By Sammi Dorfan (’18)
It’s currently the middle of winter and as our friends in the East shovel snow from driveways and seek refuge from the cyclone outside, we’ve been basking in temperatures typical of a day in mid-July. When it comes to the answers to this climatic conundrum, students seem to be as confused as the weather is. But there is one thing that they know for sure: this is not what they signed up for.
Not only can conditions like these during this time of year put a damper on winter wardrobe expansion, they can also have some more serious effects. Jesse Gan (‘21) says, “When it gets really hot, windy and dry outside, I get asthma attacks at night.” The hot Santa Ana winds that blow through San Diego, contaminate the air with dust which could be responsible both for Gan’s attacks and the allergies that Vivienne Blackburn (‘19) has been experiencing. Blackburn is annoyed that she “keeps sneezing every 5 minutes” and attributes it not to this year’s viscous strain of flu but rather to the volatile environmental conditions.
Unseasonable warmth isn’t the only abnormality that students have noticed. Maya Schuster (‘18) describes, “It switches from super cold in the morning to super hot in the day or it will be really hot one day and really cold the next.” Blackburn (‘19) is annoyed by this indecisiveness and contends, “It’s winter, the weather should be staying in one place.”
Schuster, Blackburn, and numerous others have also become accustomed to the thick fog that was responsible for the delay and cancellation of many flights coming into and out of San Diego. Daniela Sutton (‘20) claims, “It [the fog] got so extreme, I had to turn around and go back home because I couldn’t drive in it.” Students should be prepared to have their surroundings become eerie once again because more fog is expected over the coming weeks.
Sutton (‘20) took a very theological approach when asked to explain these weather anomalies: “I’m guessing it’s been cold for a long time so God wants it to be hot now.” Mia Hansen (‘20), on the other hand, took a more scientific approach: “Isn’t it the equator…something with that? Because like global warming and the earth is changing and stuff.”
Among the remaining interviewed students, science seems to be the prevailing justifier. Jesse Gan (‘21) says, “I think that there’s a lot of things that we’re doing to the earth that we don’t know the consequences of yet.” Gan is correct, and these weather patterns are just some of the consequences of our actions. Schuster (‘18) continues, “A lot of people say humans have had no affect on the weather but then you look at all the carbon emissions and everything that goes into the atmosphere and all the scientific results, it makes sense.”
If humans continue with the destructive exploitation of resources, we might need to become accustomed to volatile weather conditions and become less reliant on our expectations for the seasons because as Jonathan Bielaz (‘18) says, “it’s going to happen next winter and the next winter and the next few decades of winters.”