South Whidbey Record


EDITORIAL | Climate change to worry about

May 8, 2013 · Updated 3:26 PM

Fine spring weather is enjoyed by most but pessimists fear it's just another sign of global warming that will ultimately spell the doom of Whidbey Island as we know it.

The wetter, warmer winters that climate forecasters have predicted seem to have come true. The thermometer has barely dropped below freezing the last couple of years and snow storms wait until March just to show us they're still possible. The warmth has tempted some gardeners to tempt Mother Nature. A fellow on Saratoga Road a few years ago planted a row of palm trees to go with his Tahitian-style mobile home. Alas, they drowned in the rain, but it could portend a trend in exotic flora that may one day survive if our winters dry up as well as warm up.

The March snow is warm and vanishes quickly. When's the last time we shoveled our cars out on Thanksgiving, Christmas or George Washington's birthday? Too many years to remember for most of us.

Now it's early May and we've endured several days of sunshine, hovering in the 70s on the island. If it's that warm already, what's it portend for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day?

We certainly do not want to enter a period of long, hot summers that would draw more attention to our humble island, tourism promoters be darned. Our limited sunshine already overtaxes the ferries, lengthens our grocery lines and overruns Double Bluff with mainland dogs totally unaware of the rules.

Eventually the long, warm days will attract resort developers, palm trees that survive the winter, blow-dried white sand and endless quaint shops that sell the same junk jewelry peddled in every Caribbean and Mexican port of call.

Tourists will be urged to indulge in the wonders of Whidbey, from bluff gliding to quicksand jogging, with an exciting night life by permit only, ending at 10 p.m.

It's hard to say exactly when this will happen as climate change is an inexact science. The best bet is to watch Wheel of Fortune every night. If a prize is a Wonderful Week on Whidbey, we'll know it's all over. Kodiak Island, here we come.

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