It’s raining in Minnesota in late November

Gaia’s right, I don’t know if I can survive this. My bear-like metabolism is demanding crisp weather to properly induce hibernation.


  1. says

    It rained yesterday in Edmonton. Granted, it was freezing rain and apparently there were some 40 ambulance calls for people who slipped on the sidewalks, but it was rain.

  2. sowa says

    Here, where I live (Central Europe) it got so warm outside I woke up in a house full of flies and mosquitos. Weather is pretty meh too – warm but without much sun, damp but without much rain. Everything is just disgustingly wet and muddy and sometimes it’s like this well into winter. Overall the difference between both seasons is less and less noticeable.

  3. monad says

    You hear this message sometimes, but I don’t know if the first part feels right. If you’re Earth as the giant rock we live on, then sure, it will last through anything we can throw at it.

    But does a sudden change causing a mass extinction that biodiversity will take millions of years to recover from, and of course with not all the same groups left at the end, really count as nature being just fine? I’ve recovered from fevers before too, but they were still miserable.

  4. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    When you consider that life probably began near volcanic vents with superheated water at the bottom of the ocean, that it has survived ice ages, desertification and on and on, Earth will be just fine after the short geologic period of the anthropocene ends with our demise. The thing about life is that it has a way of finding ecological niches.

  5. Dave Grain says

    Anecdata. As atheistic scientists, perhaps we should stick to pushing the real, unarguable data about human-made climate change instead of stories about late-season rain and cartoons with fucking fairies in them.

  6. monad says

    @4 a_ray_in_dilbert_space: Yeah, eventually new species arise, just like I eventually got over my fevers. Things like trilobites and ceratopsians are never coming back, even if other groups may have moved into somewhat similar roles. Maybe you count that as nature being fine, but it looks to me like losses all the same.

  7. says

    cartoons with fucking fairies in them

    Dave Grain, the power of stories is far greater to the average human than mere facts. Both cartoons and facts have their place in the discourse, even if one of those may offend your sensitive disposition.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    It rained in my part of Edmonton this morning, too.
    When the sun showed we managed to get most of the ice off the front sidewalk.

  9. weylguy says

    Gaia’s right. It was 93 on Thanksgiving Day here in Los Angeles, an all-time record. But my fundamentalist Christian neighbor says not to worry, as Jesus will return before things get really bad.

  10. microraptor says

    “I’m an environmentalist because the environment happens to be the place where I live!”

  11. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Anecdata. As atheistic scientists,

    Excuse me, peer reviewed citations for anyone being an “atheistic scientist” please.

  12. Dunc says

    Yeah, Gaia is more-or-less indifferent to us, but Blodeuwedd will fuck your shit up.

    @4: The so-called Anthropocene isn’t even going to be a short-lived geological age. It’s going to be a boundary layer. A thin smear of unusual carbon compounds laced with rare radioisotopes, and some fairly dramatic but localised geological displacement.

  13. says

    Dave Grain:

    Don’t be mean to chigau
    He’s a person too.

    Chigau is not a he. Lots of people on the planet aren’t he’s. Don’t assume gender, use a singular they when in doubt.

  14. Dave Grain says


    “Chigau is not a he. Lots of people on the planet aren’t he’s. Don’t assume gender, use a singular they when in doubt.”

    You bloody moron, chigau did it to me first, just 3 comments earlier. Also, I had this discussion here the other day when someone decided that I had a “man’s” name and thought they could autogender me, so I am rather annoyed that someone else here (you) seems to be not practicing what they preach.

  15. jrkrideau says

    S.E Ontario: we still are at 9 degrees at 19:35 with a predicted nighttime low of 7! I grew up around here and by now, the smaller lakes would have been freezing over back then.

