The villain behind the heat wave


American flame gas.

American flame gas. Illustrated | iStock

last week, I took notes On June 27, Canada broke the record-breaking heat record at 116 degrees Fahrenheit, three degrees above previous records.It turns out It was just the beginning: The same small town in Lytton, which broke the national record, broke it again the next day by hitting 118 degrees, and Third Next day temperature 121.3 degrees — Or more than 8 degrees higher than any previously recorded temperature in Canadian history.

“This is an extreme thermal event in the most unusual regions of the globe since the temperature record began. There is nothing comparable,” said meteorological historian Christopher Bart. Said Yale climate connection.. The heat burned the forests around Lytton, accelerating wildfires and causing a unique “pyrotechnics” storm, producing more lightning and more flames.The day after setting the record, with Lytton Burned it to the ground However 15 minutes After the smoke first appeared.

At the same time last week, green peas Publish recording ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy brags to work with Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) And the Biden administration to undermine the Democratic climate policy and fund skepticism about climate change. Discussed the company’s role in the company and proposed its support. The carbon tax is purely an “issue” because they expect it to never happen. (the company Denied that this is trueBut there is no reason to accept their words about it. )

All Americans are to some extent involved in climate change.As a country, the United States has contributed for decades Several times World average of per capita emissions. However, a relatively small number of people, primarily executives of large fossil fuel companies, their major shareholders, bribes to politicians, and those who accept those bribes, bear the overwhelming majority of responsibilities. I am. Their immoral desires are directly linked to climate disasters, which have already killed thousands of people, and will soon kill millions.

At least hundreds of people in western North America were killed by heat waves — Writing timePerhaps 320 people in Canada and 75 people in the United States are associated with fever, and more deaths may have been found. Estimates of the cost of melting or breaking the infrastructure have not yet been compiled, but it should be enormous.

It was a terrible disaster. However, in a sense, it was fortunate that the heat wave was generated where it was generated. Both Canada and the United States are wealthy, and not many people live in that region of either country. If a heat wave of the same magnitude hits a poor and densely populated country, the death toll will be exponentially high.A recent book by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson Ministry of the future It begins with a fascinating and horrifying explanation of India’s near-future heat wave, which will kill 20 million people in the coming weeks.

Without WWII-scale global policy mobilization that can’t be seen anywhere, something like Robinson’s scenario would be Absolutely sure Sooner or later it will happen somewhere on earth. The reason is as follows. “Wet bulb” temperature At about 95 degrees (the combined level of heat and humidity that keeps the body cool due to sweating), humans cannot survive long, and even the healthiest people sitting still in the shade cook themselves from the inside And die for a few hours.

A Research from last year Where large chunks of humanity routinely get very close to the self-catering mark, two specific places ( Persian Gulf And In PakistanAlready there are short spikes on it, and the frequency of these extreme thermal events is increasing rapidly almost everywhere. This is also happening much faster than previously predicted by previous climate models that thought they would not reach such temperatures until the last quarter of this century.

But as we see today, it doesn’t really take extreme heat to kill people. The 2003 European heat wave was killed Over 70,000, And the one that hit Russia in 2010 was killed About 11,000.. Neither approached even the metabolic limit. One day, perhaps within the next decade or two, a very intense heat wave will hit a densely populated area that lacks the resources to cool its citizens, killing millions.And the heat It’s just one of dozens of ways — Droughts, floods, rising sea levels, poor crops, etc. — Climate change kills people.

ExxonMobil and its fossil fuel competitors are completely familiar with all of this. The company undoubtedly knew the basic science of climate change. 1979 at the latest, From its own research and the work of other scientists.At that point it chose to use Tens of millions of dollars About a hugely successful campaign to question what their data is telling them (following a similarly murderous strategy in the tobacco industry). As you can see, the reason is that they would otherwise have dented their interests. “Did we join some of these” shadow groups “and oppose some of our early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about it, “McCoy told Greenpeace activists. “As you know, we were looking for an investment. We were looking for shareholders.”

The United States is the largest historical contributor to climate change and the only rich country to completely deny the truth about what the major political parties are doing. The main reason for this is carried out by ExxonMobil and other well-funded fossil fuel stakeholders such as the Koch family who have succeeded in convincing conservatives that climate change is a fake liberal nonsense. It is a publicity campaign.

More than half Global greenhouse gas emissions have occurred since 1990, when the United States was the unchallengeed world hegemon. Avoiding climate change is very cheap and easy if the United States at that time apparently did it for the best interests of itself and all humanity and led a global move away from carbon energy. It would have been. However, it was expensive and inconvenient for wealthy fossil fuel executives, so they decided to boil the planet. The result is reliable and easily foreseeable for millions of deaths.

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