Remember the good old days when the heat of summer did not seem to kick in until after the Fourth of July had been drenched with rain? Remember when it seemed crazy that people would choose to live in places like Phoenix or Atlanta, where the heat was guaranteed to shoot above 100 degrees for extended stretches of time? Remember when air conditioning seemed like an unnecessary luxury, not a life-saving necessity?
That was all before climate change finally made itself known to us here in the Puget Sound region.
Of course, before the epic, record-setting heat of the last few days, the effects of planetary heating were apparent locally, especially with the increase in wildfires and invasive clouds of smoke during summer months, but even that was not as dramatic as the pumped-up hurricanes, desertification, extreme droughts and rapidly melting glaciers in other part of the world.
Now, we know something is different and – if climate scientists are not the hucksters and socialists that right-wing gadflies claim they are – things will continue to get more uncomfortable in this pleasant corner of the country. The good news science can offer to those of us living here is that our region is projected to fare much better than places like Oklahoma or the Gulf Coast, which may, in a few decades, be nearly uninhabitable.
The bad news is that all those people will need to move somewhere, and a place with only occasional spikes above 100 degrees will be mighty alluring.
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