Saturday, June 30, 2012

Observations from the Coffee Shop 6.30

If you ever want to argue against the existence of 'global warming' talk to my brother. What art is to me the environment is to him and he takes it very personally. He will start by telling you global warming is perhaps the worst choice of words ever. He prefers some version of global climate change which he says is much more to the point and less political. Than he will take you to school like you never have been until you slip away with whatever tail you have left between your legs.

I think at the moment nature itself has decided to teach us a slight lesson of its own. Yesterday started with Sean trying to explain to me what a heat dome is. It ended with me googling derecho to find out what the hell kind of storm it was that swept through the mid-Atlantic region.

Turns out a heat dome is a sort of perfect storm of, well, heat. Unlike last summer's heatmageddon heat dome is a real term. The National Weather Service describes it as "when a high pressure system develops in the upper atmosphere, causing the air below it to sink and compress because there's more weight on top. That raises temperatures in the lower atmosphere." What that means is it's effing hot and is going to stay hot. The southeastern United States is at the start of what may be one of the worst heat waves on record, ever. It's only June.

Last night I got home and thought I would see what was new on Netflix before I crawled to bed. Turned out Netflix was down along with many other sites all because Amazon's cloud was having issues related to the derecho storm. Even though I had been drinking I realized I had never heard of a derecho storm, I thought it was something out of a Roland Emmerich movie (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, etc.), and I still don't quite understand what it is so I'll leave the description to Wikipedia. Whatever a derecho is one swept through Maryland and Virginia Friday night with wind gusts estimated as high as 80 mph and knocking out power to 1.5 million people. Most of them, possibly including a friend of mine, will face today's continued record heat without air conditioning.

"For years, we operated under the belief that we could continue consuming our planet's natural resources, without consequence. We were wrong." Fictional Vice-President Raymond Becker
near the end of The Day After Tomorrow.

For the record, as I write this it is 85° in the Village, at 9 AM.

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