Ho Hum, The Sun Doth Come

FTLComm - Tisdale - January 9, 2001

A truly remarkable way to begin a new day. The temperature this morning was -6C when I went outside in a "t" shirt to take these pictures.

This warm weather has hung around much longer than was originally expected but if you check the "Weather log" you will see that this has happened before. The cold in December suggested we were into a "normal" winter but normal is no longer applicable as we have to consider what is normal for the past few years and oddly enough, this weather today, is normal.

As has been discussed in Ensign before, the weather is of vital concern to us in a world that depends so much on travel. This morning a
spokes person for Environment
was reporting the seriously antiquated equipment in most of their weather stations and how the Department was in need of $140 million to update the machinery. She said that many of the pieces of equipment now in use, if they fail, can not be repaired because parts for them are no longer manufactured.

You will recognise this as an old story and also one that we have dealt with in Ensign before but it is important to draw attention once more to the real problem.

Government, in a representational democracy like our own, runs on a short
term, with elections coming at
least every four years and politicians really having to think in terms of being re-elected. To smooth things out we have come to rely upon the civil service to look after the long term of things so that the changes in government priorities and whims do not disrupt what should be common sense.

During the Mulroney years the spending in Ottawa simply was out of control and the country moved very close to economic collapse. In order to straighten things out the federal government acted very
harshly to cut back on spending
and put the pressure on the civil servants to find ways to chop essential services.

The folks at Environment Canada came up with a brilliant plan, fire all its people and replace them with machines, automated weather stations. Now less than a decade later the people who only needed a few simple instruments, their skill and judgment based on solid
training, have vanished and the
machines that have replaced them need to be replaced.

The question that needs to be asked is "is stupidity a necessary prerequisite to get work in the civil service?" Mechanical and electronic devices are time based and they were told clearly and simply that the installation of automated weather systems was a serious mistake, but they did not listen and now they want the tax payer to dole out $140 million to buy new toys that will also fail in less than a decade. How much simpler and totally more efficient to train and hire good weather people and put them out there to work, looking after reading the weather and reporting it on the hour, every hour.

The pictures taken this morning show the scene on the street in front of our house as the buses and parents make their morning pilgrimage to the Elementary school. The picture of our house with the windows reflecting the morning sky looked interesting to me as did the "castalanous" formation of clouds this morning above. The QuickTime Panorama below is the second one I made of this scene, the first one, though beautiful, was a whopping 1.2 megabytes, so I created this second and much smaller one, so it did not take so long to download.