Heat wave causing deaths, power outages
North America and Europe are suffering under a sweltering heat wave that’s caused deaths, widespread irritability, and a powerful thirst. So far, some 21 deaths are reported in France, two in Spain, and at least 29 in the U.S. In southern England, they’re facing what may be the worst drought in a century. On the upside, the U.K. bottled-water industry reports record high sales. Back on the downside, utility Consolidated Edison chose this felicitous moment to preside over a massive power outage in Queens, N.Y. Around 100,000 New Yorkers, normally so soft-spoken and courteous, are protesting loudly as some reach their seventh day without light, refrigeration, or AC. Heat-addled minds naturally turn to global warming, but remember, scientists won’t allow you to say that the heat wave was caused by global warming. It’s just consistent with global warming. We expect elderly residents stranded on the upper floors of Queens apartment buildings with non-functioning elevators will find the distinction fascinating, just fascinating.