Okay, while I officially agree with the GOP that there is absolutely no such thing as global warming and that Al Gore is really an animatronic Communist, I can -- and will -- admit privately that if it was any hotter this week in NYC I would have been forced to spend my outside-the-office, work-related duties nearly 100% naked. And even saying that, much less contemplating it, is and should be an indicator that, yeah, it was incredibly hot and humid this past week in NYC.
Kaia managed to escape on Monday to San Fran, and she did so right before it went from "really hot" to "holy shit, if it gets any hotter I'm calling Kevorkian" hot. I think it reached somewhere between 90 and 95 earlier this week through Wednesday, and luckily -- mercifully -- Thursday was downright lovely at somewhere around the high 70's/low 80's.
Before the reader opines that my life is so devoid of anything of interest beyond my innate, irascible fascination with the weather, please note that when it's this hot, a) people in New York really can't and don't focus on much of anything else; b) I spend about 40-50% of the workday downtown dealing with city agencies, city employees and people on the street; c) even if I wanted to spend the aforementioned hours downtown in reasonably comfortable clothing, the only way it would be comfortable dealing with 95 degrees and humidity would be poolside, cooling off or preparing for another dip in the pool. Oh, and d) the heat is so inescapable (at times) that I find myself crossing from one side of the street to the other to avoid the direct, painful glare of the sun (awnings and tall buildings help). This last point should not be relegated to insignificance; I wouldn't cross the street if I saw a maniacal killer sporting a machete and a chainsaw and a bodyless head dripping blood unless it was going to help me reach my destination, but thanks to that big yellow ball in the sky, I'm now dodging cars, bicyclists and the odd scooter in the street to stay out of the sun.
Okay, now that I've -- hopefully -- managed to convince you, the reader, exactly how awful it really was this past week in NYC, I will say that there is no question that on some level the summer in NYC always features a week or two that evokes prior summers and a week or two in which it was painful to do anything outdoors in the City other than jump into a pool of unevaporated water, and unless we're in for a nasty summer, this past weekend was definitely one for the books. Now that we're in the technology age and air conditioners can be had for a mere $100 and up, it makes me wonder how anyone could survive these types of summers -- in the 40's and 50's, etc. -- without adequate A/C. If I was a kid flitting about an apartment in this type of summer 50 years ago and had no A/C, I'd get a shitty, no-paying gig at a movie theater or take classes just to insure I was in A/C.
Of course, the "green" response to the above-offered observation would be that these types of intense summers didn't occur 50 or so years ago. The response would continue, in essence, by saying that thanks to global warming, our winters are reduced in their intensity and our summers are 50% worse.
Maybe so...but while we can and should change our habits now -- recycling plastic and paper, using less electricity when/if possible, etc. -- we didn't have a lot of things 50 years ago, including styrofoam, packing peanuts, cell-phones, high-performance/high-output V-12 engines, readily-available, consumer-friendly four-wheel drive vehicles, or for that matter, easily-workable automobile leases. In fact, we didn't have a lot of stuff. So while we can reverse-reminisce about the not-so-good-old days, we should keep in mind that the planet -- despite what Live Earth and its organizers might suggest -- is a lot better off these days. True, there's fighting and war over more than 60% of the face of the planet -- but I can go get a cheap-ass cell-phone and call more than 60% of the planet for 3,000 or more minutes a month and it won't cost me shit. So I not only have the option, as an American, to go shoot 60% of the world's inhabitants, I can also posture about making the planet safer for them or call them and discuss it one-on-one, that is assuming we spoke the same language ;-)
My point is that this planet-wide warming issue is not simply a New York City one, nor is it confined to hot downtown streets in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Moscow, London or Sydney. But as much as the heat from the sun affects us all universally, so does the heat from fighting, war and the breakdown of diplomacy. So inasmuch as I face this interminable heat with regularity, I'm just going to continue to do everything I can to handle it on my own, keep my A/C cranked to 60% (and my apartment at a cool 70) and call it a day.
So the next time someone comes up to me and warns me this is a sign from The Almighty that a biblical plague has befallen us and I must repent in order to save the world from becoming one giant ball of heat and fire, I'm going to take that free handout Jehovah's Witness Bible and see how far up that volunteer's ass it will go -- and then shove it a little further.
As we recall hearing from Bartles and James, thank you for your support.
Stay wet, happy and cool.