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 channelUSA TodayNBC, 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.

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As the headlines show, the future is not very far away at all.

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