January 7, 2018

Alert 26: Gorgeous Extreme Weather. What does it mean?

I took this video from my porch 35 feet above Cayuga Lake in Upstate New York. The wind blew so fiercely through the frigid landscape that I could not hold the camera in my ungloved hands for much more than ten seconds before my skin began to burn. Mist arose from the relatively warmer lake waters which held its heat locked into a depth of 450 feet below its surface. The mist rose higher and higher into the sky to join in making new clouds. Waves at times were whipped up like the North Sea. It was spectacularly beautiful and yet terrifying.

Water and even sewer pipes were breaking from the cold throughout the region. Inevitably some people would die from crashing temperatures and searing winds, or from makeshift fires used to warm their homes. The tattered feral cat hunting by the water was a pitiful figure and we feared for the deer and other wildlife. This is the new year, no different from any other new year in the history of humanity: inspiring and fraught with danger, both at the same moment.

Peter R. Breggin, MD