Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Rain in Maine

A friend who lives in Maine writes that she and her husband have just seen the warmest winter in memory:
[T]his winter in Maine was surprisingly mild -- we have had no snow since January!!! And the ice is out which is about a month early so the natives are chomping at the bit to get the State to allow the kind of fishing that usually doesn't start until April.
Of course, Maine people don't know the meaning of 'hot.' Our friend also says --
Fifties in daylight qualifies as late summer temps around here. We turned on the air conditioning twice last summer.
Still, a warmer-than-normal winter is consistent with worldwide climate data compiled by scientists as of the last official day of winter. As the Associated Press reported yesterday: "the winter just finished was the fifth warmest on record, worldwide."
Oh, sure, nearly two-thirds of the country can dispute that from personal experience of a colder-than-normal season. But while much of the United States was colder than usual, December-January -- climatological winter -- continued the long string of unusual warmth on a fglobal basis.
Unexpectedly, a library archivist in Springfield, Illinois, with whom we happened to be talking yesterday, echoed the same view as our Maine friend. Thinking it would help break the ice, so to speak, we murmured some inanity about what a lovely day it was in Springfield -- sunny and high 50's -- and how welcome it must be after their hard winter.

"We didn't have that hard a winter," she replied. "Oh, sure, people complained. But I'm an old-timer here. I've seen much worse many times. To tell you the truth, we've had it unusually easy the past several years. Folks have forgotten how bitterly cold it used to be. They've gotten soft."

If you're a climate-change denier, a Teabagger, or a coal company executive all of this is not a reality you want to hear. To avoid coming down with a bad case of Cognitive Dissonance, you'll just have to keep listening to right-wing radio, watching Fox News, imagining what you see out your window is representative of the whole of Planet Earth, and voting Republican.

No comments: