I’m fortunate to live in a part of the world where global warming is of no great concern. Sure, our reservoirs are shrinking, our forests are dying, temperatures are soaring and my front lawn is steadily turning brown. Happily, I can turn on my television set at six and be assured by our local weathergirl that there is a diminishing “threat” of showers in the forecast.
She turns semi-sideways and points to a map that shows a parched Utah. Off to the west in Nevada, however, is a “disturbance,” which is moving in an easterly direction. Does that mean I can look forward to some rain this evening? No! Happily, said disturbance will dissipate before reaching Salt Lake Valley. Come dawn, skies will be mostly clear with nairy a raindrop to spoil the “morning commute.” All quiet on the Wasatch Front.
Come Wednesday, we shall be “out of the woods,” she adds. Good thing, because it so happens our woods are mostly on fire, the result of drought, bark beetle infestation and illegal fireworks. The air has been yellow all summer, thanks to all that smoke.
The weathergirl points to storm cells moving up from Arizona. Her tone turns grave; imagine General Patton charting enemy troop movements in the Ardennes; that is, if Patton were a twenty-two-year-old bimbo with a nice figure, great hair and a sunny disposition. Will the Arizona disturbance strike at dawn? No, thank heavens; the storm clouds are moving in the direction of the Colorado Plateau. Not good news for those currently hiking in slot canyons, which are susceptible to flash flooding.
How many hikers in slot canyons ARE there? I mean, if it’s so crowded, why did Aron Rawlston have to saw his arm off in order to free himself from Blue John? Well, he had to saw it off because he was the ONLY person stuck in a slot canyon in Utah. And yet every television weather alert is aimed specifically at slot canyon hikers, no matter that there is no television reception whatsoever at the bottom of a slot canyon.
So let’s try to think of something else one might do outdoors on a weekend. For instance, there is golf. In which case rainstorms are bad because you are in imminent danger of being struck by lightning. But that was last weekend. This coming weekend promises to be clear and dry with zero chance of precipitation.
“So this time around you can plan for a different outdoor weekend,” she declares.
That is, unless you are a farmer whose crops are withering in the heat. But who cares about farmers? We are not an agrarian society; we get our vegetables and fruits from a store. We commute in air-conditioned cars to and from air-conditioned offices during the workweek and come the weekend we all shall be golfing—that is, unless it rains. Just the mention of the R word puts a frowny face on the sportscaster guy, a former jock who retired at a young age—as athletes are wont to do—and was subsequently put out to a pasture with eighteen holes in it. Ah, glorious golf! Thanks to lawn sprinklers, the greens hereabouts are green as ever. So what’s all this fuss about global warming?