Living on a Hot Planet

Some advice for living on a hotter planet, from one who grew up in the heat.

1) Live south, near the water. Global warming affects the higher latitudes worse. That means Miami is 98 while Little Rock is 104. Breezes, especially ocean breezes, are your best friend. You'll still be hot, but it'll feel a little cooler.

2) Ice cube trays. Always have an enormous amount of ice on hand. When I first moved to Arkansas, someone from Washington state opened my freezer and immediately asked, "why do you have so many ice cube trays?" People from hotter latitudes would never ask. You NEVER know when you'll desperately need some ice.

3) Big Cups! Those tiny drinking glasses northern types sip from will only contribute to your suffering. Buy enormous plastic drinking cups and fill them with ice and water to coat. Don't ever stop drinking.

4) Alcohol dehydrates, but beer has more water in it than wine or booze, both of which will give you quick dehydration-headaches in the heat. Drink more beer!

5) Batten down the hatches! Battling back true heat is not just a matter of pumping in cool air, it's all about keeping the heat OUT. The most ghetto solution is coat your windows with aluminum foil to bounce the heat back, but thick, thick curtains work too. Some curtains come with reflective, insulated, or compartmentalized backing, to help keep the heat back even more. Last summer, unwilling to go ghetto and without the cash for new curtains, I bought two cheap carpet-rugs from target and nailed them over my windows. Looked stupid, but worked wonders. If you don't have a/c, try to block the windows that are most sun-facing and get breezes going from the windows and doors that aren't.

6) If you've got a/c, seal the windows and doors! Any way you can. I use draft-stoppers and clear packing tape to get the hard spots.

7) Keep the air moving. Strategically placed fans can re-direct breezes or a/c flow right into your lap.

8) Wear very little: or nothing at all.

9) Create a cold room: if you can make one room cool, you can camp out in there. Make it your bedroom, and you can sleep in there.

10) Go outside. If you go outside for 2o minutes and then come back in and take a shower (to wash off all the sweat you just made), you'll feel a little cooler. Fix yourself a huge glass of ice water. Oh yeah.

11) Eat cold meals. Save the lasagna for December. A turkey sandwich and chips makes an awesome hot weather dinner.

12) Lastly, vote liberal, progressive, Green, lefty-Democratic, and anyone else who doesn't want to sell out the future of the entire planet to oil interests. And lobby the monsters in DC for hybrid car subsidies and alternative energy initiatives. Because it's only getting hotter.

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