IF IT WAS WARMER, WE WOULD BE RICHER.
I hate winter almost as much as I hate environmental exaggerators.
Instead of moaning that the sky is falling and the temperature is rising, why don't we start counting the benefits to Canadians if the weather actually stays warmer and winter shrinks.
Too many Canadians and too much of our agriculture is clumped close to the southern border because winter is too harsh for most Canadians and most of our agriculture when you go closer to the bleak North.
I prefer the term climate change to the hysterics of global warming but if the world, and particularly my part of Canada, is really getting a slightly warmer climate, won't that be of enormous value to us since we can farm further north or live further north without paying a fortune in heating and supplies.
There are actually those viewing with alarm that the total snowfall for Toronto this year was 40 cm., or to use the Imperial measure before metric was imposed without a democratic debate, almost 16 inches.
I thought it was wonderful that I remember only shovelling once. I remember the winter when I could walk out of my second-floor bedroom window on a snow drift. So just over a foot of snow is a gift from Mother Nature.
The average temperature for Toronto this winter is said to be 2.2 C, or 36 F.
I read all this after we had a wonderful March Monday where the temperature rose to 22.8 C, or 73 F.
Now I know in my bones exactly what 73 F feels like on my skin even if 22.8 C is still mysterious until I work it out. It's delightful. I would settle for that year-round, but apparently the seven seas will flood and drown many people, although not enough of the environmental hysterics to suit me.
Canada is said to have had its third warmest winter in recorded history. A map of the country in February with above average temperatures shown in varying shades of red show much of Ontario with temperatures more than 4 degrees C above the norm.
The red map hues spread across much of the prairies into the far north. The reds warm my heart, although they are supposed to alarm me.
It seems plain that the temperatures of the world have been cycling higher and lower for centuries. Currently we are getting warmer but not that long ago in the history of this planet it was much colder. Ice caps and glaciers have shrunk and then expanded, whether you figure our life began only 6,000 years ago, when there wasn't frost in the Garden of Eden, or when it really began with dinosaurs wading through melting ice.
Perhaps I wouldn't hate winter so much if my grandparents had known how to dress me for winter. All I remember as a kid was various stages of cold and frost-bite.
My skiing was just slightly better than my skating on my ankles. So I really don't give a damn if ski operators and creators of outdoor rinks have been yammering that the end of winter, and perhaps the world, is at hand.
Now I know what it is like to be in the real North. My first newspaper job was editor of the Whitehorse Star where the few summer months featured almost perpetual daylight and killer swarms of mosquitoes.
I can assure you that any warming in the Yukon would be as welcome as free beer.
I really do care about the environment. I grew so cynical about the basic cheating of environmentalists on any fact to deal with the world around us that I took several years of a new and interdisciplinary course in environmental science at U of T.
It didn't seem to bother all the the day-time Pollution Probers that took the course to get new ammunition for their attacks on society that a mature student, a daily newspaper columnist, was in their midst. But then environmentalists tend to be to the left, so a columnist and editor in what they considered the right-wing rag of the Toronto Sun was anonymous.
So much of what has passed for environmental concerns among our politicians and activists has been crap. We have been turned into garbage pickers but too much of the time it really doesn't matter because it's all dumped into the same hole in the ground instead of being burned to produce useful energy.
But oh no, the modern incinerators, which many countries use without polluting their cities, is still hated by the socialists and the gliberals.
The same crowd welcome wind turbines - which are just old-fashioned windmills greased by huge government subsidies - and solar power, which has to be supported by enormous chunks of our taxes in order to produce enough power to even light the Legislature, or one outhouse.
Of course we should do everything reasonable and logical to reduce greenhouses gases. Yet I don't think there is much that can be done about farting cows because the left and crazies haven't yet been able to persuade most of us to become vegetarians. (I suspect if more of us did eat only greens, there would be a save-the-lettuce movement and asparagus would be ruled an endangered species.)
There is no disputing the fact that modern technology can now scrub the harmful gases and acidic particulate matter from the chimneys of incinerators or even from industries that still choose to use fossil fuels like coal, still one of the most useful bargains to produce energy.
I confess that my dream has always been to blow this place and live on a South Sea island. When I mention that dream after too much of the mother's milk of the South Seas, rum, I am asked wouldn't I miss winter.
Mary and I once were stupid enough to leave Waikiki Beach in Hawaii on Dec. 21 because Silent Night didn't sound right from loudspeakers in the palm trees. On Dec. 26, I decided that even a few days of winter was a few days too much. I could happily celebrate white Christmases in my nostalgia and then go snorkelling on a reef on Dec. 25 instead of pushing the car out of a ditch.
All the evidence that hasn't been perverted by the Suzuki crowd shows that Canada's winter temperature may rise only a minuscule amount. So instead of running around like beheaded snowmen, Canadians should work on how to benefit from a tiny temperature increase and start counting our benefits.
If the second-largest country in the world does manage to increase its arable land and liveable space, we truly will be a giant. Consider just the increase in the wheat and corn we could grow to feed the great markets like China.
But that won't satisfy all those Third World countries which figure that carbon taxes and environmental guilt will help them extract enough money from successful lands like ours to make up for the fact that they have been complete failures because of corruption and stupidity. They don't want us to improve our lives if it gets a fraction warmer.
The next time you hear someone shouting alarm about global warming, ask what they are getting out of it. Is this how they are making a very fat living? The modern Cassandra gets very well paid. Ask too why don't they talk about the net benefits to Canada where the truth north strong and free would be a lot stronger if it was a tad warmer all the time, not just between November and May.