Welcome to California's climate change golden era

It’s the first Sunday of February and LowBrau’s patio is bustling. My brother is wearing shorts, like so many others, and flip-flop sightings abound. It might as well be July.

Earlier on the bike trail, the 70-degree sunshine belies any winter crispness, and families are out exploring nature, which already is in bloom. I swear I see a polar-bear enthusiast dive into the American River's icy current. Later on Twitter, a friend jokes how they even turned on their office's air conditioning.

Welcome to climate change's golden era!

That's a joke. A depressing one. Unfunny. But I can't help but laugh. Because it's scary, this new California normal.

It's also a little bit unbelievable. More so than Jermaine Kearse's big Super Bowl juggling act. (Or the fact that the Patriots somehow won.) It's not supposed to be summer in wintertime. You're not supposed to throw a pick on the 1-yard line! What the hell is going on here?!

This double-edged weather is bogus news dressed in nice clothes. My buddy, who works in energy, reminds that it not only won't last, but it shouldn't even be.

Are these lovely Sacramento afternoons just an 11th-hour tease, the final salad days before a darker climate-change reality? These must be the death-rattle years before drought really kicks in and global warming truly gets ugly.

Or is it OK to still hold hope, to think that we can reverse course? Gov. Jerry Brown's vision for renewable energy will matter. And that President Barack Obama, what with his new budget's focus on climate-change programs and increased EPA funding, will move the needle. Maybe adaption won't be that unbearable.

But then I look outside, and it just doesn't look right.