Remember Freeze A Yankee?

“Drive 75 and freeze them alive. Freeze a Yankee.
 Put them Yankees in little bitty cars, while we drive around in limousines.”
 -  “Freeze A Yankee,” lyrics by Dan Patrick, ca. 1973

Remember back when, during the first OPEC embargo and the 55-mph speed limit began showing up on highways all across America. The good ol’ boys in Texas and Tennessee, of course, mocked all that, and you’d see a bumper sticker all over the Southland saying:

Drive like hell. Freeze a Yankee.

Yuk! Yuk! Chortle, chortle! Real funny stuff, wudn’t it?  But who’s laughing now?

Back then, the issue was conservation, during the first oil embargo, and the Bubbas all thought it was a big joke. Today, of course, the issues with petroleum have become more complex and more urgent. Today, there’s an overriding need to develop renewable energy resources, not just for energy independence like it was back then, but to deal with the far more important and far more complicated issue of global warming.

One thing has been constant, however. Like back then with the gas shortage, the Bubbas today think that global warming is just a big joke. They say it’s all a hoax being perpetrated by the liberal elite intellectuals who do scientific research instead of going to prayer meetings or getting drunk like they do. But that might start to change, thanks to recent climatological events.  

The deep South has been hit with severe winter weather, with blizzards, deep snow falls and icy roads twice this winter so far. This is something those people down there in Dixie are totally unprepared for, both logistically and psychologically. We Yankees have long taken this snow stuff in stride during the winter months. It's just a fact of life for us so, as individuals, we insulate our homes, we install central heating, we supplement that with wood stoves, we buy snow shovels and snow blowers for our driveways and have lots of warm, winter clothing. Collectively, we have public works departments at the ready to plow the roads, paid for with our local taxes.

Now, though, the Bubbas who laughed at us Yankees for wanting to conserve petroleum products forty years ago, and who have been laughing at us more recently about the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, really aren’t laughing too hard. Today, Bubba’s freezing his own sorry ass off down there in the land of cotton, and it’s a direct result of the petroleum- centered energy policy that created the gasoline crises in the seventies and the nineties that he got such a kick out of back then, which has segued into today’s climate change problem.

So, reading about all the problems they’re having with the blizzards and the snow down there in the deep South this week and a few week’s ago, all I can say to Bubba today is: Too bad! So sad! There’s a Yuk! Yuk! or two in there as well, fer sure...

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