2006 was the hottest year on record and probably the hottest in more than 118,000 years. In the US, it was more than 2 degrees above normal (which is HUGE). And we’re not soiling our pants because why exactly?
Let’s put this in relative perspective. Suppose instead of El Nino and global heating (my strongly preferred name for it; warming is too benign), we had La Nina and global chilling. Suppose this winter’s temperatures over the last month were 30 degrees below normal instead of 30 degrees above, so that here in New York daytime highs were around +5 and overnight lows around -10. You think maybe that would get our attention?
The single biggest cause of the enormous improvement in living standards and longevity over the last century has been the enhancement to our ability to live in temperate climates (where winters occur each year). The mediation of winter through global heating directly affects public health in a very negative way. Unless we undertake drastic measures to control global heating, you should start to think of yourself as a threatened species.