In praise of colder weather

Cold weather. Everybody hates it, right?

Wrong. People who make their living in the winter months in the bush and depend on frozen ground love it. They probably prefer minus 15 to minus 30, but still, the longer the frost lasts, the better they like it.

The Leader has had many such conversations over the years with the woodlands people at the forest products mills. Continued cold weather through the month of March always makes them happy.

And of course there’s the pine beetle factor. It’s been mentioned quite often recently how rough this past month or so must have been on that little devil. What’s bad for the beetle is good for Alberta’s pine forests.

‘What happened to global warming?’ is a favourite line in coffee shops and elsewhere. Nobody who isn’t wilfully deluding themselves really believes it isn’t happening, but its causes and results can be various.

Here’s one that could happen that probably hasn’t been talked about as much as it deserves. The world warms and the ice caps retreat, flooding the polar seas with fresh, cold water. This causes the Gulf Stream – that great moderator of northwestern Europe, to deflect south from its normal path, utterly changing the climate of northern Europe. So global warming results in cooler weather in one part of the world. Strange, but apparently a possibility.

On the other hand, the world is overdue for a catastrophic volcanic explosion, like the one in (what is now) Indonesia in 1815 that killed 100,000 people and turned the world dim and cold for a year or two. Or a giant meteorite strike, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. It could happen at any time.

But let’s not be gloomy! It’s cold (or certainly was when this was written) and the pine beetle is suffering and industrial activity is humming along on top of the frost.

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