All across Europe, countries are experiencing unprecedented heatwaves that absolutely no one is prepared for. European countries are no strangers to heat, but temperatures over the last month have been rocketing upwards and are boq breaking records each week. In nearly every country, the thermometer is hitting between 104 and 110 Fahrenheit degrees this week.
Americans — particularly those in the American South, who are no strangers to triple degree days in the summer — may think that Europeans are just being overdramatic. But it’s important to remember that Europe hasn’t experienced a summer like this before, and does not have the infrastructure to manage this kind of heat. A little less than five percent of homes in the United Kingdom are equipped with air conditioning, and the nation issued its first-ever Red Warning for extreme heat in England, which indicates there’s a “danger to life.” On Monday, the UK Royal Air Force had to ground flights because the runway had melted.
Meanwhile, thousands in France have been forced to evacuate due to wildfires spreading throughout the souther region, and their spread is abated by the intense heat. About four percent of French homes are equipped with AC.
This is what the United Nations meant when they warned late last year that we’d begin to see the effects of climate change more prominently. Extreme temperature leads to extreme weather which ultimately will lead to extreme deaths. These heatwaves may be unprecedented but experts anticipate they are going to become increasingly normal, as global inaction on climate change means the world continues to get cooked by higher and higher levels of human action while scientists and activists beg for change. Climate change skeptics are fond of pointing out that scientists have long promised dire consequences of ignoring climate change. But the consequences are everywhere, and growing so blatant that even people with relative wealth are starting to find it hard to ignore.