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Is High Heat The New Normal?

We’re asking if boiling summer temperatures are going to be the new normal. And if it’s so, how will we cope?

Mayor Fred Paris pours one of the 250 bags of ice into the Franklin Memorial Swimming Pool in Franklin, Ind., Thursday, July 21, 2011. Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90's with heat index well over 100. (AP)

Mayor Fred Paris pours one of the 250 bags of ice into the Franklin Memorial Swimming Pool in Franklin, Ind., Thursday, July 21, 2011. Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 90's with heat index well over 100. (AP)

“Heat dome” has to be the phrase of the week. Everybody talking about heat dome, heat dome.

Killer temperatures — too often literally — over a huge section of the country.

The hottest place on Earth two days ago: Minnesota, for heaven’s sake.

It’s a summer for the record books. One thousand record highs across the country.

And this word from the weather and climate gurus: there’s more to come.

Hot hot summers, with climate change, for years. How will we cope? With our habits, our buildings, our crops, our clothes.

This hour On Point: coping with a hot, hot, hot new normal.

-Tom Ashbrook


Heidi Cullen, research correspondent and scientist for Climate Central, she’s the author of “The Weather of the Future.” Her op-ed in the New York Times Wednesday was, “The Sizzle Factor for a Restless Climate.”

Christopher Field, professor of biology and Environmental Earth Science at Stanford University, where he is also director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology.

Matt Fajkus, professor at the University of Texas School of Architecture.

Andrew Jorgenson, professor of sociology, University of Utah.

From Tom’s Reading List:

This hour we’ll hear the following songs:

  • “(Love is Like a) Heatwave’ by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
  • “Hot, Hot, Hot” by Buster Poindexter & The Banshees of Blue
  • “Cool River” by Maria Muldaur
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  • Gary

    Why would we confuse weather with climate?  You know those morons that laugh at global warming when it snows in May?  The people that think this heatwave has something to do with global warming are just as dumb.

    • Anonymous


      BOTH the increased amount of snow AND the more frequent hot and humid conditions in the summer — *are* related to anthropogenic climate change.


      • 55pushups

        What you’ve got here is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. If it’s cold and snowy, that’s global warming despite the fact that the last few cold northern hemisphere winters were the exact opposite of that the climate models were predicting. If it’s hot, that’s global warming too. If the earth hasn’t warmed since 1998, which in fact it hasn’t despite huge increases in CO2 levels, why funnily enough, that’s global warming too.

        Mr. Ashbrook, I dare you to just once invite a skeptic to the discussion. You won’t do it of course, but I guarantee you and your listeners would learn something.

        • nj

          Lies. Lies. Lies.

          Current climate behavior is consistent with many climate prediction models. If anything, they under-predict the overall degree of warming.

          The land/ocean temperatures have *clearly* increased since 1998. 

          [[ Mr. Ashbrook, I dare you to just once invite a skeptic to the discussion. You won't do it of course, but I guarantee you and your listeners would learn something. ]]

          Yes, they would learn how ludicrous their arguments are.

        • Anonymous

          All scientists are skeptics — that’s what they do.  But no serious scientist doubts the facts, and anthropogenic climate change is a fact.

          If by “skeptic”, you actually mean someone who denies the scientific basis for anthropogenic climate change, and says it is all wrong — why should we waste our time?

          The climate models *do* predict more precipitation (both rain and snow) because there is about 5% more evaporation.  Arctic ice is melting faster and to a greater extent, in a very obvious trend.  The models even accurately predict what has been seen in a slight increase of Antarctic ice.

          You need to learn more about the science before you speak.  Warmer summers *in a particular place* and more snowfall *in a particular place* and droughts *in a particular place* and more rainfall *in a particular place* — are not in an of themselves contradictory.

          As I said elsewhere on this thread, a warming climate does not mean that each year will always be warmer than the last, and it certainly doesn’t mean that winter all of a sudden has no freezing temperatures.  Just like all the crazy changes of rainfall patterns, and more intense droughts, the models also predict changes in snowfall patterns.

          The predictions for rising ocean levels and increasing ocean acidity fit, too.  Melting tundra (the “permafrost” is not so permanent) and dieing forests, and jellyfish “blooms” and more intense storms and crop-killing droughts — all fit the predictions.

          Sincerely, Neil

          • Mill

            So you do agree that what you have is an unfalsifiable hypothesis, or a belief? No matter what happens related to climate/weather patters, it will be attributed to global warming. Right? :-)

            A simple yes/no answer would be appreciated.


          • Anonymous

            This is what the science tells us.  It is the best understanding we have of what is happening in the climate: anthropogenic global climate change is real; and the general climactic trends are predictable, but some of the localized weather effects are less predictable.

            I’m not making it up.  The climate is a very complicated thing, and there are a lot of influences and effects and interrelations of factors.

