Welcome to the future, where news like this becomes mundane:
- “Record-Breaking Heat Tops 120 Degrees in Parts of Southern California”
- “1,000 flee L.A.-area wildfires fueled by heat wave”
- “Deadly Heat Wave Adds Misery to Fire-Ravaged West”
- “Oppressive heat to challenge all-time records across the southwestern U.S. early this week”
These are all headlines from a local news channel, USA Today, NBC, and Accuweather about the brutal heatwave that hit the Southwest this week. One-fifth of the country felt the miserable temperatures marking the official start of summer, and parts of California and Arizona even surpassed the 120-degree mark, in what the National Weather Service described as a “rare, dangerous and deadly” heatwave.
But this kind of event is becoming less rare in a climate-changed world that is constantly breaking all kinds of extreme records.
Scorching heat has had deadly consequences in India, where a heatwave this year contributed to a death toll of 1,500. Nor is this easily fixed by running the ACs higher, which packs a double punch of aiding warming and pumping pollution into communities of color.
As the headlines show, the future is not very far away at all.