Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 24, 2014

V. DAVIS: There's an upside of climate change

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I’m sure you know at this point that I am an avid follower of the news, and from what I’ve seen so far this winter,  climate change (if it exists) is what the kids would call “a bummer.”

There are more floods than ever, super typhoons, mega hurricanes and drastic swings in temperature all across the globe. But as I see reports accompanied by stock footage of people shoveling snow and long lines at airports, I’m heartened. As this weather becomes more commonplace, the rest of the country, nay, the world, can finally experience the conditions that we, the frozen people of the north, were forged in. They’re discovering a new kind of winter weather survival togetherness.

When someone from out of town finds out you live in that wide and sprawling space known as “the Buffalo region,” they usually respond with a pithy comment about you spending half of the year being snowed in and watching the Bills/the Sabres lose.

While I can’t vouch for the play of either of our beloved sports teams, I can tell you that the snow jokes will become less frequent as drifts continually shut down the entire city of Boston and rise to levels that are reclaiming the abandoned outskirts of Detroit.

For most of December, New York City was more or less encased in a bubble of snow that cut off all plane/train travel in and out of the city. It’s basically the setting for the climate disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, with less Dennis Quaid.

As someone born and raised here, I’ve trick or treated in snow suits, played ice hockey in April and I can have a sidewalk shoveled before my re-energizing Hot Pocket is done in the microwave.

For those of you who watch “Game of Thrones,” living in Western New York is basically like living in Winterfell, the frozen kingdom of the north. All spring and summer, the rest of the country goes to all-day rock n’ roll beach dance parties, while we enjoy our summer wines knowing, in the back of our minds, “winter is coming.” Because of this we are a people who thrive in cold weather situations.

When someone on CNN talks about how two inches of snow shut down an entire city in South Carolina, I sit back with my friends and reminisce about driving to work/school surrounded by five-foot walls of fresh plowed snow.

When there’s an “E News Special Report” about the snowfall shutting down Fashion Week or leading the New York Jets to play poorly, I review my winter wardrobe (two pairs of boots and two snow suits, one for snowball fights and one for classy events like neighborhood potlucks), listen to a caller on sports radio talk about how next season is going to be the season that changes everything for the Bills and go about my business.

The climate may be changing and sure, in 300 years this whole area may be prime beach front property, but for the time being winter is here to stay. Instead of trying to hibernate and outlast the cold (you can’t), maybe I’ll pick up snowboarding or join a polar bear swim club. Then when the next snow-pocolypse starts, I’ll take comfort knowing my experience makes me a valuable member of any small band of survivors.

Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. He can be contacted at vincedavis06@gmail.com.