Tuesday, August 3, 2010

But It's Cold in Peru!

Bet you haven't heard much about this story:

"Russians are not used to heat waves. When the high temperatures that have overwhelmed Russia over the past six weeks first arrived in June, some 1,200 Russians drowned at the country's beaches. "The majority of those who drowned were drunk," the Emergencies Ministry concluded in mid-July, citing the Russian habit of taking vodka to cool off by the sea. But while overconsumption of vodka is a familiar scourge in Russia, extreme heat is not, and as the worst heat wave on record spawns wildfires that are destroying entire villages, Russian officials have made what for them is a startling admission: global warming is very real.

At a meeting of international sporting officials in Moscow on July 30, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that in 14 regions of the country, "practically everything is burning. The weather is anomalously hot." Then, as TV cameras zoomed in on the perspiration shining on his forehead, Medvedev announced, "What's happening with the planet's climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate."

The heat wave first started alarming authorities in June, when local officials recorded abnormally high fatalities on Russia's beaches. At the same time, a devastating drought was withering Russia's crops. As of July 30, some 25 million acres (about 10 million hectares) of grain had been lost, an area roughly the size of Kentucky - and growing. Then last week, fires that had been ignored for days by local officials began spreading out of control. By Aug. 2, they had scorched more than 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) and destroyed 1,500 homes in more than a dozen regions, some of which declared a state of emergency. Scores of people have been killed in the fires, and in the outskirts of Moscow, burning fields of peat, a kind of fuel made of decayed vegetation, periodically covered the city in a cloud of noxious smoke, making it painful to breathe in parts of the Russian capital."

The Republican response? Well, here's a typical take from the Astute Bloggers:


Well, they can always find somewhere where it's cold. Give them a few more decades, and they will be able to wipe out the human race. But at least a bunch of really rich people will be able to die happy.


flavor411 said...

Saw a LA Times piece about a month ago on the cool weather in So Cal.
I think it opened up with the statement or maybe it was even the headline, I forget, that it was ALMOST the coolest June in 10 years. Turns out 2004 was slightly cooler and 2001 was definitely cooler.

Meanwhile here on the East Coast where I live we had the hottest April ever recorded (records go back 120+ years here)the hottest May ever, the hottest June ever, July data is not complete yet, but it will be either the hottest or a very close second hottest July ever.

I noticed how 'almost the coolest June in 10 years' got a good sized article, but it took months of the warmest weather EVER here before the press really started to acknowledge it.

Green Eagle said...

Well, Flavor, maybe it's time for you to move somewhere cooler- Washington State, perhaps.