It appears that global warming has the power to make use buy, or not buy, certain clothes regardless of the weather.
Two consecutive years of volatile weather — last November and this October were the warmest on record for the New York City area, a retail mecca — have proved disastrous for companies that rely on predictable temperatures to sell cold-weather clothing like sweaters and coats.
So the $200 billion American apparel industry is making sweeping changes in how it makes and sells clothing. The industry, filled with esoteric job titles like visual merchandiser and fabric assistant, has even started recruiting for a more familiar role: weather forecaster.
A host on HSN, formerly known as the Home Shopping Network, promoted a lightweight women's poncho as ideal for this winter, "especially in the midst of global warming, when none of us are wearing heavy coats anymore."
Nobody is wearing a heavy coat anymore because of that significant change in the temperature.
The reality, of course, is a bit more complicated. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest report, average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose roughly 1.5 degrees from 1979 to 2005 — a shift that has not yet eliminated the need for heavy coats.
In unrelated news, the current temperature in New York City, 35 degrees.