One of the most important things about our lives is the environment around us and knowing that you can’t do anything about it. Take Mother Nature for example. Recently, news of earthquakes starting up again in Chile make me wonder just how predictable Mother Nature is, from a human standpoint, of course.

It’s easy to say that Iceland is going to blow up because volcanoes have been there forever. So just saying that Iceland will change an awful lot geologically is by all means the truth. As for the time, who knows? How about saying that the wetlands are in danger from over exploitation and no matter what happens to Mother Nature when it comes to man versus mom… mom always wins. So it’s safe to say that the grand efforts of man will one day be converted back to dust on rocks.

So how about in our backyard? One thing for sure, things aren’t the same as they were years ago, with climate change and all that. But the hand of man has also changed Mother Nature dramatically.

In the early years of planning the James Bay Project, the engineers knew that warm water would come out of the mouths of the giant turbines, artificially heating the water beyond normal temperatures. Their study determined that the ice in the winter would convert to slush and get pushed out to the islands and shallow waters and refreeze underneath. Eventually the ice would accumulate into a giant ice dam, flooding the nearby islands. Of course, this did not happen as their predictions were pretty far off.

Considering thermal hydraulics, I think that warm water sits on top until the temperature stabilizes somewhere down stream. The Gulf stream, famous for its gigantic temperature variations, flows from the Gulf of Mexico, then up around the Atlantic and generates the local weather patterns. Could this be happening on a much smaller scale within the James and Hudson Bays? It’s been 30 years now so an awful lot of warm water has been tossed into these pristine Arctic waters. So, its safe to say that because of the unknown factors of all these changes to our climate, weather may just be a lot more harder to figure out.

Because of all these unpredictable factors with our weather systems and nature itself, it should be a no brainer that a really good set of outdoor clothing, made to withstand hot and cold days, wet and hurricane style winds would be the best bet for people who like to be prepared. Don’t forget other essentials like generators to keep the iPod going, a good tent in case the financial forecasts force you out on the streets, a good axe and perhaps a hidden supply of gasoline. Remember the ice storm over a decade ago?

It just might happen to us. However, I don’t think we should panic right away, as bad weather is unavoidable and we’ve lived without modern conveniences until just recently, a mere 30 years. Bad weather? Baaahh, throw another log in the wood stove and listen to the wind howl around your little escape called a winter cabin and wait for spring. Pass the tea and bannock please.