Dang, it’s hot! It’s so hot, I have to put my beer in two koozies just to keep it from boiling. It’s so hot here, I flip off the breaker to my water heater and can still have a hot shower every night. It’s hot enough to make ice coffee sound inviting. Oh, not to drink but to pour over my head. Yeah, it’s hot, but is it hotter than normal?
There’s been a lot of chatter about global warming and climate change. Some folks think it’s a pile of smoldering cow manure while scientists and ex-vice presidents insist it’s for real. While most of the civilized world are doing things to turn down the heat, others deny there is a problem and add fuel to the fire.
I admit I was slow to accept the theory of global warming. I recall standing in six inches of snow last winter, wondering what happened to global warming as I was breaking the ice in the water trough. But as winter transitioned into spring-like weather two days later, I began to ponder over this controversy.
Back in July, Austin broke some record for the number of consecutive days its temperature was in triple digits. A few days got up to 110 or higher, and I suspect they’ll get back to those numbers in August. We were a little cooler down here south of Austin, probably due to less asphalt and fewer politicians, but it was hotter than most summers.
Now, before someone says, “You don’t know what you’re talkin’ about”, allow me to give y’all a little history lesson. Back in the summer of 1978, when I was 40 years younger and 30 years dumber, I worked as a roofer here in central Texas. Austin was having a record heat wave that July with temperatures reaching 105 for several days. Hot enough to keep the roofing tar nice and soft, but cooler than this past month.
So now, 40 years later and smart enough to know to stay off rooftops in July, I see evidence of climate change here and elsewhere. Numerous droughts and horrific wildfires are scattered all over the western states. Coastal flooding seems more prevalent these past few years. And closer to home, consumption of cold beer is on the rise. I don’t know about other homes, just mine.
Being somewhat educated, I understand the term “cause and effect” where if something new is added to an environment, it will have an effect on the current status. Here are some examples: If you add ghost peppers to your pot of chili, there will be an immediate ingestion of cold beverages. If you add a few shots of tequila to a presently filled belly of beer, you might wake up the next morning on the bathroom floor.
So, as hordes of people move to some rural area of Texas every year, thousands of acres of grassland and trees are replaced with concrete and asphalt. If y’all don’t think paved streets give off a lot of heat, try walking barefoot down your sidewalk instead of the lawn. Add heat-emitting asphalt and concrete to the ground and watch the mercury rise. Cause and effect.
As scientists and environmental groups search for ways to help our planet, I have a few suggestions to cool off Texas. As we reach into our ice chests or the outdoor beer fridge for a cold brew, keep it open a little longer than usual and let some of that cold air escape into the atmosphere. And on the 4th of July, only flag-waving, anthem-standing patriotic Americans should be allowed to grill outdoors. All ingrates can celebrate Independence Day on some day in January or February when we wouldn’t mind a little global warming from barbecue grills.
Clint Younts’ cows know it is warmer than ever. You can see them trying to get up the steps to the Crow’s Nest, hoping to flop into his inflatable pool.