Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring Not

And then it got cold. Some elevations near me received snow. Very pretty in the news. Not so much so for gardeners near those higher elevations.

The news casters talked about the last two times it snowed in the Bay Area low enough for it to stick in San Francisco.

In February 1976 it snowed and I have pictures of Papa scraping snow off the windshield of my 1964 Rambler Ambassador. That is the nearest that car came to snow.

In January 1962 I woke up one Sunday morning (at least memory calls it a Sunday) to look out my bedroom window on a backyard that looked like someone had taken a giant sugar duster to the yard and sprinkled powdered sugar all over it. I couldn't believe my eyes and I hurried out to the dining room to open the floor-to-ceiling drapes for a better look! Wow! It wasn't powdered sugar at all ! It was snow. I woke up the rest of the family to come see my amazing discovery.

This time it did not snow at the lower elevations as predicted on Thursday and Friday. In fact, it barely rained. Some weird convergence of pressure systems made for unusual weather.

Is it global warming or some other source of climate change, or just odd weather? Humans have always noticed and talked about the weather. After all, at its extremes weather can wreak havoc with our lives, remind us of how fragile we are and how much we are not in control of nature.

Maybe that is why we like the theory of global warming so much--it puts us in a central position and in control. Not to say we should be wasting fossil fuels the way we do, but I do think there are other reasons not to waste.

I would love to see less waste, and I would love to see the true cost of our wasteful misuse of nature's bounty factored into the cost of the things we buy and discard so haphazardly. I have wanted to see that since I was an undergraduate in college in the 1960's and a fellow student in Econ 1A raised the question of how we could or should factor in the cost of the use of non-renewable natural resources. It is a disappointment to me that almost fifty years later we still don't have any formulas for doing this.

If someone knows of a history of climate or weather that I could request next month from the library as one of my monthly books, I would appreciate it. The historian in me questions some of what I hear as science. (Just a skeptic at heart, I guess.)

I am grateful to live in a free society, where I can be a skeptic, and where I can even show what may be my ignorance without worrying about reprisals. Grateful too, very grateful that I have a warm spot to hunker down in today, more than enough tasks to keep me busy--which ones to choose first--and that the weather is warming up.

A blessed Sunday to everyone.

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