Ice Melt, Cat Litter, and Crampons —No Uggs


Exactly one week ago, our town on the south shore of Boston saw over a foot of snow. Up and down our suburban road, snowblowers hummed and neighbors commiserated with each other, bundled up in parkas and wearing their perennial L.L. Bean boots.  Flights all over the east coast were canceled, and Logan Airport was no exception.  Schools were closed. The temperatures stayed low, and  by  last Sunday, the high at 6 am was 9F, the low in some areas, -2.

But only a few days later, the temperatures began to climb, and  yesterday, when the temperature rose to 48F, the great melting was in full force. Uggs boots were impractical—warm but impractical in the puddles that flooded the streets and sidewalks. Drive time after work was a mess, with many back roads blocked off by police vehicles, blue lights flashing. Detours wended miles out of our usual routes.

Dinner was delayed, too, even though we were only reheating leftover chili and throwing together an express salad. That, in turn, delayed our January semester-break Netflix viewing schedule—The Crown, Season 2—and left less time for evening reading: The Year of the Runaways (my spouse) and Manhattan Beach (me).

This morning, the melting continues. The thermometer registers 55F.   Global warming in all its messy, wet, inconvenient glory.

The forecast calls for a high of 25F tomorrow.  The melting snow will soon freeze into ice—a firm crust on the snowdrifts. black ice on asphalt driveways and streets. Dogwalkers will attach crampons to their boots, and homeowners will scatter ice melt on their steps and walks.

In October of last year, EPA head Scott Pruitt announced his proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plant policy. Such a reversal of environmental policy would mean more coal burning, and more manmade climate change.   The EPA will accept public comment on the EPA’s proposal, through April of this year, so if you’re as mad as hell, you might want to weigh in.

As for me, I’m off to check for leaks in the garage and basement.



“I’m as mad as hell…”  Peter Finch, in Network ( 1976)