Growing up in the Midwest, there were absolute seasons.  When the calendar flipped from Summer to Autumn, the weather and temperatures would change accordingly.  You knew you had a good couple of good months of cool, calm, “football weather” before the Winter doldrums would come knocking on your door with wind, sleet, snow and ice and what felt like an eternal darkness.

Today, it appears global warming has changed our seasonal expectations, and that is a comprehensively sad fact. My FedEx guy, sweating in the humid heat of the Autumn one day and freezing in the wintry Autumn wind the next, said it best: “We’ve lost our seasons.”

Yes, we have lost our specific seasons, and with that, a sense of who we are in a contextual time and place. The weather no longer lies ties us to the land.  The weather now blindly binds us to uncertainty.

For those who live in the USA in California or Arizona, or other non-seasonal climes — you may not comprehend the memeing in the loss of predictable weather patterns and certain season changes — but for those of us who live on the East Coast, and who were born in the Midwest, the weather changes are alarming in the clear simplicity of disappearing seasons.

Here’s NASA evidence empirically supporting the facts of Global Climate Change:

The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. Increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.

Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in solar output, in the Earth’s orbit, and in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.

The more colloquial evidence appears in our normal, everyday, street conversations about the weather. What used to be a simple opening topic for a meandering conversation, now turns serious and intemperate with intention and fear.

If you’ve ever lived through a severe weather event — then you know trying to abide a weather predictions is something of a naïve attempt to play God.

You look at the weather forecast and prepare for rain and it is sunny all day. Then the immediate forecast calls for clear skies and hot temperatures and you’re caught in a thunderstorm with a 20-degree drop in temperature. Dealing with the weather is no longer a game of folly, but rather one of serious consequence that can leave you unprepared and stranded — and in dear danger.

I know we can never put the Weather Furies back in Mamma’s Pandora’s Box — and that leaves me to wonder what have wrought up against our better future interests?  We have tempted, and tested, Mother Nature with our behavior — and we aren’t winning.

We will always fight the weather, but when the weather decides to relentlessly turn on us, we are left with no other option but to turn back against our climate sins and try to regenerate some behavioral goodwill to become us — or we will be permanently left out in the freezing sun to perish — naked and unborn, yet alive and braying in hubris and infamy, forever.

4 Comments

  1. I am struggling with the seasons here ……… winter, spring, summer, spring, and back to winter. Winter is cooler and wetter , spring is still fairly wet and becomes warmer – summer is hot and mostly arid, with only a thunderstorm clearing the air occasionally – then we go back to spring – there is a whole round of harvests in the temperate “autumn” flowers that only bloom now and the earth is green again , before we slide into winter.

    1. It’s an odd phenomenon. Yesterday, on the East Coast, it was 20 degrees warmer than it is right now. That sort of maniac temperature swing indicates something wrong without climate than just surface temperatures. During the summer we had 30-degree swings from day-to-day.

  2. that is a very large swing – sometimes between night and day maybe – but day to day – it is very unusual – until now. We have a cloudy day here or a foggy start that does not blow away and we maybe get 10 degree C difference – but we know that living between the river and the sea that can happen in certain circumstances.