But Baby It’s Cold Outside

The entire argument about global warming seems to be quite a bargain in a couple of ways.  First, some folks made a killing dealing in carbon credits when such strange financial products were all the vogue.  Second, it appears to me that there are at least two issues being bandied about as one and twofers are almost always a good deal.  Perhaps the primary argument is whether the phenomenon exists at all.  Secondarily, if it does, whose fault is it, man or nature?

I’m not about to step out on thin ice here so will attempt to avoid all such controversy and just provide you with a few notable details.  For instance, no doubt you have been seeing some of the reports about severe winter weather ravaging Europe.  Some remote villages have been literally snowed in for weeks and desperately need relief.  It is so cold that in Germany, when a truck accidentally dropped piles of sauerkraut onto the autobahn, it froze to the road so quickly that a massive traffic jam developed.  Simultaneously, since in theory global warming might manifest as abnormal weather patterns globally, it is with interest that we observe in Canada the city of Winnipeg had to bring in some 200 truckloads of snow to facilitate their annual snow-sculpting competition.

These same disruptions can have much more sinister repercussions.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing the map they distribute which shows what types of plants can thrive in different regions of the country.  Any home gardener with a subscription to Sunset Magazine is probably familiar with these.  But when such zonal drift begins to affect the types of crops an area can support, we had best take notice.  For instance, many areas have now endured several years of drought.  The resulting famines in countries as diverse as Mexico and Somalia lead to disruptive migrations of whole populations, even armed violence.

Understanding the effects of this global whatchamacallit weather change may well be more important right now than ascribing cause.  We need to know how best to use and conserve some of our most precious resources such as water.  We need to make sure barriers to moving surplus foods around the world are easily surmounted.  Unfortunately, none of this will be nearly as easy to accomplish as the recommendation put forth by a French minister of health.  It was so cold there that she felt compelled to warn the homeless to stay indoors.