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It’s getting hot

Everything is heating up this summer, from global temperatures to global tempers. The latter is too hot to touch in this column, at least for now. However, the issue of global warming is on my front burner.After watching, “Global Warming: What You Need to Know,” a two-hour documentary hosted by Tom Brokaw on the Discovery Channel, I’ve decided to try to fire you up about the dangers of doing nothing. Please take time to view this documentary, which airs again July 30 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 21 at noon on the on the Discovery Channel. You can also view parts of the video if you Google the title of the documentary (see above). Brokaw presents a good documentary that is not politically biased or blaming. It’s factual – and it’s frightening.There is mounting evidence for global warming. Take a look at temperatures around the country on Sunday, July 16. Cities that usually don’t reach triple temperature figures broke 100 degrees: Denver – 101; Boise, Idaho – 100; Baltimore – 100; Philadelphia – 101; Salt Lake City – 101; Washington, D.C. – 101.Places where one might expect 100-degree temperatures were even hotter – Las Vegas – 109; Phoenix – 107. According to an Associated Press article in the St. Petersburg Times, the governor of Minnesota ordered the National Guard to assist firefighters as temperatures in the usually cool northern part of the state pushed 100 degrees on July 15, while, on the same day, Frazier, Colo., which claims to be the “nation’s ice box,” hit the upper 80s.The first half of the year was the warmest on record for the United States, according to an AP article out of Washington, D.C. Government statistics showed the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states was 3.4 degrees above average for the 20th century.Included in the article are the following statements: “While much of the Northeast experienced extreme rainfall and flooding at the end of June, many other areas continued below normal rain and snowfall. As of June, 45 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate-to- extreme drought, an increase of 6 percent from May. Dry conditions spawned more than 50,000 wildfires, burning more than 3 million acres in the continental U.S. this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Worldwide, it was the sixth warmest year to date since record keeping began in 1880.”OK, I hear the naysayer now. “It’s cyclical,” he says.No scientist is denying the varied weather cycles related to the earth and the atmosphere; however, an overwhelming majority of the scientific community worldwide is confirming that the release of carbon dioxide into the air from fossil fuels is exacerbating the natural occurrences.Hurricanes are one example of these occurrences. According to Brokaw’s documentary, weather patterns indicate an increase in hurricanes for the next 10 years. However, the release of carbon dioxide is adding to the intensity of those hurricanes.Brokaw’s documentary sparked my fears about the future of our planet. I challenge you to review it. Then, if you still think global warming is a bunch of hogwash, I’ll send you a check for $20 to cover your lost two hours.The subtle hints associated with global warming can lead to huge changes, which could take place in as little as 50 years, according to the documentary. Those changes include the extinction of polar bears, the Great Barrier Reef, the Brazilian rain forests and Florida. Yes, in 50 years, Florida could be totally under water.The good news: While engineers figure out ways to mitigate the effects of global warning (the documentary featured a few fascinating projects), individuals can help as well through recycling, using efficient light bulbs and car pooling or purchasing fuel-efficient cars. I’m for more drastic measures, but that’s another column. The heat is on – believe it.Speaking of FloridaI doubt that it will happen in my lifetime, but if Florida is going under water any time soon, so am I.In March, I sold my home in Falcon and caravanned in an RV with my six cats and three dogs from Falcon to Spring Hill, Fla. Last September, I bought a home with a friend on one-half acre 40 minutes north of Tampa and 25 minutes to the coast.It’s been a long time coming. I moved from Indiana to Colorado in 1979, and although those mountains are awesome and every sunset from the prairie was a masterpiece, I always felt like a fish out of water.I grew up on the lakes in Indiana. I learned to swim before I could write my name. I love to sail and kayak. I even love hot and humid. I think I am part dolphin or part lizard. Someday, my skin will make a great leather purse.My soul belongs to the sea, but sometimes we have to go in the opposite direction to find our way back home.While my spirit is in Florida, my heart belongs to the New Falcon Herald. I am still co-owner, co-publisher and editor.My business partner, Michelle Barrette, and I feel that our New Falcon Herald team, with the majority of the team based in Falcon, represents our interests in the community and our desire to bring you a top-notch product each month – twice a month before the year is out.I could not have left comfortably without my partner’s willingness to take my place in meetings or without our Falcon team who have greatly contributed to the growth and integrity of this newspaper. I miss the writers and our monthly editorial meetings at Espresso’s, but now we hold meetings via phone conference.So, there is really no change other than the Monkey Chronicles may become a bit more global. I’ll feel more comfortable letting our Falcon-based writers stir up the hometown dust. We invite our readers to do the same.Finally, I am pursuing other projects as well. I am planning to launch another publication in the next couple of months (more on that later), and Florida is a ripe area for my concept.Michelle, who has two other publications as well, and I also enjoy being entrepreneurs. However, we both believe in maintaining a hands-on connection to our publications, and we both promise a commitment to the communities we serve.There you have it. While things are heating up all over and change is inevitable, I hope The New Falcon Herald remains a “constant” in your life. I know it will in

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