Taking the Nation's Temperature

They say everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Well tonight, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman does something about the complaining - not the weather.

This year, July is a 3-letter word: H-O-T.

But people aren't happy. Folks always whine about the weather, but I've noticed this summer the complaints seem especially heated, and overstated. When it's hot, some people say they feel like they're melting. Others say they're so hot, they wish it was winter.

But do you really want that?

How easily we forget just how much worse it could be. Which is why I went back in time today to remind us, not only of what the weather could be like, but what it will be like - all too soon.

Last winter was the worst since 1978 with record cold stretching all the way to the Gulf. Fountains froze in Raleigh.

It's a classic example of "the grass is always greener."

But like whenever you want something you can't have - getting it - is the last thing you really need.

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What we really need is to accept that humans are relatively delicate creatures. Our comfort zone is a narrow sliver - between 68 and 78 degrees. Sway on either side of that and we get uncomfortable.

We also need to start looking at the bright side of both seasons. In the winter at least you can dress in layers. And in the summer -- at least the rain doesn't pile up on your sidewalk.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.