Data, awareness, and perspective

We’ve had a heat wave since Friday with temperatures in the ~40 degree Celsius/100+ degree Fahrenheit range.

As our home doesn’t have air conditioning, we spent most of Saturday huddled near our most effective pedestal fan.

While our attitude was reasonably positive given the circumstances, we certainly didn’t walk around with a feeling of gratitude.

Until this afternoon.

We thought we’d beat the afternoon heat by going to a Target (supermarket/store) nearby. But, we walked into a store without lights or, more importantly, air conditioning. We were told that the electricity was out all day thanks to a few bouts of lightning last night (I know, bizarre combination of experiences).

We soon realized that Target wasn’t alone in the experience – a collection of neighborhoods were out of electricity today.

That new bit of data changed our perspective immediately.

As we came home and huddled around our working fan, we were really grateful the fan worked.

New data -> Awareness -> Shift in perspective.

It is magical when it happens.

PS: I was initially thinking I’d skip my PSA about the climate crisis today – despite the highly relevant post. Then, I came across this excellent visualization of the temperatures in the past 12,000 years shared by Alexander Radtke.

And, see this annotated version for more color.

Climate has changed over time – the change, however, has been gradual. The kind of change we’re seeing in the past two hundred years is abnormal. There is no running away from physical realities. It will be on us to see what we can do to minimize the impact in the next two decades.