Seems like the entire eastern half of the United States is turning into the North Pole this week. For some people that sounds like a nightmare, but there are always those few of us who revel in cold weather.
Well, either way, in honor of those of you who are riding polar bears to work this week, here are 24 truths cold-weather people might know to be true.
And one misconception we really should get rid of.
1. Getting socks as a present is awesome.
Thanks, Grandma! Other people might like to complain, but you know how amazing a good pair of socks can be. It's almost as good as a scarf.
2. No bed fort is complete without at least three blankets and a breathing hole.
Plus at least one more for your feet.
3. You know that a two-dog night isn't just a saying.
The more pets you have = the more living space heaters.
4. You don't know what that Japanese heater-table thing is called, but you want one.
It's known as a kotatsu (you're welcome). It has a tabletop, a heater underneath, and big pillowy blankets all around. It looks so warm and comfortable! Where can I get one?
5. Walking barefoot across a cold floor or opening the windows will wake you up faster than coffee.
A cup of coffee takes about 15-20 minutes to wake you up. A cold floor will take 15-20 minutes off your life.
6. You tip the heck out of delivery people.
You got the large pepperoni, right?
7. But no matter how cozy the house is, eventually you have to go outside.
At some point you'll be out of Pop-Tarts and tissues, and you're not quite willing to burn the chairs for warmth yet.
8. That doesn't mean you have to like it.
Even people who like the cold aren't necessarily eager to leave the comforts of home.
9. But you don't have to hate it either.
10. Because watching your dog frolic in the snow for the first time will melt your heart, even if it’s 12 degrees out.
11. And you know exactly how long it'll be before the lake's frozen enough to walk on.
Four inches of ice will support an adult person's weight. Eight to 12 inches can hold a car!
12. Walking like a penguin really is the best way to not fall down.
Most of the time.
13. You know that bubbles freeze.
Bubbles are just soapy water, after all, so if you get it cold enough, they'll turn to ice.
14. You don’t need mascara because frost will cling to your eyelashes making you look like a Disney princess.
But don't go outside with wet hair after showering.
15. Waterproof shoes are a must.
And jeans are not the same as snow pants. It only takes one fall, and then you have a wet butt the entire day.
16. If you shovel out your parking spot and put a chair in it, that means it's yours.
17. And if you shovel the entire sidewalk, that makes you a true American hero.
And if you shovel your elderly neighbor's driveway too, you deserve to be, like, president or something.
18. Every year seems like the coldest one ever.
"Did I ever tell you whippersnappers about the great blizzard of ought-eight?"
19. But you might also know that, actually, the last couple of years have been pretty warm.
Climate change has been pushing the average global temperature up over the years.
20. In fact, 15 of the top 16 warmest years since 1880 have all been in this century.
Yes, every single year since 2001 is up there. And 2015 was the warmest of all. Which leads to the biggest point in this entire list:
21. One bout of cold weather doesn't disprove global warming!
And one snowball doesn't disprove thousands of scientists.
22. Because climate and weather aren't the same thing.
Weather is short-term; climate is long-term. Saying that one winter storm disproves climate change is like saying one spelling mistake makes J. K. Rowling a bad writer. You have to look at the larger story. And the larger story is that the Earth is getting warmer.
23. And actually, on the whole, climate change may make winter storms worse.
There are many complicated factors, including changes to the jet stream and precipitation patterns, but overall, climate change is causing more extreme weather. Instead of getting snow a little at a time, we're now more likely to get it all at once.
24. So this won't be the last time the U.S. will look like this:
This idea that cold weather can't happen during climate change needs to go away.
There is tremendous progress being made in the fight against climate change. The U.S. is slowly but steadily increasing its share of renewable energy. In December, nearly 200 countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to head off climate change. And everyday, people are doing their part by saving electricity, planting trees, and recycling.
But this myth about cold weather has been a continual thorn in our collective consciousness. And it needs to die.
By spreading the word, we can help stamp out this pervasive misconception and help more people realize that we need to do more about climate change!