Monthly Musing – February 2019 – Weather warnings
I was watching the weather report on TV last night and apparently this February is the warmest on record for the UK – quite a difference from last year when the “Beast from the East” brought snow and the country to a standstill – and strangely unsettling in a country that expects the winter weather to go on for another few months yet.
Meterological Spring starts tomorrow on 1 March and already the plants and trees are waking up; the daffodils are out in the garden; the catkins are showing their furry coats on the willow trees and leaves and buds are sprouting everywhere. On the face of it, a week of warm weather timed just right for the school holidays is about as good as it gets at this time of year, but a whole month of unseasonably warm weather – or unseasonably cold or ridiculously hot depending on where you are in the world – isn’t necessarily good news at all. Here in the UK we seem to have bypassed winter altogether (apart from a few cold weeks); elsewhere the winter has served a double dose of cold winds and snow, or the summer sun has turned the landscape into a tinder box ready to ignite at the slightest spark. It appears that global warming is well and truly here.
Whether you believe that we have caused these new and unpredictable weather patterns ourselves by our years of treating our world carelessly, or whether you believe that it’s a cycle that the Earth would go through anyway, the fact remains that our traditional view of the seasons is no longer the way that the seasons seem to work. We will have to get used to a new rhythm and presumably nature will have to do that as well. It will remain to be seen whether our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, both personally and as nations, will make any significant difference or whether this is just how it is now. I guess it’s one of those things that our children (or their children) will know the answer to rather than ourselves.
For us though, it answers the question of whether we really can make a difference – not just to climate change but to anything we put our minds to. We are living with the consequences of decisions made decades ago and everybody following the same course of action decided upon at the time has (rightly or wrongly) brought us to where we are now. Who’s to say where we might end up decades in the future if we change our course of action on so many things; environmental issues, social issues, technological issues: we are living proof that every person working together makes a difference and that’s really quite something. It’s often hard to stay focussed when you can’t see the change on a daily basis, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg and deep under the water much bigger things are taking place. Luckily it’s a metaphorical iceberg or it would have melted in the UK this month – but let’s hope our enthusiasm and determination to change never does!