For that matter, it’s a long way from measuring the effect on weather of a flying object a zillion times more powerful than a butterfly. Last week, surprised Russians in the Ural Mountain region watched in amazement and near panic as a white-hot streaking meteor blazed across the sky and found its way to the ground.
Our snowfall was quieter and did less damage, but the meteor’s appearance came as no less of a surprise. Given the unpredictable nature of these events, it seems less of a coincidence to me that “meteor” and “meteorology” share the same first seven letters.
In my mind it means astronomy also falls a bit short of being a hard science in the sense it too suffers from the curse of unpredictable variables.
With unexpected snowfall, the worst impact is fender benders, stranded motorists and meeting cancellations. A more damaging effect may be in the offing if a large enough undetected metal ball from outer space surprises us in the same way it did our dinosaur predecessors.
Hard science, indeed!
Lone' Beasley is publisher of The Ada News