Today’s Dance: Climate and Weather

Climate and weather


While the northeast is hunkering down in the midst of the blizzard 'Nemo', here in Kansas City we have rain and wind and unseasonably warm weather. In the past month we have had sixty degree days and days that were well below freezing. We have had significant snow and days that made me wonder where the flowers are. We had at least one truly amazing sunset.


Climate scientists say that the increase in severe storms in the last ten years is due to global climate change caused by human activity. Not 'some' climate scientists, or 'most' climate scientists, but virtually all climate scientists, with a statistically insignificant but vocal exception.


Oddly enough, my own awakening to the severity of climate change came after I read the book Sahara by Clive Cussler (much better than the thoroughly enjoyable but lighter movie based on the book and starring Matthew McConaughey), which focused on the effects of human activity on the oceans.


I don't have a really good bead on how severe climate change has felt in my lifetime, in part because I have lived in so many regions in my lifetime that I don't have any continuous climate measure that isn't apples and oranges. Vermont is very different from Florida is very different from New Mexico is very different from California is very different from Missouri... you get the idea.


That said, climate and weather have deeply impacted my life in many ways. I have a horror of cold that stems from a childhood in Vermont and a thermostat permanently set at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I know intimately that the difference between dry heat and damp heat matters. A lot. I participated in the Red Cross's assistance after Hurricane Katrina in Alabama and Mississippi. I have lived through Missouri ice storms and seen tornadoes from my front door. I have had my gardens, all ready for the summer, be devastated by hail storms.


Today's dance allows you to ponder how climate and weather have affected your life.


  • What is the weather like today where you are? Is that typical or abnormal weather for your area?
  • Are winters or summers the more dangerous season where you are, or are they equally dangerous?
  • How do you feel about global climate change? What do you think we should do about it?
  • What do you do in your daily life that is driven by weather? By climate?
  • How closely do your moods and thoughts parallel weather?
  • How is climate change projected to change your local weather? How has it already changed it?
  • What innovations do you think we humans will come up with that could change the game?
  • Do you have doubts about the predictions about climate change? Why or why not?
  • What do you do at home with regard to conservation and environmentalism?
  • Are you active on a larger scale with regard to environmentalism? Why or why not?


As always, today's dance is a way for you to ponder questions important to you, and share your answers (or not) as you choose. Pass it on to friends and family (and major news media) via those handy buttons at the bottom of the post. And don't forget to dance!




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About odanu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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  • FabiusMaximus

    The scientists of the IPCC do not agree with you. The warming trend is clear, both in direction and magnitude -- "very likely". Others range from "likely" to "unlikely". Increased precipitation is perhaps the second most likely trend. Frequency and intensity of storms are among the least well understood trends.

    You are perhaps getting your information from the news media. Unfortunately in this, as with so many issues these days, they provide narratives that advance the interests of elements in the 1%. Climate change, our foreign wars (eg, does al Qaeda still exist in meaningful form), government deficits (how sad that there are no "confidence fairies") are just the most obvious examples.

    Fortunately the truth is out there if we wish to look. Regarding climate change, on the Internet you can find the IPCC reports, the climate science literature, and even the raw data. To make it easier, much of this is gathered for you in that post -- long quotes, many links for more information.

  • odanu

    I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. The IPCC has made it clear that there is virtually no real doubt that at least much of global climate change is both real and human generated... which was the point I made and the point you also appear to be raising in your comment? When I write these dances, they are designed to cluster questions together to help people think deeply about a particular subject. In this case, I am passionate about getting people to start thinking about both local and global action to mitigate, slow, and hopefully someday even reverse human caused climate change. Were we missing each other in the wind here?