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I Ask Whither? Whether the Weather Withers that Wether or Not On:2008-02-14 16:25:41

All I can say is “Phew!” “Duck!” “Brrrrr!” and not necessarily in that order

I mean the weather this last week has been... well weird is hardly the word for it1.

I mean; take my run. There I am up in the morning listening to the snores of the lark at four a.m. (which is when things normally seem to be milder down here) but on Monday it was so hot that I went out in just shorts and singlet and felt over-dressed. Then Wednesday it was so cold that after I got out of bed and got dressed for my run (this time in a tracksuit) and went downstairs and put on my shoes and opened the door and stepped out; the wind was so cold and so strong it was all I could do not to be blown back in through the door: my shoes blown off: my body blown up the stairs undressed and blown back into bed again, with the covers over my head.

These extremes of temperature and wind velocity aside, of course Tuesday was the really disquieting day, that was the day of the thunder (not to mention the lightning). You see (and as I’ve mentioned before, many a time) I am extremely belief-challenged---I don’t even believe much of science, and when it comes to religion: well all I can say is that I make Dr John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich2 , look like a believer. So of course I never go out in thunderstorms, I mean the utter embarrassment of an atheist being struck by lightning---I’d never live it down!
Anyway all this withering wandering weather is, as any scientists worth their salt would expect you to believe, the result of human-induced global warming---and for once I don’t disbelieve them. Not only that but the more experienced and greener scientists will wave their arms in the air and lament all the species that we are eliminating along with the decent weather. And while it’s sad to lose things, and while we may well be in some sort of extinction event (not that there is any way we could tell---I mean it’d be like reading a book by a single flash of lightning), when you put it into the perspective of General Evolutionary Theory it seems a lot less significant. You see evolution suggests that almost all species that have ever existed are now extinct---almost all of that almost all well before we even appeared. We’re talking percentages with nines here. Lots of nines.

And if you don’t accept Evolution, then things aren’t much better, because then you end up having to accept Noyes Fludd.
As an unbeliever I had to check, but I found that the strange bods who devote their lives to such things calculate the capacity of Noah’s Ark as something like 40,000 animals (which they have an odd tendency to measure in sheep equivalents---for what reason I didn’t dare check), and while that sounds like a lot that’s only until you compare it with the---Oh! estimates differ wildly, but say a conservative three million or so---different kinds of creatures in the world today that are air-breathing, or that are incapable of flying for 40 days straight, or are one of the kinds of salt-water fishes that are going to become very ... um... explodable after all that rain reduces the salinity of the sea so dramatically (and of course the poor buggers aren’t allowed to evolve: not that they could that quickly anyway even for evolutionists). Though I admit we had to assume that the world’s the same for Noah as it is today (minus those naughty drownable people), but that assumption really does follow from the whole Noahism Thing, and it leads us to the conclusion that nearly 99% of creatures became extinct the Flood way too.

Finally I have to admit that all this abstruse noetic about change comes about in a rather mundane way because I finally went to Ikea on Sunday and bought a new sofa, and celebrated successfully assembling it from the ground-up trees that came in its flat-pack (not to exaggerate too much) by watching telly from it, specifically the original Die Hard movie from 1988.
My how things had changed: Bruce Willis casually exposing his gun on a plane to no great consternation of anyone; terrorists (or at least terrorist-oids) who were German rather than Middle Eastern; and (the one that really got through to me and caused this essay and all my rumination on weather and extinction and change and really put those things in perspective) Bruce Willis with hair!

Cherio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton


All right, all right! I know the title is daft, but it does have a meaning-let.
Sort of.
"I ask 'What destination?', considering (with the use of an interrogative particle introducing a disjunctive direct question, expressing a doubt between alternatives) if the condition of the atmosphere causes the (possibly castrated) year-old male sheep to shrivel up or not".
Really not worth it, was it?

1 See-saw might though, or bungee jumper*.

2 "Robinson proposed abandoning the notion of a God 'out there', existing somewhere out in the universe as a 'Cosmic supremo,' just as we have abandoned already the idea of God 'up there', the notion of the old man up in the sky. In its place, he offered a frankly and openly atheistic reinterpretation of God, whom he defined as Love, spelled with a capital L"
---Wikipedia artlcle

* But remember that old, old saying "if at first you don't succeed, don't take up bungee jumping."

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