Heat waves | global warming | who cares?

If you haven’t been suffering in the recent unrelenting hot spells, you likely have air conditioning and a reliable power plant in your neighborhood. And maybe you don’t want to hear any more about this global warming thing.

But many with A/C are undergoing periodic deprivation as strained-to-the-limit power sources lose the battle and send customers crashing into darkness and overwhelmingly oppressive heat. Some without A/C break open fire hydrants and seek short-term relief in staying wet. Asthmatics and the elderly are endangered.

Yes, this happens with all heat waves. It’s just that statistics seem to indicate they’re happening more often and more intensely. And that the precious coolness of the night that people need to recover from heat exposure is also in shorter supply.

A lobbyist (representing coal-fired power plants) recently sent reporters a statement saying that more than 50% of the “days at or over 100 degrees in the Washington-Baltimore region occurred between 1874 and 1934.” Since I can’t figure out what that’s supposed to mean (as I think the Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin couldn’t either, since she made no comment), it sounds to me like one of those lovely non-sequiturs that pass for logic when the truth is unknown–or not acceptable.

If you still don’t believe that heat waves are linked to global warming, that’s okay. But more and more scientists are agreeing that they need to put their heads together on this. Which means we can hope that we’ll soon learn what we can–and must–do so that our children won’t have to watch their children try to figure out how to live in a world even more unrelentingly overheated than this one.