Every time it gets hot I think of global warming and that we are all doomed! It’s crazy. I know that. But I feel that way anyway. Talk about Henny Penny and Chicken Little. The thing is I don’t feel that way if we get an unseasonable cold snap. I complain a bit if the pipes freeze but, I don’t feel an imminent threat to life on earth. Me and my species are safe in the cold. Somehow. But, sheesh! If it gets over 80 I start to worry. Over 90 and I am sure we’re destined for the ash heap and, if it ever hits 100, I am sure to panic.
Wouldn’t be the first time.
I was up here one summer building about eight years ago. I was alone. Sal was in town earning a living and I was up here hurting myself in an effort at establishing a base from which our further building efforts would eventually evolve. I happened to pick a hot spell for this work stint and, of course, I got really hot while I was working. And I started to panic.
When in panic, call Sal.
“Sal! It’s me, Dave. I think we made a huge mistake. Our building site must be in some kind of freakish micro-climate thingy where the heat just builds and builds until anything living here just explodes! I am dying! I am gonna blow up! It is so hot! We gotta sell……….move further north………..change our plans…….aaaaaargh!!!!!”
“Oh, shut up, you silly fool! It is really hot down here, too. We are just having a heat spell. It’s hot everywhere. Relax. Are you drinking plenty of water?”
“Water? Well, unh…………….no. Not really. No.”
When I work (which I try to minimize) I tend to get a bit focused and, in the beginning, I didn’t take breaks or stop for tea. I’d just go til I dropped. (Which, as a rule, wasn’t all that long and so progress was slow.)
But when I was ‘on’, I was pretty good. I just wasn’t ‘on’ that much. One of the worst work-habits I had was not drinking water when I should have. And Sal knew that. I didn’t. It is hard to get a handle on such things when you are half-mad by way of the noon-day sun and Welsh/British genes.
“Drink some water, you big goof! Ya gotta keep your electrolytes…..blah, blah, blah……….” I faded out on the words she was using but I got the gist of it. Blah, blah, blah meant ‘drink water!’ So I did.
But I don’t think she told me to do it more than once. So, by the end of the day, I was pretty crazy. I thought I was gonna die. I knew that I had to cool off so I threw myself in the ocean. OMYGAWD! I knew then I was really gonna die!
I took a body with a median temperature of 110 degrees F and immersed it in a body of water that stays within one or two degrees of 50 degrees F all year long. Glass would have shattered. Some of my systems shut down completely. Others shriveled to nothing. I was imploding with cold!
It was hell!
And now I was naked to boot. I managed to get a bit more than half-way out of the water, thankful that my heart was still pumping, when I heard voices behind me. Kayakers. A gaggle of kayakers were just rounding the point and the first one was looking directly at me and what used to be a modest but distinguishing feature. I discreetly re-immersed myself in the killer cold and smiled wanly as the 14 or so kayakers slowly (ever so slowly) paddled by commenting on how beautiful everything was. I should have re-exposed myself.
So let that be a warning to you! Climate change can be hell!