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Uncommon Courage

#185 Weekend reads – living through the “most extreme event” in climate history

Another crazy week of heat in the Global South, and while I certainly have concerns for my safety and the safety of my family, my real concerns are for the millions of people suffering these heat extremes without any cooling or electricity in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India and in the Sahel in Africa.

For now, the electric grid is holding and that means we have air-conditioning. For millions, who are suffering even higher temperatures than I’m facing, there is no air-con at home, and definitely no cool spaces to find relief. That means people are dying. The numbers so far seem low, but overtime we will get a better understanding of the impact of the “most extreme event” in climate history, according to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, which is referenced in this article.

The people enduring this heat day after day, week after week, are the poorest. They have no choice but to work in this heat too – as construction workers, tuk tuk drivers, delivery drivers, gardeners, farm workers, and more. If they take days off to escape the heat, they don’t get paid and that means they can’t feed their families. They are literally making a choice that risks their lives so they can take care of their families. It is devastating.

And this could become the norm very quickly. Watch this video. It discusses a landmark study on the impact of climate change, which has identified the Indian Ocean and surrounding countries as a region with the highest risk of natural hazards, more intense extreme cyclones, more intense rainfall, and the devastation of corals, marine life, and fisheries – and all may soon be upon us.

Another video I really recommend, features scientist Petch Manopawitr, located in Thailand. He says an uninhabitable earth pattern is coming, and you can feel his emotions as he looks at the data.

One thought I’d been pondering this week is, how would people in the Global North cope with these heat extremes, including the humidity or wet bulb temperatures? Because in this region, where people are born and raised in heat, they can cope far beyond what we can deal with. The fact they are struggling should tell you everything. I never heard people complain about the heat in this region until the last two years.  

I suppose we might get an answer to these ponderings soon. Texas is about to get hit with an extreme heatwave, with temperatures up to 120F (49C), and it’s going to be so hot, roads are expected to melt.

“By the middle of next week, a heat dome created by a strong area of high pressure is forecast to make its way out of the tropics and into the southeastern United States resulting in a temperature surge forecast to last until Mother’s Day weekend, and potentially beyond for southern Florida.”

Here’s the challenge for those impacted. Our bodies adjust to heat over time, but there is no time to get acclimated to this event, so there are expectations of an increased risk of heat stroke. Stay safe and stay cool if you’re in this area.

But go beyond just the heat. For example, if the roads melt, think about what that means? If you have someone with a medical condition in your family, and you get cut off due to melted roads, will they be at risk? Should you relocate before it hits? Equally, this heat is high enough to take out the grid, what is your back up plan if that happens? Important to think ahead.

I put together a guide to dealing with wet bulb temperatures last year, here it is again. Please share with any community you know that is impacted by extreme heat. There are so many actions we can take before it hits, and we must get ready, wherever we live in the world.

Of course, we also have extreme flooding, in Kenya, Tanzania, China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. These stories are equally despairing, especially in the poorer countries, where they have nowhere to go to be safe.

Tough times my friends and it is time for the world to come together and agree on how we move forward. We can keep following the dystopian path, which means life will continue to get worse not just from a climate perspective, but in all ways, OR we can define a path for our future, that brings us together, overcoming the challenges we face as one.

We can’t solve this challenge, but we can bring down the intensity of escalation, and besides, it’s worth fighting for the best possible outcome, don’t you think? Truly, who knows what we can achieve if we regenerate our earth and change our lifestyles to be in harmony with nature? I’m giving it a go – join me?

Favourite visual this week

Friends content and mine

Some reflections on the heat wave in Asia – We are baking in the Global South – Uncommon Courage – An Invitation.

Pass it on!

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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