  16. unclefrogy says

    Maybe you count that as nature being fine, but it looks to me like losses all the same.

    it is always a story of losses it has always been a story about losses. our very planet is composed of the remains of a star that went supper nova. Did that star have planets did the planets have life on them did that life have intelligence did it sing about the wonder of it all.
    Yes it is about the passing away of many things. One of the things that struck me powerfully about Tolkien’s world was his description of the Elves who were very long lived and were merry but had a sadness in their eyes having seen so many fair things pass out of life.
    The Universe will go right along whether we are here or not as the cartoon points out it is only we who occupy the apex of the pyramid who must worry because we depend on the base staying relatively stable in order for us to prosper.
    Too much disruption and it will collapse as has happened locally in the past. this time it looks like it will be much more global in nature.
    here is an old song by Woodie Guthrie that many will probably be singing before long

    uncle frogy

  17. says

    Dave Grain:

    You bloody moron, chigau did it to me first, just 3 comments earlier. Also, I had this discussion here the other day

    That hardly excuses you doing it, does it? Rather makes it worse. As for your previous discussion, I didn’t see that. I realize this may be incredibly difficult for you to believe, but I and many others have better things to do than spend every day wondering what ‘Dave Grain’ has to say about anything. Gad, what a cupcake.

  18. VolcanoMan says

    Yup, I can attest as a Winnipegger that it’s not cold out. I mean, our lakes froze a couple weeks ago (around Remembrance Day), but we haven’t really had the bone-chilling, trachea-freezing cold yet. It was 4 degrees Celsius today. Not cold. If it’s still like this in January, well that would truly be something.

    As for anecdotes vs. data, the problem with data is that a person trained in the sciences can study data and read peer-reviewed papers and get a sense of the scale of the problem, but people who aren’t like many of us are not literate in that way. They don’t understand p-values and probabilities and risk, and frankly, it’s not really their fault – humans never evolved to understand those things. It is my humble opinion that the reason so little action has been taken against climate change is that it’s a shitty story. “In the next 50 to 100 years, average Earth temperatures are going to increase by 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, storms are going to get a bit more intense, we’ll have more erratic weather, drought years followed by severe flooding will become more common, lots of species in places we’ve never been to will go extinct, etc.”…it’s just not that threatening to most people. It seems so future-based, like not a problem for today but something that might hurt people in a few decades. Our brains are not adapted to dealing with threats like climate change. If a meteor was headed for Earth in 15 years, and we could show this with certainty, you’d see action, maybe even successful action. Climate change just doesn’t feel threatening, or even certain to occur at all, even though the results – deaths of humans and other species – could be similar in scope to a meteor impact (depending on the size of the meteor of course), perhaps even worse in some ways. So we can keep on showing people data and wondering why they don’t care and don’t want to take action, or we can weave a compelling narrative that sticks to the facts but is, in fact, giving people a way to connect with climate change. This is easier with some people than others, and the raging partisanship we see in the US isn’t helping things; nonetheless, if people really felt threatened, they’d be acting already. Current methods of scientific outreach need to change.

  19. siwuloki says

    Reminds me of The Golden Rule.
    More “anecdata” (it ain’t science, but this ain’t a journal; it’s a blog): in central AZ it hasn’t rained since July. It’s as dry as I’ve seen it in 42 years. The saguaros are getting skinny. I’m spending free afternoons on the back porch reading, which I usually have to give up in early November. Predictions for the near future aren’t reassuring.

  20. emergence says

    Dave Grain @24

    But… Caine’s last comment didn’t assume anything about you. What are you talking about?


    a) We already do cite the actual data. PZ’s done it multiple times. We’re just pointing out that are lived experiences match with the data.

    b) Was your main takeaway from that comic really “fucking fairies”? The actual message was that even if life is adaptable and won’t be totally destroyed by climate change, that doesn’t mean humanity won’t be fucked over.

  21. brett says

    It was unseasonably warm here, too. That’s not unheard of, and there’s been a couple years where it was warm late into November before going frigid as usual once December started. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we got some nice days in December and January, like a few years back.

