It's not just the heat

It's not just the heat

Summers are getting hotter. From Siberia to Seattle, people are dealing with intense heat they are not prepared for.

In the Pacific Northwest, hot and dry conditions are causing pavement to buckle and fueling wildfires. Along the coastline, clams and oysters cooked in their shells on the beaches.

In New York and California, people are being asked to turn down their air conditioning. In Florida, buildings are collapsing, and Tropical Storm Elsa endangered rescue efforts.

Coastlines are changing, buildings are sinking. The power grid is being tested like never before.

Climate change is happening, and it’s not just the heat. It affects all living things—including people, and our built environments.

While New Orleans and Houston are often cited for their summer flooding problems, Chicago is also vulnerable to water.

Yes, the city was built on swampland, and some of the lakefront has been extended by landfill. The rivers served as road ways when Du Sable established a settlement here. Now there is flooding because the spongey wetlands are covered with highways and houses. Here’s a post I wrote last year about it.

Chicago grew beautiful along the Lake. Lake Michigan has been a resource and a refuge of nature. We live with the Lake, and it’s changing, too. Here is a recent article from the New York Times. Please read and think about it.


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  • Yesterday we had dinner at Hemingway's in your neck of the woods. I had a medium-well steak which was delicious except for the peppercorns that I scraped off the top. It was around 5:15 when we arrived and there was a light rain falling. Enough to open our umbrellas.

    Your post is well-done per usual and food for thought.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Thanks for stopping by, AW! That sounds like a wonderful Saturday night.
    I'm so glad you enjoyed my post, and the article in the New York Times. Yes, much to think about.

  • I'm not sure that the collapse was due to global warming but to the corrosive effect of ocean salt on concrete, but, in general, the weather has been messed up. Seattle and Portland are supposed to be cool, not over 100 degrees.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for reading, Jack! Yes, the collapsing building was due to environment, and not built to last. But I think also affected by rising ocean levels....
    People are not prepared for extreme heat like this--the power grids, and buildings, were not designed for these extremes, either.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Depends on what was the source of the water on the pool and garage levels.

  • In reply to jack:

    It is tragic, in any case.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Yes. The collapse looked like one in the demolition shows, except there were people in the building, mostly caught in their sleep unaware.The planned demolition looked similar, but the floors pancaked in a more predictable way. Having watched several implosion shows, both collapses worked on the same principle that the rebar is needed to reinforce the concrete, but if the concrete goes, the rebar can't hold up the building.

  • In reply to jack:

    I have found an article that talks about what could have caused the collapse. The building had many problems with deteriorating concrete. It was built on wetland, and there was new construction going on nearby, too.

    Here is the article from bbc news

  • Thank you for well-reasoned analysis, as ever. I keep thinking that the Florida condo building reminds me of the Oklahoma City bombing in the '90s. I trust it's been ruled out, but I can't escape the comparison.

    Meanwhile, going from a cool environment to a hot one and vice versa both remind me of the laws of thermodynamiics. Heat can't go from a cooler to a hotter environment, so could part of the heating outside be the insistence on cooling inside? I wonder.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thank you! I wonder if they are looking into the possibility of a bombing. As Jack said, it looks like a demolition video.

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