It sure has been a warm winter ...
The arctic ice will melt by 2050.
The oceans will rise and swallow seaside condominiums.
Droughts and wildfires will scar the land, leaving no place to hide.
More than a million species will become extinct, and 300,000 people a year will die because of a sick planet.
No, itís not a chapter from Revelation or the latest prophecy from Pat Robertson.
These apocalyptic warnings come from scientists who worry about global warming.
On the bright side, though, havenít we been having a pleasant winter?
On a recent bicycle ride along Gum Springs Road, east of Hartselle, a friend and I came across a baby snake.
Here it was, Jan. 13 — dead of winter — and snakes were hatching.
The same day I had to close the door to keep flies from getting into the house. That night moths fluttered around the outside lights and bullfrogs croaked from the pond.
Some band out of Athens, Ga., had a song a few years ago that said: ďItís the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.Ē
Thatís the way a warm winter day feels, even if it might be the beginning of the end.
Weíre hearing more and more stories about freaky weather. In Canada the animals that should be hibernating or headed south are crowding into fields and forests. The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.
At least 279 species are moving closer to the north and south poles. Judging by local roadkill, armadillos are among them.
Al Gore said this would happen.
Have you seen his DVD, ďAn Inconvenient TruthĒ?
Some folks donít trust Mr. Gore because he tried to steal the election from President Bush. And vice versa.
But itís hard to deny that the planet is getting warmer.
And recently, we learned that many of Mr. Goreís critics were bankrolled by Big Oil. Even scientists have to keep their sugar daddies happy.
Itís tough to know whom to trust when it comes to weather. Surely not the TV weatherman. These days even the calendar proves unreliable.
On the Net: ďAn Inconvenient Truth,Ē www.climatecrisis.net
Scott Morris is managing editor.