In New York and much of the northeast America, at this time of the year, the temperatures normally can be so low that snowing is common. Not this year. The temperatures recorded in some Northern American cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Boston are almost the same as our Genting Highlands!

Cherry blossoms normally bloom only in spring. But at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens in New York City, some of the cherry trees are already in full bloom. In Finland and Spain, instead of hibernating, bears are still very much awake and running around.

These are some of the signs that point to global warming. You may think that these have nothing to do with our Malaysia? You are wrong. Back home, we get a mini-cyclone hitting the southern states last month and creating floods and destruction everywhere especially in Johor. This cyclone originated from weather changes over the South China Sea.

Cyclones and typhoons are unheard of in Malaysia. But if global warming continues, they may be annual features of the country.

Experts are warning that 2007 may be the warmest year recorded yet with global warming combined with the return of the El Nino effect. Malaysia's temperature may go up to 40 degrees Celcius this year.

All of us have a part to play in battling global warming. Firstly, conserve energy. Cut down on energy usage. Use energy saving bulbs and devices. Say 'No' to deforestation. Save our tropical forests. Individuals, NGOs and governments must petition the UN to seriously consider imposing some form of sanctions on those countries still adopting 'slash and burn' methods for planting. Indonesia is one of the main culprits for this.

The burning of their forests have caused a persistent haze over much of the Southeast Asia. The amount of carbon dioxide released is tremendous year in and year out. We, the neighbouring countries, are literally choked by ill health

Cut down on the usage of CFC compounds. Adhere to the agreements of the Montreal Protocol. Governments should put more money into research for alternative sources of energy to reduce burning of fossil fuels. Restore forests and encourage reforestation. Recycle wherever possible. Remember the 3Rs - reduce, re-use and recycle. All countries must adopt 'green' and environment-friendly policies.

Let's educate the young on importance of preserving the environment and reducing carbon emissions. Please realise that any change in global weather affects all of us. Furthermore, any change will take a long time to be reversed. We have to act now before it is too late.

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