It’s a beautiful Spring day here in New York City, even though we’re technically still in the dead of Winter. It’s 52 degrees here in Gotham, and many city residents are walking around sporting Fall jackets or Spring trenches. As I bounced down the street this morning, enjoying the sunshine and unseasonably warm day, I thought, “This is great, but is it really? We should be freezing right now!”
So, I’m sorry Punxsutawney Phil, but it’s pretty clear that there’s no way we’re going to have 6 more weeks of Winter. The question is, how long will it take for us to get serious about global warming?
Someone in the cafe I was working from yesterday said of New York’s strange weather this year, “Snow in October, 50 degrees in Winter, maybe it’ll be 45 all Summer! If this is the way we have to go out, I guess it’s not that bad.” You hear that a lot these days, people joking about how much they’re enjoying global warming. Record high temperatures have been set all over the country in the past week or so, and NASA has determined that 2011 was the ninth warmest year on record (since 1880). And, hello Bill Murray, unless we want to keep reliving this type of “Winter” year after year, we better do something fast, because according to NASA, “The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.”
The good news is, ScienceNews says, “Carbon dioxide may be public enemy number one in the fight against global warming. But taking aim at methane and soot has a better chance of keeping the planet cooler in the short run, a new study finds. Cutting the amounts of these two pollutants that are poured into the sky would diminish warming by half a degree Celsius by 2050.” They add, “Targeting these agents of climate change would also improve air quality, potentially preventing up to 4.7 million premature deaths every year.” Air quality is a huge issue here in New York City; it has become such a worrisome problem that Mayor Bloomberg developed a program called PlaNYC to address environmental issues here in the big apple.
For those of you who have trouble taking the environment seriously but love Illuminati conspiracy theories, here’s an important tidbit: global warming is making reptiles smarter, Wired reports. So maybe we should stop worrying about the groundhog and start worrying about Snakes on a Plane becoming a documentary.