RICHMOND

"And what is so great as a day in June, Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune."

A few weeks ago I was sitting in our sun room which has 13 full windows, all facing natural scenes of wonder, and a full glass door for access to our natural treasures. The weather was iffy with clouds leaping across the shaded sky, sometimes bright and sometimes threatening.

June had recently arrived and I was brooding on the classic poem by James Russell Lowell. Lowell wrote those inspired lines when climatology was in its first creative stage but now we have computers and all the inspired technology spurred by our brilliant weather forecasters. Now all they have to do is stick an arm out the window and when they bring it back in, check the hand to see whether it is wet or dry and make their analysis and prediction. That takes skill as well as knowledge.

For the past few years we have been having a "scientific" debate about "global warming" or more recently "climate control," which is a friendlier term in controversy. I have watched this neutrally because I am mostly stuck in the house no matter what the weather. On the particular day mentioned above, however, most people stuck themselves in their houses if going out was not obligatory.

But as I sat there staring at the darkening world, there was a flash and a boom and the water started its attack. This was not a rainstorm, because in a rainstorm you can see the drops of water following each other to the earth. There were no drops of water. There were freight-car amounts of water pouring out of the skies in unlimited amounts and smashing into the ground with unrestrained fury. It was like being engulfed in a gigantic wave while it waged its hatred on some deserted beach in Hawaii.

At the end of an hour, according to our electronic measurer, two and a quarter inches of water had dropped on our house. I sat staring out the windows, fascinated by the intensity of the attack, wondering if some Satanic face would appear, its venomous expression dominated by hateful fury. That's how silly it got.

And then the attack ceased and reality took over the scene. What we had was a soaked landscape and the question was how many trees and how much landscape had been affected, especially newly-planted gardens. Maybe it was because the wind had not been as fierce as the water, but the damage was slight.

I was well aware of the worldwide interest in so-called "global warming" or "climate control" because the media had seized the issue and ballooned it into the stratosphere. It was really simple. Some people complained it was caused by the carbon dioxide being released by automobiles and coal-burning power plants. Others say it is nothing more than one of the regular cycles that have occurred during the history of our planet and what we are enduring started with the Big Bang.

I began voluminous background reading and I agree with both sides. Famous scientists keep changing and changing their minds and they all seem to have valid points in their arguments. I believe the matter will not be settled until Dr. Sheldon Cooper of "The Big Bang Theory" finally wins his Nobel Award for arriving at the solution.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle
contributor.