Our View: What can we do about the weather?


March 29, 2024

Well, this week was a cold, wet reminder of winter, wasn’t it?

If you got stuck with your car, or felt you were holding up all the traffic because of your unpracticed driving ability, or lack of assuredness, you were not alone. It’s been that kind of non-winter in these parts. A year without much snow to deal with after records were set for depths last winter.

The snow that just kept falling this week, and temperatures that dipped under the freezing mark just after, were enough to perhaps make us rethink any wish for a normal winter.

But what is normal these days? You might go back to 2012, and the flood. Or the deep-freeze polar vortex a few years later. Tornadoes and damaging wind a few years back. The drought. Hotter summers. Smoke from wildfires. And all that snow last year.

We are living in unchartered waters of extremes, signaling for even the casual observer that something is going on with our climate. And that’s just our narrow local view. Across the world, we’re seeing record annual warmth, and the havoc our bubbly weather patterns are creating.

For those who may still deny that there is nothing we can do, that weather “just happens” and we shouldn’t worry: Can you just take a look around?

Weird weather patterns beget further weird patterns. Our meteorologist Dave Anderson from Northern News now in Duluth said last month that while the El Nino effects have left us bereft of a winter that feels anywhere near normal, the drink of weirdness has been stirred. The powerful phenomenon will ebb, he said, and we should expect a cool summer.

Ah-ha, the deniers will say. Cool, you say?

We get it. The old catchphrase was once “global warming,” but because of science, we’re seeing that while things are getting hotter, no doubt, the atmosphere is so disturbed that we get warm and weird. Thus “climate change” coming to the fore.

What can we do? Support efforts to quell what we humans are dumping into the atmosphere.

Drive less. Buy an electric car. (The state is begging people right now to take advantage of a rebate for electric vehicles. (Go to Minnesota Department of Commerce website at mn.gov/EVrebates).

Aside from a few brief cold snaps, we had but one real week of winter this season. And it happened just days ago, right before Easter and days after meteorological spring began.

That should be enough to remind us that we can’t just do nothing to bring our atmosphere back to a healthy balance.


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