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Saturday, July 29, 2006

THREE (plus) QUESTIONS: Heat Wave

As I've mentioned, I saw An Inconvenient Truth recently. I was already convinced about global warming.

1) Do you think there is global warming, and if so, is it reversable? What will it take? I think it'll take political and personal will that I don't see forthcoming. I'm particularly interested in Chris Black's opinion.

2) What was the worst weather you've had this summer? For us, it's been the near-constant rain.

3) Do you think Al Gore is running for President? (I don't think so.) And why does he look so strange on the cover of last week's Entertainment Weekly?
Several people have told me about the alleged dis of JEOPARDY! by one Ken Jennings in his July 19 blog post. I didn't think it was a dis, I thought he was trying to be funny. He didn't always succeed - faux cannibalism as humor? - but he tried.
In fact, the self-described iconoclast, who earned about 145 times what I earned on JEOPARDY!, had a rather revealing post in which he declares:

1970’s Sunflower is a better Beach Boys’ album than Pet Sounds. (Well, no, it isn't, but it's better than it was given credit for at the time.)
Celia Weston’s Jolene was a better Alice waitress than Polly Holliday’s Flo. (Flo WAS a bit over the top.)
I Vitelloni is a better Fellini movie than 8 1/2 or La Dolce Vita. (Never saw I Vitelloni.)
Oh Mercy is a better Dylan comeback than Time Out of Mind. (Maybe.)
John Stanley’s Little Lulu is a better run of classic kids’ comics than Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge. (I'll have to ask Mr. Hembeck about this.)
Smashing Pumpkins’ cover of "Landslide" is better than the Fleetwood Mac original. (I've only heard the SP version a couple times.)
Marnie is a better late Hitchcock movie than Psycho. (Never saw Marnie.)
Timothy Dalton was a better Bond than anybody else since Connery. (Never saw Dalton as Bond.)
Felicity’s hair was better short. (Nah.)
You folks have any opinion on these?


Greg said...

Yes, I think global warming exists, and I think it's reversible, but I doubt if it will happen. We're too addicted to things that help it along (if not cause it, which is still the debate, I guess).

I live in Arizona! What do you think is the worst weather? If it's not the 115 degree temperatures, it's the few nights when we had violent windstorms. Fun!

I hope Gore doesn't run for president. Then he would become a figurehead.

Ken Jennings is so very, very wrong about Timothy Dalton. George Lazenby was better. Pierce Brosnan was better. Early on Roger Moore was better. Dalton isn't as horrible as everyone seems to think, but he's certainly not terribly good as Bond. I fear the new guy will be the same way - just not suave enough.

Chris Black said...

1. Yes, Roger, global warming is coming, and happening already. Except that "global warming" is to cosy a title for it - call it global roasting.

I don't think it's reversible in the next century, and I think it's going to take a lot of political will just to slow it down. It won't be a bad thing for everywhere - probably Britain's tourist industry will for better as people stop going to the Med in summer because it will be too hot.

Start buying that holiday home in Labrador, Scotland or the Komi Republic.

Oddly enough Greg, there was an item on BBC radio about the serial killers in phoenix which mentioned that the temperature at midnight was over 100 degrees f. How do you cope there?

2. It;s been hot and sticky here recently in Essex - temperatures in the low thirties Celsius.

3. I don't know about Gore. How would you fancy him as VP to Obama?

Greg said...

Chris - everything - and I mean everything - is air conditioned. During the summer people rarely go outside except to get in their cars and go to the mall. If I didn't have a pool I'd never leave the inside of the house. At night it does get a bit uncomfortable, even inside, but we have big fans and the AC and I rarely sleep with sheets on. No fun whatsoever.

Interesting that the BBC is mentioning our fun little serial killers. We're international!

Lefty said...

1. Yes it does exist. Purposely blind people can't see it. I do think we as a world will do something about, but it won't be proactive, it'll only come when we have a huge catasophe like an island dissapearing or worse.

2. Well this July is has been very bad with 15+ days of 100+ degress. I can't WAIT to see our PG&E bill.

3. No. And that's too bad. His pic looked a little painted on, not like a photo.

Chris Black said...

Greg, thanks for your comments. I was curious- looked up your blog and then Mesa, Arizona on Wikipedia.

I don't know hold old you are - but can you say if it is hotter now in Arizona than it used to be? What is the effect on nature - do you have gardens, do you have any birds or wildlife around?

Lefty - you are having it pretty hot as well...

Greg said...

