Let It Snow?


Finally! Though I’m not sure I like it after all.

All this fall I have been telling people how much I was looking forward to a Canadian winter, that the area of Germany we live in lacks winters, and my new boots are still in their box more than two years after I bought them.

Christmas has come and gone though, and there is almost no snow on the ground. We haven’t had more than the occasional dusting of the stuff. Above zero temperatures have been common, and the cross-country ski trails are bare (downhill skiers have the advantage of artificial snow). My winter boots are still in storage.

Today though there is snow in the forecast, ten centimetres. For that I will have to get the boots out.  And, I am surprised to discover I have mixed feelings about it.

Two months ago I was eager for snow. Now, with just a few days left in Canada, I am just as inclined to skip the hassle.

Weather isn’t something I have any control over though, so my inclinations are unimportant. But what if we could control the weather? What would that look like?

Imagine a world where it never rains on your picnic. With no extremes of hot and cold. No destructive hurricanes and tornadoes. Is it possible?

Weather prediction is much more accurate than even a decade ago. And cloud seeding to produce rain in dry areas has been possible for much longer. Can full weather control be that far off?

Then again, cloud seeding only works in some areas – otherwise there would not be drought and famine. And forecasts are still wrong on occasion. I have no idea of the science required for full weather control, but I am sure it is complex. I would wager it won’t happen in my lifetime.

Even bigger might be the social issues. We all know the farmers need the rain. But who has precedent when that need is in conflict with the school track and field meet? Whose “rights” should prevail? Who decides, and how? Do you want to leave that in the hands of government? Of the courts?

Would it be fair to schedule all rain to fall between 2 and 4 a.m., so it dampens the least number of people? After all, some of us like a little rain. Could snow be programmed to fall only on ski hills, and on Christmas Eve so we could have a white Christmas? Could the programming be so individualized that I get snow, while my next-door neighbor doesn’t? Probably not. Then how do you reconcile conflicting wishes?

For the time being, I think I will just enjoy the snow. It looks pretty, even if someone (probably me) will have to shovel it before the day is over.

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