The Digital Conversationalist

Andrea T Edwards

#184 Weekend reads – greetings from the world’s hot zone

Greetings from Thailand, which has been in the news this week because of extreme heat sweeping the country and region. Where I am, in Phuket, the real-feel temperature hit 46C this week (115F), but in Bangkok, it was 52C (125F). Thailand is not the only country suffering this heatwave, but it is one of the rare countries reporting deaths from heat stroke, with 30 announced this week.

Is that the true number to have died from heat stroke? Very unlikely, and it will be weeks or even months before we find out the true human cost of this extreme heat event (and we’ll never have the full picture), which is happening right across South East Asia, India, Bangladesh, and of course, many parts of Africa are really suffering too.

I knew this hot season would be brutal and have been dreading it since this time last year. In 2023 we hit record temperatures, and understanding how El Nino plays out, as well as all the other reasons for the escalation of heat globally (and we still don’t have a full picture of why it’s happening or why it’s so extreme) we are not at the end of it, with extremes expected until the end of June. I worry for our fellow humans across this vast expanse of the world, but I also worry for the animals and all nature.

I am a privileged person in this situation. I have air-conditioning, and so far, the electricity grid is holding. If (or when) the electricity grid goes down, none of us will be safe, in fact, those of us escaping into the cool will suffer more than those who are acclimatized. But no one can acclimatize to deadly wet bulb temperatures, and those temperatures are a reality now.

That is why I prepared this, and other content, on how to prepare for wet bulb temperatures. Please share it, especially with the poorest – it’s translated into Thai, Hindi and Malay – help me spread the word and let’s save lives!

What’s it like living in this heat? Well, it’s incredibly uncomfortable, and you find yourself tucked inside, unable to go out for very long – especially in the heat of the day. The nights are hard too, because the temperature remains above 30C and homes are not designed for this level of heat, so insulation isn’t that great. That means, you’re hot all the time, even when you’re inside. It’s not pleasant at all.

But how can I possibly complain? This video below, which I released a short while back, is how millions of people in this region live, so they never get a break from the heat, and they certainly don’t have air-conditioning.

They not only sleep in this heat, but they also work in it – on construction sites, fishing boats, markets, and more – and these are the people REALLY suffering right now. When you watch the news or read articles, people in this situation talk about how much they are suffering and the fact they have to keep working regardless, so they can take care of their families. It is a very brutal existence.

And people are dying. A friend went to a funeral in Phuket today. A young man, 33, died of heat stroke. He was a motorbike delivery driver, and he told his managers he wasn’t feeling well, but worked anyway. Not long after, he collapsed and died. He’s the only child of a grieving mother and she is now left alone in the world. It’s devastating.

We must do everything we can, everywhere on this planet, to draw down our emissions and reduce our impact. We have been in overshoot since the 1970s, because we are taking too much of the earth’s resources.

We must address it and regenerate our world, because those suffering from our gluttony have done the least to contribute to the problem. We must also insist our governments, global businesses and the world’s richest people contribute financially to help the Global South adapt. That’s on all of us.

The other focus is to really understand the vast scale of transformation required to succeed, and we must get that message. How we are living today is unsustainable for any future we hope to have. Let’s get to work.

Favourite visual this week

Can’t credit this, apologies!

Friends content and mine

I shared my latest We Need a New Middle-Class Dream video, this time focused on the travel and tourism industry. We can not continue with unsustainable tourism, and it’s only going to grow, until we get this message.

Plenty more to read, listen to or watch, so do click through to the reads at the image below, and a reminder, this platform ( means the articles go back weeks, so have a scan and read/watch/listen to whatever jumps out at you.

Weekend Reads

Let me know what caught your attention? Or share with me what has your attention now? There’s a lot going on, which means none of us can cover everything. Besides, it’s always great to get feedback so I know I’m delivering something of value.



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