But it's a dry heat

I assume most of us know this heat wave has been historic, but I saw this from Wasatch Snow Forecast and thought it was interesting to see just how historic it was. Prior to this year there had been 3 times in September where it had reached 100º. Notably two of those times were in 2019 and 2020. So 10 of the 11 times this has happened has been in the last 3 years.

Also, we tied the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded at the airport yesterday at 107º. Note, this isn’t the hottest temperature in September or whatever. It is the hottest temperature ever recorded in Salt Lake, and we tied it… in September.

Did I mention my air conditioner fan motor seized Tuesday afternoon and the part I need doesn’t get here until Saturday? Awesome. I did find out that I am an electrical fan motor mechanic though, and with a little extra grease and prayer got it working enough to hopefully get us to Saturday. Yeesh.

On a side note: When my son was scouting age (and that was still a widespread thing in Utah) he did an eagle project where he teamed up with the city to rehab a traffic median in our neighborhood. Part of that is the city is testing a coating that is white - the guy we worked with told me that they estimate the temperature in SLC has risen by 6-7º on average because of all the asphalt and they are looking for ways to mitigate that with different asphalt coatings. So they are currently testing it on the median by our house. Looks nicer than asphalt too.

This is ridiculously hot. When I was a young child, I remember every Labor Day Weekend taking a drive up Spanish Fork Canyon or up Provo Canyon to drive up Daniels Canyon to see the autumn colors. It was cold enough back then that autumn began in September.

Most of my drive up canyons this September so far has been trees that have gone dormant. Their leaves dried out and brown, waiting to simply get enough wind to fall off.

This is very not good.

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Yes, there very much a thing called a heat island. It’s easier to notice in small cities where the transition to “country” is abrupt. We have it here in our nearest 2 “big” cities, Rocky Mount and Wilson. Easy to feel the change in the evening on a motorcycle.

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Also, they even moved their measuring location over natural vegetation close by to address the development around them. In the course of doing this alternate test they had their instruments read up to 108.8º (!!!) in a single one-minute interval. I believe they take a five minute average to determine the actual temperature - which is why that didn’t count. but wow.

Serious question.

How many of you have considered taking part in climate migration?

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Given where things are now, water wise, it may happen sooner than later.

Honestly, I have considered moving to the Pacific NW or NoCal.

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There’s climate migration, then there’s just being mobile. Look at the jam Utah farmers are in. Generations & generations growing alfalfa, going back to 1847. If the forecast is just for less consistency, more extreme weather, it might make sense to just be adaptive. In 50 years the concept of land ownership may evolve. The Native American groups here in the West were constantly on the move, summer grounds / winter grounds.

It’s definitely real - I read about airline pilots who’ve been around for a long time noting how it’s gotten a lot crazier up there. We’ve always had weather, T-Storms, etc. Now it’s fairly common to have to divert a couple of hundred miles around weather. Onboard radar is far better than it was, there’s not really a safety issue. Just a lot more “variable”.

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Yes. I have considered the Texas Hill Country for winter. My only concern is the number of Californians trying to move in.

I hope people remember these issues when they vote. Obviously Dems want stronger climate change initiatives, but I’d hope that Republicans also accept new initiatives are needed ASAP. If Republicans don’t want government telling them what to do, then they have a responsibility to mobilize the private sector to get something done without government oversight. They just can’t keep objectively denying this problem exists.

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Memo to R’s:

Push tax crediting the ever-loving hell out of people buying clean tech (Solar Panels with Backup Battery systems, Wind, electric vehicles, carbon-capture farming - yes it’s a thing, urban vertical greenhouses, etc.). All of it is hella expensive right now. Make it actually affordable and people will do it without a federal mandate. Carrots always work better than sticks. Hell, you might find more than a few “D’s” who will vote for it.

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I’ve said a number of times here if you live in the Salt Lake Valley you should be an environmentalist no matter your politics. From inversion, the water conservation to sustainable development - we need to figure it all out here because it has a direct impact. Even if climate change wasn’t real I’d love for a near zero emissions world in the Salt Lake Valley where inversion only meant it was warmer at the ski resorts and not burning my lungs and giving me even bigger headaches. That there was plenty of water in the reservoirs not just for drinking but recreation. That housing could remain somewhat affordable. That access to our canyons aren’t overcrowded. That it isn’t 6-8 degrees hotter here than it used to be. That there is plenty of snow to ski on.

These are all UTAH things.

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I hate to be cynical, but I think the majority of Utahns politically will continue to play the role of Kevin Bacon in Animal House until it’s too late for meaningful climate change action.

“Remain calm. All is well!”

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I would love a changeover as well but we have this problem: lithium involves dirty and often predatory practices to mine and we need new battery technology to meet your wish list. We could also be greener by using modern molten salt style nuclear reactors to replace fossil fuel fired plants. We could use kite technology to harvest winds aloft energy, but so much has been invested in large footprint, expensive wind turbines that people generally don’t understand that kites would be inherently safer at far less cost. In fact, it’s hard to get our fellow citizens to use efficient drip irrigation or adopt Israeli-style water saving technologies to grow crops (they reuse about 80% of their water). So interim technologies like driving a hybrid are a good short term strategy until we come up with better ideas.

I think you’re right that what we have right now are interim technologies. This is where the market economy should really shine, and we’ll see the results.

The other major aspect of changing our emissions behavior and changing to electricity is simple conservation.

Example: when Californians were on the verge of rolling blackouts with the heat bomb the past couple of weeks, on one day the grid was in bad enough shape that emergency text messages were blasted out exhorting people to turn off equipment they weren’t using, ease up on the AC a little, etc. “Blackouts are imminent”

Almost immediately demand dropped 20+%, the rolling blackouts were averted.

You can’t rely on using that kind of leverage all the time, granted, but the cumulative impact of some common-sense conservation will make a sizable difference.

Bottom line: I think a majority of people are looking for leadership on climate. This isn’t about liking or disliking Al Gore, anymore.

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