Heat wave in Spain and Portugal, over 1000 people have died. In the UK too, high temperatures are forecast over 100 degrees F (40C ). These will be the highest temperatures ever recorded in the UK.
Photos in the papers of people relaxing on the beach are not helpful. This is not a vacation. This is a climate crisis.
These temperatures were predicted by climate scientists as a warning that if we continue to rely on fossil fuels, heat waves like this would be common by 2050. That future is NOW.
People in Chicago learned a lot from the heat wave of July, 1995. There are cooling centers, and emergency numbers to call. And still, people die here in the summer from the heat.
Know the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Here is a handy chart from the National Weather Service. You could save a life–maybe even your own.
Many people are offering advice on how to survive the extreme heat. Let me add some tips, too. Wear loose, lightweight clothing. Check on your neighbors. Talk about the weather. Drink water, and eat cool things. Don’t forget your pets. Leave bowls of water in a shady spot for wild birds and animals.
While politicians take a short-term selfish view, it is the vulnerable —you and me–who suffer, the ones most vulnerable to the plague that continues, too.
Stay cool! stay safe!