2007 - 2021

Snow Show

Weather-hysteria is with us again. Snow-blindness.

It’s February and it’s quite cold in Scotland and that’s the news, followed by ‘the weather’.

Something has shifted in the last few years so that we’ve allowed ‘the weather’ to become a phenomenon in and of itself.

It might be shift in the media, or us becoming more and more stupid, or it could be a sign that we are becoming increasingly distant from and alienated from the natural world. Seasons are marked purely as opportunities for commercial activity, the very language for nature is being lost, and we are so divorced from where our food comes from we act as if the lack of chicken at KFC is some sort of national crisis.

But there’s something else going on.

There is a direct correlation between our response to weather and our non-response to climate change, despite the fact that increase in instances of extreme weather is caused by our climate crisis.

So for weather we: disproportionately panic, create precise and alarmist public communications systems (‘Amber’, ‘Yellow’ warnings), act as if this has never happened before, and hold Transport Ministers and other officials to account as if they are Weather Gods.

For climate change we ignore it, mock it, deny it and forget it.

Right now we are in the midst of an Arctic Meltdown that is baffling scientists.

It’s unprecedented. This is more than just a temperature anomaly, it is an off-the-scale event.

We should be terrified, we should be animated, we should be furious.

Instead, nothing.

Plastic straws or something.

So instead we ingest TV news with huge pictures of ‘Snow’ and half terrified-hysterical / half jokey commentary on the weather like goldfish staring blinking at the screen.

‘Snow you say, in February?!’

Of course some (many) people are conscious.

See Tony White’s Shackleton’s Man Goes South the first (I think) account of the climate refugee crisis.

& I realise that this is an exercise in psychic defence, but it’s also a PR exercise by the corporate world making the case for business as usual.

The end result is living in a world profoundly disconnected from itself, where the very idea of Winter terrifies us, and the idea of not being able to drive anywhere at any time we like is an affront tour human rights.

Some people call this Monachopsis.

n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Out of place. Out of time.


Comments (11)

Leave a Reply to Bella Caledonia Editor Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Charles Gallagher says:

    This is winter as you so correctly point out and this type of weather hits us every so often and has little to do with climate change. Yes being aware of climate change is important but let’s not make it the excuse for everything, more like people are just becomming a bunch of big softies that expect the road conditions to be A1 the minute they start their journeys and do they expect rail workers to ensure that every point is ice free?

    1. Mathew says:

      ‘and has little to do with climate change’
      In fact our current weather has everything to do with climate change. Global warming is producing changes in the polar vortex. Instead of the previous gentle undulations we now have enormous peaks and troughs. Europe is currently situated in a trough which draws in cold air from Siberia. Parts of Arctic though are in the peaks – so warm air is drawn northwards producing temperatures that simply shouldn’t be happening that far north. Huge temperature anomalies are now occurring regularly in the Arctic.
      Sea ice will fail in the next few years and then the shit will really hit the fan.

      1. Charles Gallagher says:

        Mathew, I was not disputing climate change or shrinking ice cap etc and yes thank you for your lesson in meteorology but given his lesson I’m surethat it was towards the end of WW2 that such a thing as the ‘jet-stream’ was first realised and many years later before it was understood. I think if you check back through weather records for UK & Europe you will find that around every 15 years or so we have one of these severe events. I’m old enough to remember the winter of ’47, was at Uni in the big snow of ’62, and being stranded in Newcastle while my home in rural Essex was cut-off by 20 to 30ft snow drifts. Now to what extent climate change is to blame this time I don’t know as I’m not a meteorolgyist just a humble electrical engineer, but I do know one thing, some weather events are cyclical.

    2. Mathew says:

      Hi Charles – I’m getting the Polar vortex mixed up with the jet stream. Polar vortex is higher up, currently weak and has split. This split causes the Jet Stream, lower down, to buckle and produce the big peaks and troughs…..I think.
      Of course there have been severe weather events throughout history. But they are happening more and more frequently now and all evidence points to anthropogenic global warming.

      1. Charles Gallagher says:

        Hi Mathew, but I think that we are both roughly on the same wave-length. Anyway lovely cold, starry sky a flurry of snow which did not lie but bloody freezing now.

  2. DialMforMurdo says:

    Ashamed, as I am, I picked up a copy of the Hootsman on Saturday (in a café) and read the headline.

    ‘North Pole forecast to be hotter than south-east England as snow looms.’

    The rest of the article paid scant attention to the implications of a North Pole hovering above zero degrees for the first time since…well records began. This was quickly fluffed over and hyperbole replaced fact as sympathy was extend for the poor misbegotten slightly put out souls of the south east…

    1. Willie says:

      And the over sixties winter heating allowance now restricted to the 64 year olds?

      Good thing we’ve got such a competitive energy market.

      Wouldn’t want folks to get cold in their homes this winter as our corporate benefactors deliver us their benefits.

      No doubt there are too few of us who know, or indeed care, about what the energy industry calls ” voluntary disconnection ”

      Unlike power usage which is damn well metered, voluntary disconnection is not metered at all. ( That’s not having money for the meter in old speak – and of course the industry does not measure it. Why would they? )

      No doubt there will be many who voluntary disconnect whilst visited by the beast from the east. But hey, who cares. If you elect not to pay then you deserve all you get.

      Union Dividend? Tell Sid.

    2. SleepingDog says:

      @DialMforMurdo, indeed, good point. Happy International Polar Bear Day:

  3. J Galt says:


    You get people accustomed to shittier and shittier low grade public services by hysterically bigging up conditions which would hardly have made page two of the papers 50 years ago.

  4. Willie says:

    Yes the snow is an impediment to travel but it is winter after all and we do get snow from time to rime.

    But for the National Grid to declare less than 24 hours after first snow that they are running short of gas, and that consumers should cut back their useage of gas, you truly see what a screwed up mess this country is.

    But at least the corporates are making money.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.