I hate to bother you: I know you’re busy, what with all your “changing” and what not. But this is important.
Folks talk about you incessantly these days. Your ears must be burning, even if the planet is not.
We humans are in deep doo-doo because we’ve messed you up so badly, at least according to your best friends Greta, Al, Barack, Leonardo, David, AOC and Justin. (At least they claim to be your besties. I doubt you pay them any attention as you quietly go about your business, but I’m just speculating).
According to the Saintly Seven we’re doomed either to drown in catastrophically rising seas or to fry to a crisp like overdone onion rings. Whether we have eight years left, or twelve, or only five minutes, it’s Apocalypse Soon.
I know, I know: Grim Greta & Co. aren’t scientists. But we are constantly told that "97% of scientists agree” that you are changing. Which has always struck me as a surprising number. I hold scientists in the highest regard, but the fact that 3% of scientists don’t agree that climate change is real can only mean that 3% of scientists are hopelessly stupid. Even my nine-year-old understands perfectly well that you’ve ALWAYS been changing.
But here’s the thing, Climate: We were promised WARMING, dammit.
We Albertans have been waiting patiently year after year after year for our province to transform into a northern Bahamas.
Each year, on Black Friday, I load up on extra pairs of sandals and Bermuda shorts in anticipation of year-round warm, languid, sun-drenched days. The stacks grow ever higher. I shall soon have to add a fourth closet.
My patience is wearing thin. Winter after winter after winter brings the same bone-cracking cold we’ve been suffering from for centuries.
This is not merely a case of overpromising and underdelivering. This is promising Paradise and delivering frozen Hades.
And it’s totally uncool.
Which is not to say it hasn’t been cool. It’s frigging Siberia around here. Minus 30’s all week. Wind chills blasting the mercury close to 50 degrees below zero. No human should have to endure this.
This cruel stretch of Arctic bitterness was forecasted last week. I knew it was coming, so I flew off to B.C. for a couple of days last weekend - ostensibly to visit my elderly mother, but mostly to bask in a couple of days of West Coast warmth before the cold snap slammed Alberta.
As my plane cleared the western reaches of the Rockies and descended into the fertile Fraser Valley I looked out my window to drink in the first glimpses of greenery. And what did I see? Snow. As far as the eye could see.
Your minion, The Weather, has a fine sense of humour.
I got out of there just in time, as it turns out, given the spanking The Weather has laid on southern B.C. this week. My left coast friends are paralyzed by it all.
I left that ice box for the deep freeze, of course.
My family, as it happens, picked precisely the wrong time to get a new puppy. Potty-training her requires frequent, painful trips outside. Just as a watched pot never boils, a watched puppy never piddles – not quickly, at any rate, especially when it’s -35°. After maddening deliberation she'll finally yellow a small patch of snow. By which point my eyelids have frozen shut, and I have to be careful not to careen blindly and fatally down the icy hillside next to my house.
I’ve kept the heat turned down at my home to minimize burning the natural gas that is keeping my family alive. Saint Greta would be proud, but mostly it’s because I’m a cheap bastard. My roots are Dutch, you see: Copper wire was invented by two Dutchmen fighting over a penny.
My son has a cold – the season for sneezing and the season for freezing are as intertwined in this country as politics and corruption. He spent the first 10 minutes of each morning this week cracking nine-inch icicles of snot from the end of his nose.
Things are grim around here.
I know you don’t dirty your hands with the day-to-day stuff.
I know you leave the daily distribution of sun and rain and the weekly allotment of monsoons, fog, hail, blizzards, hurricanes, sleet and such to The Weather.
I know you’re busy with the big picture, like planning the next Ice Age (I know you’ve got one up your sleeve).
I also know perfectly well that we are not going to become a northern Bahamas. Not during the next millennium, at any rate.
But please: Could you carve out a minute to talk to The Weather? Could you get her to cut us some slack for a year - maybe even two?
It’s getting ever-so-hard to stay warm.
We’ve tried all the tricks.
We play warm-weather songs. Surfin' Safari is on continuous loop at my house.
We do jumping-jacks for 10 minutes every hour on the hour.
We dress in layers – six of them: that’s all the clothes we have.
We’ve even tried the most modern and woke-est of cures: we’ve identified as warm.
But we’re still so bloody cold.
So do something, Climate. Please.
I'm begging you: talk to The Weather.
We’re getting desperate.
With frigid regards,
A frozen Albertan