Sunday 17 July 2022

Nerd Church - The Global House Is Burning

The UK has declared a national emergency because of the weather.

...And it's because of heat, not snow or floods.

This is climate change in action. 

'The Global House Is Burning' with fire in the background

I don't work well in the heat.

I'm a Welsh girl, through and through - the summers of my milennial childhood were predominantly rain, with enough nice days interspersed to make up for it.

And by 'nice days,' I mean temperatures of around 15C-20C, occasionally stretching to 21C, with sunshine.

That is the weather I was born and bred for.

...And it's changed so rapidly.

Every year seems hotter for longer.

Every year seems to bring weeks of over 24C - the temperature at which my brain officially becomes goop and I cease to function with anything resembling normality.

Every year brings a higher chance of days which reach over 30C.

It's not just anecdotal - the UK is heating, along with the world.

This year brings the possibility of 40C in parts of England - that's beyond unthinkable.

We do not have air conditioning as standard in the UK. 

Most residential places - especially houses, rather than apartment blocks - don't have air conditioning.

Running your own air conditioning unit is an energy-guzzler - not good for the environment, and not good for your bank balance. A lot of people can't afford to buy a private unit, let alone run one.

My family does have a small portable air con, but we try to only run it for a few hours every year - it's very much a last resort. Which we will probably need over the next few days.

Oh, and don't set wildfires, or cause fire by neglect, wherever you are. 

It's a regular problem we have here in Wales and it's... there are no words for the devastation even a 'small' fire can cause. 

Just. Don't.

The construction of British infrastructure was never made with these kinds of temperatures in mind.

We didn't design our railways, buildings, roads, anything to withstand high temperatures. 

Because why would we? That hasn't been our climate here... until now.

And it's not just us.

Europe is on fire. Again.

Wildfire and drought is spreading through Europe, and parts of North Africa, such as Morocco.

China and Japan are seeing deadly heatwaves damaging their power supplies.

Mexico is suffering drought, and the USA is sweltering in extreme heat.

Climate change is not a hypothetical, not a prediction - not any more.

It's here.

Whenever you can, wherever you can, make sure you're making clear to business and government that this is not OK.

Stay safe, stay as cool as you can to those in the Northern hemisphere, respect the weather conditions wherever you are, and take care of yourself.

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  1. I saw this on the news the other day :((( In Italy where my dad's family is it is also in a record-setting heat wave. It's saddening to see especially when you think of people who are unhoused. I hope you stay cool, Cee.

    1. ...I'm melting. This is not fun, and so far from normal!

  2. Yep, as Emily said, Italy is suffering A LOT - we have been since the beginning of June...which is NOT normal. Usually, "real" heat wouldn't rear its monstrous head until July. We would welcome your hot weather...24C would be a relief...but of course, I understand your point. I remember that, when I was young, the UK was the epitome of rainy and cold-ish all year long...all those jokes about umbrellas and trenches...

    I don't have AC either - I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. But the fans are on all day long in my house, night included. It's impossible to live without. No good for energy and the bills.

    I think it's on the politicians to bring on the changes, though of course, we should do our part too...but the good deed of a single citizen is practically useless if the powers-that-be don't implement renewable energies and the likes.

    1. It hit 40C in England. It has hit 30C-34C here in Wales multiple times. I'm Welsh, Roberta - our national dress is layers and wool. Literally - wool shawls. THAT'S what I'm built for. Wool and mountains and the bite of the wind and the snow blocking the valleys and stair-rods of rain for days on end, and the inability to keep an umbrella up because the wind is so strong.

      I melt at 24C, that's the temperature where I normally lose my ever-loving sh** (I am NOT a nice person in the heat!) and I was relieved (!) yesterday when it was 'only' 26C-ish.

      Everything about our buildings is designed to keep the heat IN, London and plenty of other places were on fire, and the politicians are patting themselves on the back and the news is barely paying attention, because even though people lost everything and were made homeless, no-one died. Which is important, but a pretty damn low bar. I really think we should be aiming higher than 'no-one died.'

      Sorry if I sound angry - I'm not angry at you. I'm just heat-stressed and pi**ed off at politicians who don't seem to realise that Europe is effing melting, and we are WAY past the time of mediocre targets that they can't even keep *sigh* (Although I will say that the Welsh government does a damn good job with environmental stuff, they're just limited a lot by the UK government.)

    2. I know you're not angry at me! And everything you said makes ton of senses ("we are WAY past the time of mediocre targets that they can't even keep"). I didn't know Welsh had limitations imposed by the UK. Gah.

    3. Oh good! I was worried I was coming off as aggressive - I'm not a nice person in the heat!

      It's a 'devolved government' which we've had since the late 90s - which means that the Welsh government only has control over specific issues, which includes environment etc., but often has jurisdiction overlap issues - for example, no-one can decide who's in charge of licencing coal mines and cleaning up the coal tips which are becoming increasingly unstable/sliding down the mountains, and were put there on the UK government's watch. Plus the UK government decides how much money we get each year, despite efforts to fund the Senedd (Welsh parliament) directly. Our current UK government also likes to cut the Senedd out and/or undermine it wherever possible, because they don't like the thought of semi-autonomous Celtic nations. (Although much of that is my opinion, ofc. Lol.)


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