Monday, February 2, 2015

Not Enough Snow?

Do people not have enough to complain about?

Last week a terrible snowstorm hit the Northeast.  Parts of Massachusetts got almost 3 feet of snow, yet what makes the news?  It seems the storm veered to the east and managed to skirt New York City and Philadelphia.  The forecast for New York was 24 to 36 inches and for Philadelphia over a foot.  When all the snow was accounted for the next day 10 inches had fallen in Central Park and little more than an inch farther south in Philly.  It seems the extraordinary safety measures that the cities put in place were unnecessary.

Was that good news? – Of course not!  People managed to complain anyway about the inaccuracy of the forecast and the government officials seeming to cry “wolf” over the expected blizzard that wasn’t.  Complainers flooded social media with complaints and snide comments.  Some forecasters were expected to apologize for their miscalculations.  One writer suggests that the meteorologists were being just plain lazy.  “Being skeptical of and vigorously interrogating forecast model data is the only way humans will continue to be more valuable than an automated forecast.”

Of course if there had been a huge storm with no warning or a huge storm where the officials took no action, people would have been outraged and possibly filing lawsuits or demanding the heads of those in charge for “not doing everything possible,” which seems to have become the standard among Monday morning quarterbacks of all stripes.

Have these people no perspective at all?  Perspective, remember, is the ability to be grateful for what you have and appreciate the good things in life rather than yearning for something more or better.  Sure it would be nice if the forecasters did a little better job, but to have a small storm instead of a big one seems like a pretty meager basis for complaint.  There are people in the world with bigger problems than this, some probably living right down the block.  What a luxury it must be when  a primary concern comes from a little inconvenience due to a sincere effort to keep you safe.

As I write this, the local TV guys are predicting about 6 to 8 inches of snow for our neighborhood in less than two days.  If it should turn out that they are wrong, as they often are, I will shout, “halleluiah” – not grumble that I made a few preparations or adjustments to my schedule as a result of their misinformation!

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