Isn’t this what it boils down to for many of us?


Last week it suddenly turned cold here in Boulder, not just a few degrees colder, it dropped from about 60 degrees F one day  to 18 degrees F the next.  It snowed too.  Thankfully, it wasn’t windy.

My family and I were not ready for the change.  We piled on extra layers, wore heavier clothing, put lap blankets and drank warm beverages, but still we felt cold.

So, we did what most of those we know do, we turned up the thermostat.  We tried to just keep heated the areas of the house that we were in, a feat made much easier by having temperature controls in each room and closing door, but we found it difficult.  We whined about the cold and moaned about how uncomfortable we were.

In fairness, we hadn’t had much of a chance to get acclimated and to seal all the cracks and crevices in the insulation.  Still, it begs the question of would we able to bear the discomfort of climate irregularities?  And what would happen if we had drastic changes rapidly?  And worse still, if we didn’t have the magic thermostat to adjust to make it all better?  It is difficult to fathom.

I’ve read of houses being built now that are so well insulated they barely require any heat at all; the warmth generated within the house stays in.  As I sit here now and feel a slight movement of air from the gaps in my office window, I know how much we could benefit from securer seals.  The know-how is there to reduce our need for the thermostat, but we don’t do it.

What will it take for all of us to get serious about climate change?  How drastic will it have to be?  After the experience of the past weekend, I wonder more about my tolerance.  We don’t have air conditioning and we manage to tolerate the heat of the summers quite comfortably.  What makes it so much more difficult in the winter?

What does my little thermostat have to do with the big, BIG problem of global climate change?  A lot, I’m afraid.  It represents individual over community, self over other, comfort over necessity, same ol’-same ol’ over change, economics over people…

I hope that with some reflection–and maybe some warm woolies–I can find the way to keep the heat down and the energy for change flowing.

For more posts about climate change from around the world, click


2 thoughts on “Isn’t this what it boils down to for many of us?

  1. Oh, yes, I admit it. I’m spoiled. I have central heat and air conditioning and altho I discipline myself to be conservative with them, I’m definitely not suffering on either end of the temperature range. I lived in Mexico off and on for three years and it taught me a lot about appreciating the luxuries I have here. Most places where I lived down there had no central heat, airconditioning was not even a possibility. It was the cold that was the hardest, tho, as there usually weren’t even fireplaces or space heaters and many an evening found me huddled with my textbooks in front of an open oven door, a blanket around my shoulders. It made me think about how much I take for granted–a really good thing!


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