It’s hot, it’s really hot, and while we had a slight cool break this week after the haze cleared, the heat is back today (feels like 41°C), the haze too, but tomorrow apparently, it’s going to feel like 46°C. That’s so hot in the tropics.
For those out cleaning the beaches for Earth Day, please take it easy and drink LOTS of water. Go as early or as late as you can too.
This shift really REALLY concerns me, and it is going to impact everyone, rich or poor, because once temperatures pass a certain point, there is no protection. That said, the poor will suffer the most, regardless. They always do.
As we’ve been facing this intense heat, which drains you of all energy, I’ve been trying to understand the temperature required for the power grid to start falling over (I think it’s important information) and I’ve been speaking with friends in India, who suffered a terrible heatwave last year too. In these discussions, I’ve discovered power grids fall over for two reasons – too much demand and too much heat. It essentially melts.
Once temperatures pass 50°C is when we start to see the impact on the power infrastructure, and my friends told me electrical wires started to sag, often breaking, cutting off power and starting fires. The tropics are very brown right now (it should be green) so that is an eventuality we might face too – fires.
Here’s an article discussing power grid failure in Australia at the end of the last El Nino.
The headlines are screaming it’s the worst heatwave ever and it’s going to get worse (see the climate section below and note the piece from the Straits Times – because when it’s discussed in this publication, you know it’s serious).
I’ve spent weeks looking for anything that explains what getting worse means, and do you know what? There is literally nothing on this at all. Please if you’ve read or heard anything, pass it to me. If we don’t know what we’re about to deal with, how can we get prepared for it?
Knowing my family may not be ok is something that has me in a state of high alert; however, in Asia, we have hundreds of millions of people living in tin sheds and shanty towns, so how are they going to get prepared to deal with this heat? How can we help them?
I have been attempting to put some figures on this, but this is very challenging to do, as there isn’t any historical data even remotely relevant to what we are facing. In fact, we have no idea what the shift to El Nino will mean, which could kick in as early as May this year. The predictions for its’ arrival are up to the end of the year, but either way, it’s arrival is something to pay attention to, as it’s going to pack a punch that shocks the world.
In my simplest layman terms, when El Nino starts, a big burst of heat is released from the Pacific Ocean, and this instantly increases global temperatures. Right now, the ocean is at record temperatures, as you can see in the image below. This is another story I’ve been tracking all year and it’s not a good thing at all. I am expecting that big burst of heat to be hotter than anything we’ve seen before in an El Nino period. You too?
But how hot will it get? I don’t know, because that’s the information I can’t find, and I’m still trying to work it out, so I can understand what preparations we need to make.
Some educational references – some are older, but still valid
Of all of these, this paragraph stood out from NASA: At Earth’s mid-latitudes, the hottest days will be up to 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter at 1.5 degrees Celsius warming and up to 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer at 2 degrees Celsius warming.
For every .1°C of warming it also means 7% more humidity (and humidity sucks), as well as up to three degrees hotter than usual.
There has been a lot of discussions that this El Nino period will see us experiencing 1.5°C warming for the first time, so based on the fact we’re at 1.1/1.2°C of warming right now, this could mean three degrees hotter than normal at a minimum.
The one message that is clear is this – we will see extreme temperatures coming our way we’ve never seen before. I am in Thailand, and we have already experienced its hottest day on record on the 14th of April 2023. That temperature was 45.4°C and this is before El Nino, but it is also during Thailand’s hottest time of the year, which is typically April and May, although the heat started in March this year. It’s been a scorcher of a hot season, let me tell you.
The challenge is, we have absolutely no idea what we are in for as El Nino ravages our world for the next 2-3 years. The only agreement I’ve seen by scientists, is it’s going to throw life-threatening heat, droughts, fires, rain, storms and more at us, but it will be different to the La Nina years. As an example, after three years of extreme flooding, Australia is now bracing for its worst grass fire season on record.
La Nina was not a nice mistress when she spent three years visiting us either, but there was a sense of “we knew what we were dealing with” as each year ticked by, now, we have no idea what is coming – other than hotter temperatures than we’ve ever experienced before – and I just think it’s time we had an honest conversation about that and what it means.
The media and governments are not speaking up about this either and they need to, because we need to get ready before, not after-the-fact, when it will be a complete disaster. This is the adaptation piece we always miss. We are never ready before we get hit with these catastrophic situations and we need to get ready – everywhere – because we know it is coming!
We are at the point where adaptation plans need to be in full swing, based on what the scientists are telling us is next. We need to be building infrastructure 50-100 years out now, but no country is even remotely ready. None. Many thought it would be happening much later, so they delayed, and most haven’t started at all.
I’d love to know your thoughts or get recommendations on people I can speak with about this? I just want to know so I can protect my family and community. I hope you do too. All of our lives could depend on it.
Anyhoo get stuck into the reads. It looks like we’ve lost the ice caps and the glaciers – tipping point passed. Sigh. Please get involved, protest, speak up, mobilize. This really is the only issue that matters right now. Hot house earth is on the way and from what I’ve seen so far, it sucks.
Climate Courage, we are not going to sustainability our way out of this crisis.
Thank you to Praveen Gupta, Peter Kerr and Karen Leong for taking part. Such an important discussion and two people here speaking from the heatwave!
Friend’s content and mine
How To KEEP Your Wardrobe ORGANISED – if you are ready to reduce your fashion footprint, sign up for this event with Nathalie Ricaud, she’s terrific.
Who Am I Triyng To Be? My friend Pravin Shekar is such a wonderful human being, always with perfect insights. Follow him.
The path to purpose, with Neerja Singh – such a privilege to do this podcast with Neerja Singh, on her path to purpose. Beautiful and genuine.
If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, Medicine Sans Frontier, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Kiri Meets Bill| Climate Science Translated
Bill McKibben Explains Global Warming By The Numbers tks Gary Crause
Kim Stanley Robinson: “Climate, Fiction, and The Future”
Jordan Klepper Recaps the NRA Convention and Clarence Thomas’s Corruption Scandal
Business and technology
The A.I. Dilemma
Tristan Harris Congress Testimony: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology
Cost Of Beauty : A Dove Film
Mercury Retrograde Wants Us to Slow Down and Go Analog tks Stephanie Dickson
Richard Dawkins vs Piers Morgan On Religion and Gender
Passion, humour, history
Jack BlacK – Peaches| Super Mario Bros tks Charles Pulaski
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
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Four environment resources to help you navigate this challenging territory.
- Knowledge, constantly updating
- Individual action and awareness, so we do our part
- Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
- Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use as your own. No credit necessary.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation in my Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
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