Friday, March 23, 2012
A Question for You
Does anyone else out there, who is experiencing above normal temperatures for longer than usual at this time of year, feel like it's not ok to say anything negative or critical about the weather?
We've had summer temperatures here in Ottawa for the last week and everyone is just loving it, can't get enough of it. People are out in flip flops, sundresses and board shorts. The patios are packed, parks are full, children scream down the streets on bicycles. Everyone is in love with the weather we're having.
And I am enjoying it too. My bike is also out. The sun oven is back in action. I'm doing yoga outside. Last Sunday I got a tan lines sitting outside reading in the sun in my two piece.
But. But I can't help worrying a little too. I worry about the maple syrup producers this year, the fruit growers, the migrating animals. I worry about drought and fire. I worry about heatwaves and smog alerts.
No, I'm not huddled in a corner, filled with debilitating anxiety or anything. I'm just a little uneasy about the unseasonably warm weather and the consequences of it.
However, around most people, I'm afraid to express those concerns lest I burst their early spring happiness bubbles. The few times I have, I get interesting responses. One person became quite defensive. Another pointed out that "weather is not climate" and another responded that this is just a fluke, followed by 'it happens'. Meaning I guess, that we'll return to normal soon and also that it's normal for the abnormal to happen. I held my tongue and didn't bother mentioning that we're smashing decades long records by degrees in the double digits and that those previous records only lasted for a day or two. What is happening right now is unprecedented and prolonged.
Apparently it's an issue for CBC radio too. The announcers on the Ottawa morning show were getting hate mail from listeners for being concerned about the weather instead of celebrating it, and were asked to be more positive when talking about the temperatures.
So now when the weather comes up, and of course everyone is talking about how wonderfully, glorious it is, I smile and nod and say "yes isn't it something?"
Then, I was at an event last Sunday and having a casual, small-talky conversation with a fellow and asked him if he had enjoyed his weekend and the weather. He replied that, while it was nice to be outside, he was actually concerned about the weird weather. Oh, bless him. I could have given him a big ole bear hug.
So what I'm wondering is if any of you have had a similar experience, that it's practically taboo to share your concerns and feelings about the weather. Do you sense that there is an expectation to celebrate the summer-like temperatures? And, if you do have concerns that you have shared, what kind of responses are you getting? For the worried in a world of those who seem unconcerned, how are you doing? Are you ok? Do you need a sympathetic ear? I've got two!
Sharon Astyk has a nice post up today about how she feels, that really resonated with me. She says, "...it is nice, but not NORMAL at my house, it is hard to love with a whole heart this world, whether this warming is momentary or meaningful. The long term predictions for my place echo in my head - like Georgia, only drier, by the end of the century. If we aren't having a Georgia spring, we are certainly having a Virginia one, and isn't without consequence."
Updated to add this informative article. Also this. I would love to know if Oprah and Obama were criticised for not being completely positive about the weather.
“We’ve had a good day,” Obama said. “It’s warm every place. It gets you a little nervous about what’s happening to global temperatures. But when it’s 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March it gets you thinking … ”
“Something’s wrong,” Oprah interjected.
“Yeah,” Obama said. “On other hand we really have enjoyed the nice weather.”