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Fifty Shades of Climate Change


by Bonnie Wurst


“Today’s temperature will reach a high of 28 Celsius under mostly sunny skies,” the weatherman said. Great! It would be a beautiful day for the hike we had planned. But then he added, “But it will feel like 37.”

Okay, we’ll just pack extra water bottles and wear the proper clothing. I was game for it -until he further added, “… with a 70% chance of rain in the afternoon.”

At first we hesitated, but after tossing our special weather dice, we finally came to the conclusion that a 30% chance of NO rain was good enough. We needed to get out of the cement pond called the ‘City’. Heck, if it did rain we would just embrace the cooling shower with gratitude – and pack a change of clothing.

The backpacks, icepacks and sandwiches were ready. I pulled out my trusty walking stick, put on my Loo-Loo Lemonade headband and was ready to leave – when the Weather Alert App flashed on my cell phone.

‘SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2:00PM TO 5:00PM. A low pressure system will bring strong southerly windsgusting up to the speed of light with hail the size of hockey pucks… an upper low moving in from the Northeast will bring significant moisture with it, causing moderate to insanely heavy rainfalls. The strong gusts of wind can throw around loose objects, damage buildings and reveal your underwear. Storm conditions, paired with high winds can also produce tornadoes sending you, your children, pets, barbecue and home, somewhere Over the Rainbow.Environ-mental Canada suggests being ready to batten down the hatches, get away from windows, skylights, doors, your spouse, mother-in-law and that weird guy next door.’

I took off my Loo-Loo Lemonhead gear and sat down to ponder the situation. To go or not to go? Outside the skies were clear, not a cloud in sight and a pleasant breeze was blowing. But Climate Change was real and to deny it was akin to denying the need to breathe.

I wondered what the future had to bring. Lakes and rivers are drying up, unprecedented swaths of forests are on fire – while rain is pouring down in torrents and grass is growing in parts of the Sahara desert. Cairo received its first snow in more than 100 years, and yesterday I watched a family of ducks cross my street and head towards a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop.

The weather networks and bureaus are updating their reports constantly- and they often get it all wrong. A new weather channel is in order, one that can keep up with the rapid changes and the unknown in a more realistic and accurate fashion.

“And now for your weather forecast from the Fifty Shades of Climate Change Network – North America’s most closest-to-what-might-happen forecasts.For the last two weeks of July we can,maybe… sort of expectbeautiful weather with warm and dry conditions -for the first few days. Then,perchance,a system coming in from the north and a low pressure front from the south will meet El Niño and La Niñasomewhere on our radar map and bring in heavy rain with winds up to Mach1 for the rest of the week. This could bring about a Swimming Pool Tsunami warning with a lawn furniture, barbecue and rubber ducky advisory. Please bring all decks, sheds and dart games inside.
But not to worry! The second week will start with clear blue skies and temperatures near normal for this time of the year – 150 years ago. By mid-week an air mass moving in from somewhere still unclear to us, will bring warmer and extremely humid conditions with toxic smog alerts in most major cities. New ‘Breathe Easy Anti-Pollution Masks’ are now available for purchase on our web site.

By the end of the week we should see some relief with a frost warning coming into effect for the weekend. It will be followed by a blizzard expected to bring up to 8 feet of snow and polar bears from the Arctic. Please don’t feed the bears.The good news is city officials have announced that outdoor ice rinks will be open every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for the rest of the summer and they are expected to re-open the swimming pools by late October.”

And what did the Farmer’s Almanac forecast say?’Heck, crops are all going to go to ‘ell this summer. Best you stock up at Costco and lay back on the porch with a pitcher of lemonade and a good book.’

In the end, we did go on our hike and the weather was somewhat agreeable. It was the poison-ivy on my legs that put me under the weather.



Bonnie Wurst is a reporter, a weekly columnist and feature writer for the Montreal Times newspaper. She is a novelist, ghost writer (not the scary kind) and humorist. Her book “Damaged Goods Re-Stitched” can be found on For ‘HUMOR SOUP FOR THE SOUL’ speaking engagements & workshops, please contact her at


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