Goodbye ‘White Christmas’?

Travel Blog  •  Joanna Kakissis  •  12.22.08 | 3:56 PM ET

Photo by fiskfisk via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Do you want to spend the winter holidays in an idyllic, snow-fringed place just like the one Irving Berlin used to know? Berlin wrote “White Christmas” 68 years ago, when the concept still made sense in the German city of Berlin as well as the rest of the northern hemisphere. In what has become an annual reality check during the increasingly warm winter holidays, climate scientists and meteorologists are again warning that global warming is the Grinch that’s stealing snowy landscapes around the world. Reuters reports that the odds of Berlin seeing snow in 2100 will decrease to 5 percent from 20 percent a century ago. Even frigid Oslo, Norway, will see a precipitous decline in snow days, scientists told Reuters.

Berlin’s song, by the way, has become a global holiday mainstay, covered by Air Supply (Australia), Charlotte Church (the United Kingdom) and Ayumi Hamasaki (Japan.) Bing Crosby made it famous in the U.S. in the 1942 film “Holiday Inn,” along with some indelibly snowy scenes.

Joanna Kakissis's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among other publications. A contributor to the World Hum blog, she's currently a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

6 Comments for Goodbye ‘White Christmas’?

Jake 12.23.08 | 12:44 AM ET

It’s a major bummer that Holiday Inn is so hard to find due to it’s blackface scene. The movie is so incredibly classic and kicks it’s follow up “White Christmas” in the tush.

Grizzly Bear Mom 12.23.08 | 1:08 PM ET

I have one of the best White Christmas memories ever.  Being staioned 8,000 miles from home, my friend Vietnam War veteran helicopter pilot Jim and Communications Analyst Ricky volunteered with deaf South Korean Orphans.  (If you are going to volunteer, don’t waste your time on healthy 1st world children-go right to 3rd world children with disabilies.  You get double bonus points in heaven.)  On December 25th we want to visit “our kids” as usual.  Only this time they asked us to come into the multipurpose room, and they were all standing barefoot on a stage.  Also on the stage were speakers turned faced down.  As a record blarred Bing Crosby singing “White Christimas” the children all signed the song for us-apparently they could feel the vibrations of the song with their feet.  Being the only woman, of course I cried, but so did my Vietnam Vet buddy Jim and friend Ricky. 

Jake I would try to purchase the money from a dotcom.

jeff 12.29.08 | 8:59 AM ET

Enough with the global warming nonsense. This is nothing more than an insidious attack on the Captialist economies. Try reporting the TRUE facts regarding the world’s climate, no more lies and deception.

Patrick Cancilla 12.29.08 | 7:51 PM ET

No more White Christmas? Global Warming? Really?

Tell you what - Everyone who is a Koolaid drinking, Al Gore worshipping, imbicile with no fromal education in the real history of climate change over the past (oh lets say) 4 billion years - come on over to my house and help me shovel 76” of snow off my deck!

By the way this is record snow fall (as was all last year) for the past 130 years. Oh yeah that’s right Global Warming causes Global Cooling to which i respond: THEN WHY FIGHT IT?

Polar Bears have Multiplied 500% (FACT not hype) in the past 50 years.
Rhino’s use to live at the North Pole (FACT not hype)
The Globe has been Frozen in Ice ages many times and warmed again without humans (FACT not hype)
The earth warms and cools every year - it’s called Summer and Winter.
Thermometers where extremely inaccurate 100 years ago.
No one - no one - knows, not your precious Al Gore, Obama or dare I say - Keith Oberman (the genius) has a clue what role the sun, our orbit, the oceans or humans have to do with Global Temperatures.
So i guess the safe thing to do is TAX US ALL INTO OBLIVION just in case the temperature rises 2 fricking degrees.
I hope every Global Warming alarmist freezes to death in a fiery flood (yes i said that on purpose you grammar prudes).

Joe - triple my carbon emissions every chance i get - AMERICAN

Patrick 12.29.08 | 7:57 PM ET

Excuse the typo if you can -
Formal not Fromal Education.

I’m certain that makes everything else I said totally incorrect.

Pamela 01.01.09 | 12:28 PM ET

I do wish y’all would just get over this global warming mess!  Few facts support it.  I just returned from Germany where it snowed several days in December.  I was told several years ago that it just never snowed in Germany in December.  I have been four times during December in the last 10 to 15 years, and it has snowed a lot!  I do wish you would stop scaring people so much.  You aren’t scaring me because I am still waiting for the Ice Age that we were warned about in the sixties and seventies.  I wonder how THAT mixture will look…Ice Age and Global Warming.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.