Phew. Glad that’s over – for now.

a.aaa-too-hot-outsideFor the first time in weeks, I’m going to wear pants today.  Last night the cold front moved in, I opened the windows, and relished the feeling of being naturally coooooool.

The past two weeks’ heat wave has set records in Toronto, and probably elsewhere in North America.  I know I’m lucky to have a) air conditioning, and even if I didn’t I have b) a brick house, which is much better at staying cool.  But still, it was pretty disgusting whenever I stepped outside.

I stayed cool the way most people did.  Staying in air conditioned areas.  Drinking lots of water.  Not eating heavy meals (I more or less subsisted on lettuce, and was fine).  Wearing a hat and sunblock.  But beyond the mundane details, a part of me has started to worry.  Is it only going to get worse from here?

I argue with myself that the temperature is not some pre-apocalyptic sign, that while it’s hot, it’s been hotter before.  Or that it’s all part of normal global climate swings.  Like we had an Ice Age?  Well, this is the Sweltering Age (or something nearing it).  But I’ve also read that what has scientists worried, beyond the obvious effects of carbon pollution on global warming, are not the climate extremes, but the extreme oscillations from day to day, and year to year.  Yesterday it was 32 C.  Today it’s 22 C, and tomorrow it’ll be back to 32.  This year has been super hot.  Two years ago was super cold.  Etc. etc.

I’m not sure what to make of it, but I’m worried.  And beyond the worry is that hammering question – well, if you’re so worried, what are you going to do about it?  The problem is that we all have to go about our daily lives.  I have to go to work tonight – this means I have to drive.  I can’t escape it (unless I want a 2-hour bus ride at midnight).  My friend got married in June in Germany, and she invited me to be the witness.  So I flew.  Did that help the icebergs?  Not one bit.

What’s your take on the climate change?  How have you survived the heat wave?

– Jean AAR

5 thoughts on “Phew. Glad that’s over – for now.

  1. Leigh

    I don’t worry about the things I can’t control. A co-worker looks at everything he eats, eliminating food from China (my canned Dole mandarin oranges are a product of China) and Eastern Bloc -even Holland because of Chernobyl diaster.

    I keep my thermostat low in the winter (65 F) and high in the summer. (81 F) Although I have to be honest, I hate paying high electric bills. I have even signed up for some device to put on my heat pump when demand is high – well see how that goes. I have eliminated my incandescent light bulb and changed to compact fluorescent bulbs. I haven’t bought any LED yet, although I have looked at them. $20.00 a bulb is a bit high.

    Recently recycling of plastic became available in my area and I am doing that. I am also a member of freecycle – which is a group that wants to help recycle items rather than them ending up in the dump. And I try to recycle batteries.

    I don’t carpool and I do drive fast – although if I wouldn’t leave so late I could slow it down.

    Surviving the heat has meant taking it easy. I haven’t done yard work in a while.

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  2. LeeB.

    Seattle and Western Washington managed to escape the recent heat wave. At times, the rest of the country was sweltering and we were still wearing sweaters and jackets.

    LinnieGayl mentions a few things I do: recycle a LOT. At home I can recycle paper, glass, plastic and organic foodstuffs. At work, because our building is a certified energy saver kind of place, we can recycle the usual stuff plus styrofoam and batteries.

    I have never owned a car and live close enough to walk to work.

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  3. Missie

    Heat stinks. I know. I’m in Texas, where we had the worst heat wave in recorded history (including the Dust Bowl) last year.

    Preceded by two winters where we got snow. Which is UNHEARD of here.

    It IS scary.

    All you can do is do what you can. Recycle when you can. Carpool when you can. (Think of an airplane as a big ol’ car pool — maybe that’s why airlines oversell seats??? *scratches head*) Be grateful when you can bundle up instead of trying to keep cool, because keeping warm is easier than cooling down.

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  4. LinnieGaylAAR

    I can completely relate to the wearing pants for the first time. Today I wore pants for the first time in at least 3 weeks. Yes, like you I’ve been surviving by mostly staying in air conditioning. I’ve really struggled with the heat this summer. I constantly have water nearby, and have lost my appetite. I can completely relate to the eating lettuce. I haven’t turned on my oven in weeks, and the only thing I use my stove top for is making oatmeal for breakfast (I know, sounds strange). Other than that, it’s pretty much cold stuff for meals.

    Now I’ve read the heat is supposed to come back here next week.. Ugh.

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