REBECCA ROBERTS, host:
California isn't the only state struggling with frozen assets. As essayist Diane Roberts tells us, balmy Florida has a chilly dilemma of its own.
DIANE ROBERTS: It's enough ice to make daiquiris for the entire population of greater Miami. It's enough ice to soothe the fevered brows of coach Bobby Knight at the NCAAs; Kevin and Brittney in divorce court; even Rosie and the Donald in the New York tabloids. It's enough ice, almost, to make August in Tallahassee tolerable.
The ice was supposed to relieve our suffering during the King Hill(ph) hurricane season of 2006, the hurricane season that failed to happen. The ice was supposed to do the job of the air conditioning, the sub-zero fridges, the ready supplies of Ben and Jerry's and cold Buds we now cannot live without.
The Florida State Emergency Response Team did their best, God knows, squirreling away 225 truckloads of ice cubes in anticipation of outages, maybe a breakdown in civil order, plus a lot of frozen chicken about to spoil.
But the wind never got up, the creek didn't rise, and the lights didn't cut off. Now they've got to store the stuff at minus 10 degrees, which costs 90 grand a month. Worse, the ice is fixing to go bad. I don't understand the part about the ice going bad. Does it go bad in Antarctica? Do penguins get sick from stale ice? Someone must investigate.
Anyway, they're trying to give the ice away, which isn't working. Nobody wants enough ice to supply every fraternity rush party in the Southeastern Conference. What's the problem?
Mike Stone, Florida Emergency Management spokesman, is reassuring. He says essentially it is water. Yes, but water with a difference. Many current Floridians fled the ice of Michigan, the ice of Illinois, the ice of New Jersey, the ice of Ontario, to come to where the real estate agent assured them the only ice was to be found clinking in a glass of rum punch by the pool. So the very thought of several hundred tons of ice lying in wait kind of freaks them out.
Still, we should make this ice work for us. How about we dump the whole load of it into the Gulf of Mexico? Maybe it will cool the sea off a degree or two - at least temporarily - and put off the day when Florida disappears under the insistent waves of global warming. After all, it is essentially water.
ROBERTS: Diane Roberts teaches English at Florida State University in Tallahassee.
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