How’s the weather up there?

Story of Weather coverThe Story of Weather

Submitter: It is mostly a moderately interesting book going through various weather phenomena, different climates and biomes, and some notable events in weather history. The fact that it is 30 years old is reason enough to weed it, but the real fun is in the final chapter: “Future Climate.”

Here, the book tries to spin climate change as a good thing, speculating that the British “perpetual moaning about weather may become a thing of the past” as the weather slowly “becomes similar to … the south-west of France.”

Reading this chapter, in the context of the rest of the book, I think the first draft was likely more factual and less weirdly positive. Some things are still accurate, such as rising sea levels, possible impact on food yields, and climate migration. It’s a jarring juxtaposition with the “up-side” sections.

Holly: Ooooh, maybe Michigan will have weather like the south-west of France too! Our line is “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it will change.” If one more vendor from Florida calls me and says “How’s the weather up there?” I will scream. It’s January. It’s Michigan. How the !@#$ do you think the weather is up here?

The cover of this book looks very 1960s, and I was surprised to see the 1990 copyright date. Shell Oil has a statement on climate change here, if you’re interested in their current plan. (See? No 30-year-old book necessary to get that information!)

Story of weather contents

Story of weather back cover

Global warming

Climate change   future weather


  1. It would take a LOT more than 5 billion pounds to protect against a one-meter rise in sea level! Whom are they kidding?

  2. Our line is “Don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes and it will change.” This is everyone’s line! People say this in every state I’ve ever lived in, and many that I’ve visited. Growing up in Texas, I legitimately thought this must be true only of Texas weather, but really, it’s just weather, period. Unless you do live in the south of France, I guess.

  3. I wonder if this was an update of a 60’s version and they just didn’t bother to change the cover?

    Sure, the climate’s going to be like SW France right up until the Gulf Stream shuts off and it becomes like NE Canada.

  4. Bill Giles was a well-known BBC face as a result of being one of the team who present its weather forecasts. His current website is at Absolutely agree about the £5bn. Current estimates just for England are £18-30bn:

    In the UK in the late 70s I was once set an essay in Geography on the title “Britain doesn’t have a climate, only weather. Discuss”. We do tend to think it’s just us who can experience all four seasons in a day!

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