Stop The Presses! It’s Snowing In Westport!

You may be in Anguilla, Belize or Cabo.

As you bake on the beach under an unbearably hot sun, weary from deciding whether to order a margarita or piña colada, feeling homesick for the 06880, here’s a little reminder of what you’re missing:

(Photo/Betsy Phillips Kahn)

(Photo/Betsy Phillips Kahn)

Don’t worry. Whenever you come back, there will be some snow waiting for you.

22 responses to “Stop The Presses! It’s Snowing In Westport!

  1. We’re here with you, Dan, and guess what? 28 days ’til spring! We’ll be feeling it a lot sooner, too…that’s the beauty of New England.

  2. More importantly, if you’re coming back soon, I hope someone has been clearing your front door and/or garage because you may not be getting inside without a shovel…

  3. Thank you Betsy Phillips Kahn for the wonderful photo!

  4. Funny how global warming quickly became climate change.

    • Not funny. Pretty serious. And “global warming” was always a misnomer. “Climate change” was always a better term. It shows how interrelated our entire planet is. You’re not a climate change denier, are you Bart?

      • Dan. I could answer your question in so many ways. First, I do have a problem when we change the ‘naming’ of an issue to suit the current situation. For years it was global warming. Now that it has been cold in so many areas of the world, the cause had to change the name. So what is it?

        I also have a real concern when we stop things like the Keystone pipeline that would continue to get us off Mid East oil, and we use the excuse of global warming-I’m sorry-climate change. Study after study show it will have zero effect yet we stop it. The pipeline would create thousands of high paying jobs which we need, and get us off Mid East oil. But somehow it gets held up due to global warming–sorry-climate change. Silly me.

        But I have taken the time to sit in serious meetings by very knowledgable people regarding the subject. One lives in Greenwich. He is quite good. It would be interesting to see current data and see how it challenges or agrees with his thesis.

        I am concerned as we sidebars the subject we have caused very important projects to be held. Infrastructure projects can only help this country.

        I also would debate what is important. As we are dealing with very cold temperatures and many areas around the country are, is shortage of oil or propane or naturals has good or bad. Is buying oil from people who hate us good or bad. Should we transport oil by rail or by pipeline? Or allow the Chinese to get it who, if we believe it actually exists, have more impact than we do.

        So Dan. Lots to think of as we change the name to suit the current environment.

        • Nancy Hunter Wilson

          Canada dosen’t hate you (or the Chinese).

        • Great questions, Bart — thanks for posing them. Keystone is a pretty complex question. Politics has definitely become part of it, perhaps obscuring a more productive debate on its pros and cons (environmental and economic).

          As for nomenclature, virtually every credible scientist — of every political persuasion — agrees that whether you call it “global warming” or “climate change,” the effect of human beings on our planet is the greatest threat to our survival we’ve ever seen.

        • As it turns out, the term ‘climate change’ has been used for decades. As thinkprogress.com noted, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published “Carbon Dioxide and its Role in Climate Change” in 1970: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC283289/pdf/pnas00100-0424.pdf
          Global warming is still very much alive and well. It is the term used to describe the unprecedented warming trend our world has seen over the last century. 10 of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1998 (http://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=53).
          Even as I sit through my second week of incredibly unusual snow days here in Atlanta, I still am able to understand the difference between weather and climate. So yes, climate change is occurring, and has probably made an impact on this winter’s bizarre polar vertex: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/08/3266731/hot-alaska-cold-georgia-polar-vortex/…and global warming, the term to describe the trend of increasing global mean temperatures (almost certainly caused by human activity), agreed upon by over 97% of the world’s leading scientists, is very much real and still widely accepted.
          And while I agree that infrastructure projects can only help this country, infrastructure projects that will have such devastating impacts on the global climate, as well as on U.S. water and agriculture, would probably only do us more harm. Not to mention the fact that such an infrastructure project would not address the so-called “shortage of oil or propane or natural gas,” but would certainly make it easier to allow the Chinese to get to it seeing how quickly it would be shipped out of our gulf and into their ports.

          • Taylor. Thanks for your comments but I think we need to get some of the facts straight.

            The Keystone Pipeline already exists. What doesn’t is its proposed expansion, the Keystone XL Pipeline. The existing one runs from oil sand fields in Alberta, Canada into the U.S., ending in Cushing, Oklahoma.

            The 1,700 new miles of pipeline would offer two sections of expansion. First, it would connect Cushing, Oklahoma, where there is a current bottleneck of oil, with the Gulf Coast of Texas, where oil refineries abound. Second, it would include a new section from Alberta to Kansas. It would pass through Bakken Shale region of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Here, it will pass through a region where oil extraction is currently booming and take on some of this crude for transport. The issue in question is the pipeline through Nebraska where there were some environmentalist issues. They rerouted the proposed expansion and the Governor of Nebraska approved it.

            However we know the argument as you just tried to state it is climate change. There has been report after report stating this is untrue. The sad part is how many trees have been cut down to produce the thousand and thousands of pages of paper stating there is no issue.

