Summer 2023 has told us to stop denying Global Warming
In July 1995, the country’s Midwest, which is already uncomfortable in the Summer, became even more so. For four deadly days, average heat in the Midwest hovered near 100 degrees F. In Chicago, Illinois, an urban heat island, temperatures reached an unsufferable 104 degrees, and it felt much hotter.
Gardens carefully tended by little, old ladies, drooped, then shriveled. Miles of the Heartland’s crops withered when irrigation proved no match for the relentless sun. Elderly people, fearing theft, kept their windows closed in sweltering apartments, which quickly became virtual ovens. Others, penny-wise with pension funds and Social Security payments, refused to turn on air conditioning and were sparing with fans. Having to choose among food, rent, and a high electric bill, food and rent always won out. Sometimes heat stroke, not one of the choices, prevailed over the other three. Surely, they thought, this spell can’t last forever.
It lasted only four days, but those days, and the few surrounding them, took more than 1,000 Midwestern lives. The City of Chicago alone lost more than 700 residents. The refrigerated trucks full of bodies presaged the fatalities of COVID.
Public officials and t.v. weathermen took a lot of grief. Didn’t they see it coming?” Yes, they did. They told us that Global Warming was already here. It was summer, though, and summer is supposed to be hot, so nobody paid attention.
Summers have gotten hotter, and parts of the United States have either burned, or flooded, breaking long-established records. As California burned in larger and larger areas and for longer and longer durations, and hurricanes intensified, “it” still wasn’t happening. “It” was those “hysterical climate people” who were just trying to scare us. Hey, it’s cold in winter and it’s hot in summer. True. However, portions of the nation are not supposed to suffer 100-degree weather for 30 days in a row. It snows in winter, but the number of storms that shut down entire cities for days at a time were not always the norm. It keeps happening, and some of us keep denying the reason.
…Look at that face. Seriously. Who could hate on…