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Global warming ruins SoCal Mother's Day

May 13, 2013|By Paul Whitefield
  • Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, but are they also causing Southern California's heat wave?
Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, but are they also causing… (Charlie Riedel / Associated…)

News flash: Global warming hits California!

That’s right -- the Golden State has become the Golden Baking State, with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. For example, in Johnny Carson’s “beautiful downtown Burbank” on Sunday, the thermometer hit 103 -- hot enough to melt Ed McMahon’s smile.

And on Mother's Day no less! Apparently it really isn't nice to fool with Mother Nature.

You may think this is just a “heat wave.” But you’re wrong. This is Al Gore Vindication Day. This is climate Armageddon.

Sure, sure, I know: You think I'm being an alarmist. You’re going to say climate change is a hoax cooked up by Gore and his fellow travelers to, well, to do something that conservatives don’t like: To take away our freedom; to take away our cars; to make everything cost more (especially gasoline); to take away our guns (OK, not sure if that’s a climate change one, but as long as we’re listing stuff conservatives fear … ).

Or you’re going to say that you can’t pin one or two hot days in May in Los Angeles on climate change.

To which I say: Sure you can!

Look, here's the science part: Last week, readings at Mauna Loa in Hawaii showed that the carbon dioxide level in the Earth’s atmosphere had breached the symbolic 400 parts per million barrier. Then, on Monday, NOAA said, hold your heat horses -- the actual reading was only 399.89. Whew -- as Maxwell Smart would say, “Missed it by that much!”

Doesn’t really seem to matter here in California, though, where the only reading we care about is the one on the bank thermometer that says 100+. Of course, in a hellhole like Phoenix, this would be called "a nice day," but here, it's enough to put people off their double lattes.

Now, I read the comment boards. I read the folks with high school educations and an Internet connection disputing the research of thousands of really smart people (we call them “scientists”) about what’s happening to our poor old Earth.

So if the folks with the double chins in the double-wides can deny man-made climate change, then I sure as heck can affirm climate change -- and the fact that my little suburb got really hot Sunday because people in China and India and Illinois are pumping too many greenhouse gases into the air.

Sure, it’s true that we went to the beach Sunday and it was 68 degrees and foggy. So if I lived in Malibu, I might have a different view. Then again, there’s this little tidbit from Monday’s story in The Times: 

Current ratios of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere remain at levels not seen in more than 3 million years, when sea levels were as much as 80 feet higher than current levels.

(Someone might want to tell Larry Ellison about that, seeing as how he now owns at least nine fancy places on Carbon Beach. Or does he think the rules of climate change don’t apply to rich people?)

Anyway, go ahead, you deniers. Call me misguided. Call me an idiot. Call me a liberal, even. (Wait, are those last two the same?)

Just don’t call and ask me to do anything outside -- until it cools down.

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