Friday, September 14, 2018

When hell freezes over!

English as the second language gave us plenty to laugh about.  Especially in school, where some teachers were more at ease in the local vernacular.

Our physical training (PT) master was one of those.  As school kids, most of us did not know any better than to make fun of him. In my middle-age, as I look back at those times, this too is one of the many that makes me realize that we all screw up when we are young.  Our words and behavior later as adults, by when we ought to know right from wrong are what matter.  Of course, some are assholes, unlike most of us who become better people with age.

That PT master was not at ease with the language that the colonizers left behind.  One day, when PT was rained out and we had to stay in the classroom, he told a student who was sitting by the window to open it.  I suppose it was closed to keep the rain spray away.  "Open the window, and let the climate come in," he ordered.

We barely concealed our smiles, and we laughed loudly later.  For days.  Like I said, we didn't know any better.

It is one thing for a person who is not a native language speaker to confuse the climate and weather.  It is another when native speakers intentionally treat them as synonyms only because they are anti-science and deny that we are going through human-caused climate change that is affecting the weather patterns.
[A]  changing climate can “load the dice” on weather, making certain kinds of extreme event more likely. For example: the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can hold increases with temperature. Heat it up by 1° F, and the moisture content increases by about 3 percent. The result? More intense rainstorms. Similarly, heat waves happen more often when the planet as a whole gets warmer. Does one torrential storm or one bad heat wave prove climate change is happening? Of course not. Multiple long-term lines of evidence do that. But climate change will make heavy rainfall even heavier, and heatwaves hotter and more frequent. It’s reasonable to suspect that climate change plays a role in recent events.
Remember that infamous incident at the US Senate when a moronic senator tossed a snowball as evidence that there is no global warming?  More morons in North Carolina even banned the discussion of science-based policies.

As Hurricane Florence slowly makes it way to the land--it looks like it will be one hell of a slow crawl, which means dangerous levels of rains and floods--I wish reporters will ask those moronic politicians to explain the difference between weather and climate, and how climate change affects weather.  But, of course, those morons will dodge it, like how they always respond that it is inappropriate to talk about about gun-control policies right after yet another mass shooting.

As a middle-aged man, when I know better than what I knew as a high school kid, I know it is most fitting to make fun of these deniers who do not want to acknowledge the difference between weather and climate, and how the changing climate affects the weather.

Hey, PT master, you are alright!  Thanks.


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