I am very concerned about the extreme heat brewing in our environment and our lack of preparedness for it, so in April, I decided to work out the risks, as well as what we could do to prepare. This meant digging deep into the topic over a couple of months, working it all out, and I did this through the lense of the Global South (where I live), because it is an area with huge populations and inadequate infrastructure to cope with extreme heat. That means the next hot season (or the next) could result in millions of deaths.
Since I did this deep dive, I’ve written two blogs here and here, recorded a podcast (which is a bit disjointed), designed some short-form graphics (and I’ll probably do more), and yesterday, Bavani Periasamy joined me on Climate Courage to talk through all of the actions we can take to prepare. Please watch and get ready.
The reason I am doing this is because I am not seeing any preparations happening at all, and my fear is we will be slammed with this heat in the next 6-18 months and only then will we respond – but the cost of not preparing will be very high.
If we continue to fail to look ahead, millions of humans will be at risk, but even more important is the risk to nature and all other life on earth, including the threat of crop failures, which we’re already seeing with major crop losses across the world, and 2024 is looking like it will be even worse.
It’s beyond time we get serious, start paying attention, start looking ahead and get prepared. Equally, if we have wealth, we must help those who cannot afford to invest in what is needed, so we don’t leave them facing this heat – and we’ve already seen thousands of poor people struggle through the heat, especially in the US.
What we need now is community preparation, government leadership, transparency and honesty, and the media must start speaking up about it, in every language, reaching every corner of the globe.
My initial inspiration for doing this research was after experiencing wet bulb temperatures for the first time in April this year. It really shocked me because I know what it means in the wider climate escalation story. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many countries in the Middle East have experienced these temperatures before 2023, but for Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines, and many others, it was the first time experiencing significant heat waves, with many deaths reported. However, the challenge with deaths from heat is we never know until long after the event is over, as well as the fact many are not even attributed to heat.
All countries in the Global South are not ready for heat extremes, and seeing what has happened in the Northern Hemisphere this last summer, those of us in the Southern Hemisphere must brace for the next round of heat. We must also understand that all indications are pointing to more extreme heat than we’ve experienced so far, especially as El Nino gets stronger and does its job.
PLEASE make sure you’re ready, make sure your neighbors are ready, and if you have any ideas on how we can help our wildlife, share it with the communities who can do something about it.
Here’s how some of my neighbours are expected to live in extreme heat. This is a worker’s camp for a new construction project and millions of people across the Global South live in homes like this! How can they possibly survive wet bulb temperatures?
Friend’s content and mine
If you want some inspiration for the weekend, or just because the state of our world is so depressing, please meet Aoja Aron – a world full of people like Aoja would change everything – wonderful human being
And here’s the content I’ve been reading, listening to or watching. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read, listen to or watch them all. It’s time to pay attention to the information that matters.
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
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