Southern California is in the grip of the first real heatwave of the summer. It’s hot. It’s humid, by SoCal standards. There is a lot of thunderstorm activity in the mountains and deserts. I would be lying if I said the heat wasn’t a bit much, but I also happen to be one of those people who would prefer to be too hot over too cold so it’s not getting to me that much. However, I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t incredibly irritated by the constant exclamations and complaints over the heat. If I see one more ridiculously stupid “news” article referring to how San Diegans are escaping the heat (BREAKING NEWS: MALLS AND MOVIE THEATERS ARE AIR CONDITIONED!) I am going to snap and start sabotaging ACs. Yes, it’s hot, and we all know it (i.e., no social media pictures of car or patio thermometers needed). But boy does this bitching start to sound like a case of “My tiara is so heavy it’s giving me a headache.” We live in a country where most people have air conditioning or access to air conditioning. Heat is no longer life-threatening to the majority (although sadly, there are still heat-related deaths amongst impoverished people in the United States who have no AC and no easy access to cool places). Yes, heat sucks sometimes. It makes you sleepy. It makes getting outside and getting things done uncomfortable. But have some perspective, people! AC is a very new invention. Humans have adapted to and survived heat conditions worse than this for millennia. In most parts of the world, they still do.
Photo by Saurabh Das / AP
This photograph shows people in India in 2009 attempting to escape the 120° heat by sheltering under a bus. In May 2013, India had a heatwave that resulted in 500 heatstroke deaths in three days in the state of Hyderabad. I guess my point is that those of us who can escape the heat should have a little perspective before indulging in the constant carping about the temperature. I’m not saying we can’t acknowledge our own discomfort; I just want people to practice remembering how fortunate we are.
This post is a preface for a new series to come, in which I talk about what people want vs. what they need, and how the high level of confusion between the two has led the world to a pretty perilous state. Meanwhile, I’m going to make myself a frozen fruit smoothie and enjoy the 78° setting of my thermostat, and feel fortunate that I have access to such relief.