Monday, February 05, 2007

Cold's word of the day recently was "Gore effect": the tendency of local temperatures to plummet whenever Al Gore comes to the area to discuss global warming. Last week a major scientific report was released linking human activity to global warming. While to many of us this seems about as obvious as a scientific report that excessive eating and insufficient exercise will make you fat, many of the major networks have chosen to treat this report like it's something surprising and new. (Come to think of it, that's the way they report on the stories linking gluttony and sloth to obesity.) And, in a large-scale manifestation of the Gore effect, temperatures throughout much of the U.S. have flipped from record highs to record lows.

Many people are taking this in stride. "Sure, it's cold," they say. "But this is Winter. It's supposed to be cold." This has led some meteorologists to jump up and down while shouting about how much colder than average these temperatures are.

It is cold. And windy, for added fun. How cold? So cold that there wasn't any frost on any vehicles this morning. I didn't even notice it. I warmed my car up for a few minutes before driving it across town this morning to check on the conditions in my new house, and it didn't occur to me that I didn't have to do any scraping or window defrosting. I didn't realize this until somebody pointed it out to me at work.

The situation at the house is...uncertain. I may not have mentioned that half of the house is without utilities. Well, except water, gotta have the water. Though water is a problem at these temperatures. My theory is that the insulation around the outside of the house is much better than the insulation between the two halves of the house, so the furnace that is keeping one side nice and toasty warm (about 65 degrees) should also be keeping the other side well above freezing. So far it's working...I think. My min/max thermometer shows temperatures just below 40 degrees at the coldest. I've filled the toilet tank and bowl with windshield washer fluid (as recommended), I've turned off the water where it branches off just inside the heated side of the house, and I've purged the lines as best I can. Now all that remains is to repressurize the lines in the Springtime and see if there are any leaks. And by next Winter I'll either have the two sides of the house tied together into one furnace, or I'll bite the bullet and turn on the other furnace. With luck, my lines have not frozen, or if they have frozen, have not ruptured. We'll see.

Damn, it's cold.


tiffany said...

one of the pipes froze in my house over the weekend, but i managed to take care of it before it burst. thankfully.

i have to say, it really kills me that people can turn a week of below freezing temperatures into proof that global warming doesn't exist.

i mean, when did al gore assert that cold had ceased to exist? i must have missed it. :)

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Oh yeah, it's just winter. Forget the fact that this is the longest and deepest sustained cold snap in decades and likely a record setting one.

tiffany said...

well, my vast scientific knowledge of climate change (which i learned while watching the day after tomorrow) tells me that global warming also causes extremes in the cold weather department.

is it not obvious that everything i say is sarcastic?