Post Traumatic Snow Disorder- The Progressive- 2/2015

Climate change deniers deny that global warming has anything to do with the extreme winter in the Northeast. I agree.

It has everything to do with Dave, the carpenter. I saw him in Provincetown in late January. He told me winter there had been great, temperate, and snowless. He and his crew had gotten lots of outdoor projects finished.

I should have stopped him, but he was wearing his distracting purple squid hat. Like Dave, the hat is very ecumenical. It’s tall and pointed. A bishop’s miter with long, drooping tentacled side curls. “And they light up!” he demonstrated proudly, as the twinkling payots framed his face like a make-up mirror.

Sure enough, that night the winds began to howl almost louder than the weather channelists. Snow didn’t fall down but over. The power went out for hours. In the next morning’s lull between tempests, I had to remove a storm window and dig from the inside out through a five-foot drift.

The battering of the Northeast continued for three more weeks. I was only in Provincetown for one week of it. As soon as I could get dug out, I headed south for Manhattan where the slush puddles on every corner made pedestrians look as if they were in the finals of the standing broad jump.

Our city misery was tempered by the fact that it was Fashion Week. The models and front row celebs were very inconvenienced. Uber could not get through! Maybe it was just me and my schadenfreude, but this did warm my heart.

I still feel battered, vaguely blizzard-brained, like my head had been caught in the vise of a sudden Dairy Queen milkshake headache. I am embarrassed by my Northeastern elitism: “Yet another storm? Don’t they know who we are?” The raw power of the storm reduced everything to the basics of shelter, heat, and food. The essentialism was humbling.
There were long me-time hours of unmediated, unsocial cabin fever. Note to self: Get one of those battery charger gizmos that plug into the car. I solved a lot of world problems. Instead of the north/south shale oil pipeline, we should have an east/west dual pipeline that ships warm air from west to east that would melt the snow sent east to west.

Clearly it was the Northeast’s turn to take a spin on the national karmic wheel of extreme weather. I have promised myself that I will feel more empathy when other regions take their turn with droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Florida should be on high alert for Spring Breakers from Northeastern colleges. It’s going to be insane.

Of course, Dave and his squid didn’t cause the extreme weather. It was an upper atmospheric disturbance caused by Putin’s hot air clashing with all the cool air from summer’s ice-bucket challenges.

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