Top 9 Immediate Concerns with Extreme Heat

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 18, 2021 by author and climate journalist Noreen Wise

Human civilization evolved during the most stable climate conditions in the history of the Earth. Scientists refer to this era as The Holocene Epoch, a period of global temperature variations rising and falling between +/-1ºC, but never exceeding the +1ºC. This stability provided more than ten thousand years of reliable four seasons and predictable weather patterns. 

Now, for the very first time, we are above 1ºC. There is global alarm. Scientists are warning that we’re meeting this formidable foe decades earlier than expected. That with the melting icecaps, temperatures will rise much more rapidly. Many scientists warn that the temperatures might actually skyrocket exponentially. 

We are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory.

World Climate Research Program Director David Carlson
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The sixth IPCC Report, released Monday August 9, 2021, outlines that scientists have no data or compass to accurately predict the future, nor accurately calculate the impact the extreme heat will have on every aspect of our lives. Reaching this dreadful heat marker this early has caught us off guard, and requires immediate action to curb the life-threatening negative impact.

Heart of the matter. Below are the top 9 immediate heat concerns to wrap our minds around. We should view each from the perspective of a citizen scientist: a learning experience to document and share with others.

  1. Work Performance. According to UCLA Assistant Professor for Public Policy Dr. Jisung Park, “heat hurts.” “Using data covering the universe of injury claims from the nations largest worker’s compensation claims,” Park and colleagues explored the link between heat and workplace safety and determined that injuries are more likely when temperatures are above a heat index of 90ºF.
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  1. Food Supply. Drought across the United States farmland in 2021 has dramatically reduced crop yield and impacted our overall food supply. Although the amount of rain is important, and having little of it causes great concern, the more notable telltale is soil moisture. Regenerative farmers and ranchers like Gabe Brown in North Dakota, have worked hard for decades to strengthen soil health on their land using an armor of diverse cover crops. This practice locks in soil moisture, which protects their crops in the event of a drought. But in general, according to Successful Farming: “Soil moisture levels, nationally, declined fast, with topsoil and subsoil both down 4% in adequate/surplus.” Conditions for conventional farmers are not looking good for a profitable harvest this autumn. Additionally, the public was advised several years ago to begin planting our own vegetables in case our food supply was threatened. Those of us who did, may have noticed that tomatoes don’t pollinate in high heat this summer and we only netted a few tomatoes per plant in Northern Virginia.
  2. Water. Years of drought out West have resulted in cascading negative fallout that has crimped the daily routines of millions of Americans. A water shortage has just been declared at Lake Meade along the Colorado River in Nevada. Lake Meade, now at a trifling 34 percent of capacity, is the largest reservoir in the US and supplies 25 million people with their water. Water restrictions have been established in many communities.
  3. Pets. Pets are often left in cars when owners dash into the grocery store or post office. Pets can die of heatstroke in 15 minutes in a hot car, and cracking the window won’t help. Further, asphalt is 40-60 degrees hotter than the air temperature, so walking our dogs on the scorching hot asphalt without little booties will fry their paws.
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  1. Explosions. There have been multiple random explosions at sites in the US and abroad, several of which have resulted in tragic deaths. These need to be properly investigated so we can learn if heat is causing spontaneous combustion. There are thousands of hazardous waste sites around the country, some of which are nuclear. Extreme heat has the potential to result in catastrophic blowback at all of these sites.
  2. Infrastructure. Extreme turbulence will become more common as the weather heats up and has the potential to result in passenger planes being violently tossed around, which may result in structural damage. New safety standards should be established in light of this potential constant stressor. Trains, subways, buses, and bridges are made of steel which expands in the heat. Cars have many plastic parts that can melt in the heat.
  1. Home Construction Safety Standards. The list is long and wide. Roofs must be reinforced to withstand the stronger winds and heavier rains. Sealants applied to exterior building walls will protect against frequent heavy downpours. New buildings should be required to have white roofs and white walls to reflect the sun’s energy.
  2. Lightning. Climate change has resulted in stronger and more frequent lightning strikes. In fact, three are more than 100 lightning strikes per second. One million lightning strikes that hit the ground per day. The vast majority of wildfires are started by lightning strikes. We need to make sure that our homes, and all structures, are grounded properly. New grounding standards should be established.
  3. Mental Health. According to American Psychiatric Association, extreme heat negatively impacts mental health. Therefore, we should all be mindful of the connection between the two, and be more aware of what symptoms to look for during heat waves.
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CALL TO ACTION. Contact your local, state and federal representatives and demand:

  • New OSHA protocols for those who work outside.
  • New building standards that guarantee roofs will be made much stronger, and exposed walls have a weather protection sealant. 
  • New requirements for new development homes be constructed with white roofs, and that parking lots and roads be painted white.
  • Lightning is bigger, badder and more frequent with the heat; all buildings need to be grounded, and grounded shelters should be required at all parks.
  • Stronger turbulence will undermine the safety of airplanes. There must be higher safety standards for planes as well as trains, subways and bridges made of steel. Melting plastic car bumpers are one thing, but engine tubes are another issue all together. Consumers shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of melting auto parts.

