Weather or Climate?

Poems and Plays about Weather and Climate

This book is about weather and climate, which some of you may already know are not the same thing, even though they are very closely related. So let’s start with weather.

The best thing about weather science is that you experience weather every day, and understanding something you experience every day makes each day more interesting. This book is packed with all the information you need to understand climate and weather. When you see a cloud in the sky, it’s not just any cloud, it’s a particular kind of cloud, it’s got a name, and you’ll learn all about it. You’ll understand why wind makes you feel colder in winter and why humidity makes you feel hotter in summer. The awesome spectacle of a lightening storm will be even more awesome when you understand what’s happening inside those clouds to make all that electricity.

Knowing the basics of weather science is just plain fun, but climate is another
thing entirely. There is no longer any question that Earth’s climate is changing, but there are a bunch of questions about what we should be doing about it, real questions that require hard decisions. Most of you will not become climate-change scientists, but all of you will be part of making those decisions, which is why it’s important that you understand the complexities of weather science. How important? Really-really-really important.

Here is something to think about. Hurricanes are weather and they’re a big deal. My first memory of a hurricane goes way back to the year I started first grade. School was cancelled, there was a feeling of magic in the air, big oak tree branches shook in the wind—it was very exciting, and I remember being a little disappointed when the hurricane changed course and missed us entirely.
But the gradual increase in average global temperature is climate, and it’s a very big deal, bigger than a thousand hurricanes, and it’s not the kind of thing that can just change course and go away. It has already begun, and you are already a part of deciding what we do about it. It’s important stuff, and I’m hoping this book will make learning about it, talking about it, living it, and predicting it, electrifying.

Weather or climate? Climate or weather?
Not quite the same but so close together.
Climate or weather? Weather or climate?
The difference is simply the way that you time it.
from “Whether It’s Weather”

Grounded in the principle that children remember “90% of what they do in
dramatic presentation,” Weather or Climate? is the fourth book in the Brod Bagert’s HeART of Science series—a comprehensive collection of dramatic content literature.

This poignant yet comical collection of dramatic poems, monologues, and short plays stimulates powerful insights into the mechanisms of everyday weather and the realities of long-term climate.

At the outset, the Sun, too busy to appear in person, submits an affidavit in which he declares himself the BOSS—“I expand the gases of your atmosphere and make the wind. I transform water from liquid to gas as the engine of your water cycle. I drive the currents of your oceans.”

There’s an understandably anxious electron who narrates her journey from partof an H2O molecule in a cumulonimbus ice crystal, to part of a “swarm” of free electrons that eventually form themselves into a lightning strike.

There’s a clap-along chant that visits each step of the water cycle and ends with the memory anchoring “ACCUMULATION! EVAPORATION! CONDENSATION! PRECIPITATION! H2O! H2O! H2O! GETS NO VACATION!”

With scientific accuracy and knee-slapping fun, Weather or Climate? transforms the detachment of theoretical concepts into the immediacy of imagined personal experience. The journey concludes with the voice of a person determined to accept responsibility for the future because “… planet Earth’s my home. I like it here a lot. Perfect? Not at all. But it’s the only home I’ve got.”