Monday 2 August 2021


We've in the middle of the third heatwave since we arrived in Greece a month ago, but this one's different: the heat is unbearable. Temperatures are going to climb up to 44oC today and tomorrow, and what's worse, this is a heatwave that's going to last for at least 2 weeks. It's apparently one of the worst  in the country's recorded history, worse than the 1987 heatwave that left 1300 dead people in its wake.

The only thing to do is to go swimming where we can cool down. In the evenings if we decide to go out we chose places that are by the sea, away from all the concrete of modern living, and with the hope of a breeze.

Climate scientists have been predicting that rising temperatures, changes in rainfall, driven by human emissions will create havoc on our planet. After the deadly heatwaves in the Americas, floods in Europe and China, and fires in Siberia concerns increase about the growing ferocity of extreme weather in a climate-disrupted world. During this last week the fires in Turkey have left six people dead and more than 50 people needing hospital treatment. In Patras in Greece, four villages have been evacuated as wildfires are raging. Rhodes was left without electricity yesterday due to wild fires across the whole island. Italy is burning as I write, with more than 800 flare-ups recorded this weekend.

There must have been one near Athens, which as far as I know was not reported, as I did not read anything about it in the papers. It must have been deemed too minor to be reported. On Tuesday however, when we were on the beach, we saw fire-fighting planes coming to the sea to load up with water. The next day we found ash on our terrace.

The Climate Advisory Group, led by Sir David Kind, recently declared that greenhouse gas levels were already so high that they foreclosed a 'manageable future for humanity'. 'Nowhere is safe', King said.

This climate catastrophe, all human-made, is going to get worse. Despite the very clear signs of this and the certainty that it's going to get worse, I fear that governments, in the pockets of big business who only care about profit,  are going to continue paying lip-service to this catastrophe, without doing anything about it. Unless things change, we are doomed.

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