In a comment on one of my photos of the first real snowstorm of the season yesterday (it's almost all melted now, by the way), an Australian reader noted that he had never seen snow first-hand in his life.
That's a strange concept for any Canadian, but I started thinking about it and realized that not only did our hominid predecessors evolve in parts of Africa where it never snows, even today the great centres of human population—some of the most densely inhabited parts of China, the vast majority of India, Indonesia, almost all of Africa, the supercities of South America, and elsewhere—are also largely snow-free zones.
In other words, it has probably always been true that a big proportion, and likely the majority, of the human species has never experienced snow. And despite much easier travel, that is becoming more true as populations and climate shift. It's amazing that any number of us, from the Inuit, to the mountain dwellers of Peru and Afghanistan, to the bureaucrats in Ottawa, Vienna, and Ulan Bator, can handle the white stuff at all.
Does anyone have any data to back up my theory?