About this blog

This blog is named after a song by Tom Waits, my favorite singer/songwriter, and one with a penchant for meteorological lyrics.

The chorus :

And all over the world, strangers…. talk only about the weather. All over the world it’s the same, it’s the same

reminded me that weather and climate are everyday experiences, for all of us. Everywhere I have been on this Earth, in every language I could understand, people were talking about the weather at some point of their day. And increasingly, they are worried about this long term evolution in their daily weather experience we call climate change, which is largely man-made. The title provides a common ground for discussion, and an ideal pretext to indulge in climate-related geekiness under mildly musical pretenses.

Speaking of pretenses, this blog has very few. I does not pretend to be an authority on anything. It is just a vehicle of thoughts, which happen to be largely about our climate, the science of it, the anthropology of the science of it, the mediatization* of it, and sharing inspiring things we read or hear about  the climate challenge. Occasionally it does pretend to straighten out some climate mythology or straight disinformation about our heavily politicized field. I happen to be a climate scientist so I have a hard time sitting on my hands when egregious misconceptions are being aired. But I am also human, hence fallible, I don’t have time to read everything about everything, so I acknowledge my potential for errors and I will happily change my mind about something if presented with a convincing argument.

Happy reading.

El Niño

* It may be the first Gallicism of mine you read. It won’t be the last. The French language has about half as many words as English does, and most of them are far more relevant to poetry than modern technologies. But oddly enough, we do have a verb for “diffusing through the media”, and it is médiatiser. English, unlike French, has no academy deciding what pertains to it or not. That means that the English language, in particular American English, is exceedingly flexible and can adopt new words at great speed. Let’s see if the New Yorker picks up on it… “To mediatize = to diffuse through the media”. There is another meaning to this verb which I hope will be supplanted through usage.


3 responses

18 02 2008
nando P

great blog. so how long before the particles and clouds and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere render photovoltaics ineffective?

2 08 2008
Richard Pauli

Nice blog… and I really like the weather lyrics — hope you can present more.
I am still stuck on the old one by Dylan:

Look out kid
Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don’t try “No Doz”
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weather man
To know which way the wind blows

4 08 2008
El Niño

Thanks for the comments, RIchard. I like your “The boy who denied wolf” analogy .
Am currently reading Collapse by J.Diamond, precisely the chapter about societies that perceived impending problems to come and failed to do something about it (for a variety of reasons). Reading your analogy was very timely indeed !

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