Nature's Global Warming Warning

A polar bear rests with her cubs on the pack ice in the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska. Polar bears are in deep trouble because of global warming and other factors and deserve federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, the Bush administration is proposing Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2006. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service, Steve Amstrup, FILE)
AP/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The forsythia, crocuses and daffodils are finally showing their colors in Central Park.

Winter here was pretty warm until February; then it grew more typical and lingered just enough to annoy us.

It's hard telling what's normal anymore.

There was a big story in the paper the other day about the Sky Islands, high-altitude regions of Arizona where it sure looks like climate has changed. It's not cold enough to kill the beetles that are chewing on the forests there.

Forest fires are more frequent; it's just drier, I guess.

I saw another story about migratory birds not going as far south as they formally did. You would think that DNA that tells them to move every season would tell them where to go as well. Don't the swallows return to Capistrano every year?

Unless, of course, the rest of the information the birds are processing tell them it's not worth the effort.

In which case, how is the environment where the birds usually go coping with their absence? What plants aren't being pollinated, seeds not being transported or pests gobbled up?

No global warming, right?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith