Heat Wave 2016

Heat Wave 2016

Surf's up! Here comes the heat wave. Chicago is expecting the hottest temperatures of the year--over 100F heat index. with high humidity. The heat will only add to the already explosive atmosphere in our city, all over the country, and it seems the whole world.

NOAA reports that 2015 was the hottest year on record world wide.  And it is going to get hotter.  Right now, Barrow Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, is basking in 80-degree temperatures. This is what climate change looks like.  It affects all of us.  The people most affected are the most vulnerable--poor people, children, old people, sick people, marginalized people, people who live in war zones, people who don't have anywhere to go.  They are the first ones to feel the effects of changing climate.

In this wave of rising temperatures,  some creatures will thrive. Disease carrying mosquitos will move further north. Diseases of the tropics, such as dengue fever and the Zika virus,  will become more  common  here, too.

There will be more severe weather, more floods and droughts, more instability, more violence. The dystopian futures we imagine will be all too real.

But we have learned from disasters--the heat wave of 1995,  and Hurricane Katrina,  have shown us the necessity of helping each other, working together, leaving no one behind.  Yes, we can do it!  We are imaginative and resilient people.  We have gone to the moon.  We have an international space station, with scientists  from many countries  working together.   They are growing sunflowers and zucchini there,  just like in your backyard.


Read more about the 1995 heat wave here.



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  • Well said. What progress we have made in some directions in the 47 years (as of tomorrow) since the moon landing. It gives me hope that we can get through this hot (literal and metaphorical) time and through to a better one.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks for reading--I too have hope for a better future.

  • I'm getting tired of the weather hysteria on TV. First there was the "doppler radar indicated tornado" near Dwight, approx. 80 miles southwest of Chicago. While worthy of a crawl and a beep, not worthy of preemption Match Game with Alec Baldwin. I guess Larry Mowry had to show off his new toys ("our shear product," for instance).

    Then, Thursday, it was supposed to hit, 97, but nobody mentioned the cold front that came through about noon, nor the steady rain starting about at 8:30 (I barely beat the T-storm).

    This isn't 1995.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for reading, Jack. Yes, there's hysteria--to get attention, and ratings, I guess. I noticed there are quite a few articles lately on dealing with the heat without air conditioning. Like it's a novelty--well for many it is a different reality..

    No, it isn't 1995 again...

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    I do remember when air conditioning was an extra cost item in a car, but that ceased to be the case about 1993.

    But I guess people today don't have the luxury of running into the air conditioned State Lake theater and see a Laurel and Hardy feature.

  • At the moment, I*m waiting for the scientific explanation of the fireball that demolished the canopy over the CTA Illinois Medical District station ramp.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, what was that?!

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