Just Plain Crazy

This is not the proper way to look at the sky. The correct way is with the hands and elbows over the head to ward off falling debris. Photo by Stuart Pilbrow

Let me tell you something about climate change: People’s perceptions of climate have changed. So have their perceptions of weather. If you want to be popular in my hometown of Austin all you’ve got to do is repeat, “Crazy weather.” Pretty soon, you’ll be someone that people consider to be in the know.

You don’t have to pick and choose what occasions this observation, either. If it was cold yesterday and is warm today, that’ll do: “Crazy weather.” If it was warm yesterday and is cold today, that’ll do fine, too: “Crazy weather.” If it rains in the morning, is clear for several hours, and then rains again, you’re golden: “Crazy weather.”

People appear to be ignorant of the following: frontal passages, seasons, historic “norms,” past climate, and on and on. If people tell you that the current drought in Austin is about as suggestive of “climate change” as the Sun rising in the morning and setting at night and you mention that maybe the cactus in the region is here for a reason, you’ll get that look that says, “You’re not one of us.” It’s a chilling look.

The other day, a college-age person said the magic phrase to me, after a cold front had swung through town. “Crazy weather,” he said.

“It’s just spring,” I said, as gently as I could.

Besides the fact that people have been brainwashed by mad scientists and a mindless media, and have lost the ability to think for themselves and be observant witnesses of the world around them, what gets my goat the most is the fact that a movement supposedly wedded to a love of nature has stolen this very thing from at least one human generation. They look around them and see anti-nature. But I’ve got news for all of them: the majesty of weather has not left town. It is all around.

Another of the most maddening parts of this is the fact that if any of hundreds of thousands of weather events from the past were to be repeated today they would be taken as proof of “climate change.” From epic floods to five-century droughts to tornado swarms to ice jams to cataclysmic blizzards: humankind has seen all of these – again and again and again. But now they’re proof of the limitless power of a trace atmospheric gas.

Sure, they are.


About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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