In order for me to escape for an evening from all the environmental and government regulation issues I’ve been writing on recently, my wife and I headed out to a classical music concert in early January. The main piece of music was a Beethoven symphony, but it was the opening work that blocked my escape route.

It was called “Global Warming,” believe it or not. It was written way back in 1991 to mark the collapse of the Berlin Wall and imply the possibility of a more-friendly world.

At least that was the idea of the middle section of the eight-minute work as that portion included a variety of folk music elements from various parts of the world. But the opening of the work depicts, according to composer Michael Abels, the heat and desolation of a world experiencing environmental global warming.

He said, “The opening section of the piece is a vision of the traditional idea of global warming - a vast desert, the relentless heat punctuated by the buzzing of cicadas, and an anguished, frenetic violin solo.”

The work was performed the day after another 10 inches of snow fell on our area bringing the seasonal total to close to 40 inches. The annual amount at this point is typically 16 inches.

As we trudged through the snow and cold to reach the concert, we wondered about the reality of global warming and why anybody would want to write a piece of symphonic music on the topic.