Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
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In the Seventh grade in Crisp county in the US state of Georgia, my teacher asked us all to figure out the velocity of the Earth around the sun knowing that the distance to the sun was 93 million miles and I was the only pupil who came up with the answer. My math skills were advanced for my age but then came calculus. Half of the students in my class in college failed including me while the calculus class taught by another teacher in another class had very few fail showing that the teacher of calculus means a lot.
I think there is a trick to learning calculus and I never understood the trick.
The Tom Hanks movie "Hidden Figures" had a black woman explain the trick was in reducing one side of an equation to zero.
Algebra was a mystery but I didn't pay attention so that was my fault.
Algebra was very easy for me. Geometry was OK but I never got into the proving theorems part. It seemed like a waste of time. Geometry is the trainer for trigonometry which is fundamental for engineers. I come from a family of engineers.
My love in high school was really meteorology which has been my hobby most of my life.
Meteorology is interesting, but was especially so in my younger day when I used to camp in the hills. When I was past camping, I'd always check the forecasts before I went hill walking so I didn't get surprised by heavy rain or snow. Half the battle of hill walking outside of the summer months is wearing and carrying the right gear. Oh, and knowing when to abandon the walk and retreat to the nearest warm pub.
I don't have any problem accepting that the climate is changing. Spring flowers are two or three weeks earlier and whilst heavy snowfalls still occur, they're much less frequent than when I moved here in 1971.
We are on the same page. Water is a pretty peculiar molecule occupying more volume as a sold than as a liquid. How it freezes and melts effects the temperature in an illogical manner. So what seems logical isn't always what happens. Warmer temperatures can actually create more snow in the mountains.
Some countries like China are planting more trees to take carbon out of the atmosphere but more trees will cause more animals who will just put the carbon back into the atmosphere.
And the planet has ways of cooling itself by creating more clouds over oceans when the water temperature increases.
California just had a huge storm that is supposed to be evidence of climate change but the Columbus day storm of 1962 was just as severe.
It's easy to accept that climatically, things are changing. When Carlisle was badly flooded in 2005, we were told this was a 1 in 200 years event. It happened again in 2015. Lots of flood prevention schemes have been paid for to try and make sure it doesn't happen again. In the last couple of days, a foot of rain has fallen, the railway line between Carlisle and Glasgow has been closed because bridges have been washed away. No doubt, what used to be rare 200 year events will now happen every 5 or 10 years because our climate is changing.
It is kind of the same story with the Columbus Day storm of 1962 in Northern California. We were told that it was a 500 year storm but the storm that hit last week was just as bad and with a lower barometric pressure center, 945 mb.
Meanwhile, I look out my window and across the street is the cove of a fjord. I have been told that twenty years ago, the water came over the road in an intense storm. Our tides are more influenced by barometric pressure than the sun and moon. When I see mud instead of water, it means a very high barometer.
But the water may never come over the road again because we have isostatic rebound left over from the ice age and the land is slowly rising. It is rising two meters per century on the Finnish islands of Ahvenenmaa. It is quite complex.