How many times in the last ten years have you heard weather forecasters predict wind/rain/hail/snow of a destructive nature, only to have the impending storm fizzle long before it even reaches the New Zealand coast?
So did you ever wonder why they’re so cautious? Did it ever bother you to find yourself preparing for the worst when that elusive negative so rarely seemed to befall you?
What do you reckon about the alternative though? If you’d been warned, sure, you might be prepared; if you hadn’t, this so called destructive weather would catch you unaware. Then what would you do?
You’d likely complain your entitled little arse off, wouldn’t you? You deserve to know about severe weather in advance, don’t you? You work hard, you pay your taxes; it is therefore the duty of television meteorologists to inform you of considerably bad weather at least three days before it occurs.
Here’s the reality guys. Earth’s weather is fickle. Much as we like to think we can predict its cycles, patterns and so forth, ultimately it does as it pleases. Honestly, I wouldn’t trust an ‘extended weather forecast’ past day two – hell, even that’s pushing it. Yet for some reason the public expect to have knowledge of significant changes in weather days, even weeks before they eventuate. In fact, it seems that most people expect warning of just about every undesirable event occurring in their day to day lives: weather; terrorism; earthquakes…
Poor old Ken Ring. He was only trying to help out with his predictions of when and where earthquakes were most likely to take place, and his reasoning was sound – on the full moon tides are higher; higher water volume exerts extra weight; extra weight on tectonic plates can cause them to shift; therefore shifting; thus moving; so shaking and hence, quaking.
The poor bugger was accused of ‘scaremongering’. He offered the people likelihood, yet was heard to be saying: “The next earthquake will almost certainly strike on…”
Here’s the issue with Ring’s ‘helpful’ projections. The majority of us don’t like to deal in ‘maybes’, ‘perhapses’ or ‘possiblies’. Oh no. Our current batch of highly strung, self-righteous and generally pompous 21st centurions will be satisfied with nothing less than ‘definitelies’, ‘certainlies’ and to a lesser extent, ‘probablies’.
On that note, here’s the issue with establishing a life of absolution: Life is Uncertain. Ostensible authority figures can spend all day promising you all manner of reassurance but at the end of that day, it’s all largely shit.
Shit happens. Get used to it.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Kharma Stacey
Photography by Quay King