It’s been a little hot, but it could be worse


By David Lindeman

Contributing columnist

Yes, it has been a little warm around here lately, but it doesn’t seem any hotter than usual. It could be worse — we could be living in Phoenix.

Global warming seems to be affecting some places more than others. Here in Ohio, things have been pretty calm. Most of Canada appears to be on fire and in the American southwest, well, let’s just say they ought to enshrine Willis Carrier down there. Carrier is the guy credited with inventing modern air conditioning.

Phoenix just went through a period when it recorded 31 days in a row with temperatures above 110 degrees. On the 32nd day, it was “only” 108. I know people say things like, “Well, it’s dry heat.” Yeah, it’s 110 degrees of dry heat! The asphalt has reached temperatures close to 180 degrees. People get third degree burns if they fall down or forget to wear their shoes. You want a drink from the hose to cool down? It might kill you. The water can be close to boiling and it never really does get cold.

I’d like to feel sorry for those people but, on the other hand … there are around five million people packed together down there in the middle of a desert. They didn’t see this coming?

I was in Colorado recently where the temperatures were only in the 90s. It’s dry there too, but I have to tell you a few minutes out in the sun and not only is the air dry but you are, too. I guess it’s because you’re so much closer to the sun and there usually aren’t many clouds there. You can hang out in the shade all day long but get out in that sun and you’ll pay for it.

Fortunately, we spent a couple of days up in the mountains, where the temperatures were much more moderate. There’s nothing like sitting in the shade on a breezy day in the mountains. Well, unless a sudden hailstorm blows in, but we were inside by then.

We met a family from Austin, Texas up in the mountains. Just so you know, it was hotter than 100 degrees in Austin for 11 days in a row last month. The mom told us they like to go to the beach, but this year the beach is too hot. Lots of Texans are heading for the hills, literally, to cool off.

I always forget about the thin air when we visit our grandchildren (and their parents) in Colorado. I was helping out with a little yard work the second day I was there and it was hot and after a while I didn’t feel so great. I had to admit I was done for the day and spent the rest of the afternoon eating Popsicles and drinking water. It’s a pretty good excuse to score another grape Popsicle or two.

I can’t imagine what it would be like in Arizona where it is 110 degrees every day (and 118 degrees one day) and in the 90s at night. The busiest and richest people in Phoenix must be the air conditioning repairmen. I can’t imagine how all those retired people survive down there.

Of course, they probably say the same thing when they look at the temperatures in Ohio in January.

So back to the good old Buckeye State. It doesn’t seem too much hotter to me these days — I remember back when I was young, before we all had air conditioning, we used to play baseball and basketball in the hot days of summer and think nothing of it. At night, we would just lie in bed and sweat. We turned out OK didn’t we? Wait, forget I asked that last question.

Yes, it’s warm here but nothing like those places down below. Plus, we have water here. Scads of water. A giant lake and giant aquifers full of water. We may not have mountains like Colorado or beaches like Florida or even lakes like Michigan or Minnesota, but we have plenty of water and lots of trees. Plus, there’s something to be said about green seas of cornfields this time of year. I’m telling you, as this planet heats up all those people who went south are going to want to come back home. Ohio will be the Riviera of North America someday.

Unless, of course, all of Canada burns down and the haze and smoke hang over Ohio like a blanket. Or unless the tornado activity picks up. Or maybe a big blizzard or two blows through town (they don’t get those in Phoenix).

Still, I’ll take my chances here in Ohio. It might be hot, it might be humid, but we’re a long way from 110 degrees. Let’s hope it stays that way.

David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected].

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