Susan Hassol and Michael Mann say, “Enjoy the weather. Worry about the climate.”. No. I refuse to enjoy this weather. “Warm” in Minnesota means hovering around freezing, and we’ve got deep piles of snow everywhere, and another storm on the way that’ll dump more snow on us. I’m not looking forward to what other parts of the country call “Spring,” because for us it’ll be the time everything melts producing seas of mud and slush, with sheets of ice lurking underneath. There’s nothing enjoyable about this season.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better is my feeling.
This week sees a “meteorological battleground” setting up across the continental U.S., pitting a massive winter storm from the West against far-too-early Spring heat in the East. This major winter storm is dumping heavy snow and ice across the northern U.S. from the West Coast to the Northeast. Widespread very strong, gusty winds are expected across the West and High Plains while heavy rain with the potential for flash floods and severe weather are predicted for the Midwest and Plains. Meanwhile, historic heat is building across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states, with record-breaking February temperatures soaring into the 80s. Almost the entire country is experiencing some form of extreme weather this week.
It’s miserable here in the upper Midwest, so don’t try to tell me to enjoy the weather, which has been nothing but bad news all winter long. Maybe there’s good news about the climate?
The good news is that clean energy and other climate solutions are abundant and available. Although there is much work that remains to be done, recent U.S. legislation makes it increasingly profitable to tap into natural flows of renewable energy, such as from the sun and the wind, and to use that clean electricity to power our buildings, transportation and more. We do not have to simply accept an ever-worsening torrent of tempestuous weather. We can act with urgency to rein in the climate emergency and remake our civilization into one that respects the gift of a stable climate we inherited — one that we can pass on to our children.
What, that’s the good news? We can hope that the US government acts with urgency to switch to clean renewable energy sources? Right. Or we can pray that a host of fairies shows up with magic wands that will make everything all better.
I’m sorry, I’m a pessimist.