The secret global weather machine

It’s been a while (thank goodness) since Mr. Science Man dropped in for a little edification and erudition. But since he’s been knocking at the door of this column for a while now and hasn’t gone away like I’d hoped, I figured I’d let him in for another (hopefully) brief Q and A on whatever seems to be so persistently on his mind this time.

It’s been a while (thank goodness) since Mr. Science Man dropped in for a little edification and erudition.

But since he’s been knocking at the door of this column for a while now and hasn’t gone away like I’d hoped, I figured I’d let him in for another (hopefully) brief Q and A on whatever seems to be so persistently on his mind this time.

So let’s all have a warm and reluctant welcome for the Scientist in Residence at Pacific Northwest King’s University College of Correspondence in Carrot River, Sask. — Dr. Reginald Smoot, aka Mr. Science Man.

Question: “Dr. Smoot, welcome once again to Hay’s Daze.”

Mr. Science Man: “Well, it’s about time, I’ve been outside knocking since the last solar equinox.”

Question: “Do you mean the autumn equinox we just had in September?”

Mr. Science Man: “I meant eclipse. Solar eclipse. And the last time one of those things happened was probably a long time ago.”

Question: “Is that what you want to talk about this morning? Eclipses?”

Mr. Science Man: “Of course not, where did you get that erroneous idea? I want to talk about what everyone always wants to talk about. Especially when they can’t think of anything else to talk about.”

Question: “Politics? The price of oil? The Edmonton Oilers?”

Mr. Science Man: “Of course not. My mail order correspondence PhD is in something called ‘science,’ not ‘failure.’ So let’s talk about the weather.”

Question: “The weather? What about the weather?”

Mr. Science Man: “Aside from being everyone’s favourite topics since weather was invented by Archimedes somewhere in France in the Middle Ages, weather itself is a fascinating scientific anomaly that is present in many parts of the world nearly every single day.”

Question: “I’m not entirely sure what you’re on about. You’re talking about what’s it like outside, right? The climate, the wind, the sun, the rain. The dumb 10 month winters in Alberta?”

Mr. Science Man: “You would, for once, be correct. The salient issue is as follows: How do you explain blizzards in July? Brown Christmases. The fact that it pours rain every time we have a Science Experts Golf Tournament. And why is it so terribly cold on so many Halloween nights?”

Question: “Well, certainly in Alberta weather is unpredictable. That’s why people say if you don’t like the weather, wait five. …”

Mr. Science Man: “You see, as a scientist specializing in science I feel sorry for all the neighbourhood ghosts and goblins that freeze their little ethereal faces off this time of year. And it’s pretty chilly for the kids who dress up on Halloween, too!”

Question: “Dr. Smoot, what exactly are you suggesting?”

Mr. Science Man: “Scientifically speaking, for many years people thought the weather was created by meteors.”

Question: “They did??”

Mr. Science Man: “Certainly. This is why official scientifically trained weather predictors are called ‘meteorologists.’ Especially the ones on TV who take credit for the nice weather and apologize when the weather is ugly.”

Question: “That can’t possibly be true.”

Mr. Science Man: “Of course not. We scientists now know that weather is not created by meteors, although many, including several Noble Prize winners, believe that weather is created each year by the Farmers’ Almanac. Which, by the way, is far more accurate than most meteorologists. Especially the ones on TV.”

Question: “But you don’t espouse any of that do you, Reginald?”

Mr. Science Man: “I may or may not depending on what ‘espouse’ means.”

Question: “Let me rephrase that. What is your personal professional view of the weather.”

Mr. Science Man: “My view of the weather is right out of my office window. Ha ha, just a little scientific joke for you there. In reality, weather is one of the best kept secrets in the entire world. Like the Bermuda Triangle, the alien crash landing at Roswell, N.M., in 1947, and the fake moon landing in 1969, and the Calgary Flames winning the Stanley Cup in 1989, weather, as we know it today, is completely bogus.”

Question: “Pardon me?”

Mr. Science Man: “You see, the truth is, as I have recently discovered, for the past several decades our regional climates have been created, and continue to be created by a large weather machine.”

Question: “A large weather machine.”

Mr. Science Man: “Yes, this large weather machine is buried deep in a bunker on a small private island off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. It is run in a clandestine fashion by a small group of scientific geniuses and several TV meteorologists commissioned and controlled by governmental representatives from all 14 of the G8 countries. Under the code name: Mother Nature.”

Question: “You’re a certified loon, aren’t you Dr. Smoot.”

Mr. Science Man: “How else do you explain global warming, Mr. Smartypants?”

Question: “If someone was controlling our weather, the last thing they would want to do is create global warming. It’s a threat to our very existence! And don’t call me Mr. Smartypants.”

Mr. Science Man: “OK, Smartypants, simply stated so that you can understand, it’s the communists.”

Question: “The who?”

Mr. Science Man: “Incorrect, The Who is a 1960s band from England. Communists are staying one step ahead of the Mother Nature machine by clear cutting forests which causes a certain type of bad weather called ‘wind,’ and by vigorously spraying aerosol cans, which depletes the ozone layer, which of course is the protective circle around the planet Earth. Much like the rings of Saturn only not as pretty. They may have lost the Cold War, but they’re winning the Cold Weather one.”

Question: “Right. Yes, well, I think that’s enough science for now, Reg, thanks for dropping by, don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out. …”

Mr. Science Man: “Fine. But the next time it snows on Halloween, rains on your golf tournament, outdoor wedding or family barbecue, or the glaciers melt into a giant ocean covering most of the northern hemisphere, don’t blame me. Just pretend there isn’t a secret weather machine and blame the TV meteorologists. They still think weather is caused by meteors.”

Harley Hay is a local freelance writer, award-winning author, filmmaker and musician. His column appears on Saturdays in the Advocate. His books can be found at Chapters, Coles and Sunworks in Red Deer.

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