Coping with Local Warming

Endless Summer: The LAGuide to Coping with Local Warming.
By now, many of you have met my cousin Myron, the red-headed math whizz with the explosive temper. Myron made an amazing amount of money with a progressive betting scheme at the racetrack and then invested it very, very wisely. He’s incredibly wealthy now but has somehow managed to avoid becoming that tiresome, morally superior know-it-all type that we choose to send to Congress. He has, instead, what my mother would call—good sense. Some time ago, I started to describe how Myron had bought a do-it-yourself kit and proceeded to put together a parallel computer with tens of thousands of processors and massive computing power. Myron used the computer and several dozen books on atmospheric and oceanographic physics to study human induced climate change. The more Myron studied climate change the more he began to resemble the mirror image of Dorian Gray. He would walk around muttering about ice melts and methane and began drinking heavily—mostly root beer. The family began to worry—just last month I got a call from my Cousin Jerry asking what was up with the red-headed nut case.
I am happy to report that Myron seems to be recovering. When asked about global warming he will simply say, “We’re cooked.” His reading material has changed as well. Now, he seems to be spending every waking hour reading about rocketry and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. Just yesterday I noticed Alice Munro’s “Moons of Jupiter,” and Vonnegut’s “The Sirens of Titan,” on his shelf. Myron has many holes in his education—he dropped out of Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn— and I didn’t want to tell him that those volumes were fiction, as reading some occasional fiction might do him good. He’s also been testing some rockets and I am a little concerned that no one has seen or heard from our obnoxious Cousin, Marvin, since Myron’s last launch to the moon.
Despite the inane babble of some of our leaders, it is clear that we are warming the planet. Here at Stevieslaw, we feel that the term “global warming” is the reason most Americans are paying the problem little mind. When our fellow citizens hear the term global, they imagine a four hour lecture on poverty and disease in a country with a name they can’t pronounce, located who knows where, or perhaps a drum-dance cycle which lasts for several days and nights and is followed by at least as long a lecture. And for this reason we propose to change the term global warming to “local warming,” and to publish, “Endless Summer,” The Less-intelligent-than-average-American Guide to Coping with the Warming of Central Pennsylvania. In the guide, you will learn of the many changes coming to Centre County. There will be winners and losers based mostly on the law of supply and demand—for example:
1. Wealth: This might be a really terrific time to sell your snow-removal service. Yes, tomorrow may be too late. Businesses that deal with removal of invasive plants, control of bizarre insects and the mitigation of the spontaneous combustion of lawn furniture are probably better areas in which to turn your attention. Investing in companies that make icebreakers is probably a poor strategy—Myron is putting his money into companies that make sunscreen.
2. Health: Is your yellow fever vaccination up-to-date? I thought not. Remember reading about all those awful viruses that seem to be confined to sub-Sahara Africa? Not anymore. Join the local State College malaria watch in your free time.
3. Personal Possessions: Do you have skis? A down winter jacket? Galoshes? Snow tires? Why? Have a garage sale and see if you can unload all that junk to folks migrating to the coolish region near the North Pole. You will need the money to reequip your wardrobe with tropical gear at the new “THE GAP 100 Degrees Plus Store.”
4. Property: You may want to equip your home with an industrial size air-conditioner run by solar panels (the ones formulated not to melt in excessive heat) while you still can. And don’t forget to invest early in beach sand. Current computational results by NASA suggest that Boalsburg, Milheim, Lemont and Milesburg will become a coastal boundary. And, finally Port Matilda will be. The beach front property you never thought you could afford is coming to Centre County!
5. Flora and Fauna: Time to bone up on Tsetse flies, killer bees and stinging ants—they are on their way here. And, you may want to pay a bit more attention to your crazy neighbor Hanna down the block. Her collection of pit vipers and poisonous spiders and scorpions always seemed a little off—but now her, and their, time may have come. You can also expect unexpected varieties of plants to pop up where you once had juniper bushes. In the warmer regions of the Deep South, all the vegetation seems to be smothered by the tropical kudzu vine—so if you are out of doors (not recommended) you should probably keep moving.
So buy the guide as soon as you can. Grab a beer, find a beach chair, slather with SP-35000, and wait for the ocean to come roaring up to your back door—right here in Central Pennsylvania.

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2 Responses to Coping with Local Warming

  1. The Commodore says:

    As always, you are only semi-correct. I being one who has made a dismal career in the energy business (coal ha!), know for a fact that due to hydro fracturing of the Marcellus shale, Utica shale, Trenton & Black River dolomite (we will leave the matter of long-wall mining out of this comment for now), the oceans are not rising, the continent is sinking!!
    Never mind the outcome is the same, I have started to notice Flamingos making their way up the Ohio, but that probably has more to do with them following the brine shrimp, they find so desirable, migrating up the Ohio (increased salinity – see above fracking again)) than the climate change.
    and the invasion of Chinese Grass Carp, who were let loose by Bubba in Mississippi cuz he thought it would be fun to see them jump, or could it be the increased population of hardworking Latinos leaving parts south because they can’t stand the heat, and joining us in the more, for now, moderate climes?? You need to ask your Red haired cousin, the smart one to figure how we can get algae to absorb more CO2, to feed the brine shrimp so we can keep the Flamingos happy!

    The Commodore has replied

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    • stevieslaw says:

      Semi-correct. Semi-correct? That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my column. Generally speaking, I try for ” I suppose there may be a hint of truth in this twaddle somewhere.” So, I’m sorry that I am forced to point out that you are also semi-correct. You might be quite right about the various fauna and flora you cite. Myron and I were raised on the sidewalks of Brooklyn. We were told that a tree grew there, but we’ve never seen it. But as an engineer, I felt compelled to check your “continents sinking” statement. So over the last day and a half—armed only with a yardstick and slide rule- I made measurement. Yes, the continents are sinking—not by the way due to the weight of Tom Corbett’s big brain— but the oceans are also rising! Or as my brilliant Cousin is found of saying, “we’re cooked.”

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