Canadian Weather

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Canadian Weather

And it will be, if you will diligently obey My commandments which I enjoin upon you this day, to love the L-rd your G-d and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give rain for your land at the proper time, the early rain and the late rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine and your oil. And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be sated. Take care lest your heart be lured away, and you turn astray and worship alien gods and bow down to them. For then the L-rd’s wrath will flare up against you, and He will close the heavens so that there will be no rain and the earth will not yield its produce, and you will swiftly perish from the good land which the L-rd gives you.

Deuteronomy 11:13-21

I thought that I would catch the evening news at 6:30 pm tonight.

Watching the news is something that I had stopped doing about half a year ago, once I was able to go back to work following a heart operation. I used to go regularly to the den at that hour, if Naomi and I had finished dinner by then, to catch my then-favourite news show, “The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams”.

But gradually, I felt more and more that it was becoming overly sensational. Brian would introduce that evening’s news in an intense world-shattering tone of voice: “Tonight, blah, blah, blah” only to find out that on other channels, let’s say the CTV news channel, the same news was being presented in a much calmer manner.

Such a need to entertain, the news had become! Why so dramatic?

So, I gradually lost interest and, anyway, I’m not home for most of the week and would only be able to catch three evenings’ worth of American news if I should desire: Friday’s, Saturday’s & Sunday’s.

Which brings me to the above 6:30 Saturday evening show – it wasn’t on at all tonight, not on NBC, CBS or ABC. Even Fox, which I wouldn’t watch anyway, was showing college football. Yes, folks, the big four, on a Saturday evening in November, were all showing college football which, if you’re not a college football fan, can be pretty discouraging and which might help to explain why the cable stations are doing so well.

But last night – Friday evening – I did, for a change, watch “Nightly News” and in a relatively calm manner, Brian was describing a chilling (pun intended, I guess) phenomenon which I’ve already covered in a few blogs – Canadian weather in the United States.

While we were experiencing 0° Celsius temperatures yesterday, Atlanta, Georgia was experiencing 27° Fahrenheit temperatures which, Google tells me, is -2.7° C., a couple of degrees colder than Dunham, Quebec, 1,970 kilometers north of Atlanta.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a place where my niece used to live and where she thoroughly enjoyed the cross-country skiing, as we do in Sutton, they received over 5 feet of snow! Err, that’s 152.4 centimeters.

In Oregon, where she lives now, there were freezing conditions. In fact, the whole American West was suffering from polar circumstances; people were slipping and sliding all over the place (I watched as an American TV journalist tried to cross an ice-covered street on her knees). In Canada, however, it is cold out in the Canadian West (it’s -11° C. in Edmonton this weekend) and we are expecting a snowstorm which is now in southern Ontario. Expected downfall there: 20 centimeters, here: about 5 centimeters.

This has been going on for a few years now – crazy, extreme weather south of the border, “Canadian” winter weather in the United States. During any season, you are likely to find more and more often extreme flooding or extreme drought, tons of snowfall, tornadoes galore, killer hurricanes ravaging town and city alike.

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What’s going on?

With the U.S. and China now signing on to more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, the pressure is on Canada to follow suit. This has been one of the shameful legacies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, his reluctance to get involved in serious anti-pollution measures. Scientists are blaming man’s destructive involvement in the environment on the extreme climate change conditions mentioned above.

In daringly (or idiotically) including the above quote from the Old Testament, found in a prayer every observant Jew says at least twice a day I believe, I am suggesting that God makes a connection between the righteousness of the people and the stability of the weather. Live righteously, He says, and I’ll give you enough rain in time for your fields to flourish for your grain, cattle, wine and oil. Don’t, and I’ll mess things up.

Generally-speaking, I like Americans. They certainly have a way with words in comparison with their shyer northern cousins. They can be extremely generous. They possess many virtues, but they must also take responsibility for what I believe are many errors in judgement when it comes to attitudes towards gun control, their bottle-necked and dysfunctional political system, political corruption and other weird ideas (a corporation is a person?).

Where I live, Quebec, is no paradise, (a two-year probe into systemic corruption in the construction industry and different levels of government has just concluded. It seems that almost everyone’s hands were dirty.) Yet, if there is a connection between the level of consciousness of a society and support of Nature weather-wise (a big stretch, I admit, but something which I can’t seem to get out of my head) we must be doing something right. We haven’t gotten “Canadian Weather”, meaning extreme, never-ending cold, tons of snow, etc., in a long, long time (1998’s Ice Storm???).

I’ve turned on my TV set to see people far south of us heavily burdened with terrible winter and summer conditions while we enjoy very benign circumstances. It’s disheartening to see good people struggling so much.

I know that I risk sounding like a kook but before I sign off, allow me to cite a recent study which I recently came across on the Internet. A study with over a hundred participants showed conclusively that there is a connection between consciousness and matter: green tea which had been blessed by Buddhist monks was inevitably cited by people as being better, tastier and producing better results than green tea which hadn’t been blessed by anyone. The teas served were moved around and people were tested on different days, etc. etc. to ensure that the findings weren’t happenstance.

If, on a micro level, consciousness can affect matter, why not on a macro level? Just asking.

Child playing in the rain

Of course, humanity should work like the dickens to reduce CO2 levels, in order to give our beautiful planet a fighting chance to heal herself. But perhaps we can also help avoid ecological catastrophe, in the form of extreme climate, by being better people.

It can’t hurt to try.

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