Skip to content

How to cope with the heat wave

  • by JW

How to “to take variations in weather, infections, food supply, costs, and general fortune, as part of life.”


The media is really pushing the news about the current heat wave:

Met Office issues amber heat warning with ‘exceptionally’ high temperatures – Devon Live

UK weather: Second Cobra meeting called ahead of three-day 100F ‘extreme’ heatwave | Daily Mail Online

However, to what extent are these reports ‘alarmist’?

How Britain roasted in TEN-WEEK heatwave during summer of 1976 | Daily Mail Online

As pointed out by a correspondent, the summers of 1976 and 1995 were hotter.

“Although I do remember both ‘75 and ‘76 being incredibly good Folk Festival years ….. my goodness did we sweat in the Drill Hall and when dancing, I think that was when the dancing in the ford started.”

The Guardian back in 2015 pointed this out:

UK heatwave timeline, 1911-2015 | UK weather | The Guardian

Nevertheless, is what we are currently experiencing a trend to much hotter summers?

UK heatwaves will become more deadly due to climate change, experts warn, as temperatures set to hit 34C | The Independent

And around the world: 

Dangerous heatwaves engulf parts of China, US and Europe | Extreme weather | The Guardian

However, it’s not in anyone’s interest to be ‘alarmist’.

Firstly, looking to the ideas and inspiration of the likes of the SolarPunk movement provides a positive way forward to a sustainable future using current technologies and a deep respect for nature:

Solarpunk Snippets – Sidmouth Solarpunk 

And secondly, as pointed out by our correspondent, we shouldn’t become too dependent on ‘current technologies’ either.

Here are some actually rather useful tips they provide on how to cope with the heat:

Our current ‘helpless’ society relies on hi-tech for everything and seem to have no idea of basic science (which we grew up with).

  • They don’t draw the curtains but put the air-con on. ( adding to climate change). Also shops and offices have air-con, humans have biological mechanisms to cope with changes in temperature and so for most of us being uncomfortable is not life threatening, being always at a comfortable temperature is a huge luxury.
  • they don’t move their mattresses onto the floor where it is cooler but use fans
  • they don’t keep windows shut in the day and open at night
  • they don’t drink cool drinks but still slurp hot coffee
  • they don’t use damp flannels to wash off sweat and cause evaporation
  • they don’t wear hats or loose flowing garments and avoid bare skin
  • they don’t move slowly and avoid exertion
  • they can’t/don’t think they should have to put up with inconvenience for a couple of days.

What would they do if we had a drought like in ‘76 with standpipes in the street?

People just used to take variations in weather, infections, food supply, costs, and general fortune, as part of life: now they are cause for massive alarm and complaints.