There's 'responsible, carbon-neutral snow removal' and then there's the Curley approach

Over in Allston/Brighton, Marcie Laden is advertising responsible, carbon-neutral snow removal, in other words, her daughters with snow shovels.

Contrast that with Mayor Curley's 1948 letter to MIT (found by BostonTweet), asking for the Institute's help in coming up with a way to use flame throwers or chemicals to shrink snow accumulations.

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why, the answer is simple

ATOMIC snow melters! Given the age of the letter, I'm stunned it wasn't suggested.

(MIT has a research reactor, by the way, and it'd be funny if they figured out some way to use the waste heat to help melt snow. Everyone wins, right?)

laser beams

what is your source about laser beams?? i have lived in waltham all my adult life and never heard such nonsense sounds like a 1950s get under your desk rumor

Does the nuclear reactor

Does the nuclear reactor generate excess heat? If so, instead of heating water and dumping it in the river, it could circulate through a network of pipes under sidewalks and streets to melt the snow.

Sort of like the front step of brownstones, that dont get snow because the lower level melts it.

I was wondering about black tarps

If the city had a bunch of them, and laid them on top of the snow farms, wouldn't that help melt things pretty quickly on a sunny day like the last couple?

it seems like solar power is cheap and available- weather dependent obviously, but it couldn't hurt and might help right?

Draping an entire city in

Draping an entire city in black tarps? That wouldn't cost a billion dollars to big huge city sized black tarps and pay employees to secure them all over the city. Good idea.

If the city had a bunch of

If the city had a bunch of them, and laid them on top of the snow farms, wouldn't that help melt things pretty quickly on a sunny day like the last couple?

No. Too much snow, to little warmth from sunlight during the winter.

Soot does have the effect of melting snow - the effect of soot from Asia on Arctic snow cover is well known - but the effect is subtle.

Curley was asking the local experts for help - exactly the right thing to do.

Humans are not carbon-neutral

Food production to fuel us produces quite a bit of carbon, even if you avoid meat. Not to mention the exhaust we produce :)

Of course, it sounds a lot better than flame-throwers or chemicals. Funny how those were the only options requested.