Welcome to another year of climate change. Unfortunately, North America's media headlines and superlatives may just not suffice anymore.
In the last 24 months (or so) our now all too frequently weather extremes have been described in media headlines as "storms of the decade"; no wait: "storm of the century"; and yes everyone will surely recall "Snowmageddon of 2010."
The obvious reality is that the world is the victim of an aggressive change in climate brought about by the planet's warming; and for which (besides the media's obsessive headlines) we are doing pitilessly little to deal with. Here in North America slogans and headlines have become our antidote for efficiency.
Having now wrapped the first decade of the 21st Century the slogans, "Snowmageddon" et all have simply replaced mankind's ability to deal with the symptoms of our crumbling human infrastructures...God forbid we should even begin to deal with the reality that our two-legged Race is causing the planet itself to strike-back against the excesses.
In the wake of three successive December storms along Canada's Atlantic coast which caused damages in the millions of dollars to New Brunswick's already battered economy; Robert Hughes, a researcher with the province's Department of the Environment concludes that the unprecedented storms may be an example of climate change, and advises..."in the end Nature will tend to win."
Of course the same storms also caused havoc along the northeast coast of the United-States, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelling passengers at airport and railway terminals and on highways stretching from the deep south to Maine's border with the fore mentioned New Brunswick. And, the headlines screamed that either the airline customer services failed, or the Mayor of New York; Governor of New Jersey...and all the others have somehow been the ones to blame.
Of course, it's not just us: There's flooding across the Pacific rim from Australia all the way north to California. Unprecedented storms in western Europe and record breaking low temperatures affecting the Caribbean Islands and into Florida. Polk County, Florida - America's tender fruit mecca - set a total of seven record cold days in December, including minus 4 Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) on December 28. Not terribly good for everything from the Orange and Strawberry crops to the precious tropical fish farms which lost 70% of the year's output.
It's complicated to believe that "global warming" is freezing our asses off. But that is the reality and not only is there no short term relief, but it seems that as a human race we aren't even prepared to face the rapid changes we have brought unto ourselves - Of course other than to nod "yes" when the media scream with another superlative adjective, and/or blame others for the state of the weakened infrastructures which can no longer cope with Nature's fury.
If that isn't enough, maybe this will help: Breakfast teas produced in India and sold worldwide; notable for their heartiness, strenght and body, are turning weak and fowl tasting. Experts conclude it's more evidence of flavour fall-out occasioned by climate change. The Queen surely isn't likely to be amused.
Clearly we are both unprepared and unwilling to take the necessary measures which would give humans a fighting chance against the changing climate circumstances successive modern generations have visited on the planet's ecology. Guess we can all keep watching for the superlative media headlines and hope for the best...but in the end: Nature likely will win.