We can’t control the weather

Travis McMullen - Contributing Columnist

Travis McMullen

Contributing Columnist


You know, up until just a few days after Christmas we’ve been having a pretty mild winter. And yet there’s always the traditional endless supply of people complaining that it’s too cold outside. For these people any temperature below 60 is practically arctic and any drip of precipitation might just eat away their skin like they’re made out of sugar.

Some days I feel like I’m a different species from the sort of people who are always cold It feels like . If constant, dry heat is your sort of thing there are states in this very country that could provide that experience in abundance. In a state like Missouri, that experiences all four seasons distinctly it’s strange that there are so many people who can’t stand the cold.

And then there are those who are superstitious when it comes to the weather: just because we’ve had a long string of reasonably mild winter days doesn’t mean that there’s going to be an increased chance of severe winter weather. Weather karma is not a thing, and there’s no strange weather deity that smirks when he realizes that he’s allowed too many nice days and brews up some serious storms.

The idea that a long string of one sort of result increases the odds for the opposite result is called the gambler’s fallacy and it is surprisingly prevalent in the minds of too many people making decisions today. Maybe the ball has been landing on the black sections of the roulette wheel all night – that doesn’t mean that there’s any more or any less chance that it will end up red on the next spin unless you’re dealing with a badly weighted cheater wheel.

Imagine someone sitting in an empty room for three or four decades, flipping a coin. Even if they kept flipping heads for years upon end that wouldn’t mean that there’s an increased chance of the next flip landing on tails.

In gambling and in life the results of the past don’t necessarily reflect the odds of the future, so don’t let them get you down or misguide you.

That snow didn’t fall because you failed to pull your snow shovel out from the garage any more than that lucky Chiefs jersey helped them barely scrape by the 3-12 Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

So I’m always the first to tell people that a little rain never hurt anyone, but I’ll quickly admit that we’ve been seeing the harmful results of a whole lot of rain on people, communities and property all over the country. Maybe it’s a bad time to be a rain apologist.

Even in this modern day where we can control the temperature of our homes with our phones and casually watch visual entertainment from as far back as 1902 on our favorite streaming service there’s one force that can casually devastate us whenever it likes. Be it tornado, earthquake, tornado, flooding or some other earthly horrors there is still only so much that we can do in the face of many natural disasters.

The State of Missouri is in an official state of emergency so I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that we’re not all experiencing the severe flooding that is occurring not too far south from here. We should do what we can to help them, though.

And if you see a road or path that’s been flooded, go ahead and do what you can to avoid it no matter how big and manly your pickup truck is, because the last thing we need is more Missourians getting into trouble.

Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.

Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.

comments powered by Disqus