Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 28, 2005

Heat Warnings

Heat warnings were issued in nine eastern states and in the cities of Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore.
...
Temperatures topped 38C (100F), hitting record highs in Florence, South Carolina and Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina on Tuesday.

New York City power usage reached a new record of 12,551 megawatts, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the opening of special public air-conditioned "cooling centres".
BBC News,  July 28, 2005

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5 DAY FORECAST (day | night)
Thursday - 118°F (48°C) | 90°F (32°C)
Friday   - 118°F (48°C) | 90°F (32°C)
Saturday - 119°F (48°C) | 83°F (28°C)
Sunday   - 119°F (48°C) | 81°F (27°C)
Monday   - 119°F (48°C) | 80°F (27°C)

CNN Weather, Baghdad, Iraq, current

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The electricity ministry said six attacks in the last 10 days on the power grid has led to a reduction in the electricity supplies to Baghdad and nearby southern provinces, according to government newspaper al-Sabah. Power in Baghdad is down to a half an hour of electricity followed by a six-hour blackout.
AP, July 28, 2005

Posted by b on July 28, 2005 at 19:46 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Yes, but it's a dry heat ... Frankly, the level of incompetence in the American occupation puzzles me. The U.S. Army is very good at doing infrastructure-type things for itself. Heck, the Army built the Alaska Highway in only eleven months. Of course, the Army was told not to do any planning for reconstruction, because there wasn't supposed to have to be any. Now here's my question: is what has happened to the infrastructure in Baghdad sending a message to terrorists elsewhere about how relatively easy it is to disrupt a modern society? I grew up in Florence, SC, and 100 with no air conditioning is no fun at all. I can't even imagine what 118 must be like.

Posted by: Aigin | Jul 28 2005 20:49 utc | 1

my 2cents on weather.

Is 118 in Baghdad normal or a heatwave for them? The continued lack of electricity and water is a major issue in that level of heat. One more example of unnecessary civilian misery/death as a result of Bush's folly.

With high heat and high heat+humidity indexes in the US, I have been waiting for the announcements of "code red" days [when kids aren't supposed to play and adults aren't supposed to exercise and asthmatics aren't suuposed to breathe outside because of bad air quality]. We had several such announcements in past summer heat waves. But this year no word of it. Has EPA stopped publicizing, or changed the way it measures, dangerous air levels -- so that the public won't notice corporate polluters?

Posted by: gylangirl | Jul 28 2005 21:04 utc | 2

We can't sign Kyoto because, according to the Chimp in Chief, it might "damage the economy". That's as opposed to soaring energy costs, typhoons, hurricanes, heat waves, decreases in food production, arable land, and potable water. Evidently those things don't "damage the economy".

Posted by: Jimmy Jazz | Jul 28 2005 21:57 utc | 3

We can't sign Kyoto because, according to the Chimp in Chief, it might "damage the economy".

Actually, the President was really quite definite that signing up to Kyoto would wreck the economy:

You know, look, there was a debate over Kyoto, and I made the decision - as did a lot of other people in this country, by the way - that the Kyoto treaty didn't suit our needs. In other words, the Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy, if I can be blunt.

So it's not his fault, you see, lots of other people had the same idea. That's the way responsibility works; those people need to account for themselves. But personally, I think the President is trying to get out ahead of this one, by handling the global warming in a way that is familiar to him. Poaching.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 28 2005 22:34 utc | 4

If you've lived in a tropical (ie hot wet climate) without the benefit of any sort of cooling you'll probably know how quickly these conditions can inspire people to violence against themselves or other people.

The major town in the North of Australia is called Darwin and it is pretty damn close to the equator as well as being close to the sea so the insane heat is backed up by 100% humidity.

Darwin was run by government workers who lived several thousand miles south in Canberra and when they decided to build some government funded low income housing, they called on an 'expert' on housing estates from the UK.

The architect designed multi storey blocks of apartments for a town where space was not a problem as apart from the sea on one side the undeveloped country stretched for many hundreds of miles in each other direction.

The apartments had low ceilings, big windows that couldn't be opened lest the cold get in and fireplaces! The fireplaces were jettisoned pre construction in a cost cutting move. The windows were set to let the maximum amount of sunlight in to warm the body. (I've been in Darwin on a cold winter's night. It got down to 16C or a bit over 60F).

So these sweat boxes for the poor were opened and of course no-one wanted to live in them since sauna parlors don't do that good a business in the tropics. Consequently the apartment complex became the place where the 'hopeless' cases ie dont pay rent, drink and or drug, psychiatric illness were put.

There were about 60 apartments in the complex 50/50 1 bedroom 2 bedroom units.

The wet season that finally forced even the uncaring conservative government to try and 'fix' this mess ie put in wall fans, ceilings too low for real fans, put screens on windows that could now open, had 11 suicides and 3 murders amongst a couple of hundred tenants.

That is without mobs of strangers roaring around the neighbourhood randomly shooting anyone they thinks is 'too close'.

Stop for a moment and think about what life must be like in Bagdhad for a family with a few children. You can't let the kids outside lest they be shot by a passing member of the coalition of the psychotic or blown up in the name of god by a slightly older kid from somewhere else. So everyone stays inside unable to even get a drink of cold water because there is no power to cool water and even if there was the water pipes aren't working.

When a mob of people are really starting to overheat in a small space, sitting too close to another is like sitting by a fire you can feel the heat radiating off them onto you.

I have to make myself think about it. Not because I'm into pain but because we need to remember exactly what these fellow humans are going through so that we never lose sight of the barbaric treatment people are suffering just so another human can fill up the tank on his overweight air conditioned SUV.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jul 28 2005 23:25 utc | 5

It was hot yesterday in Portland Maine. Damn hot. Our (4) thermometer(s) (geo center of city) read 98 while the official read 90. It was hot! Hot hot hot. I don't remember ever seeing 98 except for that time I was in DC.

