Why Everyone Talks About the Weather

Reader Contribution by Toby Grotz

Why Everyone Talks About the Weather

It came to me in a flash while getting up before dawn one cold, dry, winter day – Why everyone talks about the weather because,



The human brain has been fine tuned since the dawn of time to be concerned about the weather. Evolutionary biology would suggest that the minds and brains most tuned to the weather were the ones who survived. No rain = no game for the hunter– gatherer. Too much rain flushes your village, wipes out crops. When you are tuned in you follow the heard or move camp before the flood.

Generation after generation attention to the weather was a daily task. Sensing the moisture content of the air, the direction of the winds, the type of cloud formations began to shape the brain into a genetically tuned weather gage as the generations passed.

Weather Prediction

How tuned are you to the world around you, to the weather, to the climate? If there were no weather report and no weather satellites, could you learn to predict the weather? This is a good exercise for the preppers and permaculturists alike. To predict the weather you must study:

• Clouds
• Winds
• Colors in the atmosphere, morning, noon and night
• The light around celestial bodies
• Smells,
• Animal behavior

Back before the internet when we read more books, I remember reading about South Sea Islanders who could predict arrival of the arrival or the great sailing ships three weeks out based on their observations of the waves.

There was a navigator on the Big Island of Hawaii during the 16th century named Paka’a. “Paka’a was trained to read signs and knew how to manage a canoe in the ocean, out of sight of land. He knew how to tell when the sea would be calm, when there would be a tempest in the ocean, and when there would be great billows. He observed the stars, the rainbow colors at the edges of the stars, the way they twinkled, their red glowing, the dimming of the stars in a storm, the reddish rim on the clouds, the way in which they move, the lowering of the sky, the heavy cloudiness, the gales, the blowing of the ho’olua wind, the a’e wind from below, the whirlwind, and the towering billows of the sea”

Some of the first questions I hear every day coming from the other side of the bed are: “is it cold out?” or “is it going to be hot?” or “is it raining?” and so it goes.

Floods and droughts plague us to this day. Now, we realize that our activities affect the weather on a global scale and our survival as a species hangs in the balance.

We need to balance to survive. Read more from MOTHER EARTH NEWS on these topics:

Why Life Exists on Earth: A New Perspective on Carbon Emissions

Zoned Out, Part 2: What’s Your Plant Hardiness Zone?.

When to Plant What: Handy Charts for Garden Planning.


Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting

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