It is oppressively hot and humid. There is nothing to do about it but to slow down and give into the heat. Even if I had air conditioning, it would take many more sweltering days to get me to crank it up. I don't like spending money on air, whether hot or cold. I never thought of writing as an aerobic sport, but there you have it--I'm sitting here on towels to soak up the sweat. The New York Times is making its best efforts to be annoyingly cute about the heat. To wit: the "good side" includes girls wearing less clothing, raccoon infestations in Central Park solved: the poor animals will simply combust. Ugh. What heat addled brain cooked that one up? Why would a serious news organization bother with such drivel? There simply isn't a good side. Plants, animals, and people are frying. More and more coal is burned every time the air needs conditioning. Tempers are fraying. And I'm getting a heavy-hearted case of Global Warming Anxiety.

It isn't about the weather--until it is. It's about the inexorable change in weather patterns. Not twenty years ago, early July on the coast of Rhode Island reliably meant sweaters during the day and evenings at the hearth in front of a fire. If I dipped a knee in the ocean I felt brave. Today, by noon I've gone into the sea twice, immersing myself to cool off. The heat doesn't break. I'm eating whatever is in the fridge; there isn't a remote possibility that I'm turning on the stove.

I finally remember the garden hose trick--as a child, I used to run through the water my father was aiming at his plants. So I try it again, holding the hose above my head, letting the cold water run down over me. Within seconds I am gasping for breath, a child again, spluttering as water splashes up my nose, laughing as it hits my belly, plastering my hair to my back. I marvel at the miracle of drawing icy water from a deep well with the turn of a spigot.

And I wonder, too, what the future holds for us as our climate changes, all over the world, relentlessly, irrevocably, warming things up. When will we realize that we are going to get to the point where we can't stand the heat? And we won't have a chance to get out of the kitchen. There will be nowhere to go. Let's hear it for clean, green energy, asap.


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Ditto! If this winter and summer don't convince people that NOW is the time for alternative energy, nothing will. I just pray it won't come to that point!

Unknown said...

Consider this:
I believe the very dirt/earth/clay of this planet contains consciousness...therefore the elements in our bodies and our cells, and the life energy that runs through us are originally part of this Earth. We on this Earth are shifting to a new way, a new order of consciousness, so therefore, it must go that the Earth must shift first. Scientists are noting the shifts that are taking place already, the magnetic, the meteorological, the geological, and the spiritual. There are magnetic grid systems that run through our Earth which are influenced by the sun, these grids are shifting...to be brief, what it means is as the grids of the Earth move the veil (the spiritual aspect that is our duality) starts to lift. More floods, tsunami's, will occur, winters will continue to be cold and harsh in many parts of the world...it's all part of the readjustment and not all about our carbon foot prints.

The planet has to change first to allow us who are on it to change next...this is the new way and understanding that we are now vibrating to a higher level...to most this look frightening.
We must look after this Earth...that is our first priority for that is where the shift is starting...then we can follow.
The new energy out here asks us to take action...in the past we have sat and prayed to our God asking "Okay God, do it for me, I will simply sit here until it happens" and we sit and wait, feeling that in our waiting we somehow are honouring by surrendering to God. Well this new energy that we are in is telling us, if we do nothing we are going to be sitting for a very long time. We have to now stand up and push on doors that we have been waiting to be opened for us. I love this analogy...how do we know if we are pushing on the right doors...the answer is this...
You see an opportunity so get up and open that door...if you push against an opportunity and it pushes back in a hard manner, it is not correct for your timing. If you push against a situation and doors fly open where events and solutions happen for you, then this is a correct situation. That is synchronicity! But the important point is...You have to do the pushing first!...otherwise you do not allow for the synchronicity to exist...It is only when you give the energy of the intent (of what you want to happen) of the push against a situation that you will be honoured with the synchronicity of its completion...do not sit and wait for God...for in this new energy we are now a partnership.

Anonymous said...

Weather weird here in LA. July is continuing to promote June gloom and today it was drizzling so much I had to use my windshield wipers. Global warming and weirdness is among us.

c said...

Unfortunately those with the power to make the drastic decisions needed to make the drastic changes we need to make, are in no way prepared to relinquish an iota of the power they derive from being known as "congressman" (congresspeople sounds too weird to me, but women are in there too, and just as guilty as those men).

By the time they agree on what clean, green energy means, we will have wasted years.

Sorry to be such a pesimist here. I am too jaded when it comes to professional politicians, including my biggest disappointment, our President himself.

btw, the NYT ceased to be a "serious news organization" a while ago. They are pretty much resting on their laurels, becoming more and more like People magazine, with a few serious articles here and there.

Can you tell I am in a heat-induced negative mood?

pve design said...

not a leaf blowing here either, nor a stove lit.
cold soup, sliced cucumbers and just plain trying to keep cool.

