Would it be better if we could control the weather?

“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” — Mark Twain, American humorist

If we could heed Mr. Twain’s complaint, would we be any better off? If we could control the weather, would this be a better world?

Current technology and our understanding of meteorology haven’t let us control this phase of our lives with any meaningful certainty. We’re no better off today in trying to tinker with the weather than we were back in Ben Franklin’s day. But, in a way, maybe that’s a good thing.

Our meteorologists might have a better handle on when storms are coming or when the temperatures might dip below freezing. But as far as actually controlling the atmospheric conditions, we pretty much still are back to Square One.

For example, I might want it to rain here in Gillespie County, but what about my neighbors? Maybe they’ve planned an outdoor gathering — such as a wedding and reception, cookout, birthday party — on the very day I’ve decided to call in the rainmaker.

Or, vice versa. Maybe I’m the one with the big outdoor party plans for next Saturday afternoon and I don’t want it to rain on my parade … er, party.

In the wintertime, should I impose my desire for warmer temperatures at the risk of endangering the livelihoods of our local peach growers? Whose desires take precedent? Is it my way, your way, or the “best” way?

“Don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.” — Kin Hubbard, another American humorist

If we accept Hubbard’s contention (and I think it’s a fair assessment of human communications), then we know that the weather is an important factor in our daily lives. It’s so ingrained in our thought processes that, as the writer indicates, there wouldn’t be much conversing going on.

And we love to complain about the weather, too. Not just make comments about it, but to assign some kind of negative connotation to it.

As we perspire in the sweltering heat of a late summer day, we can’t wait for the moderation of autumnal temperatures to take over. But as much as we complain about the heat, it won’t be too long (I hope) when a cold air blast will hit us and we’ll all be complaining about that, too.

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