Chris Johnson

Come to the coastal paradise of Hatchechubbee

I've never really considered myself a staunch environmentalist. I don't drive a gas-guzzler. I don't litter. And I think everyone who commits the crime of throwing their cigarette butts on the sidewalk or on the street should be arrested or at least given a ticket. (If you can't handle your own filth, you shouldn't share it with everyone.). But, beyond that, I haven't put a whole lot of effort into that whole saving the Earth thing, though I think it's a groovy concept.

And I don't know if climate change is a real phenomenon or if Al Gore is real, but I've always thought it a little ridiculous that every winter when it dipped down to 18 degrees around here, some right-winger would go, "See! See! There ain't no global warmin'!"

Of course, on the flipside, every time during the summer it hit 101, some hippie tree-hugging left-winger would go, "See! See! The Earth is boiling! We're all gonna die!"

As it is with almost every issue that divides the left and right (raise taxes or cut spending, save the unborn or save the animals, chocolate or vanilla), the correct answer likely lies in the middle. That's why I think it's probably a darn good idea to take care of the Earth but not to get too paranoid about it. Besides, the last time I hugged a tree, it scraped my face, and I haven't forgiven them just yet.

But this past unusually warm winter and these record-shattering March temperatures have me thinking there just might be something to this whole global warming thing. Granted it may be cyclical, but I wouldn't know because I haven't studied the statistics nor have I hopped on my bicyclical in weeks. Too darn hot.

If this isn't cyclical and we keep having warm winters and hot springs, our polar ice caps are gonna melt a lot faster than originally thought. I don't really care about Poland or their ice caps, so I don't have a dog in that defrosting fight.

Well, I didn't have a dog in that fight, but all this warming has set the wheels in my mind to turning. That explains that squeaking sound you've been hearing. It's my head. And what my head has come up with is a real estate opportunity.

I know that real estate doesn't seem to be where the money's at, but you've got to think ahead. I've done the math and figure that if the Earth heats about 1 degree every year, the polar ice caps will melt at a 4.8 percent higher rate that when triplicated by the hole in the ozone layer during an election season full of hot air will cause the oceans to rise at a rate of 7.2 millimeters every 96 minutes.

Seriously, I've done the math and it's infallible. Dang near infallible anyway.

So, I'm going to round up a good chunk of cash and start buying up all the available land in Hatchechubbee, Ala., which by my calculations will be a Gulf Coast paradise by the time I'm 50. And I can retire as a quintillionaire beachfront real estate magnate.

My fiancee prefers I buy up the land around Hawkinsville, Ga., which by my dang near infallible calculations will be an Atlantic Coast paradise. But she only prefers that because it's closer to our house. Which is a ridiculous reason since it's obvious that it's way more fun to say Hatchechubbee, which is Creek Indian for something really, really dirty.

So, come to Hatchechubbee and feel all right. In about eight years anyway.

Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent. He can be reached at