Jack’s Climate Story
How are you sensing climate change?
When I was a kid, the only redeemable thing about winters in Philadelphia was snow. Or, more specifically, snow days. Where once or twice a year, eight inches or more dumped down on our backyard and on the roads, leaving buses incapable of travel and school to be canceled. My brother and I looked forward to those days more than any other, maybe even more than summer vacation. We’d go to sleep all anxious, not knowing if the next day meant the torture of classrooms or the sweet, sweet freedom of the snow-covered hills behind our house. And waking up to pull the curtain off and find the mounds of snow barely clinging on to the edge of the roof was the perfect start to the day. We’d spend the day sledding outside, building snowmen — complete with carrot nose — constructing forts inside the house out of dining room chairs, and copious amounts of hot chocolate. This winter has robbed other children of the same experiences I loved as a child. I can count on one hand the amount of days the temperature has dropped below 40 degrees. Snow hasn’t accumulated more than an inch on the rare occasions when it does. Yes, there have been plenty of winters without snow. But the warmth is new. And it’s terrifying. I used to run outside as a kid and be excited at 50 degree weather when it finally came around in April. Now it’s a regular occurrence in January. I sincerely wish that all of the kids in the Philly area can build those same snow day forts that I was able to do as a kid. And, of course, that mean there needs to be snow.
Philadelphia, PA, USA
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