It’s hard not to feel appreciative of the long autumn
this year, temperatures are still holding at late October
levels and few of us have even seen the season’s first
dusting of white. Normally by the first week of December we’d
expect that winter’s snowpack is here to stay, though
we’re all starting to understand that what’s normal
these days may or may not be what we always figured was normal.
Nobody we know is complaining though, the long reprieve has
given most of us a chance to catch up on things around the
house that most years we don’t quite manage to. Leaves
are well raked, houses buttoned down, woodpiles are high and
dwindling slowly and will probably get many of us through
the winter without worrying that we’ll have to scramble
for firewood come February and March. It’s a pleasant
change but one that most of us realize might somehow be connected
with things we haven’t thought about much, so far.
Our ski areas will survive a late opening this year, hopefully
making up for lost early season revenues with a first full
season of a coordinated regional marketing campaign. We’ve
been pushing such efforts for years and we’re delighted
to see all of our regional ski areas finally in accord on
its necessity. We’re also hoping this is the year people
and not just visitors discover that Phoenicia and Hunter are
actually connected by a road, and that it’s equally
easy and incredibly scenic to drive north and south as well
as east & west through our region.
With or without bitterly cold weather and major snowfall here,
December it seems will be the big media month for climate
change reporting, leading up to the President’s visit
to Copenhagen on the ninth and the big conference’s
pre-Christmas conclusion. We’re enormously hopeful for
good news, though we think it’ll take the better part
of two years to craft a workable global accord. In our view
it’s not as if our national leaders really have a choice
to make. Things are happening that we need to cope with and
failure isn’t an option we can long or well survive.
This is what evolution is, and the great anthropologist Gregory
Bateson once defined it as a species trying to keep doing
the same dance while the world around it changes. What evolves
said Bateson isn’t just the single species but the relationship
between it and all other species in a shared environment.
Adaptation is survival, failure extinction. Our species needs
food, water, breathable air, heat, and a few other things.
We believe it has the wisdom to allow enough of all to exist
so the dance can go on.
On the homefront we’re appreciative that the Catskill
Watershed Corp has evidenced the vision to take these coming
changes seriously. We encourage you to visit their website
at www..cwconline.org and read for yourself what’s being
predicted for our region. This isn’t speculative science
anymore, it’s practical planning we all need to begin
taking into account.