06 July 2008

Is it all a Bank's Fault?

The unfriendly weather we are encountering now already for weeks gets on the nerves of the Irish people. Even on this island, world-wide known as a rainy place, at least the imperial months of July and August (both named after Roman rulers) are usually warm, friendly and bring us sunshine.

Not so last years and this year. The Irish 'summer' weather consists now of heavy cloud cover, cool temperatures, storms and long and heavy spells of rain, often torrential. Along come flooding and damage to property and installations, canceled ferry sailings and many washed-out summer events like village feasts, agricultural shows and sports matches. Today a popular horse race meeting not far from here had to be canceled, because torrential rain had turned the racecourse into a lake. To make life really miserable on a Sunday, we also had a rather bad thunderstorm today.

Many cannot understand this crazy weather and wonder what might cause it and who or what is in essence responsible for it. Well, we all have meanwhile heard more than enough about the global climate change, even though leading politicians (like George W. Bush) and business leaders still refuse to "believe" it, as it it were some religious doctrine. I have written about it meanwhile several times as well, and I will not repeat my points here.

This is just a short entry, written with a twinkle and a smile. On a popular RTE radio programme today a studio guest, who happens to be a leading Irish banker, made an interesting remark, tongue firmly in cheek. He said that his bank started to sponsor the weather forecast on RTE radio some weeks ago, and ever since it has practically not stopped raining.

Now quite a lot of people - and this is not a joke - write and phone in to the bank and complain. It is of course impossible to prove such a strange theory. So the sponsorship continues and every time one hears a weather forecast on RTE, it is "sponsored by" or "in connection with" this bank.

But I do wonder why anyone would want to sponsor the weather forecast - of all things - and pay good money for the - at least verbal - association with bad weather. There are much easier ways to throw away large sums of money, if one wishes to do that.

Why sponsor a weather forecast at all? Do you think RTE would not have a weather forecast on radio or TV if no-one would sponsor it?

Personally I think there should be no sponsorship or advertisement linked to it. The weather is a very important factor for everyone, so it should be presented in a clear, factual and informative way, with no commercial connections.

There is already more than enough advertisement on radio and TV, interrupting programmes willy-nilly with senseless, stupid and often outright offensive advertisement. Maybe RTE could leave the weather and its forecast alone and un-sponsored in the future, and maybe - one hopes at least - the weather would be back to its old normality.
And of course one could approach the matter also from the other side: If no bank or company is daft enough to sponsor the weather forecast, it will just be a piece of meteorological information. And - as a side effect - people would stop blaming the sponsor for all the bad Irish summers...

The Emerald Islander

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