With the massive heat wave that is striking Europe right now, nicknamed ‘Lucifer’ this is a case where global warming actually means warmer temperatures. Many were easily confused with the term “global warming” that is now better described as “climate change.” With global warming, it means the ice sheets are melting. This changes the air flow patterns from the Arctic, so northern parts of countries in Europe, Canada, and the USA experienced record low temperatures for winter.
Now with the report of the heat wave in Europe, global warming seems to be an appropriate term to describe this phenomenon. We all live on a fragile biosphere hurtling through space, which is Earth that we call our home. Some like to call our Earth “Gaia”, or “Mother Earth,” because without her support we would all perish. Almost every ancient and modern culture thinks of our Earth as female. The other popular reference coined by astronauts is the Earth is a “Big Blue Marble.”
No matter what metaphor is used, we are in deep trouble. Recent reports from scientists predict that it is impossible to meet the limit of a two centigrade global increase in average temperatures as was the goal of the Paris Climate Change Accord. The USA pulled out of the voluntary agreement to the consternation of the rest of the world. Europe is getting hit hard and the proof of climate change is undeniable. Unfortunately, we have all done too little and too late.
CBC News reported that Europeans are overwhelmed by the heat. It is causing damages to crops, starting wildfires, and diminishing precious water supplies. For the ill and elderly, having air conditioning may be the only thing that saves their lives. It is very easy for a person with diminished health to succumb to heat stroke. It creeps up on a person. They pass out, perhaps convulse, and then die. Even a strong person working outside may collapse from heat stroke. It is a silent, sudden killer.
Authorities in Belgrade advised poorer residents to put wet towels up to cover windows, avoid any physical activities, drink plenty of water, and not to drink alcohol because it causes dehydration.
The countries hit the worst by this heat wave are Croatia, France, Italy, Romania, Serbia, and Spain. In northern Europe, the climate imbalance is causing heavy rain and colder weather than normal. Climate change is real, its effects are obvious, and humans will need to deal with this problem for decades to come.