Remember the bad old days when there used to be floods in one part of India and drought in another, and western bewilderment at the calamity? America is finding out the hard way just how frustrating it is, and how even the rich, developed world can do diddly squat against Mother Nature's capricious ways.
Lashed with yet another snowstorm, the third of the season, that's bringing 16-20 inches of the white stuff on top of the two to three feet still on the ground, Washingtonians are wondering how to deal with the disaster now dubbed "Snowzilla" (after Godzilla). Building snowmen and igloos isn't cutting it.
One "out-of-box" solution — export the stuff to Vancouver, where lack of snowfall this season is jeopardizing the Winter Olympics scheduled to begin next week.
The idea is not all that novel. Indeed, long before India exported software services, to the US, America sent ice to Madras and Calcutta to help colonialists cool down. But those were giant ice blocks shipped from Massachusetts on ships that lost one third of the ice weight. This is powdery snow, and Vancouver, which is 3000 miles across, needs a lot more than a few ship- or plane-loads.
However, the fact that folks are even talking about shows the measure of desperation in the world's political capital that is now completely paralyzed. Both Philadelphia and Washington need just nine more inches each to make it the snowiest winters for them since at least 1884, the first year records were kept.