“For the last two months, no snow has fallen on Central Park, and it probably won’t fall anytime soon, forecasters say. Indeed, not since April 8th has there been even a flurry.
“The National Weather Service said that last month appeared to be the first December without a snowflake here since 1877, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. Moreover, New York City is not alone. Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, Vienna and Stockholm report little or no snow this season.
“It has been so warm in Yaroslavl, a city about 150 miles northeast of Moscow, that Masha the bear, a resident of the city zoo, woke up last month from his hibernation after only a week.
In Central Park on Saturday, where children were gliding along on roller skates and rumbling around on three-wheelers, Rob Flanagan, 35, a general contractor from Hoboken, N.J., was peeved.
“Global warming!” he said. “Al [Gore] might be right!” The mild weather stinks, he said. “I like the snow!”
Julianne Warren, 40, a conservation biologist visiting New York from Lexington, Va., is concerned. She said she heard a white-throated sparrow in Central Park and saw an azalea blooming.
“Things seem a little…” she said, and then wiggled her outstretched right hand as if it were an airplane in turbulence. “It may mean the flowers don’t bloom at the right time and birds may not know to migrate at the right time.” — from a story by Anthony Ramirez in today’s N.Y. Times.
Observations and comments like these, which one hears often these days, are the reason An Inconvenient Truth is going to win the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. Partly because doing so will assuage people’s guilt about not really doing anything about an obviously worsening situation, and because giving an award is a lot easier than changing carbon consumption habits.