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Heatwave bakes U.S. Southwest for fifth day as power grids hold up

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Given that the people of Texas (and their neighbors who were 'lucky' enough to lose power entirely) who were hit with thousand dollar a day electricity bills for extremely spotty service a few months ago would have been scared that the transformer powering their doorbell would result in a bill so large they'd end up homeless that there were enough people who 'voluntarily' unplugged from the Texas grid to allow it to function isn't surprising.

Disgusting, but not surprising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This isn't going to get better. It's going to get worse. The heatwaves are going to become more extreme and last longer.

Sunbelt states need to become solar array states.

The design of homes is going to have to change, taking design cues from the Middle East. Simply painting properties using a highly reflective white paint can help.

Water resources are going to have to be prioritised according to need - people and food crops, not golf courses and non-food crops.

Some places are no longer going to be habitable due to extreme temperatures, wildfires and floods.

The footprint of crops - where they can be reliably grown to harvest - is going to change, move and reduce.

Incidentally, temperatures reported measure the air in shade according to WMO rules (using a Stevenson screen). In heat traps created by coverless areas and concrete, it is easy to record temperatures 10-15C higher. Be grateful if you live in a country with proper air conditioning. In the UK, very few residential properties have air con.

Given the sluggish global rollout of vaccinations, wherever you live, how competently do you think your government is going to respond to climate change? We all need to make some changes ourselves, now, crowd sourcing our response. That may include moving somewhere safer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's 43 C right now, down from 45 C a few hours ago. Last nights low was 32 C. Broken clouds and sprinkling occasionally, Much the same predicted for next week. Grim.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the UK, very few residential properties have air con.

When I visited Europe I noticed most cars in UK and Germany didn't have air conditioning. I have never seen a Mercedes Benz without AC until riding in one in UK. Cloth seats and mechanical roll up windows too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Water resources are going to have to be prioritised according to need - people and food crops, not golf courses and non-food crops.

So ponder this. In California agriculture accounts for less than 3% of the states GDP and less than 3% of total employment, yet agriculture consumes fully 80% of the developed fresh water. People have to eat but agriculture has to be completely reformed. I think indoor Controlled Environment Agriculture where foods are grown in what is essentially a clean room environment that permits the elimination of herbicides and pesticides, and where water capture and re-use approaches 100% is the future of most food crops. Indoor vertical farms require a greater up front investment than a greenhouse style system but yields per acre approach 78 times that possible with conventional agriculture. Vertical farms can be placed in industrial zones of cities greatly reducing transportation costs to deliver crops to markets. Sometimes vertical farms can be co-located with grocery stores. Today you see row crops using open ditch irrigation in arid regions and it makes no sense. Water prices to farmers are highly subsidized. $100-$300 an acre foot for farms compared to $1500-$2000 per acre foot for cities and thus farmers have no economic incentive to conserve. But just try to reduce that subsidy and watch what happens!

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Be grateful if you live in a country with proper air conditioning. In the UK, very few residential properties have air con.

I spent the first 23 years of my life in the UK, and never once felt the need for air con. Heating yes, aircon, no. I never even saw an electric fan until I came to Japan.

25 degrees was a warm summer’s day back then.

Times are changing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's 43 C right now, down from 45 C a few hours ago. Last nights low was 32 C. Broken clouds and sprinkling occasionally, Much the same predicted for next week. Grim.

Good luck. Hope nothing adverse happens to you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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