We’re all citizen scientists now. We should be taking notes about how the heat impacts every aspect of our lives and sharing details through social media so that we can learn from each other. Drinking plenty of water in the heat is essential. And remember, never chug ice cold water after being out in the heat, we can shock our bodies.

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So Many Beautiful & Exciting Possibilities | Cutting Carbon

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 26, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine to the soul.” ~Luther Burbank

And flowers cut carbon too! Flower boxes in the windows of our homes and businesses, and hanging baskets from street lights, will add yet another layer of nature to absorb carbon. We need as much help as we can get. It’s another exceptional tool in our climate action tool shed that will reap a wave of benefits, improving both our atmospheric carbon levels, and our quality of life.

Will flower boxes in the windows of the majority of homes and businesses increase property values? I guess we’ll find out as soon as we begin a window flower box campaign.

PODCAST- daily conversation that focuses on how to turn negative circumstances into positives and land on the bright side.

According to BestLife, flowers:

  • Reduce stress
  • Elevate mood
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Increase memory
  • Certain flowers can help us fall asleep
  • Help us heal


Not only do flowers absorb CO2, they’re also air purifiers, absorbing pollutants such as benzene, acetone, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

We can do this! Warm weather climates can begin today. The rest of us can begin planning today so we’re ready to spring into action as soon as the weather breaks. 🌺


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Scott Pruitt’s Delusion | Perspective


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~Benjamin Franklin

I run every night after dinner. Just a simple 20-30 minute course. Running in a town and state known for it’s natural beauty, endowed with nearly 43,000 square miles of vast green landscapes, vibrant thick forests, an abundance of flowers, rolling hills, mountains… makes it relatively easy to inhale healthy air that results in easy outdoor exercise routines. Nature is the most effective filter for holding pollutants at bay.

And exercise is a critical element in building a strong immune system.

I recently had the good fortune of experiencing more fully the vital role healthy air plays in exercising when I was in Southern Pines, NC a few months ago. I ran amongst the tall Longleaf and Loblolly pines. Their strong, therapeutic scent soon filled my lungs and cleared my mind. After a quick mile, I felt extra invigorated, as if I’d taken a magical energy potion. Then, without even realizing it, I went on to run 45 minutes and could have easily gone further but it was pitch black. I think the reason I was so startled was because I’ve never run for that long in my whole life, but suddenly I could go the extra distance without effort.

I was mystified. I quickly had to Google to see if it was my imagination or whether the fresh “pine” air does indeed contain tangible health benefits. Amazing. Yes, it does. Pine is rich in flavonols and bioflavonoids which provide a measurable increase in physical endurance. They’re also potent antioxidants. In Japan, the phenomenon of inhaling pine health benefits is called shinrin-yoku.

It’s stunning to learn how easy it is to inhale health and receive powerful immediate results. I now understand the logic behind aroma therapy. It’s much quicker than vitamins or supplements, where it may take a week or two to feel the difference, or a month, even a year. But in Southern Pines, I felt infused within ten minutes.

Which brings me to Scott Pruitt…

EPA Scott Pruitt’s shocking announcement Thursday March 29, 2018 that the EPA will roll back Obama’s trademark environmental policy, Obama’s enhanced Vehicle Emissions Standards, is nothing short of criminal. The Director of the Environmental Protection Agency swore an oath to protect our health and environment. Auto emissions contain hydrocarbons, nitrogen, carbon-monoxide, sulfur dioxide, etc… all of which result in tangible negatives for our health and well-being. The detrimental impact is substantial.

I now can’t fathom outdoor exercise in cities. It must be extremely challenging with so few natural filters.

Scott Pruitt is delusional to believe Americans are so ignorant that we’ll buy his ludicrous “framing” of this toxic policy shift: “cars will be less expensive” if he repeals the higher Auto Emission Standards. True, but our medical care will be significantly more expensive. Oh, and will also shave about ten years off our life spans.

It’s time to demand that criminal charges be filed against Mr. Pruitt. We inhale health and harm in equal measure. Pruitt’s intentional negligence, which will lead to millions of deaths across the next ten years, must be stopped.

The easiest way to protect our families and our environment is to refuse to buy any of the cheaper American cars that will have the lower emissions standards. We have the power to block Pruitt. We must succeed at preparing for tomorrow. Pruitt’s failure doesn’t have to be our demise… but it certainly can be his.

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