Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weather? Climate? Change?

Paul Simon sang, "I get all the news I need from the weather report," which this newshound can't honestly say of himself. Still, at the risk of complaining about some of the easiest weather, generally speaking, in the continental United States: it's been a perfectly incontinent(al) March here on the Left Coast. After a weirdly dry winter, it was lashing rain on Tuesday of this week, as it was much of the week before.

I know, I know, break out the violins. The skies were clear and the sidewalks were dry by yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, but I'm just sayin'.

Have you been watching Chicago's record heat this month? Eight, count 'em, eight days this month during which the thermometer hit 80 degrees or higher.

This. Does. Not. Happen. In. March. In. Chicago. At this time of year, 'normal' in The Windy City hovers in the 30s and 40s.

I'm reminded of T.C. Boyle's novel A Friend of the Earth, the present-time of which is set in 2025-2026 in Southern California. From the prolog:
The parking lot is flooded, two feet of gently swirling shit-colored water, and there go my cowboy boots -- which I had to wear for vanity's sake, when the gum boots would have done just as well. I sit there a minute cursing myself for my stupidity, the murky penny-pincher lights of Swenson's beckoning through the scrim of the rain-scrawled windshield, the Mex-Chinese takeout place next door to it permanently sandbagged and dark as a cave, while the computer-repair store and 7-Eleven ride high, dry and smug on eight-foot pilings salvaged from the pier at Gaviota. The rain is coming down harder now -- what else? -- playing timbales on the roof of the 4x4, and the wind rattles the cab in counterpoint, picking up anything that isn't nailed down and carrying it off to some private destination, the graveyard of blown things. [...]
Boyle's novel was published in September 2000, so we're sitting right now about halfway between its publication date and the novel's present-time.

From here in March 2012, old T. Coraghessan is looking pretty prescient. Gotta love the look in that photo, eh? Told you so...




Related posts on One Finger Typing:
Unvarnished truth is hard to swallow
If a lie sells, shout it loud


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