Who’d have thunk that to follow up our Labor Day Special on wardrobe changes, we could do a Columbus Day Special on wardrobe, too?
For starters, the story of disappearing fall fashions and seasonal wardrobes is having a second go through the papers. See the weekend editions of the UK’s Independent and the Telegraph.
But I also must admit my frustration with the holiday weekend’s weather – around 90 degrees F in D.C.! I would much rather be fighting a crisp breeze with a comfortable hoodie than sporting sweat as my weekend attire in October.
Now I know it’s unwise to jump to climate conclusions based on the weather. Then I watched the evening news. The weatherman said we just experienced was the warmest October 8th since 1931, and my immediate thought (being from Kansas) was that October hasn’t seen these extreme conditions since the Dust Bowl era. And it’s true that a majority of the Southeast is experiencing an exceptional drought, and the entire West is under a severe drought (see the U.S Drought Monitor.)
Most of us don’t pay much attention to things that are highly sensitive to the climate – we need to know what clothes to layer, and don’t much mind what sort of shape agricultural crops or water resources are in (so long as food makes it to our table at an affordable price). It’s difficult to see the warning signs of disaster, but they’re increasingly present and the news media – what should be our best access to this sort of perspective – is missing the story.
Several chances arose on Monday to draw the connection: on the one hand, global warming, and on the other, a series of extreme trends (drought, heat waves) that fit climate models of global warming. Yet is was missed on all accounts, from D.C.’s local weatherman to NBC’s Nightly News broadcast on the disastrous and fatal Chicago marathon and October beach parties in New York: