Broward News

Some Like It Hot. They're Poor Like Us.

If this study is true in claiming that there really is a relationship between a nation's high temperatures and its lack of prosperity, then shouldn't that apply to American states? If so, that bodes badly for this here peninsula.

It's "a huge effect," Olken says. The difference between a country that's in recession and one that is buzzing along amounts to a 3 percent shift in GDP. "So, 1 degree explaining a 1.1 percent shift is a huge effect of temperature."

It's unclear exactly why temperature would have this effect. It might be that crop yields go down or that disease is more of a problem. Or it might just be what you could call the "sloth" theory -- it's hard to work when it's hot out. Who wants to mow the lawn in August?

Seriously. But as a South Florida resident who grew up in a portion of the Midwest dangerously close to the polar circle, it's also a mighty pain in the ass to get out of bed when it's 30-below zero.

Another point: The chilly states, Canada, and Europe all gang up to boost Florida tourism. An economic engine that helps us afford air conditioning. At least for the short term. But with global warming, maybe this state is destined to slip toward equatorial poverty.

Today's forecast: A high of 92 degrees.
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Thomas Francis