Sunday, July 24, 2011

This one's different

I feel as though I'm living in some sort of futuristic, dystopian novel. At 8am the kitchen table and counter tops are warm to the touch, and even after the sun goes down the heat does not abate. Not a hint of a breeze if I open the window.  From the time I left work on Friday, I've been running errands in temperatures around and even above 100°F (37.7°C), with a heat index that makes it feel like 113° (45°C). I remember heat waves, but there's something very unsettling and ominous about this one. Just breathing is difficult. I almost feel feverish when I'm outside.

The heat wave extends over most of the southwest and northeast of the country. So those of us who can, barricade ourselves inside air conditioned buildings.  Makes me think of the massive Canadian ice storm of 1998, when the electricity went out and vast areas were plunged into cold and darkness. What would we do if the electric grid went out in this region and we were at the mercy of the excessive heat and humidity ... no air conditioning, no ice cubes, no refrigeration, no relief? But our air conditioning and our automobiles are only contributing to the damaged environment.

Meteorologists say that temperatures will come down a bit in the next couple of days -- to around 88°F (31°) --and then go right back up again.  I bet we'll see a lot more of these hot spells in the future, as well as increased snowfall in the winter.  I think it's called climate change...although there are members of the Senate who question whether it's caused by human activity...