            Lately some in the industry have started to think of using rail to transport the oil. There is a good concern of safety and hence the better need for the new extension in question. It would also create thousands and thousands of new high paying jobs this country so desperately needs.

            The last fact you need to know the pipeline will carry crude for refinement. It would not be sold to China. This you again are wrong. We are running out of refinement capacity in the areas the pipeline already goes and it needs to be extended to reach open capacity in the gulf.

            Finally Once the extension is finalized to the southern leg of the line, it can strengthen our energy future by delivering more domestic and Canadian crude oil to our nation’s Gulf Coast refineries, which would reduce oil imports from less secure parts of the world. With the pipeline, crude oil imports from Canada could reach 4 million barrels a day by 2030 — or twice what we import from the Persian Gulf.

            • While I certainly agree that rail is a significantly worse alternative to transporting oil, as evidence by the countless oil spills (unreported or not) the past few years, it doesn’t justify the expansion of a pipeline that will carry the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. Tar sands oil, the fuel to be transported out of Canada and even the Bakken shale region, is anywhere from 3-5 times more polluting than conventional fossil fuels. It is an incredibly energy intensive process to remove the fuel, and produces perhaps the dirtiest by product of refinement, petcoke, a high-sulfur dust which often sits idle in piles polluting nearby communities.
              When asked whether the product traveling through KXL would benefit America undoubtedly, TransCanada’s pipeline head stated he could not guarantee that all this fuel would stay in America to guarantee “America’s energy security” and independence.
              Yes the proposed route was redrawn a few years ago to appease many environmental concerns. Unfortunately, the Interior Department still reports significant environmental threats, mainly in the form of noise and light pollution, displacement of wildlife, and potential spills. Not to mention the threat to the nation’s most important aquifer, Ogallala.
              Speaking of spills, the Alberta oil network has seen over 28,000 the past 40 or so years, not to mention TransCanada’s track record and the hundreds of dents and cracks that have been pointed out on Keystone itself.
              Your argument also fails to address an important aspect of KXL. That is, the ongoing displacement and environmental injustices inflicted upon indigenous nations. These groups have been the strongest proponents of the project, and their voices have largely gone unheard.
              But I ask you to put aside all the details of this potential pipeline. Surely you can support an economy that no longer relies on fossil fuels, one that’s clean, provides stable jobs (unlike the less than a hundred KXL would provide), and stabilizes energy prices. The world, and I’m serious when I say the world, like literally the entire world, agreed upon a 2 degree Celsius threshold of temperature increase to prevent catastrophic warming. The world also estimated that 80% of our fossil fuel reserves would have to be left underground to avoid such warming. If the world is actually serious about making such a change, why not start now? Why sink further into a dependence on fossil fuels? To ignore the problem any longer is simply naive. And it baffles me that some people in perhaps the most well-educated and endowed community in the world fail to accept facts like climate change.

              • Taylor. I am told you are a college student so I honor your desire to see change. Great to see the enthusiasm. Maybe you will develop the next energy source that can solve this all. Keep it going.

                But I am a pragmatist who lives in the real world of choices. My car takes gas and so does yours and the planes that get you to school. I don’t like buying Middle East oil and it will be generations before any chance for a different source of energy will replace what we need. I am sure you enjoy flying home and somehow existing energy gets you there. You don’t like what we are doing, I don’t like supporting people who don’t like us. We all make choices. I also need to refill my car.

                You are wrong regarding the pipeline but we can agree to disagree. But it is wonderful to see how much you have learned. It gives me good hope that there will be others who will engineer the next waves of true energy solutions.

          • Nancy Hunter Wilson

            Climate change is caused by global warming. Yes, fossil fuels are the culprit, and so what do you do about it? If the U.S. and China switched all of their coal to natural gas, that would be a step (sorry, but sun power alone just won’t do the trick).
            Real climate change has to happen in China.

      • The climate has been changing as long as there has been a climate. There is nothing noteworthy about change.

        • You’re right, Mike — the climate has been changing forever. What’s different this time is that it has NEVER (except for, say, a meteor strike) changed this quickly, this strongly, and perhaps this irreversibly.

          This is more than “noteworthy.” It’s a matter of life and death.

  5. Still a beautiful picture for those of us who live in the desert! Just wondering if Betsy has brothers named Emerson and George?

  6. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    The above environmental/energy debate should remind Westport to clear drains to avoid flooding damage. I hope it’s a slow thaw. I hope you’ve seen the last storm.

  7. As a marketer, the nomenclature side of this is actually something that I’ve studied pretty closely over the years. And regardless of which side of the issue (or aisle) you are on politically, it’s worth understanding how language like this changes. It isn’t accidental. In this particular case, same guy who changed Estate Tax to Death Tax was at work. This document is a fascinating read if you want insight into how this kind of thing works.

    http://www.motherjones.com/files/LuntzResearch_environment.pdf

    I’ve actually met, and worked with Frank Luntz (the guy who drove this work) before. I don’t agree with him politically but have to admit that he’s super effective in a few high profile instances.