By Hwaa Irfan
For those of us who have not been willing to change, change is on the horizon whether we will like it or not in the form of the weather.
With over 50 natural disasters that have taken place by the end of the 1st half of 2010, March of 2010 began introduced Spring as the hottest on record and counting. Whatever the real reason(s) for the serious climatic changes we are going through, I am quite sure we haven’t seen nothing yet as Quebec gets a little shake (earthquake 5.0 on the Richter scale).
Europe in its colonialistic fashion, as started looking at the climatic changes from the point of view of diseases spreading from the south to the north. To reporter Andrea Swalec, Dr Volker ter Meulen, chair of the European Academies Science Advisory Council, EASAC, which is made up of 26 scientific European academies across Europe:
“To me, it doesn’t make a difference how we call it, but that we have had a higher temperature over the last 20, 30 years, which is documented”
“These higher temperatures provide for the vectors and the viruses to grow faster and produce more,” he added. “More vectors, more virus, and this will cause more disease.”
“For example, rising temperatures in Europe would provide new habitats for a mosquito that transmits yellow fever, West Nile virus, dengue fever and encephalitis”, ter Meulen said.
However, before we get to the spreading of diseases, some people have been dying anyway from the heat. If the World Health Organization is to be believed, especially after their disaster with the pseudo-pandemic H1N1, global warming is responsible directly or indirectly to 150,000 fatalities. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)who have maintained records since the 1880s have found that the worst hotspots for 2010 have been in N. America, eastern Brazil, E. Europe, southern Asia, eastern Russia, Yunnan, China, Canada, equatorial Africa with a 12fth driest season in record in the U.K.
Keeping It Cool
It has been a couple of days since I heard the sad story of a graduate student who was so hot that he went to sleep under a powerful air conditioner to never wake up. He died of hypothermia – hypothermia in Egypt!
If you have already been using your air conditioner, you would have contributed towards upping the energy output of your country significantly. So what!
Well, besides contributing towards the maintenance of an unhealthy unsustainable system, if you are prepared to suffer a summer hotter than this one, it’s no problem. Just try reducing your usage of electrical appliances in the home, and see the difference for yourself. But it keeps me cool.
How cool can one be when one is contributing towards:
– The breakdown of the earth’s ozone layer
– Trapping heat in the atmosphere
– Increase the charge of spatial air
– There is a decrease in the concentration of negative charges not exchanging with positively charged ions in tightly sealed rooms/offices
– Positive ions are positive because they are remiss of negative ions. Positive ions are attracted to generators, and lead to an”irritation syndrome” and it involves sleeplessness, irritability, tension, migraine, nausea, heart palpitations, hot flashes with sweating or chills, tremor and dizziness. The elderly become depressed, apathetic and extremely fatigued. Tension and depression is more common, infection rate increases, and healing decreases. Before a storm, the air is pregnant with positive ions, and these ions are inhaled and pass through into our blood, releasing a hormone which affecting moods, and joints, and blood platelets. In sensitive people, the hormone serotonin is released. Negative ions present would speed up the oxidizing process, but when not present in sufficient amount, leading to respiratory and sleep problems.
Well, I’m one of those sensitve people. All the obvious ways of keeping cool involves wastage of natural resources. If you are like me, and your body’s thermostat goes AWOL when subjected to the demands of an air-conditioner.
• You can reduce your core temperature by placing ice in a towel on your pulse (wrists etc), the effect will last for an hour.
• Drink plenty of cold fluids, especially water to reduce the loss of electrolytes through sweating. Electrolytes are minerals within your body that carries an electric charge. Electrolytes balance the bodily fluids.
• Reduce physical activity – for me being physically active does me good
• Allow yourself to sweat – the purpose of sweat is to cool you down
• A wet towel on the back of the neck, and on top of the head
• Burn essential oil of mint/pine/eucalyptus – creates a cooling sensation on the skin
• Open windows just enough to let breeze through
• Place a basin of cold water in the middle of a room, which on evaporation, cools!
• Doing the laundry towards the end of the day is very cooling if one does not have an automatic washing machine that does the drying as well.
• If you are up for morning prayers, open all the windows and balcony doors to all the fresh cool air before closing all windows and doors
• Go swimming
• Fans circulate the air causing a cooling effect
• Blow gently over a glass filled with ice. The effect is to cool your breathe which has only one outlet, and that is towards you, thus cooling you.
• Generally, air is lighter and cooler on the lower ground than the upper ground.
• Try and get used to the heat – this allows your body to function the way it is supposed to.
• A hat prevents the skin from too much exposure to the sun by creating shade.
• Wear cottons and other natural fibers. They allow the body to breathe, and deflect the rays of the sun.
• Don’t go outside between 11- 3.00pm when the sun is at its strongest.
• In the evenings open windows, and use fans to create a cross breeze. First thing in the morning, close all windows, blinds and curtains (white window shades, drapes or blinds), that is if you live in a wooden/brick home. If you live in a home whereby the walls are covered with cement, the home will turn into an oven.
• Smaller meals reduces one’s metabolic rate, if the heat has not reduced your appetite anyway.
• If you have a patch of land around the home plant some vegetation (shrubs and trees etc), which can reduce the temperature by as much as 10° Farenheit. One cannot appreciate the difference in being on vegetated land except when walks from vegetated land to barren land.
Keep Cool Without an Air Conditioner
NOAA May 2010 “Global Temperature Is Warmest on Record; Spring and January-May Also Post Record Breaking Temps”. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100616134641.htm
Positive and Negative Ions. http://www.quantumenergywerks.com/documents/Ionization101.pdf
Stellman, M Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. VoII. International Labour Office
Swale, A. Climate Already Helping Disease Spread North
A Home Amidst a Never-Ending Cycle of Disasters