Tue, Mar 20, 2018 10:22 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Smile Awhile

How hot is it?

01/25/2008 - When I was a child, my Grandfather Wheeler told me that when he was young it got so cold he and his brothers could ice skate on the Big Sandy River. I never questioned that because when my younger sister was five years old, she would skate on the pond at the Paintsville Country Club.

I also can remember sleigh riding at the Country Club, but kids today don't even ask Santa Claus for a sled. This could be due to the advent of the computer and video games which seem to have captured the recreational areas of our children's minds (in my days it was a football, a B-B gun or a Chatty Kathy — today it's MP-3 players and an X-box.) But then again, there's no snow even if they wanted to go sleigh-riding. (And we wonder why our children are getting fatter!)

What happened?

If you listen to Al Gore, you will learn that the reason for this change in temperature is due to global warming. To put this in laymen's terms; If Greenland melts, the ocean levels will rise 20 feet — that means goodbye to Manhattan and most of Florida. Not to mention my favorite honeymoon spot, Venice, Italy.

At the other end of the spectrum (opposite Al Gore, Nobel Prize winner and pseudo-scientist) is Edgar Cayce, whose psychic claims foretell the disappearance of Japan in the twinkling of an eye; Kansas will be the West Coast; Florida will be separate from the rest of North America; and, Virginia Beach will not be affected at all. However, was he really talking about global warming himself?

Who is correct?

We know that the ice caps are melting at a rapid rate, but other experts claim that is simply not true and scientists are just trying to scare us into believing that we need to do more to protect the environment.

Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame once wrote an episode about the sun coming so close to the earth all living things were succumbing to the sweltering heat. I remember the episode so vividly because the actress portrayed her role so well I could almost feel the intense heat myself. In contrast, years later I read a book by Colleen McCullough that foretold the coming of an ice age that forced people to migrate south in an attempt to stay warm.

In lieu of sounding morbid, I don't believe that I will be alive to see Kansas as the West Coast or Florida become an island. I, also, don't think I will live to see the ice caps melt or Venice, Italy, covered in water, but, at some point, it may be a reality.

I know that we could do many things to improve our environment and make life better for all living things. I know that conserving water, lowering our thermostats, and walking instead of driving are vital ways we can help promote a healthier and greener lifestyle. It doesn't take a genius to understand that our natural resources are rapidly being depleted as we continue to drive larger vehicles, lower our ACs, and water our lawns with automatic sprinkler systems.

Although we didn't necessarily cause the problem, we can be part of the solution by taking measures to curb our excesses now. Even though we might not be here to enjoy the fruits of our efforts, our children and grandchildren might once again be able to go sleigh-riding.




Appalachian Regaional
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