This week the UK saw its hottest temperatures since records began. An average July used to see temperatures topping at 23 degrees Celsius but this week we peaked just above 40 degrees, which would have been unthinkable when I was growing up. Working in such hot conditions without air conditioning was really difficult. If this is going to be the new norm, we have to change the way we do things.
With meteorologists now predicting a further ‘heat dome’ over Europe in August and the extension of hot weather into September (which has been apparent for the past few years), the time has come to think carefully about how we ready ourselves for such hot weather.
Yes, in Southern Europe they are used to having very hot days, but they are also closed during peak sunshine hours for a siesta. As well as this, their homes are painted white colours to reflect the sun and have shutters on the outside of their windows to block out the damaging rays. Air conditioning is part of their strategy too. In Britain our homes are designed to trap hot air. We have double glazed windows and extra insulation which make things worse.
Governments need to start thinking about working conditions during such hot periods. Perhaps they will consider:
– funding air conditioning for key workers and hospitals as well as subsidising this for low income households
– making affordable shutters an option to darken houses during hot days and reduce internal temperatures
– adapting school days to suit the weather (perhaps starting earlier and closing at midday or having a siesta)
I notice that President Biden has set aside 2 billion dollars for air conditioning and sun protection. This is great but I hope he and other governments are putting even more money into finding ways to counter the effects of global warming.
The following things need addressing right away:
– ensuring all power stations use renewable energy supplies such as wind, hydro or solar
– funding a better network of trains and buses to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads
-taxing and discouraging frequent flying and overuse of aeroplanes
– widespread tree planting schemes and re-wilding
Hopefully some lessons have been learned from this week’s heatwave. It would be sad to see no changes taking place, given this massive wake up call. We all know that climate change will become more of a problem over the next few decades. We really need to act now to protect our homes, our health and our crops. Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, please consider following my blog for similar future content.
16 thoughts on “Take Aways From The Heatwave”
I cannot believe the weather! It has been so hot! It is so scary how hot it became as we don’t have air con in our house. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you too.
In Canada, we’re used to hot summers but I don’t recall our temperature ever hitting 40. The highest I remember is 37. I was feeling for you all over the last couple of weeks. When we were in England in 2014, temperatures were around 30 and we really missed our air conditioning.
If this isn’t a wakeup call that we need climate action, I don’t know what it will take.
Good point. I wonder if some of us eco-bloggers need to come together for a project where we regularly address this somehow. Even if just a monthly collaboration or something…
Oh that’s an interesting idea.
Something along the lines of a monthly climate action roundup would be one idea. Each of us sharing thing we’ve read or seen and linking to each other’s posts.
Or another idea is a monthly post by one of the group highlighting why climate action matters to them and what is (or isn’t) being done about it from their perspective. Then the rest of the group could publish a post linking to the main post and adding their thoughts.
What do you think?
This is crazy, it’s been a struggle with the heat this summer. A lot of counties facing a high degree heat wave. Hope you can manage through this problem.
Absolutely. I bet Molly at Transatlantic Notes would join in.
I’m pretty sure Krista and Alison from A Sustainably Simple Life would be up for it and maybe a few others as well. Why don’t I put out a tweet to gauge interest?
Perfect. Thank you.
When I moved to Ohio, USA it was a shock to my British system that the summers are so hot here; it would be unbearable to not have air-conditioning. The fact that Europe was experiencing weather like we have here — and even hotter — made me think of how the infrastructure in Britain, for example, is not set up to deal with temps like those experienced recently. You’ve made some great points to push for as this is not going to get any better if action isn’t taken.
In another comment I suggested we link together with Michelle as eco-bloggers to maybe create or contribute an eco article once in a while.
I love the heat, But when it becomes too humid, it makes it uncomfortable. Global warming is a contributing factor to the extreme weather across the world. Here in NYC , temperatures are close to 100 degree F. Governments across the globe need to put in place strategies for combating global warming. Biden, need to also fulfill the student loan forgiveness as promised.
Good points. I went to NYC in August one year and could smell pollution everywhere.
I definitely agree with you Jamie! I wish Biden would put that money into reducing climate change :/
The amount of people saying “it’s called summer” has been frustrating, 40 degrees in the UK is not normal! Yes I’ve been to hotter places but they’re equipped for the heat, we are not.
The scenes of fires this week have been scary and should act as a wake up call