We love to talk about the weather. Given our druthers, we'll talk it to death, or at least to clichés.
"Hot enough for ya?"
"It's not the heat. It's the humidity."
"If you don't like the weather now, stick around; it'll change in 15 minutes."
More recently, here as elsewhere, there's been a marked increase in jawing about not just the weather, but the climate. It seems that any mention of climate immediately leads to a discussion on climate change. And the tone has not been nearly as colloquial or collegial, but rather (pardon the expression) heated.
Last week's wretchedly steamy weather brought a respite: It was too hot to argue. The week before that, it was too wet, at least in Duluth.
So now we're left to wonder about the viability of phrases such as "100-year flood" and, well, "mild Minnesota summers."
Meanwhile, the past two winters could hardly have been more different. Was one of them more indicative of climate change than the other?
Are any of us actually smart enough to know?
To the rescue comes Mark Vlossak, an Oregon winemaker from solid Midwestern stock, having grown up in Appleton, Wis. His take:
"I think there is global warming, but mostly I think there's global weirdness."
Now there's a catchphrase we all should be able to agree on.