By Andrew Keshner
Amir Jina, a 36-year-old climate-change economist, was nervous about the upcoming heating bill for his two-bedroom Chicago apartment. It was so cold during the two-day polar vortex last month that his eyelashes froze when he ventured out to see Lake Michigan covered in ice. If the cold snap was doing that to the vast lake, what kind of havoc would it wreak on his apartment’s heating system?
When Jina walked to the lake as temperatures in the Windy City plunged to negative double digits that morning, he saw steam rising from the frozen water. “It was definitely a sight to see,” he said.
He wanted to witness something that may happen with decreasing regularity. Jina didn’t linger, but he wondered if future generations would ever see such a sight. “This might be a story I might tell my grandkids,” he said.
Like many others in the iced-over Midwest, Jina, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, also wondered if he’d receive a sky-high heating bill. But new government estimates of last month’s heating costs should calm those fears.
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