GLOBAL WARMING AND OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

BY LINDA NEALE

I’m addicted to the weather. I wake up every morning and wonder how we’re doing on our monthly rainfall. I can’t wait to sit down at the computer, log on to accuweather.com, and check it out. Like a true Oregonian, I cheer for the rain. Last month Portland only got 60% of its normal rainfall amounts, but this month we seem to be doing better. Whew! Burns, another of “my favorite” locations, did OK. They reached 110%. But Burns is in the desert, and usually only gets an inch or so anyway, so it doesn’t count as much. New York City is bad – only 50% of its normal rainfall last month. Palo Alto made it to 100, but Paris didn’t. It’s like that major bicycle race in France – each day you have to check to see whether your favorite cyclist has gained or lost ground.

I cheer for Mother Earth. Until now she’s always won the race. How long will she continue to do so?

I know that global warming is real, so, to reduce my own anxiety, I monitor it. In addition to checking the rainfall, I check the temperatures. At the end of the month I can add up the number of days that the temperature has been above average, and compare it to the number of days it’s been below average. Then I can either feel relieved or depressed – relieved if we’ve managed to stay below average, and depressed when, like last summer, we had many more days above average.

I figure we need a cheering squad for the weather – for Mother Earth – for coldness and rain. One of today’s headlines says “This Winter May Be Worst Since 1985”. The article goes on to state “While frigid air is already in place, yet another brutal shot of arctic air will grip the entire eastern two-thirds of the nation through Saturday.”

Whoopee! She’s still working – she hasn’t hung up the towel just yet.

What else can I do to help us win this race? I’ve changed all the light bulbs to compact fluorescent, I bought a fuel-efficient car, I use my own bags at the grocery store, I recycle everything possible, and we take the Max train to the Blazer games. I have friends who do the same.

Maybe these efforts will show up in tomorrow’s rainfall totals. I’ll check.