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Talking About The Weather — By John Reed

Talking about the weather
Many readers know that I grew up in Florida. During my time there, I developed a healthy dislike of beaches, tourists, snowbirds, and the Mouse that ate Orlando. During the same time, I grew fond of fresh picked citrus, fresh water fishing, and Florida State University.
Despite the law of averages, I never experienced a hurricane, while living in Florida. I had to move to Georgia for that. In Florida, I was never more than 60 miles from the coast. And yet here, more than 100 miles from open water, I have seen five or six hurricanes, two of them direct hits.
Being situated inland is no guarantee: just look at Valdosta. Schools still closed, some people still without power. Still, we got off easy with “only” 9 inches of rain. In some ways that was a help, as my ponds were low from the summer drought.
I can’t say enough positive things about our local crews dealing with power outages and road damage. Most people never lost power, and those who did had it restored far more quickly than expected. Most roads were passable by the next day. These workers deserve a hearty “thank you“ from everyone whenever they see them.
The phrase often mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain about people talking about the weather and doing nothing about it was in full display during Idalia’s visit. “Climate change” was all you heard from the media. You would think thunderstorms, hurricanes, and heat waves are somehow unexpected during the summer.
Certainly this year has been hotter than usual, but the earth has been this hot and hotter before. Human nature, being what it is, no amount of political capital will force us to change our lifestyle to accommodate the weather. Market forces, however, will.
Except for aging hippies with more money than sense, people buy electric cars to save money, not to save the planet. Dramatically lower maintenance and fuel costs balance out the higher average price per car.
Don’t think for a minute that moving to electric vehicles is some magic fix. There are serious environmental problems with making all those batteries. Plus the electricity to charge all those batteries must come from somewhere, and most of it not from wind and solar. The shift away from fossil fuels is but one step to lower greenhouse gases, and it won’t happen nearly as fast as pundits want.
Meanwhile, everybody’s talking about the weather.

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