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RICK MACLEAN: Grab chips and a good story

Tristan LeClair of Stratford and Jordon Havenga of Cornwall do some last-minute grocery shopping before the winter storm Thursday. LeClair and Havenga picked up some storm chips, milk and cookies and planned to spend the day cuddled up watching Netflix. 
(The Guardian / Maureen Coulter)
Tristan LeClair of Stratford and Jordon Havenga of Cornwall do some last-minute grocery shopping before the winter storm Thursday. LeClair and Havenga picked up some storm chips, milk and cookies and planned to spend the day cuddled up watching Netflix. (The Guardian / Maureen Coulter) - Maureen Coulter

Trump confuses weather, like the recent two-day blow, with climate

The tweet was as predictable as it was predictably ill informed, complete with capital letters – the social media equivalent of shouting in your ear.

“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”

Donald Trump, the man the U.S. electoral system foisted on an unwilling majority of voters, had done it again.

Skip past the stupidity.

Yes he confuses weather, what you see out your door like the recent two-day blow, with climate. The latter comes in 30-year bursts and the direction is clear, a warmer planet with more extreme weather.

And he uses capital letters and exclamation marks like a 14-year-old girl in love for the first time. No offense to such girls. They have an excuse.

No, let’s look out the window each time this winter when the weather is frightful, when we cannot go anywhere, or do much, and say Yes! There’s a book with my name on it. Or Yes! There’s a TV series begging me to binge watch it.

• On the binge watching front, I’d suggest Peaky Blinders. Yeah, odd name. But the short series on Netflix exploring the violently entertaining lives of the Shelby crime clan from Birmingham, England is a must-see.

The look is top notch, the acting is the same, and the gritty industrial look of the post-World War One era is captivating.

It’s so much more fun watching a season when there are only six episodes. A good storm, a properly indulgent bag of storm chips and you can get through it before the snow has petered out and life must return to normal.

• Trump’s twirp-tweet put you in the mood for something about how the Earth has been through rapid climate change before? Try “ The Ends of the World” volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and our Quest to Understand earth’s Past Mass Extinctions” by Peter Brannen.

Sure, the book is about the end of the world as we know it, but it’s kind of fun.

Turns out our little blue orb has been zapped five times so far by catastrophes so severe practically everything living has vanished.

We all know about the last one, the mountain-sized asteroid that slammed into Mexico’s Caribbean coast and nixed the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago.

It was bad, especially for the dinosaurs, but consider the Permian–Triassic extinction 251 million years ago. It totaled about 96 per cent of everything on land and in the sea. Blame volcanoes the size of Siberia. They set off global warming on steroids.

So, whatever mess we’re making right now, look at the bright side. Things could be worse. Well, maybe not for us.

• Something lighter? Got you covered. Read “Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970” by David Browne.

It’s a memory lane reminder of just how good those four were. How good? My kids like their music. And the book is a reminder of how messed up they were as human beings.

Taylor was on heroin, the Beatles hated each other, and the three bands were disbanding. Going extinct!

- Rick MacLean is an instructor in the journalism program at Holland College in Charlottetown.

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