My take on climate change is that it’s happening and that we don’t have any real clues in terms of short term effects. Long term, sea levels and global average temperatures will rise. Just how much is an argument. Along the way, it seems that all kinds of unprecedented weather events are now possible and happening. We’re living through one of them right now in Socal.
It’s 730am and 90 degrees! It was 87 degrees at 4am, when it would “normally” be about 67. It will be 112 again today, and likely another crazy-hot night. I can’t tell you how abnormal this is. People who like desert or Mediterranean climates expect hot summer days but also expect cool clear nights. Why not, it’s been that way for thousands of years.
I could go on and on about the near-term effects of this, but there are two that stand out in my mind. One, we have to upgrade the AC and insulation of our home. We’ve lived here for 16 years with ancient and substandard AC. It’s not that we’re cheap – we’ve constantly invested in the property – it’s just that the AC was never a priority. Some years we never used it at all. And at this moment, in the all-time heat wave, one of our systems has died hard and the other is loud and struggling. So that’s going to happen ASAP.
The other standout near-term effect is fire danger. Fire risk and damage is already off-the-charts in CA, but events like this put things in a whole new category. Fire risk may depopulate much of CA where cost, taxes, crowds, etc. failed previously. In our immediate case I’m happy to say that our two-year fire system project gets completed and tested next week! We’ll have a system that, in the event of any fire within one half mile, automatically pulls water from our pool, mixes it with foam and puts a nice wet bubble around the entire house and lots of the property. I started this project two years ago and will be thrilled to get it into operation.
One last thought. The misery index for a heat event like this has to be awful. I feel for those who are homeless, and for those who have no AC. I’ll check in with my 211SD team and see what we’re doing to help those stuck in this unprecedented heat.