Dan Rattiner's Stories

Finally! Battle with Global Warming Turns the Corner

Last Wednesday was the fourth day in a row where the temperature was low here in the Hamptons. It topped out for each of those four days at around 70°, and I found myself having to wear long pants and a light jacket when I went out.

I think it is fair to say at this point that the lowering temperatures are now a trend. The solar paneling, the windmills and the Priuses have finally begun to kick in against global warming. As you know, prior to these last recent days the temperatures often shot up into the 80s and 90s and most of us walked around in T-shirts and shorts. Many of us simply took to the beaches to get away from the heat.

It’s wonderful to be seeing the temperatures declining like this.

My own theory for how we have accomplished this here in the Hamptons is that we’ve finally crossed a tipping point in the number of large trees, bushes, plants and flowers that all our local landscaping people have carted into eastern Long Island. Vegetation takes in carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen. It’s exactly the opposite of what we humans do—which is take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. As a result, what used to be a land of rolling hills and great vistas to the horizon here on the East End has wonderfully been transformed into lush green vegetation all over the place.

Another thing we’ve done out here is have signs put up in all the hotel and bed and breakfast bathrooms that read SAVE THE PLANET, urging us all to only throw the towels on the floor when we finish using them so the cleaning crews know that those not thrown down can be used over and over again. We’ve been congratulated for doing this. I congratulate us again. We do our part. If other parts of the world, such as the shrinking Amazon, were to re-vegetate as we have done here, the dropping of the temperatures might take place in other places in the world, not just on eastern Long Island.

The real danger now, for those of us who have seen how this is done, is to get the cooling to stop right about where it is now, which is, frankly, perfect.

Some say we’ve already got too much of a good thing and if we don’t start shipping some of these big offender trees back to where they came from—Japan, Madagascar, Burundi, Nepal—the temperatures might plummet down into rapid global cooling, which would be another problem entirely. The bays and harbors would freeze up, the many endangered species who depend on above-freezing temperatures might conk out, and once again it will be our fault. And this is all on top of the fact that we’d have to be out there in goggles and boots and down jackets, mittens, scarves and knitted caps.

All that, of course, is to be taken care of by people who are much smarter than I am. As for me, I am just glad to see, finally, the dropping of the temperature, even this 20-degree, little bit from the 80° average we had before. It’s a pleasure to run around in a room-temperature outdoors.

Every day now I thrill to be throwing open the windows of my home to breathe in this wonderful cool air with a little bit of a nip in it—well, actually, I don’t do that. What I really do is look at my iPhone weather app and see what’s what out there, and I must say it is such a pleasure and I want to thank President Obama and the Rio Agreement and the cooperation we Americans are getting from lots of other countries and maybe even the Lord Himself, who I have been told might be arranging to have the earth get relocated just a little bit further out from the sun so we can catch some more rays like the ones we’ve had now, which will pull the whole wide world down from global warming. Whether they like it or not.

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