Monday, January 15, 2007

In Los Angeles, it was so cold that...

When Johnny Carson did his monologues on The Tonight Show, he often included a bit that was roughly: in (name of city) it was so (blank) that (punch line.)

Example: "In Los Angeles, it was so cold that Farmers begin assessing the damage to fruit, which could hit half a billion dollars, and ice causes a freeway pileup.

Wait. That's not funny. And while the rest of the nation is wading through a strange, warm winter, the West Coast and Mountain States are being socked with record cold and snow.

In the 2004 film, The Day After Tomorrow Global warming causes large areas of the Arctic ice shelf to break off and melt, meaning that the Atlantic ocean is diluted by large amounts of fresh water. this then disrupts the Gulf Stream causing an unnatural cooling of the northern hemisphere. This then triggers a series of anomalies, eventually leading up to a massive "global superstorm" system consisting of three gigantic hurricane-like superstorms, which result in an ice age for the northern hemisphere within days. The film is not so great on the science part; but the special effects are pretty darn entertaining.

Still, the underlying point of the film is this: we humans are having a devastating affect on climate. Our obsession with "more" and "bigger" is actually killing us, and our home. Our dependence on oil is a primary contributor to greenhouse gasses which are indeed changing the climate.

While there is a natural progression of climate change - ice ages do occur cyclically. But do we really have to speed it up? Any way you look at it, this winter is pretty peculiar.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading your post this morning, and the temp outside is 20 degrees. This is probably the ninth or tenth day in a row where the morning temps are below freezing. Not our usual average morning temp, at all!

Dependence on oil is changing the environment, and we are also killing hundred of thousands of Iraqis to make sure that oil is ours. It's a terrible addiction, and the kingpins run our country.

Peacechick Mary said...

We are in an abnormally miserable hot period and a drought has officially been announced with water restrictions. I wonder how many people are waking up to the fact that we have to live differently. I read that the Dub is changing his position on global warming. He probably thinks the sun is not thanking him enough for all he does or some rot like that.

Anonymous said...

After a warm first two weeks of Jan., we are getting down to business in VT... although we are presently sealed in an ice glaze.

I don't know what it's going to take (besides a government that's science-literate) to get this nation to wake up.

Anonymous said...

I may drop into the 20s tonight in Babylon by the Bay--unheard of in the 11 years that I've lived here. And all the while, Exxon is blaming the warmth in the East on El Nino. Sheesh!

I haven't seen any El Nino effects here. Lying-sums-o-biches.

annie said...

here on the north coast, at sea level, we've had freezing temps. for the last 4 nights. and we are already lacking in rainfall for the season. thanks, global warming!

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Everything this present administration has so stubbornly ignored is coming to fruition or lack thereof. The orange crop in CA is devastated, the pear crop rots on the ground because there is no one to harvest them. The economy is crashing, the war machines continue to rape and pillage our coffers. In no time we will relive Grapes of Wrath. That is the level of desperation we are getting too. My heart and soul cries but my spirit remains to help provide solutions.

Tina said...

In N.E. Ohio, it used to be that from November thru March, we had an endless sea of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. It was N-O-R-M-A-L. Now, we have 40 and 50+ degree temperatures from November thru March, very little snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This is NOT N-O-R-M-A-L. Our latest weather reports have issued a flood warning for all of the state of Ohio due to 3 days of ceaseless rain downpours, and we are actually really hoping for the predicted ice storm just so the rain will stop.
I fear that my kids will never get to build snowmen or make snow angels... but rather will become experts at making Noah Ark replicas.

DivaJood said...

Robin Andrea, I can't believe how cold this winter has been in Los Angeles. My condo has radiant heat coils in the ceiling; no real insulation; it was built for a warm weather climate - the radiant heat really doesn't work, because heat rises - and it is quite cold in my home. People don't realize that we, on the west coast, are not BUILT for this kind of climate change. And people in Washington - at least the White House - don't give a rat's ass.

Peacechick, the White House was denying the rumour that Bush was going to change his policy on the environment. After all, he's the Decider. And the Decider is all about staying the course.

Lulu Maude, one of my clients is in Vermont; she said that ya'll were bracing for a major power outage because of ice on trees and power lines.

Kvatch, just like Exxon to blame some little kid. Hell, there is no El Nino this year. And it was 31 degrees in downtown LA the other night.

Annie, I no longer call it global warming. It is complete climate change.

Pursey, I thought you didn't like oranges or pears. And rather than a dustbowl, why don't we just take on the Wrath part, and throw the bums out and put in some people who are going to sign onto the Kyoto agreement? We, and Australia, are the only two nations who haven't done so.

Tina, get ready for the NEW N-O-R-M-A-L. Which is, in the immortal words of the late Marty Feldman, Abby Normal.

Donnie McDaniel said...

It was so cold in Houma that I opened the windows to let the breeze in LOL. Today, I have the place closed up with the heater on. Maybe the cold will kill the skeeters that have come out of nowhere! I'm talking about hugh dark skeeters that are vicious! WTF? Louisiana state birds out in force in January? What new hell is this?