Sunday, April 06, 2008

Global warming, right?

I didn't quite get to the camera in time to capture the brief flurry of snow this morning, but it snowed in Devon in April! Global warming, right? Or maybe we should admit that whilst we can do a decent job in weather forecasting, the complexity of the system is just a bit big. Weather systems do crazy things like floods in July, snow in April, and that spring heatwave last year too.

Who are we to think that 170 years of modern meteorology means we can predict the future? Hardly enough data to be able to predict massive future trends when we can't really get more than a few days ahead with any accuracy.

We're not masters of the universe - there is one who rules the seasons and the future and forms every snowflake and he doesn't work for the Met Office. Chaos theory which is so important to weather forecasting was the bit of maths that intriuged me most (aka Jurassic Park maths). And no disrespect is meant to the guys at the Met Office, but - human beings: Arrogant, right?

In looking for that snow reference I came across this -
"As heat and drought snatch away the melted snow,
so the grave snatches away those who have sinned" (Job 24v19)
which reminds me of John Newton's last verse of Amazing Grace -
"The earth will soon dissolve like snow, the sun forbear to shine.
But God who called me here below, will be forever mine".
Which continues the creation themes of the book and is a bit more God-focussed than the 10,000 year sing-a-long that someone else wrote. I think Newton is looking ahead to the renewal of creation but he also catches something of the brevity of life as he looks out across the fields from Olney. Life is vapour. Two seconds and it will be gone.