Rhode Island global warming apocalypse


We have entered my least favorite time of year: the hot stifling humid Middle of Summertime. New England is unpredictable in this regard, but this year is a lollapalooza. We’re dancing in the 80s and 90s every day, with humidity approximating that of the Amazon River delta. I arrive at work every morning looking like someone threw a bucket of water at me. (Actually, that’s a nice cooling thought.)


Thankfully, we have a nice air-conditioned office, and Casa Futureworld has built-in AC also, so we can survive, so long as we can pay the electric bill. It’s the inbetween part – the frantic dashes outside – that kill me. (Fran Lebowitz defined “the outdoors” as “what you pass through after you get out of the cab and before you go into the restaurant.”)


I was not born for this. I grew up in the cool forgiving Pacific Northwest, where anything in the 80s is considered a scorcher. But I chose Rhode Island a long time ago, imperfections and all, and this humid breathless summer weather is one of its imperfections. (To be fair, no one told me that it’s basically a tepid swamp that freezes over in the wintertime.)


It’s also ironic that my Peace Corps service was in North Africa, which is not known for its chilly weather. But I was lucky there, really: in Morocco I lived on the temperate northern Atlantic coast, with a Northern California-type climate, and in Tunisia I lived in Tunis, with its Mediterranean breezes. (Well, I should mention that it doesn’t rain in either place for five or six months in the summer. Things get very dusty and sticky sometimes, especially around the end of August.)


But have you noticed that the weather hereabouts is getting worse?


Yeah, I know, another rant, global warming, the end of the world, yada yada yada. But it’s true, girls and boys. Storms. Heat. Yeah, I know that one hot summer day doesn’t make the case for global warming, any more than one wintertime ice storm disproves it. But the world is so full of bad weather these days! Remember that early-June tornado in Massachusetts? The flooding in the Midwest? That nasty heatwave in most of the center of the country, that I think is still going on? The drought in east Africa? Go look at maps of the Aral Sea sometime. Or, I should say, go look at a map of what’s left of the Aral Sea. Very disheartening.


Cheerful thoughts for a stuffy hot summer evening, even with the air conditioner churning in the background. (I have the Beethoven E-flat quartet on in the background, but there are some strange squawks and beeps coming out of the AC that keep harmonizing with the music in a creepy way.)


Okay. You know where I stand on the subject. I don’t know what to do about it. I already use energy-saver bulbs, and I turn off unused electrical equipment like a fiend. I don’t smoke. I’m cutting down on meat.


It feels like a generally feeble way to prepare for the Apocalypse.


But it’s all I’ve got.


See you in the afterlife!


Or not.




About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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