get put off with nowadays.”

It seems as if nothing has changed in the 125+ years since he wrote that. Every year is the hottest, coldest, windiest, wettest or driest since records began, since the creation of the world, or, at the very least, since last Tuesday. Every year we hear supposed experts claiming that the weather is acting most oddly, despite it doing exactly what it has done every year previously and, if we care to read reports from ages past, quite often what it has been doing century after century, as well!

The repititous nature of such silly claims makes one wonder if their adherants believe the maxim that a lie repeated often and loudly enough will become accepted as true.

Yet, perhaps, in their heart of hearts, the so-called experts know that such claims are nonsense, which would explain why the same people who have been claiming for the last few decades that the planet has only a few years left before the environmental apocalypse strikes keep on jetting off around the world to conferences about how to stop people jetting off around the world; why the windfarms that should end our polluting ways are built in areas without reliable wind; and why governments that are certain that the sea levels are rising and that freak rainstorms will become the norm insist on building housing on unimginatively-named floodplains.

Sadly, focusing upon false claims and foolish hyperbole distracts from the very real damage being done to our environment, creating both a fogscreen that obscures what needs to be done and a doubt that festers into a cynicism towards all things ‘green’. Perhaps that is the grand plan, as big business not only gets away with ruining the Earth, but also makes a profit from pandering to such foolishness.

Will people wake up to reality? Or, will they continue to utter for centuries to come the same claims that Jerome skewered over a century ago?

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