New York City is the New Baltimore

GR2006122000078.gifA couple of articles related to global warming got my attention recently. First, the Washington Post had an article about plant species common to North Carolina now finding their homes in the District of Columbia and environs. The article quotes the curator of the United States Botanical Garden as saying, "You could say D.C. is the new North Carolina." The article included a map (at right) that shows how the true that statement is.

So I guess that makes New York City the new Baltimore, right? Temperatures this December (and throughout hot last January) are really high. The Observer had a droll article highlighting the disconnect between the alarming climate change reports coming out in increasing numbers, and the bubble-headed weather reporters who joke about the heat but don’t bother to report on the big picture.

"If the line extends out the door, no problem!" said a glowing Ms. Puente. "Because the temperatures will be nice and comfortable for everyone waiting on those lines, whether it’s at a store or the post office today!"

Global warming may be turning the earth into a shriveled, flooded, lifeless swamp faster than Al Gore can jet around the country trying to stop it. But then also, the sun is shining; the skies are clear.

It turns out the best of the weathermen is ABC’s Sam Champion, who traveled to Iceland to interview locals about shrinking glaciers. Here in New York, the temperatures are getting so ridiculous that the nature of the holiday shopping season is changing. Crain’s reported that the warm weather has encouraged shoppers to hit the streets, but has hurt sales of winter clothing. The article is behind a paywall, so I’ll quote the relevant portion:

Warmer weather held off the snowstorms that interrupted holiday shopping last year … [but] With temperatures in the mid-50s and forecasters not predicting a cold snap, sweaters and coats are sitting on shelves instead of being folded into shopping bags at stores like Bloomingdale’s and Ann Taylor.

Snowstorms? I’m sorry, what was that word again? I’m not familiar with the concept.

  • This really puts the previous story about the Williamsburg subway bike parking into perspective. Replacing five car parking spaces with a slightly wider sidewalk and some bike racks is, indeed, a “small step” at this point.

  • JB

    This quote from the article reminds me of lobsters in a pot, glad the water’s getting warmer:

    Some people see a bright side to this trend: It could bring more options for planting.

    “Whenever you get warmer, that’s a good thing,” said Lenny Martinko, general manager at the American Plant Food store in Bethesda.

  • David Chesler

    Conversely some people are so convinced that this is the best of all possible worlds, that any change could only be for the worse.

    I would prefer that it be a few degrees warmer. Dealing with cold costs a lot more than dealing with hot, and more hot means more food (perhaps less wine, if with regard to grapes this really is the best of all possible worlds in that the temperature of California corresponds to the type of humidity that grapes like.) And if the sea level rises a few feet, that just means I live closer to the beach.

    The recent warm weather has meant an awful lot less fuel burned (besides carbon-based electricity, lots and lots of people burn stuff like oil or natural gas [or coal or wood] to heat their homes, right in their homes) which not only saves money and improves the balance of trade, but it means less carbon in the air.

  • In our garden here in Brooklyn, one of our spring plants is coming up now…

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