Charles Harries

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Hot weather

Hot days are getting more and more frequent & there's not a ton we can do about it at this point.

The weather has cooled down again for the first time in a little bit; after a few days of threatening offshore fog (a “sea fret”), the clouds have rolled in and drizzle intermittently. You can almost hear the earth heaving a sigh.

The sky above my backyard, with a few scattered clouds
The sky above my backyard, with a few scattered clouds

A lot of people, especially people living in the northern hemisphere, and especially especially people living with significant seasonal weather patterns, really seem to underestimate hot weather. I’m talking about weather which isn’t even really that hot compared to other parts of the planet—weather like the 28°C that we had for a couple days over the weekend here in the North East of England, and like the 30°C+ they had down south. When heat waves roll in, half of the country goes on Twitter to prophesy the end of the world (rightly), and the other half roll their eyes and head to the beach.

But no one gets anything done. Whether you’re on Twitter or at the beach, you’re operating at like 20% efficiency. Your body is so dedicated to pumping as much water onto the surface of your skin for cooling that it can’t really do anything else. You can’t focus, you can’t produce, you can’t contribute. You melt, and you exchange one soggy ice pack between your thighs for a fresh one out of the freezer. You don’t get anything done.

The Internet doesn’t need any more hot takes (get it) about the climate crisis. I can’t remember where I read it but there’s basically no evidence that writing about our changing planet is going to change anyone’s minds anymore: you’re either on Twitter, or at the beach. No one at the beach is opening their phone & thinking, “Do you know what? This is messed up.”

Instead, they’re all thinking—andI heard this firsthand—“Next year it’ll go back to normal, we won’t have two heat waves in a row. But what a beautiful day this is.”

Science Weather