Posted by: Singing Bridge | Jul 28 2005 23:30 utc | 6

"Has EPA stopped publicizing, or changed the way it measures, dangerous air levels -- so that the public won't notice corporate polluters?"

Is there still an EPA...? I thought that this administration had de-fanged them the way they de-fanged every other regulatory agency or bit of environmental legislature. (Nothing with the words "environmental" or "protection" is welcome in these parts!) Last I heard, we were busy trying to re-extinct the ivory-billed woodpecker and make sure the damned thing stayed dead this time. No need to mention the EPA... we've made our position">http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/07/03/g8.bush.ap/">position on silly issues like the environment very clear.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 28 2005 23:46 utc | 7

@Jassalasca J

"So it's not his fault, you see, lots of other people had the same idea"

The only "lots of other people" anyone has managed to find who agreed with Bush on Kyoto (and was not being directly paid by Bush to agree with him) was Canadian oil-tycoon Ralph Klein, who argued in a very Bushian fashion that global warming, if it exists, is the result of (brace yourself), dinosaur farts.

I guess you're right. In the face of persuasive arguments like that, nobody can blame Bush.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jul 29 2005 0:00 utc | 8

@Jimmy Jazz

[heavy sarcasm on] well of course, "the economy" is all about imaginary money, you know -- the only real kind -- shares in corners in futures in trades of heavily subsidised commodity crops that haven't been harvested yet; inflated stock prices of startup ventures that haven't produced one line of working code yet; transaction fees on endless churning of trades on international stock exchanges; bubbling real estate. you surely aren't primitive enough to believe that wealth has any actual, physical referent in the reality-based world, are ya? how crude. how infra dig. [heavy sarcasm off]

when agriculture collapses we'll just print money with pictures of food on it and eat that, I guess.

Posted by: DeAnander | Jul 29 2005 0:03 utc | 9

Here in the northwest US I've learned that summer temperature reports and forecasts are based on US Weather Service instruments located in shade. My experience is that you have to add 15 to 18 degrees F to the forecast. My remaining thermometer, also in shade all day, went to 96 degrees F today, 95 predicted. Need to get a new thermometer for in the sun.

Posted by: emereton | Jul 29 2005 0:19 utc | 10

@Monolycus: Okay. So it was just one guy. A Canadian, mind, but okay, just one guy. On the other hand, the President was just standing there -- and it broke!

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape | Jul 29 2005 0:39 utc | 11

@debs: Sounds positively Darwinian. Is that what we are evolving too?

Posted by: Webster Hubble Telescope | Jul 29 2005 2:13 utc | 12

It's becoming obvious we humans created coming HELL right here on Earth...so we will not need Biblical one, haha
It's easy to imagine life on Earth with temperatures rising and no power...
Who ever wants to check conditions in HELL should go and visit Baghdad...
And it's coming right near you...

Posted by: vbo | Jul 29 2005 3:32 utc | 13

"Why, this _is_ hell, nor am I out of it."

-Mephistopheles
The Tragickal History of Dr. Faustus
C. Marlowe

Posted by: | Jul 29 2005 3:52 utc | 14

Aigin,
Now here's my question: is what has happened to the infrastructure in Baghdad sending a message to terrorists elsewhere about how relatively easy it is to disrupt a modern society?

And disrupting society, in this case and any other case where a foreign power seeks to parasite another culture, resistance will have learned a powerful lesson -- rather a self imposed chemotheraputic regimen to make the host inhospitable to the invader.

I'm sure the boys in the pentagon, thinking OIF was a a golden opportunity to test out all the new toys, are a bit shocked if not awed to learn not only their military impotence toward achieving political objectives, but that they have unwittingly also unleashed a quantam evolution in the resistant strain.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 29 2005 8:27 utc | 15

Anna Missed posted on 29 July 2005 at 04:27 AM:

I'm sure the boys in the pentagon, thinking OIF was a a golden opportunity to test out all the new toys, are a bit shocked if not awed to learn not only their military impotence toward achieving political objectives, but that they have unwittingly also unleashed a quantam evolution in the resistant strain.

Not all of the boys at the Pentagon agreed with this assessment. You'll remember that Shinseiki stated that more light infantry would be needed for any conflict in Iraq, both before and after the assault.

He came out of the Special Forces commands in the Army, where they do rely more on soft power than is sometimes realized. They know the value of having a military schooled in the customs and languages of the peoples in the hot zones, the need to deal personally with the inhabitants of the hot zones and the need to isolate enemy leaders from the citizens and inhabitants in those areas. That group in the military was ignored by the civilian commanders in the US high command, to our collective dismay and injury.

The Republicans claim they support national security, but they're wasting $10B annually on a failed ballistic missile defense system when our security could be improved by allocating that money to expanding the Special Forces we truly need. The Republican high command has repeatedly refused to invest this money, because they and their supporters won't get a cut of it. Dubya's cronies get 30% of every dollar spent on a bogus ballistic missile defense missile or radar. They get nothing for hiring another Special Forces specialist. If they could figure out how to force the new hires to contribute to the Republican campaigns I am sure that this situation would change in a flash.

Posted by: PrahaPartizan | Jul 29 2005 16:04 utc | 16

Praha,

Interesting, the kickback notion. Maybe this MO would account for the ever increasing desire to use contractors instead of GI's. I would imagine the Custer Battles type orginizations are already willing and able to play the kickback game.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 29 2005 18:17 utc | 17

Der Spiegel:

Posted by: b | Jul 29 2005 18:54 utc | 18

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