Everything is about weather

posted by Jeff | Thursday, January 17, 2019, 8:30 PM | comments: 0

My friends back in Northeast Ohio are preparing for a big snow event. If you can avoid having to go out, these are typically not a big deal. I can only remember one time where I ever lost power in extreme snow, in 30-something years, and it was only a few hours. Basically you just need to hang out until it melts a little and/or the road crews catch up.

But winter is still an enormous pain in the ass and being outside sucks unless you happen to be a winter sports enthusiast. Let's be clear: When it's hot, you're uncomfortable and that's the worst of it provided you stay hydrated. Cold is far more likely to kill you. You can't just drink some water to deal with it. Leaving the house is not just uncomfortable, because it involves slush and wetness and wind that cuts through your clothes. I get it, some people think it's worth rolling with, but I did it enough times to know I'm totally over it.

Living in America's subtropical dingaling is not without its challenges though, because hurricanes. It's less of a big deal away from the coasts though (there's a reason Uncle Walt built his castle here), and new construction is about 95% immune to the effects unless we get something truly extraordinary. Orlando's record sustained wind speed appears to be 79 mph, which must be pretty scary because sustained wind in the mid-50's was "exciting" during Irma. I can't imagine what it's like to be on the coasts.

But extremes aside, the normal routine no matter where you live tends to be a topic of discussion and influence, even when it changes just a little at a time. I mean, we're seeing temperatures in the 50's in the morning right now, and work is like an icebox when I get there. So I'm breaking out sweaters and long-sleeve shirts, which are not even on my radar 10 months out of the year. I know, poor me, right? The daily high of 90 with afternoon thunderstorm seems like a distant memory already.

I tend to think more about it though because I'm very conscious of energy consumption. It's not an issue of expense as much as I really care about it. We have the technology today to not burn anything, but we need the will to use it. The cost profile requires an economy of scale and some changes in how we approach distribution, but a world run on renewables is doable, and I want to be part of that.


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