Usually we habitually bored Salemites feel inferior to the way cooler Portlanders to our north. But today I've been happy to gaze at our outdoor thermometer and watch it hover around 37 degrees -- where it is even now, at 6:30 pm.
From watching Portland TV (but not KATU, curses be upon you) I know that most people in the metro area wish they could be less cool in a climatic sense at the moment.
Those damn gorge winds are bringing you much more snowy and icy precipitation results compared to Salem and points south.
Seemingly the tug of war between cold air funneled into the valley from the gorge and the push of warmer air coming from the new storm is being played out just a ways north of us.
Hope it stays that way.
I've been happy to listen to rain on the roof, having already done a usual winter's worth of snow and ice shoveling the past week. And it isn't even officially winter yet.
Earlier in the week it looked like there'd be no end to the arctic air mass hanging over the northwest. A series of snow storms was in the forecast, highly unusual for western Oregon.
Which got me to thinking about global climate change -- how quickly it could happen. What if usually temperate western Oregon went into a deep freeze like we've had the past week?
And didn't come out of it.
An article in Fortune, "Cloudy With a Chance of Chaos," talked about how the climate control system could be more like an on-off switch than a dial. Things could change fast.
So we in the frigid northwest should look upon our unusual recent weather as a wake-up call to get serious about global climate change. "Unusual" could become "usual" if we sit on our carbon-soaked hands.
Also, let's not forget who we turn to when widespread problems hit: government. Public employees are out there plowing and sanding roads. They're also getting people around on public transportation when private cars are stuck in driveways.
It's funny (but not really) how those who gripe about high taxes are the first to complain when government has trouble responding to an emergency.
Well, duh, dude. If you want a road plowed quickly, you've got to pay for it.
Europeans are a lot smarter than us in that regard. They understand that pooling money together through taxes and buying public benefits is wiser than individuals frittering away their extra income on inessentials.
I can tell you that we'd have been pleased to pay a bit more in taxes if Marion County could make it possible for us to get into Salem without chains by sanding and plowing Lake and Liberty roads.
We need government. We need to deal with human-caused global climate change. When the snow and ice go away in Oregon, those truths won't.