Welcome to the hottest and coldest summer of your life

Extreme Weather

Welcome to the hottest and coldest summer of your life

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Dead cows in Kansas, snow in Mexico, homeless dying from heat

For Gen Z, summer 2022 is the hottest summer of our lives – and potentially the coldest summer of the rest of our lives. Cattle are dropping dead from the heat in Kansas; devastating floods are surging through India and Bangladesh; wildfires are sweeping New Jersey; Parisians experience record early summer heat. 


Dead cows


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports at least 2,000 cattle are dead from the heat and high humidity. However, they are only aware of the deaths on farms that asked for help disposing of the carcasses. Cattle farmers are not required to report these numbers, and with each animal valued at approximately $2,000, the Kansas beef-cattle industry has suffered losses of at least $4 million. Internet trolls blame it on Bill Gates in his quest to create demand for synthetic meat. 



Bangladesh floods


Bangladesh officials have reported that flooding from this past week is the worst they have experienced in 122 years, says Atiqul Haque, Director General of Bangladesh’s Department of Disaster Management. With at least 100 known deaths due to the flooding and schools turning into makeshift shelters, monsoon rains and runoff from mountains have displaced millions of people throughout both India and Bangladesh. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Assam, announced in a tweet on Tuesday that the government of India will launch an online portal for civilians to register their livestock losses and other flood damages.


Heat wave deaths


Heat waves have been consuming the Midwest, Southwest, and Plains of the U.S., increasing the annual deaths of homeless people due to heat exposure and lack of access to air-conditioned indoor spaces. The Associated Press quoted professor of global health Kristie L. Ebi, who stated, “If 130 homeless people were dying in any other way, it would be considered a mass casualty event.” For the first time, 24-hour cooling centers have been made available in Portland, Oregon for those without housing. 

“What we’re witnessing today is, unfortunately, a foretaste of the future.”

In Europe, a blanket of hot air stretching from the Mediterranean to the North Sea enveloped much of Western Europe, with temperatures Friday exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) from London to Paris. In some parts of Spain and France, temperatures are more than 10 degrees higher — that’s huge — than the average for this time of year, says Clare Nullis, a spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization from Geneva. 

In London, the heatwave prompted organizers of the Royal Ascot horse racing event to relax their famously strict dress code, with men allowed to remove their jackets and ties once the traditional carriage procession by members of the royal family had ended.

The rise in global temperatures has increasingly displaced large numbers of people, worsened conditions for homeless people, and cost farmers a fortune. “Heat waves are starting earlier,” said Nullis, from the U.N. weather agency. “They’re becoming more frequent and more severe because of concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, which are at record levels. What we’re witnessing today is, unfortunately, a foretaste of the future.”

Written by

Peter McKillop

Peter McKillop is the founder of Climate & Capital Media, a mission-driven information platform exploring the business and finance of climate change.