Mid Winter Report

Winter has finally arrived in North Iowa and I am almost ashamed to admit I was secretly hoping for the “Polar Vortex of the decade.” This is all my fault.

When brutally cold temps and accumulated snow conspire to turn every day into “Arctic Survival Boot Camp” life in this part of the world can be a struggle. A mild winter should be a thing to celebrate.

Yet, it is the contrast of the seasons that makes living at this latitude special. For me, the joy that comes with that first green grass, blue sky, seventy degree day is born in the depths of winter.

I have also seen sufficient evidence to persuade me the climate is changing. If in the next 50 years, our weather starts to resemble Kansas City more than Rochester, there will be adverse consequences to our farming operation.

Possibly, researchers predicting dire climate change impacts in the near future are catastrophizing. Maybe the rate of global warming will be gradual enough that technology will give us the tools to adapt with out creating widespread disruption and suffering. Or maybe I should adopt the “not my worry” advice of John Maynard Keynes who famously remarked, ” In the long run, we are all dead.”

So it gives me a sense of relief when the National Weather Service predicts 6-9″ of snow and potentially record cold. This is the kind of January I grew up with.

As I head out for my Sunday afternoon, five below zero, snow jog, I will be encouraged by the cold sting on my cheeks, the shiver in my limbs, the crunch of the snow on my boots and the visual clarity of the frigid air.

Old fashioned winters are OK with me.