At the end of May, the media reported 300 fire hydrants were damaged across France, as locals tried to beat record high temperatures there.
On June 3rd, in Iran’s Eastern Sistan region, the temperature reached an astounding 56 degrees C, or 132 degrees ... Demand for electricity broke the power and water systems, removing people’s last ways to cope. If that is happening now, how does it look for 2050, if we keep polluting as usual? [order changed]
... urban heat is layered. Los Angeles is as much as 6 degrees F hotter than surrounding areas because of what’s called the “heat island effect.” Sprawl defines not just heat islands but what some call an archipelago of high temperatures across modern urban areas. Geography, wind patterns, tree cover, and concrete all work to create hotspots where temperatures are higher and air pollution is worse. In fact, climate models suggest that Herrera’s San Fernando Valley neighborhood, far from ocean breezes, will warm 10 to 20 percent faster than the rest of Los Angeles.
“There’s been this assumption that we can all cool off somehow.
... converted dwellings, uncounted and unpermitted, may or may not have insulation or air conditioners or windows to catch a breeze...
Inside temperatures can be far higher than outside.
In early afternoon, that sensor recorded temperatures equal to those recorded outside, at the weather station at Van Nuys Airport. Evening temperatures in Edwin’s room were up to 9 degrees F higher than outside.
Public health records don't give an accurate sense of how heat danger.
Heat is sneaky. It worsens pre-existing conditions, such as heart and lung disease, kidney problems, diabetes, and asthma, more often than it kills directly. “People end up going to the hospital because heat affects their health, makes their asthma worse, or something worse,” says David Eisenman, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA. “But it’s not technically coded as that in the records. It’s coded as ‘worsening asthma.’ So we really undercount the number of cases where heat is a factor.”
In short, we underestimate our heat wave danger, we underestimate the risk climate change. We're setting ourselves up for trouble by ignoring how electricity and water infrastructure will fail when we need them most.
In We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves, Chris Hedges describes how the global north is moving toward fascism in response to climate refugees. Hedges paints a gripping image of how we're headed toward becoming failed states. We'll be "herded into the climate furnaces for immolation" if we don't resist the corporate state. He cites
Parenti stressed that collapse will be defined not only by rising temperatures but a series of social and infrastructure failures. It will be nonlinear.
The example given was how the price of bread surged shortly before the 2010-2013 the Arab Spring uprisings. Those broken fire hydrants and electricity failure during heat waves immediately came to mind. Infrastructure failure - unanticipated and abrupt - could then trigger nonlinear cascading social failure, like that when the power went out in for just one night in New York.
On one July night in 1977 the power went out in New York City. There were citywide riots. Arsonists started 1,037 fires. Looters smashed their way into 1,616 stores. There was over $300 million in damage. This Hobbesian nightmare will become normal in more and more parts of the globe as we traverse the sixth great mass extinction,...
As extreme heat occurs more frequently, the stage is set for shocking events such as the Portugal forest fires erupting as people slept, killing 62.
The greatest existential crisis of our time is to at once accept the tragic reality before us and find the courage to resist. It is to acknowledge that the world as we know it will become harsher and more difficult, that human suffering will expand, but that we can, if we fight back, perhaps reconfigure our lives and our society to mitigate the worst savagery, dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and save ourselves from complete annihilation. The power elites will do nothing to save us.
I urge you to read his entire article, if you have the guts.
Climate change is the unseen hand in unrest, social disintegration, chaos and war.... our character and dignity will be measured by our ability to name and resist the malignant forces that seem to hold us in a death grip. We must see in any act of resistance, even if it appears futile, a moral victory. [order changed, emphasis mine]
The Guardian quantifies our heat risk.
Nearly a third of the world’s population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it “almost inevitable” that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found.
....the overall risk of heat-related illness or death has climbed steadily since 1980, with around 30% of the world’s population now living in climatic conditions that deliver deadly temperatures at least 20 days a year.
The proportion of people at risk worldwide will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced, while around three-quarters of the global population will be under threat by then if greenhouse gases are not curbed at all.
... the European heatwave of 2003, which fueled forest fires in several countries ... An estimated 20,000 people died; a subsequent study suggested the number was as high as 70,000.
However, most heat-related deaths do not occur during such widely-covered disasters.
A crucial factor, he said, was the humidity level combined with the heat.
“Your sweat doesn’t evaporate if it is very humid, so heat accumulates in your body instead,” Mora said. “... The blood rushes to the skin to cool you down so there’s less blood going to the organs. A common killer is when the lining of your gut breaks down and leaks toxins into the rest of your body.”
"... the increased use of air conditioning means that electrical grids fail, as has happened in New York City, Australia and Saudi Arabia." [emphasis mine]
The temperature has become so hot that in some areas, Phoenix, Arizona, for example, commercial flights are being cancelled because the density altitude (a function of temperature) is so high that a fully loaded aircraft cannot safely take off. Yet the climate deniers continue to cry hoax.
I wonder how many of them have tried to fly out of Sky Harbor recently...