The latest hysteria is all about a heat wave that is hitting mainly Arizona and Southern California. My family has lived out there since the Gold Rush years. We have seen warm cycles and cold cycles, droughts and floods. We did this without air conditioning. I remember when people started using air conditioners. Suddenly, thousands of people showed up to live in the desert. Because I was acclimated to live without air conditioners, I found them to be very annoying and super cold!
So, people are going out in Arizona this week in hot temperatures and dying: Intense 120f heatwave kills three as ‘life threatening’ temperatures spark wildfires across FOUR Southwestern states with fears flights out of Phoenix could be grounded and the death toll is…two hikers who I bet are immigrants to the region, that is, outsiders coming from cold climates.
Arizona, like many other places, was hotter and drier in the past and during the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, could be nearly uninhabitable in the past including the last Great Drought which lasted for nearly 200 years at the end of the Medieval Warm Period.
Today, the Mexicans from Sonora are barely phased by this heat. This is why they came here to do outdoor work in summer in particular. No matter how hot it is, you see these people who are capable of taking the heat working outdoors, though a siesta in the early afternoon is required, which I agree with.
90% of the population in the Southwest that is not Northern Mexican (other Hispanics do not have the acclimation which the Sonoran people have) are there because of air conditioning. When I was a small, small child, most people didn’t have any air conditioners and our schools certainly had none whatsoever, we were allowed to dig holes in the desert and cover them over with something and use these as ‘play houses’.
When we lived on Kitt Peak, we had outright caves to play in when it was super hot. Another life skill was to never, ever stand around facing the sun. To this day, I turn my back to the sun when it is hot. It is instinctive. When I had my own home in Tucson near the University there, I had a ‘swamp box’ which was a big slow rotating fan thing with water running down the side to cool the air and this humidified the house, too.
My rabbits lived under it because it was damp and thus, fairly cool. All this heat talk about Arizona reminds me of a story my Arizona/California grandfather told me when I was a kid: ‘When a desperado was brought before a judge (at Yuma, the hottest part of Arizona!) the judge asked him if he wanted to go to prison at Yuma or straight to hell. The convict said, send me straight to hell, it is colder there.’
My great grandmother went about her business during the Victorian era in Tucson wearing Victorian dresses and used an umbrella to shade herself. She also hit drunks with it. Survival in the desert means taking normal conditions rationally.
Arizona has not been roasting hot this last 50 years! It has been COOL. This startling fact is totally hidden from outsiders who look at doctored data to figure out things. I know for a fact that Tucson was quite hot way back when it was a territory and my great grandfather ran around the place on horseback, hunting for Geronimo, the Apache leader whose skull was stolen by the Skull and Bones by ancestors of the present Cheney and Bush Presidential gang.
Starting in 1960, Tucson became much, much cooler and has slowly warmed up since then and now, finally, is more like the 1950s or 1890s again. Unlike during other dry/hot cycles, today we have to fear many forest fires because the millions of people who flooded into the region thanks to air conditioners, set fires accidentally or stupidly and on purpose.
By the way, a lot of the trees growing in Los Angeles are not native species, they are foreign plants and especially the eucalyptus trees which don’t mind long droughts but explode into flames when there is a fire. Virtually all the greenery in Los Angeles is non-native. The same goes for Arizona’s cities though Tucson began outlawing various alien trees over the years. Plant Palo Verdes instead. They are green as the name suggests and totally acclimated to the desert ecology.
The Southwest desert is not a good place for many millions of humans. Nor is Saudi Arabia, for that matter. Humans have proliferated to the point where there is serious stress on the planetary systems and note that very few volunteer to live where it is very cold.
Here in the Northeast, people retire and run off to hot, dry places. Not hot and humid, hot and dry. Then boast about how nice the weather is because it isn’t raining or get cold. Now, they are all complaining that it is dry and hot! This is pure insanity.
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