The Corner

Re: Weather one-upmanship

I remember a few years back during the Toronto ice storms, a mayor of a city that gets over 27 feet of snow every winter wrote to the Mayor of Toronto, “Welcome to Canada.”

The truth is that humans have lived for millennia in really inhospitable climates – think Inuit and Bushmen. Yet modern technology allows us to combine those climates with an industrialized lifestyle. There’s no need for siestas or igloos, for the most part. Occasionally, the weather reminds us just how inhospitable it can be, but we have the technology to defeat that, for the most part. Air conditioning makes 100 degree heat bearable (it was 117 degrees in the sun feet from where I am writing this a few minutes ago) and, if it is getting warmer for whatever reasons, more and more of the country and indeed world will adopt the technology. Central heating systems did the same for the icier parts in the past. It is the easy availability of affordable energy that has done that. It’s a blow to those of us who rather like the idea of a siesta or a fortifying dram as night falls, but it is vastly increasing our ability to create wealth.

Indeed, you could view the spread of temperature control technologies as the globalization of the working conditions associated with a temperate, maritime climate. It might even be an essential component of successfully adopting that climate’s most successful economic framework.

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