Column Date 2006-12-10

The beginnerís guide to global warming


If you’re new to global warming, here’s how to tell if it’s arrived in your neighborhood:

a. It’s Christmas and you notice that Santa Claus, ringing his bell at the mall, is sweating like a pig. His “Ho! Ho! Ho!” doesn’t sound quite as jolly as last year.

b. While walking the dog, you suddenly realize that your local beach is missing.

c. Although you bought a modest Florida condo on a golf course, it is now valuable waterfront property.

d. Your local NFL team has shed its hot helmets and shoulder pads and is now playing touch football.

These are surefire signs that global warming is about to change life as you know it.


Here are some highlights of what’s happening in other parts of the world:

In Europe, the bears are confused. It’s too warm to hibernate, and all the berries are gone. What the bears will eat, and what they’ll do with their spare time if warm weather persists, is anybody’s guess.

Flowers are confused, too, with many of them thinking that November’s record-breaking warm weather is actually a very early Spring. Forsythia is blooming in some alpine valleys in Austria.

Ski resorts in the Rockies are making plans to move to higher elevations, where there’s actually snow. Some resorts are currently lobbying the government for new leases on federal land at higher altitudes.

Butterflies are moving north, from southern Europe to Finland. If you happen to live in Helsinki and have just spent a fortune on parkas, scarves and alcoholic beverages for a long, grey winter, butterflies can be quite disconcerting.

High pollen counts in December, an almost unheard of phenomenon, are causing problems among asthma sufferers in Scandinavia.

On a positive note, though, global warming is nothing but good news for cockroaches, fleas and ticks! They thrive in warmer weather, so we can expect them to reproduce more frequently during the year, and more of them will survive through the shorter winter freezes.


Here’s what you can personally do about global warming:

Politically correct: write a letter to the President expressing your concerns. This will make you feel better, but will not do any good. If Texas has six-months of 100-degree heat and low-lying cities vanish into the Gulf of Mexico, that might get the President’s attention.

Politically incorrect: get a large boat. Collect a male and a female of your favorite kinds of animals.

Buy retirement property in the new sun belt. (This includes North Dakota, Montana, parts of Idaho, Alaska and northern Maine.)

Check out all the exciting, new investment opportunities! Ask your stockbroker about sunscreen manufacturers, pharmaceutical firms with skin cancer products, as well as solar panel companies and anybody still in business who makes large hats. Insect repellents will be the hot, new market sector.

Start a GWDC (Global Warming Defense Corps) branch on your block. You’ll learn basic survival skills, like “Xtreme grilling” using the hood of your car, or your concrete driveway. They’ll also teach you which weapons and strategies are effective against marauding bears.

Global Warming has arrived. It’s time for us to adapt and evolve.

©2006 Peter Tannen