January 30, 2019

Polar Vortex

I suppose there are going to be a myriad of things written about the cold snap currently being experienced here in the USA & Canada. Fine. Let me add to the cacophony.

I had today off from work. Fortunately. Like many, I work fulltime, 40 hours a week, which translates to 5 days on, 2 off. It’s an old adage, “in retail, there are no weekends off.” Basically true. Weekends and holidays are heavily shopped days, so people have to be served. So it’s been for the last 33 years. One gets used to it after awhile.

Anyway, not the point of this. When I was growing up, a cold snap, or period of extreme cold temperatures wasn’t treated like the end of the world. It was cold outside, you wore an extra layer, bundled up a bit, no big deal. Nowadays, it’s treated like the end of civilization. A veritable catastrophe. Sensationalized, if you will. Anything to sell more newspapers I suppose is the best way to describe it.

Sure, it’s being felt in different areas that don’t normally get teens or even single digit temperatures. But it does happen, it’s happened before and will again. Global warming is palatable, as well as not necessarily fantasized. A thousand scientists aren’t wrong, things are different and have been getting different for many years now.

In the area where I live presently, usually around February is when we get the “bone-chilling” temperatures. I can recall several mornings coming out of work to see the digital temperature on the bank clock saying -15F or -17F (-26, -27C). Only once did it cause a major problem, the battery died on my 1987 Bronco II. Who could blame it? Now, when the mercury dips below 0°, the schools might very well close. Seriously? Back in the 1970s, your mother gave you a scarf. That’s what it’s for!

Maybe we’ve all gotten soft.