Super snowstorm Nemo arrived early this morning. His appearance is creating much fanfare – planes, trains, buses, and birthdays have all been canceled in his honor. Governor Patrick ordered most vehicles off Massachusetts’ roads by 4:00 p.m. – a year in prison for the unauthorized drivers who venture out anyway.
Why all the fuss? Nemo has joined the pantheon of storms that rank among the gods – the kind that get names. Not everyone is happy. Like Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley, the change in standards is causing social distress. Some fear that the Weather Channel, the source of all this apoplexy, has crossed the line of respectability. NOAA or nobody should name the children. This public relations stunt, say others, diminishes the already precarious social status of meteorologists.
Yet Nemo’s visit gives those of us who live in New England something to cheer. We can finally rid our conscience of the voices of those pesky scientists who spread gloom and doom, incessantly, scaring us into believing that we are consuming ourselves into extinction. Let the academics browbeat us with their rebuke, 2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record since thermometer-based observations began or ruin our seafood dinners with predictions that it may be our last because all the tasty fish will soon be gone. We have evidence that the earth is just fine - husky winds, three feet of snow, blissful blizzard conditions, and the savory pleasure of a good old-fashioned New England snowstorm.
Last year, when the ground stayed brown and bare, the winter air was warm, and the snowstorms skipped their tour of Western Massachusetts, many believed in global warming. Minds could change again, if a drought or heat wave, unnamed and unwelcome, comes to town to stay for a while or longer.
Inspired by an article in Science Daily: Blowing Hot and Cold: U.S. Belief in Climate Change Shifts With Weather