Friday, December 22, 2006

The Beginner's Guide to Global Warming

I saw this in the Long Island Press by a humorist. It was funny and terrifying at the same time.
The Beginner’s Guide To Global Warming

Chapter I. Introduction
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.

Chapter II. It’s All Around Us
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, thinking that November’s record-breaking warm weather is a very early spring. Forsythia is blooming in some Austrian alpine valleys.
Ski resorts in the Rockies are moving to higher elevations, where there’s actually snow. Some resorts are lobbying the government for new leases on federal land at higher altitudes.

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

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

On a positive note, global warming is good news for cockroaches, fleas and ticks! They thrive in warmer weather, so they’ll reproduce more during the year, and more will survive through the shorter winter freezes.

Chapter III. Take Action
Here’s what you can personally do:
Politically correct: Write to President George W. Bush. 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 his attention.
Politically incorrect: Get a large boat. Collect a male and a female of your favorite kind of animal.

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

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

Start a GWDC (Global Warming Defense Corps) branch. 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.

Peter Tannen is the recipient of a 2005 National Press Club Award for humor writing.

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