The nor’easter on Feb. 13 set a record for the Philadelphia area, according to nbcphiladelphia.com. The storm marked the fourth time during the brutal 2013-14 winter that at least six inches of snow fell, the most occurrences since Philly began recording snow amounts in 1884.
Some of the snowiest winters on record in the Philadelphia region have taken place in recent years. Try 1995-96 when a single snowstorm brought over 30 inches, leading it to be dubbed the “Snowstorm of the Century.” And remember 2009-10 that set the record for snowfall? Now the colder-than-normal winter of 2013-14 has already become one of the five snowiest winters on record, according to philadelphia.cbslocal.com. Coming on the heels of a nine-inch snowfall on Feb. 3, the devastating Great Ice Storm of Feb. 4-5 punctuated the cruel season by leaving many people without power for several days and nights, especially in Philly’s surrounding counties of Chester, Montgomery and Bucks.
Much of Chester County resembled a war zone, with trees and branches strewn across the ground and streets, traffic lights out and power lines toppled or crippled. Overburdened with the weight of snow and ice, some of the most stately and venerable trees met their demise during the wicked ice storm. Trees yanked down or interfered with power lines. During the ensuing power outage of Feb. 5-9, many of us discovered we cannot sleep in 20-degree weather and were forced from the comfort of our homes and businesses. And we became reacquainted with just how much we depend upon electricity. Heat, hot water, lights, Internet, washer, dryer and TV are but a few of the amenities we count on to maintain our Western standard of living, and when they are denied to us, it can leave us frazzled and wondering how people ever did without these conveniences that are now necessities.
Let no one ever again make a snide remark about “where’s winter” whenever we are spared and given the reprieve of a balmy December thru February.
Let no one ever again preach about climate change in the middle of January or February. If it was on such firm scientific footing, why has the term for man’s heating the planet evolved from “greenhouse effect” to “global warming” to “climate change?” Does climate change account for a polar vortex, the albedo, the oceans, volcanic eruptions that can cool the earth for months, and all the plants and trees that soak up carbon dioxide? Using the generic term “climate change” is a cop out. Of course there is climate change. The climate is always changing. There was climate change in 1614, 1714, 1814 and 1914. Why should 2014 be any different? For those who believe man’s behavior and his burning of fossil fuels are causing the earth to warm, at least have the courage to call the phenomenon something other than the convenient and disingenuous label “climate change.” I am progressive on most issues, but I need a lot more convincing when it comes to climate change.