Tornado warning: southern New England


Partner and I were on Cape Cod last Wednesday when the tornadoes marched through Massachusetts. Cape Cod is normally pretty placid weather-wise, but the water was very choppy that morning, and there were some big ominous-looking clouds up in the north. We knew there were some storm warnings, and even hail –



And then we heard the tornado warnings on the radio.



We knew we were out of harm’s way. But northern Rhode Island was on tornado warning for the entire afternoon. Central Massachusetts got hit, especially Springfield, where there were several deaths, many injuries, and extensive damage. We spent the evening watching weathermen breathlessly Telestrating the map, talking about debris clouds and rotation and the Fujita scale.



Do you understand that this doesn’t happen here?



New England is not Tornado Alley, by any means. New England is famous for the changeable nature of its weather; didn’t Mark Twain himself say, “If you’re not happy with the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes”? And God knows we get storms, sometimes pretty ferocious ones. But tornadoes we do not get.



One more sign that the weather is changing, and the world is changing.



It kills me that people do not get this. But here’s the thing: it’s not that they don’t get it. They just pretend to believe either that it’s God’s great plan, or that it’s just the way weather works.



Oh, no. Not in this particular epoch, dear hearts. We have turned the page, mostly through the stuff we’ve plentifully sprayed – mostly carbon dioxide and CFCs, but lots of other interesting stuff – into the atmosphere. Also overfarming and overdevelopment. Also miscellaneous pollutants. Also –



Anyway. The world is changing. And we helped.



We’ve passed the point of no return. Even if Sarah Palin herself (who, in a motorcycle rally a while back, said something stupid like “I love the smell of those emissions!”) were to begin recycling today! – it wouldn’t make a bloody bit of difference.



I don’t think we’re doomed.



But I think there are going to be a lot less of us in a hundred years.



And, in a very little while, I won’t be around to snark at everything.



Won’t that be lovely?



Ah me. How very old the world has become.





About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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