Is it raining with you?

Weather is a fruitful topic for writers.  That’s not just because I’m English and we’re taught to talk about the weather practically before we can lisp our own names.

Today, it didn’t snow here,, but it did yesterday and even this afternoon a few white rags lingered on in cold and untrodden areas.    The forecasters are promising more for tomorrow, and maybe even Wednesday.  I watched a Met office forecaster explaining that we have early snow (for us) because the jet stream has made a pretty horsehoe up to Iceland, rather than the usual rhumb line across the north Atlantic.    But I haven’t managed to find out why it’s changed.

I also haven’t yet fully got my head round the emerging Medea hypothesis, which argues that the planet will look after itself, but quite possibly at the expense of organisms that are causing major problems.  Thus, it is said, very successful species destroy their habitats and then die off, and that’s a major cause of mass extinctions.  Does this have a familiar ring?  Of course it does, and it suggests that our destruction of ecologies and atmospheres may mean that we die off along with the thousands of species we’re merrily wiping out.

What’s already clear, though, is that this is being written up as ‘anti-Gaia.’  I’m not convinced about that, except in a sort of lazy folk-memory way which says:  aah! Gaia, good, cuddly, earth goddess type.  Medea – she’s the vicious one who killed her own children.  But the sub-text here is good mum/bad mum.  Surely the planet will look after us, we want to whine.  After all, we come from here.

No such luck, folks.  Bad analogies, poor expectations.  Even a Mum who doesn’t kill you wants you to grow up and pick up your own socks.

Meaning:  use the weather for daily colour, and the climate for your extended metaphors.   Works for me.

 

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About Sarah Tanburn

I'm a writer, a sailor and a strategic adviser to public organisations. Visit my websites to find out more.
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