Climate Change Summer

I dislike most dystopian sci-fi novels and movies. They tend to take extreme weather conditions to, well, extremes. In 2023, it feels as if we’re in the middle of a long dystopian film with no end in sight. Melodramatic but true.

The featured image is of the Heat Dome that’s been sitting on us all week. Give me the Thunderdome, the Astrodome, or the Superdome; anything but this fucking Heat Dome. There’s a song that captures my feelings about the fucking Heat Dome:

I wish Mel were still around to send us some Velvet Fog…

I’ve been bitching about the heat in New Orleans all summer, so we’ll use my city as an example of the shit that’s hitting the fan everywhere. It’s hot shit but not in the positive meaning of the term. Instead, it’s unholy hot shit or some such shit…

I stumbled into a fascinating and timely website: Extreme Weather Watch. Check out your hometown, then crank up the AC, sit under a fan, and drink a glass of water.

The New Orleans section of the site has cool charts and stats dating back to 1893. Thus far in 2023, we’ve had 18 days with highs above 100 degrees. New Orleans summers are always hot but rarely *this* hot. In the 130 years in which records have been kept: New Orleans has had 103 years WITHOUT HIGHS over 100. That’s nearly 80% of the time. Not bad odds but those days seem to be gone, baby, gone. Right, Boz?

In a normal New Orleans summer, we say that it’s the humidity, not the heat. This year it’s both as the heat index keeps hitting 110 or above. We’re turning into Phoenix without cacti.

The Phoenix reference is an example of the exaggeration and drama that are prevalent on my social media feeds. In the past, the drama was over spaghetti plots and hurricanes. People have added extreme heat to their freak out list. Things are bad enough without the drama. I do my best to avoid drama in my daily life. I’ve seen it damage and even ruin lives. That’s why I stick to the facts. They’re bad enough this summer.

A message from my role model in these matters:

I didn’t follow the weather closely until 2005. 18 years ago tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent federal flood turned my life upside down.  I was one of the lucky ones, but it still made me a weather buff. Increasingly, the weather is a horror movie featuring climate change deniers who think science is a liberal plot. Oy just oy.

This post was inspired by an article in The Guardian about extreme weather across the country. It closes with a quote from noted UCLA climate scientist, Daniel Swain:

“This summer is most concerning to me personally and professionally not because it indicates an acceleration of climate change, more that it suggests we are somewhat inured to it,” Swain said.


“This year is shocking and next year may well be worse. This summer will be among the cooler summers this century, it will feel like a remarkably cool summer 30 years from now even though it feels so extreme now. It is quite amazing, in fact it’s mind-blowing when you think about that.”

Remember: when you mess with Mother Nature, she always wins.

The heat is supposed to moderate today. We even have a chance of rain amidst this pesky drought. I hope we can get back to regular summer sometime soon: Climate Change Summer bites the big one.

The last word goes to John Fogerty: