The Good Old Days Are Right Now

If snow and cold are good, and and represent the good old days, then the good old days are right now. The second accumulating snowfall before Thanksgiving at Dartmouth College, as seen from Baker Tower, November 23, 2011.

A major strain of global warming theology looks back on a colder, snowier past with misty eyes. Some of this comes from the fact that those looking back, including RFK Jr., are simply remembering being outdoors enough to appreciate nature, the way that basically only children can and do. The dimensionality that comes from playing in snow for several days straight as a kid gives, in other words, a false sense of permanence and normalcy that may never have been there. Winters have always been variable.

But taking the winter lovers at their word that they yearn for a snowier past, and I do, it must be pointed out that cold and snow are proliferating here in the United States. From coral and manatee die-offs in Florida last year due to exceptional cold, to the snowiest winters in memory in the Northeast, to record snows in North Dakota, snowy fall football games in the Midwest and Northeast, to the great October snowstorm of just one month ago, the evidence is there for those with eyes to see.

One specific piece of evidence concerns my alma mater, Dartmouth College, where my own love of snow deepened during my first winter there in 1983 and 1984. Of the three falls that I spent on campus, there was not accumulating snow prior to Thanksgiving a single time. This year, snow has accumulated before Thanksgiving twice. A small point perhaps, and also possibly significant.

Remember: If snow and cold are good, and and represent the good old days, then the good old days are right now.

About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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