It’s All a Matter of Perspective

News headline: France’s washout summer fails to deter tourists

PARIS (AFP) – It’s official: France’s rainy, grey and generally cold summer has been the worst for the past 30 years, the weather service said Friday, but tourist arrivals were the highest in five years.

July and August were wet across two-thirds of the country while the Mediterranean region was too dry, said Frederic Nathan, meteorologist at Meteo France.

“Yes we can say that it was a rotten summer,” said Nathan. But the summers of 1954 and 1977 were worse, he added.

Temperatures on the Atlantic coast have been on average two or three degrees Celsius below seasonal averages, said Jean-Marc Le Gallic from Meteo France.

French chat shows have featured experts who are predicting a spike in the number of cases of depression due to a lack of sun exposure.

The gloom and drizzle have been a boon for tanning salons which are reporting brisk business.

“The bad weather has left people feeling low. They want to be beautiful and tanned and are turning to us,” said Dominique Baumier, director of the Point Soleil chain of tanning salons.

We were in France, and we thought the weather was absolutely wonderful. Here in Bucharest, Romania, the highs have been in the 95-105 F range (or even hotter) since the middle of June, so we delighted in having highs in the 60s the entire time we were there.

Which brings up the topic of global warming. When a region has a heatwave, there is a good amount of talk about those high temperatures being a sure sign of catastrophic climate change. And when an area has an unusually cold season, like France this summer, the global warming skeptics come out to mock. But the important thing isn’t whether the weather in a particular place is warmer or colder than normal for a few weeks, but long-term regional and global climate. I’m not going to jump on the global warming bandwagon just because it has been hot in eastern Europe; I’m not going to call it junk science just because I was wearing a jacket in Paris in August.

Grace and Peace

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