It’s a beautiful day!

This is a topic, I’d imagine, on which opinions scour the internet:

“It’s so beautiful outside!” [meaning sunny] …

“What a terrible day!’ [when raining] …

… and countless variations on the spectrum of pure sunshine <—> cloudy  <—> overcast <—> rainstorm spectrum.

In the Pacific Northwest, this is particularly frustrating. As part of HICC (Human-Induced-Climate-Change), the NW of North America is receiving less and less annual rainfall and snowfall. Some years are worse than others, like 2021, when a drought basically began in mid-April (generally still spring) and did not end until well into October. That summer included the region’s highest recorded epic heatwave ‘heat dome,’ sending temperatures above 115F for three consecutive days near the solstice. Yet in the late Spring and throughout the summer, the clear skies keep people saying, “what a beautiful day!”

Beautiful? For humans who don’t want to migrate to lower latitudes or think about climate change, I suppose. Beautiful? While the forests of the Northwest basically turn into a desert? These are not beautiful days for the natural ecosystem here.

This year in particular has been more rainy. Rainfall is still below average, but it’s like night and day compared to last year, and a brief respite in an ever warming globe. We had a real rainfall in early June! This is wonderful for the environment.

Another big change we’re seeing in the rainfall is that it’s not as gentle as the region is accustomed to. It’s far more concentrated and powerful, causing more erosion, with less of the rainfall seeping in deep underground. Still, in permanent drought conditions, rain is good, erosion or not. Let’s remember: nature could probably shift the NW into a desert wasteland in a mere decade or two if weather pasterns changed rapidly. The climate can change more quickly than humans [comfortably] can! Would those days still be beautiful to the sun-seekers? What if the climate up here started to turn into a northern desert, with a drought 300+ days a year?

Here’s my strong attitude on this: if you you’re going to compliment the sunny days, fine — just compliment the rainy ones, too. Those are great days for farmers needing rain, for the dry environment, for those fighting wildfires, for the sunburned (humans and plants!) and for countless other reasons. Would someone please think of the earthworms?!

If you can’t handle that, move to a sunnier location! There are many dry states in the southwestern USA which are tolerable, affordable, and sunny almost year round. If you feel you need “beautiful sunny days” almost all the time, WTF are you doing in the cloudy Northwest? You should get out before you start pushing for FASTER climate change just for your own personal climate preferences!

Another note, one that I learned well by flying several thousand hours with the military: the sun is always shining, you just have to climb high enough. If the cloud casts its shadow over you, would you rather be the one who complains, or the one who sees the beauty in that?

Look up!

What’s that?

…it doesn’t matter: it’s a beautiful day!