I was having dinner a couple of months ago with an old friend, a journalist I've know for over 20 years. Our common interests generally veer towards the darker sides of human nature, and it is more common for us to discuss Kafka, genocide even cancer than to venture into territory that might, in some circles, be considered Green.
And then we got talking about the weather.
New York City had 26.9 inches of snow on February 12th, the largest amount since record-keeping began in 1869. Here in the Berkshires, just north of the city, the temperature was 53 degrees fahrenheit on February 15th, and there was no snow in our meadow. It was an early blast of springtime: our grass, long dormant, turned green the following week.
Maybe I'm slow. But I am not stupid. I don't care what the National Weather Bureau says. I don't care how much George Bush wants to censor science.
The weather is fucked up.
Ralph Caplan expressed it thus: "Science," he explains, "is a way of making sense of the world. Design is a way of making the world make sense." I don't know how to make sense of the weather, except to acknowledge that something is terribly wrong. As a designer who has always struggled with the idea that design is a problem-solving profession, I can only hope that someone will start applying some problem-solving methodologies to environmental problems like these. Twenty-seven inches of snow on top of Katrina on top of a Tsunami is enough factual evidence for me.
This past week I got a call from Chris Murphy, a Democrat running for Congress against a popular Connecticut Republican, Nancy Johnson. I'm going to meet him next week, and I already know how I'm going to greet him. I'm going to ask him about the weather.