By Gordon T. Davis
On February 9, 2015, the trains in Boston shut down at 7 p.m., and Governor Charles Baker was surprised and embarrassed. After all, he ran for office on the platform of making government work, pointing out the weaknesses in his predecessor’s administration.
If nothing else, government should be able to remove snow and make the trains run on time.
In response, Governor Baker shut down Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties.
Governor Baker also ran on the platform of reducing the budgets of certain agencies and commissions, such as the MBTA. During his press conference yesterday he implied that heads would roll because of the snow and train problems. I was hoping that Jon Keller of Channel 4 news would ask him whether he was rethinking the reduction in the State budget as the right way to get the trains to run better.
Was the gas tax referendum a mistake?
Ron Bouchard, a weatherman on Channel 7, said on air the historic amount of snow is due to climate change. He said that no one alive can remember these amounts of snow.
I wonder how much trouble he is in now because of his comments!
In many ways Bouchard has opened the door to a conversation that Governor Baker touched on. Boston being a city in which global companies are headquartered and operate is being shut down again by historic snow and cold that the State government cannot handle. Maybe it’s time to rethink priorities – or at least hire some consultants from Moscow or Oslo. These cities have trains that run in massive amounts of snow and the freezing cold.
Although I do not think that City Manager Augustus has any backbone when it comes to dealing with the Worcester Police Department’s record of lack of transparency, I do think he has some good ideas regarding green energy and jobs. Let us hope that this course of action is not too little too late and can be used as an example to State government. He has proposed solar power arrays at the Greenwood landfill and at Beaver Brook Park. He has proposed LED lamps for street lighting. I think that solar arrays on the tops of the underutilized public garages would also help.
I once thought that the Winter of 2011 was a once in a life time event. I can see now that it was a new normal New England winter: relatively mild autumns but FEET of snow in the winter – snow accumulation that does not melt until April. This may be our climate for the rest of our lives. It will be common for the State to ban travel and people will not be able to get to work. Students will be kept out of school for days. Although not on the minds of many politicians, these conditions are now the new normal and governments will have to adjust themselves.
Ron Bouchard let the cat out of the bag! Climate change or global warming will mean extreme winter weather. Extreme winter weather is upon us now and will likely get worse.
Governor Baker looked clueless at his press conference and his budget is a reflection of his cluelessness.
With each snow event this year, green energy, green jobs, extreme weather infrastructure and transportation will beat their way into our political consciousness.