Here is the reason I have been distracted from blogging for the past few days: On May 3 we woke up to a heavy snowfall (heavy, not in volume, but in weight). The snow was water-laden and caused a tree fall. All day we had momentary power outages. So I shut down the computers. My sump pump failed and my half-basement flooded. When the snow began to melt, the yard was a mess. I had to go out with a chainsaw to clean up all the fallen lumber.
This is the first time since 1907 that we have had measurable snow fall this late in the Kansas City area. This was just the latest in a series of late winter and spring snowstorms here. Arkansas had snow in May for the first time since they began keeping records in the 19th century.
I don’t know what to think about global warming. There is a difference between weather and climate, I know. But you can understand that global warming is a hard-sell for people who have just experienced this kind of winter. We don’t know whether global warming is happening or not–but we are in favor of it : )
Sometimes there is a wild disconnect between theory and experience.
Another example of this would be the cost of living index. Federal, state, and some private pensions give COLA increases based on the official rate. But people’s experience with shopping is that the cost of living is higher than the official numbers. The official rate takes into account the fall in real estate values. But few people are in that market very often. Governments have a powerful motive to fudge the numbers down since the higher the cost of living, the more government has to pay out for mandated COLA increases.
Another disconnect is that the average person thinks the crime rate is very high and rising. Statistics show that it is falling. But, if you watch the local news, you would never know that. In this case, I believe the FBI statistics more than the impression I get from the media. It is demographics. Young males commit most crimes. There are not as many young males, so there is less crime.
The common sense of people who actually experience life must factor in to any world-view. Sometimes experience can be misleading, especially today when a lot of experience gets filtered through the media, or when people mistake their feelings for objective experience. But if you want to know about the climate, one element is to walk outside and see what it is like. If you want to know about prices, one way is to go shopping. If you want to know about crime, one way is to turn off the TV, log off the computer and get out of the house. Are you safe? Hmmm.