Barbara Hammond said...

It is very concerning. I can't stand turning on the a/c at the beach, but sometimes it's better than roasting... until it doesn't work. So last night, and tonight as well, I'll be sleeping in front of a big fan, praying a breeze will kick in and make the air that's moving cooler.
Where do we go from here??

William said...

I commute and shop by bicycle. I travel by train or bus. I support local farmers. I normally live with open windows and fans. I have no trouble or guilt when it hits 95-100 to flip on that air conditioning switch! :)

mademanuel said...

I am no scientist, but...to think that there is a straight line connection with today's heat wave and global warming is a misunderstanding of the problem. The actual record high temp in my area of Massachusetts was in 1911. The problem is not about how hot or cold or stormy it is here today, it is about the globe's "temperature" and what is happening at the poles and in the oceans. We give support to the naysayers when we ourselves misunderstand the problem.

Cristina said...

(let's try again: 1st one did never appear...!)

there's nothing like the sheer power of cold, pure, fresh, friendly
water to cool body heat and thirst.

Dominique said...

I don't mean to sound superior about the a/c--I'm not at all. And I can completely sympathize with people who need to use it--some for comfort, some for their very survival (look at Arizona, for instance). My only point was that my tolerance levels are long--a fan will keep me comfortable in most cases! William, love that you commute by bicycle. That's great.
mademanuel: yes, of course you are correct about one day's heat wave not making global warming. That was my point: the patterns, and the overall drift of hotter and hotter days for longer periods of time, as well as more severe weather (colder colds, for instance) at other times of the year. The global temperatures is the accumulation of all our individual days. And the global temperature is drifting steadily upward.

William said...


I'm going to take it one step further. Willis Carrier should be canonized!! :)

Anonymous said...

The weather over on this side of the pond is strange,too. Very warm and very humid but not much sun - at the moment. I'm profoundly glad I'm moving from the South of England up to the Northwest of Scotland. It's strange but true that the air up there is very, very different - crystal clear and somehow easier to breathe. You really notice it when you come back down south - the air is thicker somehow.

joan mckniff & snagglepuss said...

i try to cool and calm from inside outward. be still, breath, exhale unwanted heat.

if you have cold running water,running it over inside wrists is a help

in Paris heatwave, deaths in 100s, bus and walk from work to non a/c apartment. into cool, warming to tepid deep bath and stay for long time, not so much to cool skin, but to bring body core, heart/blood flow, to normal temp. I was in 60s and believe this kept me healthy.

how hot was it? cat, laying on his back, legs throw open in all 4 points, allowed me to, welcomed!, put a cool/tepid facecoth over his belly/inner core. could feel the cloth take in his heat, new cloth and on. then we both layed flat on our respective backs, legs splayed, breathing, being cool from inside out.

Shelley said...

I remember the bracing joy of the garden hose shot up into the air and the goose bumps that followed.

Having said that, I love this heat. No more hunching into the cold, just langourous lolling...

I was designed with heat in mind.

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

Love this article. As I recently stated in a commencement speech. "You can and you must shine your light beyond your own backyard... Be a good neighbor and become a steward of this world... You have been given this one life, so let's get it done right..."
A great book on this subject is: " Cradle to Cradle." The author, instills in us..."We have to rethink the way we think about making the products we make." As a designer, who rides her bike as often as possible, I am always suggesting this go other designers. I also agree with you about the changing of temp's with the Ocean. I am in Rhode Island,
I remember so well the water being so cold. As a born and bred New Englander. I, along with my very young son, would very often be alone in the waters. Today, it was like bath water. Feels good... Until, one remembers they way is was not that long ago.
Go Green Go! Go Spain Go onto win The Worlds Cup!!:)

Unknown said...

The only ones getting relief are the shore birds nearby skimming the surface of a still clean water way.
Just found your wonderful blog.

Vava! Veve! said...

I have found that grating fresh ginger into a tub of tepid water is a great way to cool down! Simple ways always seem to work best all around.

I grew up in Minnesota without AC in our house or car. We never knew the difference. Sure I was hot, but then, so was everyone, so no one stood out as being that icky sweaty person. We all glowed, and used linen hankerchiefs to dab at that glow!

AC is a wonder at cooling the inside of a house, but have you ever stood by the AC unit as it expells it's heat from working so hard. It is like a blast furnace! My thought is this. . . we have to go to more simple solutions. Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law of Motion (simply: every action has an equal and opposite reaction) seems to apply here. The more sophisitcated we get with all our living aids (AC, electric everything, gas powered mowers & cars & weed whackers, high-tech refrigerators, and on and on) the more energy is needed, the more negative and dangerous impact we have on our earth! To simplify is to be green!

BTW, the weather in Minnesota has cooled today after a good rain. Hopefully you folks will be experiencing this soon!

Go Green!!

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