            Physics is physics and chemistry is chemistry, and no amount of doubt or waiting will change what will happen and what is happening.

            The climate is warming, and the tropical zone is expanding; by over 2 degrees latitude.
            The ocean is becoming more acidic, because of the greater amount of carbon it is absorbing.
            The ocean level is rising, mostly due to warmer water is less dense; but as glacial and Greenland’s ice shelf melts, there will be more actual water in the ocean.
            There is more evaporation, so there is more water vapor in the air.
            This leads to more precipitation; but with the warming we are getting changeable weather patterns, and more intense storms which leads to flooding in some places.
            The higher temperatures and changing patterns also lead to droughts in some places.
            Snow packs and glaciers are melting faster than they used to; leading to reduction in water flow in some rivers.
            The largest forests in the world, the boreal forests of the northern hemisphere are dieing in great swathes.  This releases a huge amount of carbon dioxide — this is an amplifying feedback loop.
            So-called “Permafrost” is melting which is releasing methane in large quantities, and this is about 20X more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide — this is an amplifying feedback loop that has started to happen.
            The Arctic ice is melting faster and the minimum ice that used to happen at the beginning of September is no happening September 15th and is getting later.  The greater amount of open water has a much lower albedo than ice, and so the water warms more and more each year — this is another amplifying feedback loop.
            For the moment, Antarctic ice coverage is increasing — because of the increased snowfall, but if we hit about 450ppm carbon dioxide, then the Antarctic ice will start shrinking along with the Arctic ice.

            What I am saying is what the climate scientists are saying — it is not self contradictory, as you seem to think.

            Sincerely, Neil

      • Gregg
    • Anonymous

      @4d08e771e81ebf9ebb8834b5ccfca228:disqus If it truly WAS just ONE event, you would be right. BUT and a BIG but, this heat wave is just one event in a growing in frequency long list of such events, all PREDICTED by climate science.

      If it would sooth your acceptance brain cells, try reading the climate presentation by Katherine Hayhoe to the Republicans for Environmental Protection:


      You can download both the set of slides and the mp3 recording and watch the slides as you listen to her talk.

      That extra 4% of water vapor in the atmosphere from the approximate 1°F warming so far is pushing extreme events like this heat dome to a much bigger extreme than would have been likely in the past.

  • Gregg

    It gets hot in the summer.

    • nj

      USDA cold-tolerance growing zones have shifted hundreds on miles in the past few decades.

      Grain production is reduced by about 10% for every degree increase in average temperature.

      Oceans are acidifying.

      Alpine species around the world are at risk of extinction because these habitats are threatened because of catastrophic, global, anthropogenic climate disruption.

      Studies show that severe weather events are clearly linked to global climate change.

      But, yeah, it gets hot in the summer.

      • Gregg

        Yea, except for the “anthropogenic” part.

        • nj

          Must be the sunspots then, eh or whatever Rush told you.

          • Gregg

            … Or whatever killed the dinosaurs. Or maybe the same thing that ended numerous ice ages. Or better yet, what was it that caused continents to collide and form my beloved Appalachian mountains? Or sunspots. Rush thinks it’s the liberals and all that hot air but I don’t know about that. It does work on paper though.

          • nj

            I must have missed the catastrophic meteor strike. Did Rush report that?

          • Gregg

            No, he didn’t. It must not have happened.

      • Mill

        “Grain production is reduced by about 10% for every degree increase in average temperature.”

        But wouldn’t warming of temperatures also open up new areas for cultivation of grains and other crops – areas where current temperatures fall below the conducive temperatures for growing crops, but with increase in temperatures, will fall into the requisite temperatures for grain production?

  • wauch

    Is this a trick question? PIMCO’s Bill Gross coined the fashionable phrase “The New Normal” in 2009/10 but years before Mr. Gross climate scientists, ecologists, soil scientists, and hydrologists spoke explicitly maybe not of the new normal but of a decoupling of mean weather and ecosystem conditions from outliers, with volatility the new normal writ large from jellyfish and tasmanian devil transferred cancer to acid rain and algal blooms. The fact is that The New Normal is nothing new to those of us concerned with and reading the ecological tea leaves.

  • Kim Siebert

    Weather and climate are not identical but they are related.  

    It is foolish to point out the window during a snowstorm and mock global warming because it is the over-all accumulation of degree days plus humidity and storm frequency/severity that are the main components of a climate’s profile.

    I think it would be far more accurate to say that a single weather event is not indicative of climate change–and, in fact, all credible scientists I have heard speak to the subject (on this program as well as others and in print) are clear to say that they are looking at trends in weather on which to base their analysis. And that, I believe, is the subject of this program—whether the current heat we are experiencing is becoming a trend–the new norm– rather than an isolated, season-appropriate occurrence.  

    • BHA in Vermont

      Absolutely. While Boston and NYC got nailed with big snowstorms, Vermont went snowless. Is the first an indication that “global climate change” is untrue and the second proof that it is true?

