Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Summer is like winter. Only hot."

The weather - or really the lack of weather - is one of the things I treasure most about living in the Pacific Northwest. But this year is kind of testing that love.

Last winter it was all putting chains on, taking chains off and shoveling for pretty much the whole month of December. Everyone talked about the weather all the time. And every foray out into the weather required special clothes.

Which is why, last night with that deep wisdom that comes right before sleep, I told J that I thought summer was like winter, only hot. By which I meant, all the extra work (in the this case moving fans around, watering plants - so much watering! - and constant adjusting of shades up and down), all the extra conversation (I felt like I was shouting into the phone all day yesterday with people who I worried might be at risk from overheating, "are you DRINKING enough WATER?"), and, of course, the what to wear question (keeping cool in 100 plus while looking more like a pastor than a beach bum is definitely a challenge).

The Book Of Face is all wondering if this year's climate weirding in the PNW is the sign that global warming has finally arrived for good and earnest. But I dont think so. I really believe in global warming. (Which you actually still have to say out loud and firmly in some circles.) But I would like to advise against making one hot week in summer proof of global warming (or climate weirding, as I've heard it more accurately called).

Climate weirding is big picture stuff - major weather patterns and global movements - not the small inconveniences of one hot week in one hot city. And when we say "I'm too hot, this must be the global warming theyve been talking about" I think we might give those anti-global-warming folks more fuel for their ridiculous flames.

So be hot, and be cranky about it if you must. Be incovenienced or annoyed or (in the case of one friend) delighted, like you're "in a cleansing spa sauna all. the. time." But remember this has been a few days, in one small part of the world. Because climate weirding is affecting all of us, for all time.


reverendmother said...

Yes, climate change is more accurate than GW, but the downside of the term is that it sounds much more innocuous than it is. How about "weather apocalypse"?

And yes to the summer/winter comparison. I used to live in Houston and we pretty much arranged our lives to be able to stay indoors during the summer.

Cheesehead said...

I once heard someone remark that "Local weather and global climate are two different things." which really comes in handy as a smart retort to my friends who are 'weather-weirding deny-ers' in the deep freeze of January.

But it sure felt like global warming and local weather were one and the same when I lived in a raised Mediterranean house in a valley in California and had to literally plan my day around opening and shutting drapes, turning on fans, and knowing that my kitchen would be utterly inhabitable between the hours of 3:00PM and whenever the sun went down behind the Fairfax hills.

Oh, and drink your water!

Sarah S-D said...

yeah, climate weirding makes more sense. it has been a cooler and wetter summer here in the south than is typical. we've had some beastly hot weeks, but in these parts you'd expect beastly hot months!