    I’m not complaining too much, although I will be troubled if we don’t get more mountain snowfall. We need that for the water supply here.

  22. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    You bloody moron, chigau did it to me first, just 3 comments earlier.


    Also, I had this discussion here the other day


    when someone decided that I had a “man’s” name and thought they could autogender me


    so I am rather annoyed


    (Kind of annoying, isn’t it?)

    that someone else here (you) seems to be not practicing what they preach.

    Ironic anecdata.

  23. lotharloo says

    And then Rush added:
    “Don’t worry listeners, even if global warming is real and it turns out we need another planet, capitalism and market competition will fix it. We just need to give me, and my buddies and all the companies more tax cuts so we can really fire up the magic of free market and cook up more planets. After that, we can even get great planets because companies whose planet sucks will be forced out of the market by the free market magic and only the best planets will survive. So, now, about them tax cuts …”

  24. Dave Grain says


    “The Dave Grains of this world can all go and royally fuck themselves for all I care.”

    Well, Lofty, I would tell you what you should do, except we’re not allowed to say it here anymore. Perhaps you remember the instructions? I would just add: make sure it’s dripping with rancidity and give it a good twist while it’s up there.

  25. says

    Jesus will return before things get really bad.

    I, for one, welcome Unbreathable Jesus.
    He may be coming soon, but not in a form anyone is going to like.

  26. Scott Simmons says

    Checking in from North Texas. Last week, I thought briefly about turning my heat on for the first time since last winter, but decided to soldier through. Back up into the 70’s now … Looking at the extended forecast, there’s no chance of my furnace getting a workout until December.

    I wonder if it still works?

  27. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    The problem with citing statistics and scientific results is that this is what we have been doing for 30 years. Anyone who can be persuaded by data already accepts the reality of anthropogenic climate change.

    Data and facts won’t work on the alternative facts crowd. The only thing I can think of that will work is to find wedge issues to drive between the deplorable 35% and get them voting against each other rather than as a block of cowardly morons.

    Of course, there is still the question of whether this is desirable. I would point out that the mass extinction was well underway before the effects of climate change kicked in. Habitat loss, pollution, etc. are wiping out species even before we discover them. If you want to be optimistic about this, climate change might kill humans off before we render the planet truly uninhabitable.

  28. says

    Been in the 50s (F) here in nDakota. Coldish, because wind. Barely snowed twice. No rain. If we don’t get water in some form soon, we’re gonna be in a lot of trouble next year. Again.

  29. emergence says

    Also, what fairies are in the comic? Unless you mean the anthropomorphic representation of the planet, all I see are butterflies.

  30. unclefrogy says

    If you want to be optimistic about this, climate change might kill humans off before we render the planet truly uninhabitable.

    ahh the silver lining

    uncle frogy

  31. says

    Dave Grain, what is your beef here? An anecdote is perfectly reasonable communicating device, even fro scientific findings, provided those scientific findings were previously reasonably presented as well. Which they were on this blog, multiple times over. So in the broad context of the whole blog an anecdote is not an argument in itself, it is just an addition to an argument already made.

    Do you also object to illustrating scientific books with reconstructions of extinct animals or to use of simplifed drawings instead of exclusive use of gory photographs in anatomy books? If so, you are not being reasonable, quite the contrary, you are an annoying purist.

  32. kevskos says

    We have broken both the highest temperature and the nighttime over nite high temperature for the last several days and no break in site, Yuma AZ 88 today.

  33. Mark Jacobson says

    It reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit in Bismarck, North Dakota on Thanksgiving Day. A good day for a walk, a chilling portent of things to come.

  34. says

    Mark @ 42:

    It reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit in Bismarck, North Dakota on Thanksgiving Day.

    Did it really? We were in town on Wednesday, wasn’t that warm, but in the high 50s. Here in Almont (out toward Glen Ullin), it didn’t get that warm, and we’re about an hour out. 74. Huh. We’re fuckin’ doomed.