Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weather Memory

It’s raining here today. My mother asks me “Isn’t it weird that it’s raining now?” “What,” I say, “you mean in April? Haven’t you ever heard April showers bring May flowers?” “Oh, yeah,” she says.
I think a lot of people are like this; they have this basic picture in their minds about what the weather should be like: cold in the winter, then about March it starts warming up until it gets hot in the summer, then it starts cooling down about September until it gets cold again in the winter. The thing is, that’s mostly true, too. However, there are always exceptions, and some of those exceptions happen with great regularity.
I used to work at a drive-in movie theater, which is a business that’s heavily impacted by the weather. When it’s cold, or raining, or foggy, business is slow. When it’s warm, business picks up. I’m not saying that makes me a weather expert, or anything, but when your job conditions depend on the weather, you tend to pay more attention to its patterns than someone whose job doesn’t.
Now, in this area, just about every year in June we get a thunder storm. It comes out of nowhere, lasts for a couple of days, then disappears. I worked at the drive-in every summer for ten years, and this thunderstorm happened all but one of those years. So, every year this storm would come through, almost like clockwork, and every year, people would say, “That’s weird, I’ve never seen it storm in June before.” And I would say, “Yes you have. It did this last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, too. You just don’t remember it, ‘cause your memory sucks ‘cause you smoke too much pot. You’re probably high right now, aren’t you?” And, because this IS Northern California, they’d almost invariably say, “Oh yeah, that’s right, I am.” Then they’d go off looking for something to munch on, and I’d go back to reading the help wanted pages.
So, the point I’m making here is that people in general don’t have very good memories when it comes to weather. The reason I bring this point up is because I’m beginning to suspect that that is the reason this whole Global Warming™ nonsense has taken off like it has. When some environmentalist functionary comes on the news to say that “This is the hottest summer on record!” most people will go “Yeah it is pretty hot. I don’t remember it ever being this hot,” when in point of fact most people can’t even remember what the weather was like three days ago, myself included.
But I do remember that there’s a thunderstorm around here every June. So when it happens, and people start crying “It’s Global Warming™! We broke the sky! We’re all going to die!!”, I’ll be ready for ‘em.

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