Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In defense of a New England winter

(c) Quincy Daily Photo

I know some (ok, apparently most) people hate the cold, and so many eventually leave the Northeast for warmer places. I know this, although I don't understand it. But I guess I'm weird: I love the snow. And fires, and sweaters, and drinking beer by the fire while it snows (wearing a sweater, obviously).

Granted, you shouldn't listen to me. I went to school in Syracuse, N.Y., where it snows well over 100 inches a year. Unfortunately that's not hyperbole.

(Sidenote about Upstate N.Y.'s lake effect snow: It would be one thing if, like in Boston, the snow just dumped down 1 or 2 feet at a time, and then the next day was sunny and crisp and perfect for skiing and sledding. But in Syracuse, you get those big storms, and then the rest of the time it's just ... consistently gray and lightly snowing. It seriously snows like an inch a day, every day, all winter. It's like living downwind from an active snow volcano.)

Anyway. Whatever, move to North Carolina or Savannah or Florida if you must. Good riddance, you sell-out.

Except for the people who keep moving to freaking Arizona.

Let's forget, for the moment, the state's intolerable political climate.

Are you a nomad? A reptile? A cactus??


Then you should not be living in the desert!

People need water to live. That's why we've been settling near lakes and rivers and streams for, you know, thousands of years now. The fact that so many people keep migrating to an inhospitable oven where they then insist on growing lawns and filling pools that evaporate and maintaining golf courses that use three to four times more water than a normal golf course (!) is so insane to me I can barely contain myself.

Florida, with an equally despicable political climate, at least has reliable rainfall going for it.  

Gratefully, places like Phoenix are trying to be more careful with their water use. But two-thirds of the city's water is used for landscaping. Landscaping?! Who the hell cares about your shrubs? You yourself as a human being will die without enough water! Good grief. And the entire Southwest is pulling harder and harder on the overburdened Colorado River. It can't end well.

I just want to go on the record as saying, 10 to 200 years before it happens, that I am not in favor of bailing out Arizona and Southern California homeowners when their water finally runs out and the entire regional housing market implodes on itself (umm... again). You probably had it coming.

I will, however, offer you a wool sweater and invite you to stay in my guest igloo. When it melts, you can drink it!

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