Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 23, 2010

Prolonged winter: Will mini glaciers in Bluefield hang around until spring?


The sun was bright Sunday, and it was warm outside. No coat was necessary. It actually felt like spring. But all of the sun and warm weather did nothing to melt this demon ice. If 60 degrees won’t do it, what will it take? A 70 degree reading? At this rate, we may not melt all of this ice (and let’s face it, it’s no longer snow — it’s just all ice) until April. It may take an 80 degree day to melt all of this mess. That’s a really scary thought.

It’s important to point out that some nearby communities haven’t seen as much snow as us lucky folks living in the greater Bluefield area. Princeton — for example — is a bit behind Bluefield in terms of snowfall totals for the season. The same can be said for Tazewell and Richlands.

I made the drive to Richlands Monday morning, along with photographer Eric DiNovo, to cover a town hall meeting called by U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., to discuss energy and coal. To my amazement you could see green grass all the way from Tazewell to Richlands. It appears as if a lot of the snow has melted in Tazewell and Richlands. It was certainly nice to see the green grass again.

Frustratingly, a primary topic of conversation during the town hall meeting held on the campus of Southwest Virginia Community College was climate change and global warming, and of course the federal cap and trade legislation that Congress is trying to pass.

Why in the world are we talking about global warming in the middle of one of the worse winters our region has seen in more than a decade? It just doesn’t make sense. While the glaciers may be melting elsewhere, the giant piles of snow and ice in the greater Bluefield region aren’t melting — or at least they aren’t melting fast enough.

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