Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring in Winter




My first photo of this year's crocus crop, happily blooming in our warm, sunny climate, and it's not even Spring yet. It's Winter dammit; what are the flowers doing bursting through the soil so early? And why can I see the soil anyway?

My parents talked to me the other day about climate change as if it's a given. I pointed out there are still plenty of skeptics. They didn't believe me, and then I saw another tedious story about the doubters' view. I felt like telling my parents about this news item, but why waste their time. Bad enough my time was wasted.

Because, unlike with acid rain when former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan (those derided ├╝ber conservatives) signed a successful accord to get rid of it, our current crop of liberal and conservative leaders prefer to drag their feet while keeping heads firmly in the sand while mouthing platitudes about cutting the carbon their followers buy (even today when it's obvious we've gone backwards) and being careful to keep that revealing sand out of their mouths. Quite a feat.

And so Canada, or at least Toronto, has had its second non-Winter that I can remember. The last one, not so long ago, was so warm that I didn't wear my coat at all. I only ever had to wear my light jacket. This Winter I had to wear my coat, starting in January, but my new boots stayed mostly in the closet. That was a bummer. The running joke in Toronto became forecasters breathing heavily about a snow storm and then the storm blowing a few flakes our way before the warm air that followed melted them into oblivion. No deep snow drifts for the dogs to plow through (well, maybe once, briefly), no deep slush puddles at the curbs, no magical walks in glittering white after the storm and in the following days, no snow to kick at with my new boots, no invigorating air to inhale with gusto and freeze the nose, no bugs kept in their place, no respite from the raccoons or the squirrels who've never been so active in January in my memory.

Climate change is here.

The leaders were too slow and stupid to stop it.

The question now for business and government and us is: how should we adapt?

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