Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter, Darwinism and Natural Disasters...

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." - John Steinbeck

It's cold again, it was bound to happen.  Every year there comes a time when it becomes inescapable.  This will now be my 32nd winter.  It feels impressive saying your age like that, makes me feel like a Game of Thrones character. 

Ned Stark - "How old are you? What say you young squire?"
Me - "This is my 32nd winter, sir."

So my pre-winter "training" is over and I'm in full cold weather mode.  Said "training" consists of subjecting myself to all levels of cold, via ill-suited clothing, leading up to the coldest months.  The logic is that I'm preparing my body for the forthcoming winter, and if Darwin is right, adapting and overcoming the cold. I think it makes sense, who knows if I'm right. 

But, there is something to say for people who have to live through winters.  Part of the reason that the Californian and Floridian "perpetual sun" vibe can begin to irritate cold weather peoples.  Winter is hard.  It's dark, and cold.  The days are short, the foliage is dead.  At night the only life is steam from passing mouths, building rooftops and greasy grill exhaust from the local fry and dies.  There is a solitude.  A bleakness. 

And what I'm trying to get understanding between the people who have to endure them. 

Prior to last year, the upside to dealing with the brutally hot summers and ice cold winters  of New Jersey was the fact that we were mostly exempt from natural disasters.  Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis and Hurricanes are a foreign news piece for Jerseyites. All we have to do is deal with a few blizzards a year, buy some gloves and an ice scraper for your windshield, maybe a blower if you have a big driveway,  and you're mostly set. 

Well, not anymore.  I think one of the reasons some people from here weren't too worried about Sandy is because, historically, the hurricane warnings have been "crying wolf" my entire life.  At least twice every summer, since I was little kid, we've had hurricane warnings.  All with different weird names, all of them decrease in power by the Carolinas, or magically veer east over the Atlantic Ocean before they get to us, leaving merely a thunderstorm that half the populous bought canned food and generators for.  

Apparently things have changed.  The coast is pushing back and some serious re-consideration of where property is built, and more specifically HOW it's built is very much in the for-front. 

I'm off-topic, all I'm trying to say is...winter is cold, people who don't have them are soft, and global heating might be real. 


  1. Winter does suck but every season has its perks. Humans are weak.. its either too hot or too cold. I guess you can say that we as a living beings have to stay at a homeostasis. And I always wondered what makes a natural disaster? Hurricanes, earthquakes, etc, as listed in your post. Whom does these things effect? Certainly not the earth.. it effects humans. Right?

    1. It seems to affect the earth, but only with-in the reach of its own limitations.

  2. Appropriate that you mentioned the Starks. "Winter is Coming" and being prepared for the cold is their motto.

    People who don't have winters also don't have as much joy in the summer. I wouldn't trust them either;)