An email came in from my Village Association with a ‘heat warning.’ Temperatures will be dangerously high today and children and pets should be kept out of the mid-day heat. Several places, like the public libraries have been designated as cooling off centers and people were urged to look in on their neighbors and offer help if needed. That got me wondering what people do in places where there is no air conditioning. What do people do who live in Jungles or deserts? Do people acclimate to such heat and humidity? Can people learn to live and function when the thermometer climbs to a heat index of 105°? http://www.weather.com says ‘limit outdoor exposure, heat index is dangerously high.’ I believe them! It is beastly out there, like walking into a cheese soufflé. Not that I’ve ever actually walked into one, but I imagine it’s like inching through the thick oppressive air outside my door.
I wonder where else in the world these conditions exist and how those people cope with it? Do they sleep through the worst of it? Have a siesta to stay out of the heat and then stay up late when it’s cooler? The bigger question for me is the way weather conditions affect society. Influence the way people work and play; raise and socialize their children, the homes they build, the celebrations they enjoy even the foods they cultivate and prepare. All these things and more are affected by the weather conditions under which people live and.
And, not the least of my thoughts, why is our weather so extreme? It seems more extreme than it used to be. Were conditions in this area always like they are now, or is this the result of ‘global warming’, something we have brought on ourselves with our pollution and selfish disregard for environmental consequences? The experts would have something to say about all this, unfortunately however their differences of opinion have been sufficient to stultify the political/legislative process and prevent our government from enacting comprehensive regulations that might be able to reverse these conditions.
Perhaps things will improve when our lawmakers get hot enough to ask some of these questions themselves and be motivated to seek effective solutions to the problems.