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Let It Snow Part Iii

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Thundery wintry showers

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In recent years Philip Eden has repeatedly voiced a concern that as a society, our reactions towards normal wintry weather have become more and more intolerant, and it could get very ugly if we were to get a severe wintry spell. The latest wintry episode has shown that it isn't the general public who are intolerant, it is the media, which makes an enemy of the weather and wants us all to do the same.

News broadcasts around 4-8 January were full of stories of the misery and inconvenience that the snow causes, footage of people telling the reporters how disgraceful the snow is, and how lovely it would be to enjoy two weeks of drizzle, 3-5C and hardly a glimmer of sunshine. They clearly chose their cross-sections carefully. Had they gone to UEA they'd have had a much harder time getting their message across, amidst the hundreds of people sledging, chucking snowballs, building snowmen and laughing their heads off.

Meanwhile, there are far more than just a few childish weather enthusiasts getting sick and tired of the current dull drizzly spell and wishing that we could have the bright snowy weather back. The news and tabloids and weather forecasts seem blissfully unaware that those people actually exist. But they do.

The bright, snowy weather was perfect for alleviating symptoms of SAD, with the combination of sunlight and reflective snow cover. It helped gather communities together, playing out in it, appreciating the impact it had on our surroundings, and helping out the less fortunate among us that were heavily inconvenienced by it. For many weather enthusiasts, in the meantime, there was a lot to discuss and a lot to appreciate.

In our world of market economics and Health & Safety we are becoming too disconnected from the physical world around us, and losing sight of the social factors which contribute to making people happier. Weather enthusiasts are doing society a service by illustrating that there is value in appreciating the asthetic and pleasurable things in life, things that economics alone cannot measure, things like the awe of an electrical storm, the beauty of a double rainbow, the eerieness of a misty, hazy, bright red sunset shining onto layers of illuminated cloud. They should not be made to feel guilty for appreciating unusual or dramatic weather out of "respect" for those who suffer from it- this is otherwise known as martyrdom. Why are those who love mild dull drizzly weather not required to feel guilty because of the misery it causes to snow lovers, sun lovers and SAD sufferers alike? Because mild dull drizzly weather doesn't damage the economy, that's why.

So, by all means, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Not just because it keeps snow enthusiasts happy, but because it continually highlights the fact that our world is too focused upon money, and that we should really start taking more notice of the other things that help to make the world tick over.
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