Too Hot to Care

My Tuesday morning started in Nigeria. Listening to how gas flares contribute to global warming, I made silent excuses as to why I wasn’t recycling the cereal box I just emptied.

To purge this environmental sin, I walked ten blocks to a global warming press conference at 15th Street and Ocean Drive set among palm trees and wafts of sunscreen from sunbathers and joggers heading to a beach that could disappear by century’s end.

But, apart from four sweaty journalists, a homeless man begging for help and a retired Puerto Rican judge concerned for his grandchildren, no one listened to warnings from the veteran Florida International University scientist and Environment Florida, an advocacy group.

“We’re going to have an inundation of the beach. It’s going to happen, unless, in the next ten years, we get more serious about energy efficiency, ” said John Parker, an environmental science and chemistry professor.

Near beach showers, Jack Lasane, 33, sat far from the group’s poster of a rising zigzagging line that shows Florida is getting even hotter. In a bad way. Environment Florida’s report released Tuesday found: Miami recorded 82 days where the temperature spiked to at least 90 degrees in 2006, which is almost 20 days more than the historical average. Last year’s daily lows were about 1.1 degree higher than past averages.

“I think people go about their lives and don’t give a shit. They don’t see a problem until it’s right in front of them,” said Lasane, admitting Miami Beach’s global warming apathy included him.

Discouraged by the disappearance of Miami Beach, the Hades Miami is becoming and gas flaring in Nigeria, my disgust deepened seeing 50-some people camped out to consume limited edition Nikes named for hip-hop star MF Doom at M.I.A. Skate Shop. Some had been there since the night before. Then, I met Yung Swagg, a 16-year-old from Miramar in line, who pledges to rule Everglades High School next year. “Yes, really, I’m concerned about global warming...Cause I might die.”

“What’s that shit?” asked another teenager, in a red ball cap cocked to the side and also in line.

“Global warming! You don’t know about that!?” Yung chided.

My hope waits for MF Doom shoes on 9th Street. -- Janine Zeitlin