by Daniel Shen ’23
Published Mar. 11st, 2021
Snow. For those of us living here in New Jersey it is a simple inconvenience. Some of us even have fond memories of playing out in the snow or being unable to attend school. However, with a rapidly changing planet, the weather has become increasingly unstable. For people in the southern pieces of the United States, they awoke one morning to be greeted by the unique sign of snow.
For the people in regions such as Texas, they were completely unprepared for such a display by nature. One quote from a local newspaper said “His wife found him unresponsive nearly two hours later in the frigid weather. Local authorities said the man’s death could have been from exposure to the cold”(Shawn Mulachy). The citizens of Texas were not prepared or capable of being ready for an event such as a large batch of snow.
In northeastern regions such as in New Jersey, our bodies have grown accustomed to the conditions that we have lived in. However, in a warmer place like Texas, the human body is conditioned differently to survive in that climate. The Texans are therefore more vulnerable to such an attack from nature.
In the aftermath of the snowstorm, it was reported that somewhere close to 5 million people lost their power during the storm. In addition to this, they were unable to access fresh water. With these two factors of modern life stripped from them, many suffered serious injury and even death. The frigid weather and lack of water led to dehydration, circulatory issues, neurological failure.
After the incident Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, was heavily ridiculed and mocked by the Texan people. As Julián Castro, former 2020 presidential candidate put it, Abbott “failed to prepare for this storm, was too slow to respond, and now blames everyone but himself for this mess.” This reflects the popular opinion of those living in Texas. In their opinion, the government should have done more to help and address problems inherent with climate change and the dangers that those weather conditions can cause.
The storm gave many people a taste of the potential problems posed by a rapidly changing climate. Scientists predict that more extreme displays of nature will result from this. Texas represents the problems that happen when politicians choose to ignore climate data and do not prepare for the changing reality.