By Baxter Black, DVM
It’s always perplexing to me to hear visitors to Arizona in July remark, “Man, it’s really hot here!” Well, duh.
Natives of the hot country from Dothan, Alabama to Brawley, California don’t complain much when the weather gets hot. It’s part of the deal. No one keeps a thermometer on their front porch or looks in the rear-view mirror temperature gauge in their Suburban.
Even the weathermen gloss over the temperature on television, “Looks like Phoenix is going to stay above comfortable again today. Don’t forget to wear your asbestos flip flops in the mall parking lot this afternoon.”
But let it get down to 40˚ with snow at 8,000 feet and you’d think the Ice Age was eminent! “Dad, the horses’ water had an 8th of an inch of ice on it! They’ll probably cancel school, can I bring the dogs inside – maybe we could build an igloo!”
It’s heart wrenching to hear the weathermen in Orlando or Los Angeles say, “Better get out your long johns, commuters, the wind chill is going to be around 36˚ tonight. Cover up your citrus and Bougainvillea!”
However, natives of the cold country like Jackson Hole, Fargo and Brandon, Manitoba have adapted to the frozen north not unlike the fur seal, the Eskimo, and the snowmobile! In Michigan they don’t count wind chill. If the weatherman in Lethbridge, AB says minus 12˚C , they already know the wind will be blowing. Why make it worse?
Even old farm wives in nursing homes in Erie county, Pennsylvania know how to put a set of chains on the one-ton and warm up a newborn calf by the kitchen stove. Certain practices become routine; plug in the diesel, have a spare can of gasoline for the generator when the power goes out, keep the ice broken and the water flowing for the stock, always carry blankets and a bedroll in the trunk, shovel snow pack off the roof occasionally, and plan a two-week trip to Cave Creek, Tow or Tampa in January!
Global warming has now become Climate Change. We see it every year…climate change, I mean. It gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
Sheryl Crow, the singer, is also an activist. She has chosen to speak out about global warming but, given the chance, I would warn her that it is not going to be an easy battle because she is fighting places like Greenland, Minnesota and Eastern Montana who are in favor of global warming
and they are not going to give up easily!