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It's not me, it is hotter than usual

Susan Estrich on

On the day I left Paris (after a well-timed visit to my daughter), the temperature was 96 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was still morning. That day, it climbed to 104; the next day was the hottest in France in recorded history.

Unlike the United States, where I mostly need a jacket to deal with summer air conditioning (perfect for a man in a suit), in Europe and most of the rest of the world, jackets are not required. Air conditioning is the exception, not the rule.

People can go to parks and fountains, to movies and hotels, to friends in the country, to department stores, to a room with a fan. Stores close. The streets and buildings shimmer.

Poor people, especially poor old people, get trapped in overheated walk-ups.

It will take weeks, a friend tells me, to know the consequences of the week's brutal heat on the most vulnerable.

Did someone say something about global warming?

 

What was that accord that all those other nations signed in Paris?

How can you ignore a threat that shuts an entire country and much of a continent down, killing the old and the needy?

Air conditioning can only save us for so long.

People die in American heat waves as well. Trump hardly cares more.

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