Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blogging, doggerel - Global Cooling

Fort Lauderdale, Florida - I’m down here to escape global cooling. Snow, ice, and frigid temperature grip almost 70% of the U.S. today. It seems like global cooling, but you and I and the rest of the intelligentsia know it’s actually the perverse effects of global warming. It just doesn’t feel that way.

When I left New England yesterday, it was 5 above – much warmer than Northern Minnesota, where it plunged to 36 below. I’m reminded of an essay I wrote some years ago, when I lived in Minnesota, “Warming UP Cold Statistics: Or, How to Talk to Floridians about Minnesota Winters.”

Here are a few tricks I mentioned when kibitzing with warm-blooded Floridians:

• Discuss Distances – Inform the aghast Floridian that International Falls is 310 miles north of the Twin Cities. To judge Minnesota weather on the basis of International Falls is ridiculous. It’s like comparing frost-prone Jacksonville to frost-free Miami, 345 miles south of Jacksonville.

• Emphasize the “Heat Shield” hovering over major Minnesota Cities. Big northern cities have big heat shields. The temperatures of these cities are much hotter than International Cities.

• Think High and Hot – Here are the hottest historical temperatures in the Twin Cities during winter months.

November, 1933 – 77 degrees
December, 1939 - 63 degrees
January, 1846 – 59 degrees
February, 1896- 63 degrees
March, 1910 – 83 degrees

• Avoid Speaking about Wind Chill Factor – Do not discuss the wind chill factor. Who wants to know a 20 miles wind on a 20 degrees day feels like 9 below and what it does to exposed flesh. The Floridian already knows enough about exposed flesh.

• Talk about the Discomfort Index - Instead of discussing the Wind Chill Factor, push the Discomfort Index. The higher the heat and humidity, the greater the Discomfort Index. Tell the Floridians an index of 75 is uncomfortable for most people, an index of over 80 is uncomfortable for everybody, when the temperature is 95 everybody is uncomfortable no matter what the humidity. Provide him with a chart showing him how to calculate the Discomfort Index. This chart has nothing to do with Minnesota weather. That’s the point. The Discomfort Index is a diverting maneuver.

• Tell him Minnesota has a “dry cold.” This is the kind of cold you don’t really feel (unless you go outside, of course). Besides, the Mean Absolute Hi8midity (whatever that is) reaches its lowest point in the coldest months. Florida, on the other hand, has a “wet heat” – the kind that drenches you with sweat and makes you feel uncomfortable (and attracts Yankees in droves).

• Unleash The Sunshine Quotient -_ Then there’s the Sunshine Quotient – the % of days with sunshine + number of clear days + Snow Glare Intensity factor. You can find these facts on google Remind your listener that in Minnesota sunglasses are an absolute necessity to protect against the blinding glare of Minnesota winters. Compare the Sunshine Quotient of the Twin Cities against major Florida Cities, use a Snow Glare Intensity factor of 100, and the Twin Cities wins hands down.

• Pay the name game – Pull out the Miami and Twin Cities telephone directories and look up cold and warm names. Miami has 72 winters, nine Shivers, 6 Colds, One Ice, 37 Snows, two Snowballs, 12 Blizzards, 45 Frosts, and One freeze. At the other pole, Minneapolis-St. Paul has 46 summers, four Springs, two Hotts, one Heater, 74 Beaches, and two Warms, two Warmings, One Sunn, 59 Sands, 10 Sweats, and 129 Palms.

These are the cold facts

No comments: