Editors Desk

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it,” Mark Twain once quipped in his characteristically humorous yet observant style. In Down East Maine, the weather is a favorite conversation, particularly this time of year when the specter of winter looms on the horizon.

In a consensus that won’t surprise anyone, most of the conversations I’ve had or overheard about the weather concur that it’s going to be a cold, snowy season. Perhaps the most amicable observation of our weather forecasting habits is from a friend that surmised that the Farmer’s Almanac predicts the coldest and snowiest winter each year.

Can we continue to rely exclusively on historical patterns, however? No matter your perspective on the causes of climate change, evidence abundantly suggests that the climate is indeed changing. Here in Maine, our growing season has lengthened by two full months in the past century, according to Abe Miller-Rushing, science coordinator at Acadia National Park. Locally, the shortening winter seasons have prompted the Calais City Council’s concentrated efforts to proceed with developing the ATV trail in recognition that snowmobiling will gradually become less possible.

It may be difficult to appreciate the significance of climate change when our winters continue to sport unbearable cold and massive snow storms on occasion. When we are willing to look beyond the breadth of our immediate experiences, perhaps our conversations will include consideration of Twain’s point.

Lura Jackson