yesterday. We were lucky it didn't affect us but there were 40,000 homes without power in 41'C heat. There were mutterings about "load shedding" this time.
Today it is forecast to reach 42'C. It is already too warm for comfort outside. The sun bites at you even early in the morning. By mid-morning it is too hot to be out.
We are lucky in that we have street trees and a small patch of lawn to help keep the temperature down a degree or two. There are vast new areas where such things don't exist. Any street trees have not yet grown and people haven't planted lawn.
Or they have "planted" an artificial lawn. It doesn't need to be watered or cut. It does need to be maintained but people forget that in their rush to avoid mowing and watering. The green looks wrong. It is too uniform. Nature isn't uniform. Artificial "grass" is also hot and gives off a toxic "perfume".
Some people have a different sort of designer garden. It's "natural" or "native" in their eyes. It is neither of course. There might be native plants in it but not the way nature ever arranged them. These gardens are often supposed to be "low maintenance" and "water saving". All too often they do nothing to absorb the heat and keep homes cool... but they are seen in a sort of politically environmentally correct light. Please just forget that you are surrounded by asphalt or brickwork footpaths and macadamised roads which raise the temperature still further.
And of course all this means that yes, people rely on air conditioning to try and stay cool...and air conditioning needs power.
The Senior Cat used to cope reasonably well with the extreme heat. He didn't like it. Who does? Now though he needs to be more comfortable. Other older people need to be comfortable too. If the climate is changing to warmer with longer and hotter summers then there needs to be a reliable supply of power. The electricity can't just be turned off because someone, somewhere makes a decision about "load shedding". Yes, things will still go wrong and the power will still fail but not because a human decides to make it fail because the system can't cope or there hasn't been enough sun or wind.
I am not opposed to this renewable energy idea. We have solar panels for the hot water and others which feed power back into the grid. We did what we thought was the responsible thing. What I am opposed to is working towards trying to rely 100% on something which is a fickle as the weather.