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Global Warming Above Tom's Diner

Global Warming Above Tom's Diner

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Published by Michael Scully
Professor Michael Scully finally publishes his Master's Thesis on global warming. It's been 15 years since he wrote the thing. It's about time someone looked at it.
Professor Michael Scully finally publishes his Master's Thesis on global warming. It's been 15 years since he wrote the thing. It's about time someone looked at it.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Michael Scully on May 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Global Warming Above Tom's Restaurant
By Michael ScullyColumbia Graduate School of Journalism
Class of 1997Adviser: Ken BriefCopyrightBy Michael Scully1997
Global Warming Above Tom's Restaurant
Working with Mother Nature
On a winter afternoon, Shaler McReel walks over a crusty-sheet of white snow tothe center of a field. His farm rolls out around him. With hands in pockets, he shrugs hisshoulders and recalls his favorite time of year, a June evening at the height of the plantingseason:"Have you ever smelled the smell of a field of corn in full tassel? There's nothinglike it. There's this aroma in the air with the pollen everywhere," the 39-year-old farmersays, standing, looking down on a frozen field that slopes to the edge of a NewHampshire wood. His gaze is distant like a daydream."You know what it smells like? It smells like new money, literally," he says."You know, the way it smells right from the presses."For nine years, McReel has farmed 14 acres in Madbury, N.H., growing fruits andvegetables which he sells to local grocers and at a roadside farm stand. To him, the
venture is his livelihood, a self-described "capitalist venture" that depends on his staminaand almost entirely on the graciousness of Mother Nature.Soon, the snows from this mild winter will melt away and the planting will begin.His days will shift from hours in the kitchen sipping coffee and managing his deceasedmother's estate, to waking at 5 a.m. and tending the fields until well after sunset.Before his hands comb the dirt, he and the community of farmers along thePiscataqua River, dividing New Hampshire from Maine, will look for clues to the comingseasons. Their research is part science, part tradition and part farmer's lore. They'll watchthe television and papers, consider the past seasons and watch the weather of the Marchskies the night of the full moon. They search for a chilling dew known as the last "killingfrost," the ecological end of the winter. The planting begins soon after.To most, the weather is a topic of conversation, an obstacle to be transcended, acuriosity that shatters the pattern of a daily routine. But to farmers like McReel, theweather rules. It engineers their days like the way the Dow Jones might control a WallStreet broker."What effect does it have over me? The weather is my life," McReel says. Hisprosperity is factored upon the balance of sunshine and rain. He can control one but isvictim to the other. "You can always make it rain," he said referring to irrigation. "Butyou can't make the sun come out." A shift in the balance of the two can dictate whatcrops he'll grow: "If it's a hot, dry year, you're not going to grow lettuce that year. You'llgo with tomatoes."

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