We’ve had some nice weather these past couple of weeks; last Wednesday there was even a high of 71 degrees. You could see students taking advantage of the sun all across campus: There were students sunbathing on the corner of Deerfield Street and meeting up to get work done on the COM lawn. I even walked downtown that day instead of taking the T. However, a nagging thought was in the back of my head all day. I couldn’t help but wonder: Isn’t 70 degrees in February a little odd?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for warm weather, I just prefer warm weather in May over warm weather during what is supposed to be one of the coldest months of the year. Last Wednesday’s weather broke the record for the hottest February 21st in Boston. Although that’s a bit of an extreme example, winters have been getting warmer in general. It’s hard to connect one single weather event to climate change, but having warm weather in February for the second year in a row makes me nervous.
Climate change is one of those things that can easily fall on the backburner of things to worry about. I’m constantly reminded about the effects of global warming by the news, but in my day to day there are much more tangible problems that I think about. For instance, I know that the winters in the Northeast are getting warmer, but as long as it snows, I can trick myself into thinking that everything’s okay for right now. A 71-degree winter day shatters that illusion. It made me realize that even though I recycle, switch off the water while I’m brushing my teeth and do a number of other minimal “save the planet!” actions, climate change is still getting progressively worse.
I wish I could enjoy the weather — I really wanted to — but that nagging thought bothered me the entire day. And maybe I’m overreacting — after all, the warm spell is directly connected to warm wind currents passing through the Northeast. Nonetheless, I can’t help but cherish every snow day a little bit more than usual because it preserves my illusion for just a little bit longer.