Whatever the ultimate scientific truth, this month's weather has been for many Southern Californians a perceptual tipping point that brought home the possibility of global warming, just as the fury of Hurricane Katrina did for the people of New Orleans.
Inside the air-conditioned darkness of the Majestic Crest Theatre in Westwood, Max Furstenau, 18, was cleaning up after Tuesday's 3 p.m. showing of "An Inconvenient Truth," in which former Vice President Al Gore made the case for global warming.
Outside, the weather had finally cooled to the comfortable mid-80s. The day before had hit 110 degrees, breaking the record of 107 set in 1954.
"I know it's happening," Furstenau said.
Am I missing something? Unless this kid is the meteorological equivalent of Doogie Howser, M.D., why is he given the last word on an ostensibly scientifically-centered article in a major metropolitan newspaper?
Was Barney Gumble unavailable for comment?