Paul Greenberg

Dear Colleague,

It was wholly a pleasure to hear from a fellow editorial writer over there in beautiful North Carolina. Thanks for letting me know that a letter to the editor we published here at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was being cited all over the Internet. I'd gathered as much from the flood of e-mails wondering if that letter was for real.

I only wish our editorials were as popular, but right now we're just trying to expand our influence in growing metropolitan areas here in Arkansas like Hogeye, Smackover and Standard Umpstead. Not to mention Ralph, Waldo and Emerson, Ark. (Although there is apparently no truth to the rumor that one of our country routes goes from Tinker to Evers to Chance.)

To only slightly modify a line from Stephen Vincent Benet, I have fallen in love with Arkansas names-the sharp names that never get fat. But if I ever did aspire to expand our circulation across state lines, Hot Coffee, Miss., sounds nice. Especially early in the morning.

But where was I? Oh, yes, the letter in question ("Daylight Exacerbates Warming," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, April 16, 2007) drew attention from Juneau to Timbuktu. It was the work of the Sage of Hot Springs, Ark., Connie Meskimen-a lawyer there who keeps his powder dry and tongue firmly planted in cheek.

There's no need to go into the scientific details, but the burden of his missive was that by, moving Daylight Savings Time up a month this year, thus providing an extra hour of sunlight in March, Congress had thoughtlessly brought summer on in spring.

Well, sure. It makes as much sense as anything else Congress does. Personally, I don't buy it. My own theory is that global weather patterns have been out of sync ever since those softies in Washington cut out nuclear testing in the atmosphere.

Scientific theories abound, and you're welcome to your own favorites, including proofs that turn out to be spoofs. When I was growing up, it wasn't global warming that was going to wipe us all out but a new ice age. Time Magazine said so. Or maybe it was Newsweek-as late as 1975.

I am sure, however, that it was Paul Ehrlich-who is to scientific prediction what the New York Times' Paul Krugman is to economic analysis-who warned that social chaos was unavoidable because the world's population was exploding. ("The Population Bomb," 1968.)


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.