Chris - no, I've only lived in Arizona for five long years, but I can tell you that it has gotten hotter here. The presence of lots of people in the past thirty years or so means more blacktop and Phoenix has become what they so nicely call a "heat island." At the same time, they've cut down the trees that used to give shade (they're trying to bring that back) and we have lost the orchards that used to be all over the valley and would keep things relatively cool and would definitely help in the nighttime. I have spoken with long-time residents who speak of summer nights in the 70s, which is almost unbelievable to me. So on a local scale, we have definite "global" warming and it's almost completely due to the human element.

Chris Black said...

Greg. Many thanks for this - this has been an interesting thread (thanks Roger). I might put your comments together as an item on my own blog (in the past I've tended to write about cold places, so it makes a change).

A few more questions for now: If the temperatures are getting higher, how is this being viewed by the politicians and leader writers in your area? Is global warming accepted as a threat? Do people thinks its sustainable to have so many people living in your area if the temperatures go higher still?

Greg said...

Chris, the problem with AZ is that most people are not natives, and therefore don't have much of a connection to the area. I certainly don't, but then again, I don't want to stay here. The politicians and the populace are far more interested in expansion into what is essentially a flat land (we have some hills, but nothing to stop the expansion). Housing is plentiful and relatively cheap, and people move here simply for the winter weather (which is nice) and for the jobs, which are also plentiful. They don't care about the effect on the environment and elect people who reflect this, and by the time they've been here for a few years and realize the problems, a new influx of immigrants is here and clamoring for more space. I think everyone accepts that we have a problem, but no one is willing to tell people they have to rein in their expansive tendencies and understand that they can't pave everything without making everything hotter. This is really the pure American West - you get what you can, and damn the consequences! People who come here, for the most part, want to be left alone by the government - they hate taxes and hate anyone telling them what to do.

That's a wild generalization, of course, but that's pretty much the way it is. Everyone wonders about what we're going to do when we run out of water, but nobody does much about it.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have! I'm sure Roger won't mind that we've hijacked his blog!

Chris Black said...

Hi Greg (again)

As an aside, I've been reading your Daughter Chronicles (basically the first couple of months and the most recent months). You have been through a most difficult time but there seems to be a lot of love around your family.

Just a few more questions, then I'll compose a post as a sort of interview (I won't change your answers. though I will put them in a different order..)

Why do you want to move on from the Phoenix/ Mesa area?

Orchards - what sort of fruits grow in the orchards - I'd guess it's lemons or oranges?

How do cats and dogs fare in this environment - the heat seems very tough on dogs?

And what about children - do they need much sunscreen?

Typically, where do people from Phoenix/ Mesa go on vacation? Are there

As a last thought for now, I guess that what you save on low gasoline prices (price of diesel here now is 99.9 p per litre - that's about $6.96 per us gallon) you spend on aircon!

Greg said...

Chris - let's see ...

I don't like Phoenix for oodles of reasons. I don't like the weather, and the few months of nice weather in the winter doesn't make up for the nine or so months of awfulness. I don't like the desert surroundings, either. And I came here from Portland, which had a lot of theater and good restaurants and interesting places to go. Here there's nothing. We moved here because of the job situation, but that has changed, so we're looking to leave.

If there were any orchards left here (they have mostly been wiped out for development) it would be citrus fruits. Oranges used to be huge here.

I don't know about dogs, because we don't have one, but a few of my friends do, and they seem fine. Our two cats are indoor cats, and they just lie around a lot. Interestingly, in the summer they lie in our kitchen window, which would seem to be hotter than most places, but they deal with it. They drink a lot of water, too.

Kids need a lot of sunscreen, although I don't put any on them when I just go out in the car. If we go in the pool, they need it, but our car, like most, has tinted windows, so they don't get the full effect when we're driving around.

People here go to San Diego or Rocky Point in Mexico (I can't remember the Spanish name, but everyone here calls it Rocky Point). Apparently (I've never been there) it's pretty much an American town in Mexico on the Gulf of California. Or they head to the northern part of the state, where there are lots of small towns with small resorts.

And I guess 3 dollars a gallon is cheap by European standards (it doesn't feel cheap!), but you're right - our electric bill this month was over 300 dollars. Of course, in the winter it's usually very small because we don't have to use the heat.

Roger would probably like his blog back, but this is kind of fun!

Roger Owen Green said...

Roger who?

Chris Black said...

Hi Guys.

I will try to post something intlligent tonight on "Moonlight Over Essex".

Then Roger can relax!

Chris Black said...

OK Greg I've rejigged our discussions into interview format....

By the way, nice cool day today with a little rain!