Correspondent Mark Shephard visited Edwardsburg, Mich., this week and asked, "How has the winter of 2014 shaped your thinking about winter, climate change and global warming?"
Kevin Waldschmidt, electrician, Dowagiac, Mich.:
"As far as global warming, I really don’t think there’s any truth to it as far as the planet getting warmer. I believe the planet goes through its own cycles just like anything else does. Just like seasons change, on a bigger scale the planet is going to go through its own cycle of warming up and cooling down. As far as the winter goes, it’s part of that cycle. Maybe next year it will be worse yet than it was this year. We won’t know until we get there."
Jennifer Ray, librarian, Cassopolis, Mich.:
"I think that we’re in a period of climate change, and that we are experiencing global warming, and that perhaps we have helped to bring that on a little bit. I’ve never really doubted that for a minute. I think that this winter has certainly challenged us, we’re facing challenges here at the library. And I think it has made us realize how powerful the weather truly can be, and how it affects our daily lives."
Arthur Russell, 8th grader, Edwardsburg:
"It starts to mess up our roads, and it makes travel really hard. I like winter, but not this much winter."
Ruth Wolford, factory worker, Edwardsburg:
"As far as the global warming, I’ve seen it coming for a long time." Follow-up question: How does this winter compare to the ’78 winter? "I don’t think it’s as bad as ’78. I have pictures at home with my two boys, and we’re out on a country road, and my husband used to drive a school bus, and we have pictures of the boys on top of a snow bank, which was above the school bus, so it was bad. For me (the challenges) are the same as any other day, but I’m not a fan of cold."
Joe Jenkins, RV worker, Niles, Mich.:
"I’ve always felt that it’s probably going on. There is obvious signs of it and stuff, and I think that we need to start being a little more friendly with the environment. Use less fossil fuels." Follow-up question: Have you dealt with the challenges, and have you enjoyed the winter at all? "It’s been hell. It’s been really cold and miserable, especially since I live in Michigan and work in Indiana. Going back and forth has been a challenge."
Dayna Spry, high school junior, Edwardsburg:
"I think that because it snowed a lot and it got really cold for a month or so that it really changes people’s opinions of global warming, because it’s not as warm as we thought it would be, and the cold is spreading everywhere." Follow-up question: How have you related to the winter as a Michigander? "Being in Michigan it is really cold all the time, but it was really warm for a few years, so having it be cold again, I think that it means that up north it is still going to be cold, and it’s not warming up."