Log in

No account? Create an account
11 August 2003 @ 12:59 pm
oh, sure.  
You're right. There's no global warming, Mister President.

London hits 100, European fires rage -- and the Pope prays for rain

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Angela Doland

Aug. 10, 2003 | PARIS (AP) -- Melting Alpine glaciers unleashed a cascade of rocks, London choked in a record 100-degree temperatures and with wildfires raging in seven countries, the pope urged people to pray for rain.

Europe sizzled this weekend, and there was no immediate relief in sight for much of the continent. The heat also broke a record in Germany, and a French toddler died of exposure in a sweltering parked car.

With the mercury hovering around 100 degrees for days, more than 40 deaths have been blamed on the heat.

In the French Alps, a police officer warned hikers about rock avalanches along a popular route on Mont Blanc. Glacial ice is melting, loosening rocks from the mountainside. On Saturday, helicopters swooped into the area to evacuate 44 climbers in danger, police said.

In more arid regions, wildfires have blackened forests in Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and the Netherlands.

Three separate fires were blazing in Portugal on Sunday, with the worst in the southern region of Algarve. Pinus Verde, an association of forest-product producers, analyzed satellite images from NASA to calculate forestland destroyed in two weeks of blazes: 741,316 acres, according to daily Publico.

In northeastern Italy, firefighters worked for a third-straight day to put out a fire in the countryside near Udine.

Pope John Paul II was spending time in a papal palace in Castel Gandolfo, a lakeside town generally cooler than Rome.

The pope told visiting tourists and pilgrims Sunday that he was worried about the drought-fed deadly wildfires.

``I invite all to join in my prayers for the victims of this calamity, and I exhort all to raise to the Lord fervent entreaties so that He may grant the relief of rain to the thirsty Earth,'' John Paul said.

A 3-year-old girl died Saturday in a car parked outside her parents' home in Wimille in northern France, authorities said.

The parents apparently lost track of who was watching her -- each thought the little girl was with the other, police said.

In Germany, authorities are predicting a new record number of drownings this year. Cash-strapped municipalities have closed free swimming pools, forcing more Germans to head to rivers and lakes to escape the heat, where there is less supervision.

Klaus Wilkens, president of the German Lifesaving Society, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that his organization was predicting 700 deaths by drowning by the end of the summer, compared with 598 last year.

This weekend alone, at least three people drowned in Germany's rivers and lakes, including a 10-year-old girl.

``The closing of the pools must be stopped,'' Wilkens said.

The German weather service reported Sunday it had registered a new countrywide temperature record in the Bavarian city of Roth, which hit nearly 105 degrees on Saturday. The previous record of 104 was also in Bavaria, set in 1983.

Britons also gasped through a record-breaking day, watching thermometers climb above the 100 for the first time in Britain since temperatures have been recorded.

The record-breaker -- 100.22 degrees -- was measured at Heathrow Airport, near a parched and baking London, the national weather service said.

No quick relief was expected: Germany is expected to swelter until midweek; France is counting on at least another week of abnormally high temperatures; and weather experts in Italy expect the country to be steamy until September.

LadyCatladycat777 on August 11th, 2003 01:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, but that's over in Europe. You know, the place that called Bush the fuckwit he is, and said that they weren't going to go to war on such flimsy evidence. So they can fry for all our illustrious Prez cares; God is punishing them or something.


Rat Creatureratcreature on August 11th, 2003 01:38 pm (UTC)
What I think is unfair is that while I get the heat here, I don't have even an energy guzzling, global warming causing A/C to cope with it. ;) (Not that I'd look forward to paying for the electricity it'd use, I mean, I noticed in my frelling electricity bill when I switched to a new computer with a faster processor, I don't want to know what an A/C would do to it.)
torchflambeau on August 11th, 2003 03:05 pm (UTC)
well, it was the electricity bill or my sanity last summer, you know? And this year? Still so very worth the money.
Rat Creatureratcreature on August 11th, 2003 03:28 pm (UTC)
I would even settle for living in a building with decent isolation, like walls and a facade that keep out heat during summer and keep in warmth in during winter, either something with relatively thick stone walls or one of these new low energy houses. Unfortunately I currently live in an apartment building from 1905, and not one that was decently built for the rich either, and, even worse, directly under the roof (parts of the attic were converted into an apartment not too long after WWII with really crappy materials for the walls) with many hours of sunshine from shortly after noon till early evening. And though I appreciate the sun normally it's not my idea of fun during a heat wave, as inevitably it will be much much warmer inside than outside, not to mention that I have to walk up all those stairs (to the sixth floor in the US counting system) all the time in this heat, since of course there's no elevator. >:þ
Melycoffeeandink on August 11th, 2003 01:43 pm (UTC)
"The Bush Administration routinely shows disrespect for that whole basic process, and I think it's partly because they feel as if they already know the truth and aren't very curious to learn about any facts that might contradict it. They and the members of groups that belong to their ideological coalition are true believers in each other's agendas." --Al Gore, sounding a hell of lot more passionate and persuasive than he ever did on the campaign trail.
caille on August 11th, 2003 02:47 pm (UTC)
This is just awful. It reminds me of the other year in Chicago, when so many people died in the extended heat wave. Especially at risk were elderly people living in the higher crime areas of the city, afraid to even open their windows.

What do our various European LJers think of the way their own governments are handling this? I am painfully aware that the Bush administration "doesn't believe in" global warming, but I also know that I personally have a tendency to think, "Why isn't the US helping more?" It's a legitimate question, but are people in Europe upset about anything they perceive as major failings of their own officials? I mean, for example, if municipal pools are being closed, and nothing can be done about that, it would seem to be a reasonable use of armed forces (unarmed armed forces) to establish a rescue presence at the rivers and lakes.

And now, I am a'babbling. My ideas seem so stale and pointless sometimes, you know?
Trogminitrog on August 11th, 2003 05:45 pm (UTC)
What do our various European LJers think of the way their own governments are handling this?

I think Tony has put it on the back burner! (sic)

But seriously folks. I think they don't think past the next election, they are politicians after all! There are a couple of useful politicians (mainly in scandinavia) who give a fuck about the issue, but lets face it... These fucks will all be dead when it comes to a head. I'm pretty sure they don't give it a second thought unless it passes their 'people seem interested' threshold of letters and media attention.

auroramama on August 12th, 2003 08:56 pm (UTC)
But they've got kids, most of them. I think they just plain don't believe in science. Or change. The default human assumptions are something like: the way things were when I grew up are the way they will be; Earth is big and there's no way we could change it; a million-to-one chance is about 33% likely to occur; there are no coincidences; and if I'm rich, I must be smart. Oh, and if I can't understand it, it doesn't exist. (The hiding-your-head-in-the-stupid approach.)

There probably isn't anyone who can defeat these biases with reason on every front -- we all have our irrational reflexes. But the idea is to listen when someone has something better-founded to offer.