When the Heat 'Wave' is a Tsunami

Today I have to decide whether I'm up for the challenge of going out and waiting for the bus and schlepping out to my storage unit. I need to go out there and pick up my suit for my interview on Tuesday, but I also don't want to become overheated. In the past I have suffered from heat rash, and clearly today is one of the hot weather days to take very seriously. The feels-like temp will be over 110 F once humidity is factored in.
But this is not just a blip, a heat "wave" that will hit us today and perhaps not again for many years. It is indicative of the plight we humans have put ourselves in, destroying the precious ozone layer with our assault of C02 pollution born of selfishness and laziness. That anyone would question a person's decision not to buy a car and bike or Uber instead is appalling. That anyone would throw her empty water bottle (it's bad enough to even buy them!) in the litter bin is appalling. That anyone would throw out food waste without so much as pondering reusing carrot peels and chicken leftovers in soup is appalling.
Unlike most problems in life, the damage is not reversible. All we can do is try to put the brakes on. Laughing off bold climate leaders like AOC is not smart environmental stewardship. When the Titanic started to leak a little water, the passengers kept dancing. When it was flooding, they were racing for the life rafts. It is not the time to give in to our knee-jerk responses, our basest human nature. It is time to listen to the scientists.
If you are in the eastern portion of the U.S. today, July 20, 2019, you are suffering from horrific heat and humidity. You may even suffer a power outage, as has occurred in Michigan, or in New York City following Con Ed outages several days ago. In 2006 a days-long power outage in Queens, New York was so insufferable that when I went out there to cover it, I got nauseous even reporting on a community meeting. Power grids worldwide cannot reasonably bear the assault of accelerating climate change. It is unreasonable to expect the world's engineers to create a way around the demands. People in poorer communities will be and are the first to suffer, as oftentimes they cannot afford A/C in the first place. Even I lived without air conditioning for four years in West Haven, and each summer that got worse saw me buying more fans and moving a little slower.
Unfortunately, with inadequate leadership at the top, many Americans are not going to take climate change seriously unless their own town, farm, region suffers its effects - such as the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. It is imperative for community leaders to reach the everyday person who may be so busy trying to put food on the table that he doesn't care that it takes reliable air conditioning and healthy farms that receive enough rain (but not a deluge) to get it there.
Please do everything you can to educate your family and neighbors. Turn down the A/C; recycle all cans, bottles and glass; use a reusable coffee decanter; don't use plastic straws; use fewer electronics and recycle those you have; say no to plastic bags and use your supermarket's reusable bags; fly less and when you do, offset your carbon footprint with your miles. There are many things you can and must do as a responsible steward in 2019. The planet is not a given, but a gift, and one we must protect so it can be passed on to our descendants.
Visit Nasa for more information on climate change.


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