This week, a polar vortex swept the Midwest, bringing with it all-time-low temperatures. Chicago has gotten lows of -20°F (that’s -40°F with wind chill). Thousands of flights have been cancelled or delayed, and thousands more are without power thanks to frozen gas pipes. Mail service has been shut down in several states and hundreds of schools have closed.
It’s difficult to imagine what that cold is like and how to even deal with it. I had the misfortune of living in Chicago during the 2014 polar vortex. My office closed when the temperature reached -15°F, but the next day, my office opened when the temperature rose all the way to -10°F. “This is the coldest air many of us will have ever experienced,” the Des Moines office of the National Weather Service warned. “This is not a case of ‘meh, it`s Iowa during winter and this cold happens.’ These are record-breaking cold air temperatures, with wind chill values not seen in the 21st century in Iowa.” Sounds like it’s really fucking cold.
Cold enough to turn boiling water into snow.
Cold enough to make noodle art in 60 seconds.
Cold enough to freeze a toilet tank.
So cold that train tracks have to be set on fire to function.
So cold that light posts are shaking.
So cold that bubbles are freezing.
So cold that Hamilton is cancelled!
It’s so cold that Hell froze over!
Our know-nothing president added his coldhearted and ignorant take on this national crisis a few days ago.
Sorry, Donald: Weather isn’t climate, and cold weather doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real. Actually, the polar vortex is a result of Arctic air traveling south after rapid warming in the stratosphere, which some scientists believe is a result of climate change that could continue to become more common. We have a president who’s uninterested in recognizing or solving the disasters before us, including many ecological ones, and an administration that keeps looking the other way. Yeah, it’s definitely too fucking cold.