Phoenix is hurting not just during the day, but even during nights which offer little in the way of relief:
After a record-breaking daytime temperature in Phoenix last Friday, the onset of night offered little relief from the sweltering heat. As the clock struck midnight it was still a staggering 100F (38C) outside and just a few degrees cooler inside 60-year-old Sarepta Jackson’s home.
Jackson lay naked and as still as possible on the bed next to an old portable air conditioning unit in the bedroom window, but couldn’t relax or get comfortable. She eventually got up around 2am to make rice and beans for the following day because the air conditioner and electrical appliances won’t run together, so it’s too hot to cook during the day.
“This heat is miserable, my body can’t take it,” said Jackson, who has high blood pressure and diabetes, and last year suffered a stroke after overheating.
The overnight low on Friday was a suffocating 90F – the first time it stayed so hot so early in the season according to the national weather service (NWS) . This broke the previous overnight record for 10 June by a staggering 5F.
Temperature records are being smashed time and time again, said Matthew Hirsch, meteorologist at the NWS in Phoenix. “The changing climate means that every year the records get easier to break. This heat is very dangerous if you can’t get any relief.”
For Jackson – and many others – the daytime heat of the current wave is grueling enough, but it is the nights that are truly intolerable.
It’s really too bad we can’t take all the fossil fuel CEOs, and all the Republicans who enabled their climate-denying, and ship them all off to Arizona to live without air conditioning in windowless rooms for a few weeks each summer. They could all have a box fan and that is all.