Monday, April 5, 2010

A rant against weather reporting

Weather reporting, what's not to like?

It affects us all, some more than others. It gives strangers a neutral topic to chat about. It unites people in a place.

But I have become increasingly frustrated  with the way weather is reported on radio and TV. This may seem a trivial matter, but think about it.

As a mainly urban society we are increasingly alienated from Nature. We take sufficient food and access to clean water for granted.
We no longer connect the dots from weather to harvest to our own ability to feed our family through the coming year. That may well change soon, but that is another topic.

Precisely because daily weather affects even the most alienated city dweller, public weather reports offer a golden opportunity to remind people of their basic connection to Nature. We don't have to be heavy-handed and didactical about it.

As a rule the daily weather is reported from a tourist point of view. Sunshine Good, Rain Bad. Rain is described as "threatening" even when it is badly needed. There are exceptions, for instance when the whole province is engulfed in forest fires, but I am talking of the daily trend here.

What I am asking for is a basic shift: could weather be reported from the point of view of a farmer or forester, rather than a tourist?
The growing number of urban food gardeners might even welcome it.

1 comment:

Bekki said...

Hear hear! Our weatherman even works in a bit of education about how weather systems work, often to explain why he can't be 100% sure of the outcome. The opportunity is clearly there to teach a tiny bit about the kinds of weather we need and when we need them. With our epic drought, rain has definitely reached a deified status, but we are also a tourist spot, sooo...