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Zombies, mammoths, speedy trees

Conventional wisdom has it that the best direction to head during a zombie apocalypse is north.

This because, if the movies are to be believed, zombies freeze up in cold climates like The Tin Man in rain. A temperate species, zombies are, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent north of the Arctic Circle.

Which brings us to a rarely discussed downside of global warming.

That's your cue, climate deniers, to say global warming is a myth. To which I reply: Tell me that when a zombie's gnawing on your cerebellum.

And if you don't believe in global warming, consider the wooly mammoth.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Siberian tundra has been thawing, and all sorts of wooly mammoth bones and tusks have been bubbling up from under the no-longer-permafrost frozen mud.

Mammoths last walked the Earth about 10,000 years ago (some American Indian tribes still tell ancient tales passed down from ancestors who witnessed their last days), but now their remains have become so common they're a major industry.

With some 50 tons of mammothabilia popping up every year, Russians are carving bones into knickknacks and gewgaws and hawking them on eBay, according to The Times.

What with all these mammoth parts lying around, researchers have reconstructed the sequence of the mammoth genome, and there is talk of resurrecting the animals.

Meanwhile, trees are growing faster.

In fact, trees are growing two to four times faster than they used to, say researchers who've been studying them for the past 22 years.

This growth spurt, the researchers say, may be due to longer growing seasons, rising temperatures and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the air (i.e. global warming).

The scientists don't go so far as to say this, but I'd be willing to guess that this means trees will be a lot taller in the future. In fact, given current trends, they may soon be as tall as skyscrapers and mountains.

This would be good news for two reasons:

1) Since trees absorb carbon dioxide, the taller they get the more they absorb, which helps keep us from choking to death on our own pollution.

2) What with all the resurrected mammoths, not to mention zombies, running around, taller, faster growing trees will be a godsend, because, as we all know, zombies can't climb trees.

This is the opinion of Kenton Robinson.


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