The climate crisis is no longer something that can be postponed. The crisis has already begun in many parts of the world.
2021 has been the hottest year since records began. Millions of people live in extremely high temperatures and are at risk from floods and fires. In this article, five people explain how the heat changed their lives.
“We can’t sleep”
Shakila Bano usually spreads the beds of her family members on the roof of her one-storey apartment in India. Some nights, it is difficult to sleep in the rooms, and the ceilings are very hot. It’s very difficult, ”Shakila said.“ We can’t sleep a lot of nights.
Shakila lives with her husband, daughter and three grandchildren in a windowless room in Ahmedabad, India. There is no way for the family to soften the air except with a fan.
The effects of climate change were reflected in many Indian cities, which began to record temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius. Highly populated urban areas are affected by a phenomenon known as “urban hot island effects”. Some materials, such as concrete (concrete), absorb and radiate heat, which contributes to raising the temperature. The night did not come with any breath, but may be warmer than the day.
In a house like Shakila’s family, the temperature inside the house can reach 46 degrees Celsius, which makes Shakila faint and causes rash, fatigue and diarrhea for her grandchildren.
Regular ways to lower the temperature – such as drinking water with lemon and milk – will not work in these situations. Thus the family borrowed to paint the roof of the house white. White surfaces reflect heat, and whitewashing the ceiling can reduce the indoor temperature by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius.
The difference Shakila feels as a result is huge, the atmosphere in the room has become more comfortable, which helps the children to sleep better. “He couldn’t sleep all afternoon, but now he can sleep peacefully,” Shakila nodded to her grandson, who was fast asleep.
“Heat like fire”
“I come from a hot place,” says CD Fatwa. But temperatures in northern Mauritania have recently risen, preventing many from living and working. This temperature is not normal, it is “like fire,” he adds.
CD, 44, lives in a remote village on the edge of the Sahara Desert and works in the salt extraction field from nearby settlements. This is hard work, and it becomes harder when temperatures in the region increase as a result of climate change. He summarizes this: “We cannot withstand such heat, we are not machines.”
Recently, my master started working at night to avoid the heat exceeding 45 degrees Celsius in summer.
But job opportunities are scarce. Livestock breeders today are not able to – the sheep that depended on sheep for their livelihood are gone.
So, like many neighbors, CD thinks of migrating to the coastal city of Nautilus, where the wind blows in from the Atlantic Ocean. Residents of CD and neighboring villages can take one of the longest trains in the world to Nautilus – which carries iron ore from nearby mines to the beach.
“People are leaving this area,” CD says, “because they can’t stand the heat.”
The 20-hour journey is not without dangers because locals sit on the roofs of train compartments and are exposed to the heat and rays of the sun during the day, before the heat subsides at night.
CD hopes to get a fishing job after coming to Nautilus. But job search has become more difficult now, especially due to rising temperatures in the desert regions of Mauritania. However, my master is optimistic.
How to put out the fire of hell?
Three decades ago, Patrick Michael, the leader of the Kanaga Bar tribe, began to notice dangerous changes in the forests near his British Columbia reservation. The water in the rivers began to recede, and the mushrooms stopped growing.
His fears were confirmed when the North American continent was hit by an unprecedented heat wave last summer. On June 29, his hometown of Leighton broke all previous records as temperatures reached 49 degrees Celsius. The next day, his wife sent him a picture of the thermometer resting at 53 degrees. An hour later, his city was engulfed in flames.
Her eight-month-old daughter, Serena, rushed to pick up her children and pets in the car. “We ran away without taking anything other than the clothes we were wearing. Flames were rising to a height of three storeys near us,” he recalled.
As Patrick grew up fighting against wild and wildfires, he hurried home to try to save what he could save. But, like the weather, the nature of the fire has changed. “This is not the wildfire we are used to,” he says. “This is hell! How can you put out the fire of hell?”
But despite the family circumstances, Patrick sees what happened as a new opportunity. “Now we can recreate Lighton, which is compatible with the environment for the next 100 years. It’s hard work, but my heart is full of confidence,” he says.
“It wasn’t like that when I was a kid.”
Joy, who lives in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, said, “This was never the case when I was a child. This area is considered to be one of the most polluted areas on earth, and it sees a steady rise in day and night temperatures.
Joy supports her family by drying the dough using the heat of the burning gas and selling it at the local market. “My hair is short because if I grow my hair, it can burn my head if the gas fire changes direction or explodes,” says Joy.
But gas burners are only part of the problem.
Oil companies use this method to expel gas from the ground during oil extraction. These gas burners, which can reach a height of 6 meters, are a major source of carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change.
The event had a major impact on Nigeria, turning fertile lands in the north into deserts and flooding in the south. More and more residents do not remember this kind of weather in their childhood.
“Most people here don’t have the knowledge to explain why the climate is changing so quickly, but we suspect gas has a role to play,” says Joy. While relying on it to provide for his family, Joy wants the government to ban gas burning.
None of the oil revenues have been reinvested in Nigeria, where 98 million people live in poverty, including Joy and her family. If you work 5 days a week, you will only get paid the equivalent of 4 (about $ 5.5).
Happiness is not optimism about the future. “[பூமியில்]I think life is coming to an end, “he says.
“This heat is not normal”
Six years ago, Um Naif began planting trees on land next to a highway in Kuwait. Um Naif, a retired Kuwaiti government official, said he was concerned about the gradual rise in summer temperatures and the intensification of the sandstorm.
“I told the authorities it was not possible to plant any plants in the desert sand,” he says.
Significant increase in the rate of warming in the Middle East region than in many parts of the world. Kuwait is on the verge of recording unbearable temperatures, with temperatures hovering above 50 degrees Celsius for several days.
Some predictions are that the temperature in Kuwait will rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050. However, the country still relies heavily on the export of fossil fuels (oil and its derivatives) to its economy.
The two lands where Ummu Naif lost his trees are small in size, but they serve the desired purpose. “Trees chase away dust, remove pollution, purify the air and reduce heat,” he says.
In his “garden” one can see hedgehogs and lizards, and Umm Naeef says, “There is water and shade … it is beautiful.”
Claiming that the country is now ready to tackle climate change, some Kuwaitis have called on their government to create a large green zone of trees. Umm Naeef says the people of Kuwait must protect the land and prevent it from being affected by the drought.
She adds: “This heat is not normal. This is the land of our ancestors. We should take care of it because it gave us so much.”
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