Snow Drought in Colorado & the I-Told-You-So Problem With Climate Change

So this year’s snowpack is pathetic in Colorado and other points West, which is a harbinger of a further summer drought, as detailed in the New York Times, here. Count me as one of those West lovers who are in the “pray for snow” mode, and actually, there’s been some lately in my home turf of Custer County, Colorado. Unfortunately, the problem is much bigger than a few snowfalls. The problem in the West is that much of the creek (and river) flow depends on snow melt in the spring, and once all that snow melts, if there’s not enough to last the summer, the creeks dry up, and then the forests and meadows become dry as well.
But I have the odd position of straddling both East and West, living in Colorado and Pennsylvania, and I see the great divide in awareness of Climate Change, with the West sensing an urgency, and the East sensing it another in a long line of crises. The weather has changed greatly in the East, too, but the results have not been as seemingly problematic. As just an anecdotal example, where I live in Pennsylvania we had one hundred inches of snow in my first winter here (1995). This winter? I’d guess over ten but less than twenty inches of snow, total, as of March 2nd, with a scant three weeks left of winter. I’ve read much on the issue and sense that the top scientists have been dead-on target with their predictions, and will get no satisfaction from any I-told-you-sos. It’s been called a “slow-motion crisis,” which is accurate, I suppose. But it’s also become a crisis of intelligence and reason, which appears to be losing out to stupidity and greed. I always have hope for some turnabout in policy, but I don’t expect it. The latest nail in the coffin is the State Department’s assessment of the Keystone Pipeline, which implies that it will be approved, here.
So here’s my daughter, throwing what years from now we’ll recall wistfully: “Oh, yes. That was what we called a snowball. People would throw them at each other to have fun. Now all we have is rocks and dirt.”

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