An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
ENOUGH WEATHER for you?
Here it is January, always the coldest month of the year, and we’ve been having temperatures either barely below zero or a few degrees above.
That might seem like good news for everybody but skiers but it comes with a frustrating and dangerous rotation of rain and snow. The snow melts to slush, freezes, receives a coating of rain, and the cycle begins all over again.
In town, where crews keep everything under control, streets remain, for the most part, clear and dry but in rural areas it’s a nightmare. Roads, driveways and yards are frozen rinks of treacherous ice.
On major highways, crashes accumulate day by day.
It is, in short, the worst possible kind of weather. If you were born yesterday, it might seem normal but if you’ve been around awhile you know that things are changing, and changing rapidly.
The phenomenon of freezing rain in the middle of winter is new, making its appearance only in the past few years. It is, of course, no coincidence. Our climate is in transition.
It’s as if our weather this winter is a wake-up call, confirmation that something’s going on and we’d better pay attention.
Deniers will, no doubt, pooh-pooh the whole thing and insist it’s all just normal, a blip in the grant scheme of things. And that’s exactly the kind of attitude that will guarantee it keeps on happening.
No doubt, we’ll have a cold spell or two before this winter is done, and we’ll all be complaining about minus 20 temperatures but that should be cold comfort, if you’ll excuse the pun.
For anyone who still has doubts that our climate is changing big-time, just look out the window.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.