It’s early Sunday morning, the first weekend in August, and I’m thinking about current events. My screened-in porch is hot, even early in the morning. My daughter, Kalli, and her two youngest daughters are relocating back from Atlanta and spending the weekend with us. I was exiled to the back porch last night to watch anything other than the Paw Patrol pack of pups saving bunnies and the farmland. It was hot on the back porch last night, too.
The papers and internet are full of articles about July being the hottest month in recorded history. It has been hot, but I’m not too sure of, nor overly impressed by, the hottest month in history claim. First, the recorded global average temperature for the first 23 days of July 2023 was 62.5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Associated Press. It has been hot, but the average temperature is still just an average, not an absolute. Second, the southern half of the earth is in the middle of winter and probably welcoming warmer temperatures. Third, 62.5 F isn’t debilitating – a high of nearly 120 F in Arizona might be (or maybe they are used to it), but high temperatures like the ones in Arizona certainly slant the averages.
The Kansas City Star states that July 2023 was not nearly the hottest month in Kansas City’s history. The 77 F average temperature, although hotter than the world average, was only the 99th hottest and the 35th coolest on record in Kansas City (Averages are funny facts). I still recall the summer of 1980 in Birmingham. My wife was pregnant with our oldest daughter, and the temperature was over 100 F for twenty straight days. I have no idea what the average was – that may have been before recorded history – but it was hot in 1980, too.
Then we have David Gelles and Manuela Andreoni, two correspondents for the New York Times Climate Forward, neither of whom apparently claim any climate expertise other than Ms. Andreoni serving as a fellow at the Rainforest Investigation Network, who recently wrote, “But, there are two things we can say with certainty: Oceans are the hottest they have ever been in recorded history, by a wide margin, and man-made climate change is to blame.” They are certain; El Nino is a little surprised.
Aside from climate, former President Trump has also been a constant topic for news stories. Back in May, I wrote about Trump facing felony charges for falsifying business records, related to reportedly paying off an adult film star to suppress a story that she allegedly was paid hush money to cover up an extramarital affair between the two. In that article I remarked about how political morals had changed over the decades to the degree that such allegations did not harm his political standing. Of course, Trump has collected numerous other indictments since then, and his political standing continues to increase. A few more indictments – they don’t seem to be slowing down – and he will be declared President by acclamation.
And today, a Russian Court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 19 years in prison for “Supporting Extremism.” Mr. Navalny was already serving a nine-year prison sentence. We are lucky that Supporting Extremism is not a crime in the U.S. Otherwise, our jails would be full of a few Ex-Presidents, a current President, and extremists from both parties.
I also wrote in May about some people suffering anxiety because of all the music choices on paid music sites, trouble setting up personalized playlists, and how the shuffle button has caused disorder in the world. Last week, I drove to Birmingham. I put the top down and played Robert Earl Keen Radio and Micky and the Motorcars Radio with the shuffle button on. All enjoyment, no anxiety at all.
So, other than I didn’t have anything worthwhile to write about this month – and I am not sure this passes the test – what is all this about? These are my observations about the stories in the news, electronic newspapers on the internet, and how biased or silly some articles are. I could state here that the New York Times Climate Forward lists more than 100 articles about how climate change is destroying the world and why extreme urgent action is needed. My critics claim I am fixated on climate change – they haven’t read Climate Forward.
Instead, I will say there is a lot written and said that has little relation to facts. There are no free lunches. Be careful what you support or believe.
I hope you have a good month.