Storm Hater – Bowl of Cheese Podcast by Jeff Cutler. Episode #45

July 3, 2008

Here’s the transcript to Bowl of Cheese Podcast #45. Maybe we’ll make it to 50 before the summer’s over. And here’s a link to the show’s MP3 file.

Enjoy! And remember, if you have an idea for a Bowl of Cheese podcast, call the talk like at 206-888-2715 or leave a comment on this post. I’d be glad to have another guest host read their submission for the audience. I require you to be clean, well-spoken, fun and relevant. Podcasts are between three and five minutes long. Rants are always welcome.

Enough of that, here’s the transcript..

The rain’s coming down in droplets as large as jelly-beans and the wind’s got my curtains sticking into the room at right angles to the wall.

I can feel the temperature of the air drop by many degrees. Where it was 80 earlier it’s now about 65. It’s a welcome respite from the humidity and baking temps of the past few days.

As the thunder alerts me to more unsettled weather, I wonder what’s behind our aversion to the elements.

Certainly, being struck by lightning, washed away in a flood or a tornado, and smashed to bits by tsunamis and hurricanes isn’t anyone’s idea of a great adventure. But more often than not, we huddle inside when faced with a deluge, blistering heat or high winds.

Is this a condition of our evolution? Did we evolve just to run away from the challenges of our environment?

We can’t control the weather yet. So maybe it’s a flight reaction similar to when a Hippo charges us or when we see a gun. Regardless of the reason – genetic coding or learned response – people return to their homes, cars, offices or other sanctuaries for safety when the weather goes bad.

In some ways people remind me of ants. Fill up a watering can and pour it on an anthill and those creatures respond in the same way they would if the skies opened up and water fell from above. They don’t know any better and maybe they don’t care.

But we have the knowledge that storms move over us. That rain makes us wet and that lightning, while deadly, probably isn’t going to strike us when we’re in the city or while walking down the street. So what makes us fearful?

Human skin hasn’t been found to melt. Standing in the rain won’t give you pneumonia. Tousled hair is about the worst you’re going to suffer from a summer breeze. What’s our problem?

A story published in 2006 told of a study by psychologist John Westefeld at the University of Iowa. He surveyed 130 people about their reaction to weather and a large number of them were affected significantly by storms, wind, rain and other phenomena.

“Of 139 people surveyed, 89 said a good storm sometimes or occasionally gets their heart pounding, and 65 said they panic now and then,” said the Livescience article.

The article’s author – Robert Roy Britt – wrapped up the article with this…

“Overall, the researchers said 73 percent of the survey participants had “a little bit” or “moderate” fear of weather, while 24 percent had none. Just 3 percent were labeled as fearing Mother Nature “quite a bit.”

The results are detailed in the June (2006) issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.”

In many cases, unless you believe in Noah and feel that we’re back on a path that will feature storms lasting a month and a half, the events only last a little while. They might cause some immediate damage to physical structures and to people’s psyches, but they’re over fairly quickly.

Perhaps it’s the spectacular nature of a sudden rainstorm that gets our attention. The sudden onset of black clouds and the chilly wind.

Except for the extraordinary storm, most events just last a little while and soon the status-quo returns. People emerge from their modern caves and go on with their lives.

In fact, the birds have started singing again and the last drops of rain are falling off the leaves. I started this column as the skies began to darken about 22 minutes ago. Now the sky is getting lighter and I guess I’ll leave my cave too.

See you inside the next time we have a storm. I’m not afraid.