Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hot! Hot! Hot!

I promise this is the last time I complain about the heat this year. Once this heat wave is done, I will either be hardened to true heat or dead...maybe both. The temperatures I complained about at the beginning of July are now dream worthy.

I had to laugh reading the heat warnings about today and tomorrow:

"AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE LIKELY. THE HEAT INDEX TODAY WILL REACH 115 DEGREES IN MANY PORTIONS OF THE EASTERN CAROLINAS. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY IN AN AIR CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF DIRECT SUNSHINE...AND CHECK ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT DANGEROUSLY HOT AND HUMID WEATHER IS EXPECTED ON FRIDAY...WITH HEAT INDEX VALUES ONCE AGAIN NEAR 110 DEGREES."

I live on a boat, we don't have air conditioning! I work outside, the only time I am out of direct sunlight is when the sun is down! Clearly, with this excessive heat warning, I am in excessive danger! (On a side note, I have stopped checking on relatives too, it is too depressing to hear about their "hot and humid" 85 degree weather, I think it makes me tear up, but that could just be the sweat pouring into my eyes)

How spoiled are we as a society, that our weather warnings feel that it is appropriate to make comments on air conditioning. Admittedly, here in the south, AC is the equivalent of heat in the Northeast; only the hardy, stupid, and incredibly poor live without it. Which one of those am I?

I cannot help but wonder, however, if we are only making it worse for ourselves though. Having survived most of the summer without AC, I am (for now) living proof that it can be done. When we run air conditioners, we are creating an imbalance. We are forcing more heat and humidity outside to cool off our homes, cars, restaurants, personal bubbles, etc. Ignoring that we as humans cannot acclimate to the heat when we are in AC even part of the day, aren't we simply making it worse outside? The latent heat energy and moisture don't disappear, that would violate the laws of physics. They have to go somewhere, in this case they go into an already sweltering humid city, thereby adding to the heat problem. I have decided at least 5 degrees of the heat index must be due to AC output, although it could easily be far more.

Perhaps this is just my New England superiority sneaking out again. New Englanders (the real ones, not the Manhattanites hiding out in New England) take a foolish pride in being hardy. Why else do we take pride in how cold we can stand our houses being in the winter? So, similarly, I am taking pride in the fact that I complain about the heat less than the locals I know. When they whine, I take a secret satisfaction and pride in the miserable and sweaty nights I've endured while wondering how these people can be descendents of anyone who lived here before air conditioning, or (gasp!) even before fans!


And so, with my strong sense of superiority, I will continue to survive the ferociously sweaty (technical term) days in a think blue (fading to pink) polo, hauling on lines and adding to the salinity of Charleston Harbor. Perhaps, however, I'll stop reading those weather advisories, since I don't have the option to do as they suggest anyway.


On an unrelated weather note: it is hurricane season and since it is taking a long time to finalize, or even formalize, the plans for our hurricane mooring on the Wando River, the Captain and Executive Director have come up with our official hurricane plan. The second that the lowcountry is in the possible five-day path of any potential hurricane, we are getting out of town. We'll be taking the four million dollar vessel as far North and East as possible in an attempt to avoid danger. Sounds kind of fun if you ask me. I've been itching to get out on the water for a few days anyway!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I miss you...

You should choose as your life's work whatever feels the most like play.
-Harvey Oxenhorn