      Look back at the history of Lake Champlain and the date it froze over, if it did. http://www.erh.noaa.gov/btv/climo/lakeclose.shtml

      It froze EVERY year except 1842, 1850, 1919, 1932, 1933 and 1949 from 1816 through 1949.

      Total – not closed only 6 times in 134 years

      Since then:
      ’50-’59 – Didn’t close 5 times
      ’60-’69 – Didn’t close 3 times

      ’70-’79 – Didn’t close 3 times
      ’80-’89 – Didn’t close 5 times
      ’90-’99 – Didn’t close 7 times
      ’00-’09 – Didn’t close 5 times
      Also didn’t close in 2010 (nor 2011 I think but not sure on this one, couldn’t find a reference).

      Total – not closed 29 times in the last 61 years. Yes, there is a pattern.

  • elis

    this heat dome is larger than usual.  hope you discuss what this is all about!

  • Andreawilder

    Earth is now in an interglacial, heading toward a new glacial age in about 4,000.  The current man-made climate changes will only hold this up by 1,000 years or so.  Glaciers will start growing again and temperatures drop, it’s inevitable.  Want to wait?

    • Guest-22

      So good to know this is temporary. I’d get my woolies and down jacket on now, but I’m already dripping wet in just a t-shirt and shorts. Past 90 already. Computer will conk out soon, if the electrical grid black-out doesn’t happen first.

    • Kim Siebert

      Where does this info come from, exactly?

    • Anonymous

      @09ee39a8082978da7a82aae60b97f900:disqus I hope you are being facetious. It is our descendants who may not be given the opportunity to wait if our generation, right now, does not get on the mitigation bandwagon.
      This is like saying that a plant grows better with a higher level of CO2 (not mentioning that temperature, moisture and pest levels have to be constant); when the productivity of plants out in the field are examined, that productivity DECLINES because of those (not so) “extraneous” effects.LAST YEAR, Texas lost over $2 billion in agricultural products to heat; this year will be much greater.

      Think the drought in Russia which led to a stop in exports which led to increased food prices world-wide and was one factor setting the stage for the “Arab Spring” in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere across the Middle East.

      When countries with a lot of land near sea-level lose that land, the population is NOT about to just swim out to sea; they will move to other places, where the people will not appreciate them (think our immigration “problem” which will be a blip on the screen compared to what awaits the world).

      The wars and starvation that awaits the Earth’s humans will guarantee that the latest population projections will be overtaken by projections of maybe a billion (hopefully) rather than upwards of 9 billion. [Do you want to talk Holocaust? I really don't because I hope the worst can be avoided.]

  • Terry Tree Tree

        Even air-conditioning creates heat!  There are so many ways that man heats the environment.  Add to that man’s attempts, and sucesses in weather-modification.  Some greedy people have bought watersheds and lakes, what better way to make them far more valuable?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      So glad that you mention weather modification,Terry. It is big business (google Evergreen aviation).

  • Guest-22

    Scientific models from 20+ years ago predicted these types of weather scenarios occurring with rising temperatures. Now we’re seeing just how accurate they were. Higher temps melt the ice caps (confirmed), which raises sea levels (confirmed–island nations are “sinking” and disappearing). There’s so much freed-up water added to the overall hotter system and less cooling effect from the polar regions. More water and high temps lead to mammoth snowstorms, monsoon flooding (Pakistan, US Midwest), giant hurricanes, catastrophic winds (tornadoes) nearing 200mph (US this spring) and massive droughts (Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, plus forest fires in Russia, Greece, US west and south) as former weather patterns are disrupted are the result. Wait for the coming malaria epidemics in the US, other infectious agents (affecting humans, livestock, plus agricultural plant rusts and blights) no longer killed back by frigid winters. Famine is already stalking Africa. Scientific warnings have gone unheeded. Now we fry. See the Union of Concerned Scientists’ web site:

    No, we can’t say global warming is entirely the result of burning fossil fuels, but it’s foolish to deny it’s playing a role. Big Oil wants its big wheel of profits to keep on turnin’ and us to keep on burnin’.

  • nj

    The photo at the top of the page—people dumping ice (likely produced by burning fossil fuels) into a large pool for a few minutes of temporary relief—kind of sums up a lot of what’s wrong with us.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    People will die.  People ARE dying.  Crops and livestock are dying.  Man has created additional heat, and other effects that affect the weather.  These are irrefutable truth.  Make of them what you will, with your own slant, or spin.

  • Steve

     And I just love how I no longer have to leave my apartment to do my HOT yoga..it’s so friggin convenient.
    .No seriously–although the extreme heat on some level seems to be a “great equalizer”..it can.looking more closely..dramatically illustrate differences in standard of living..If one is poor and poorly housed–this stuff is deadly in a way..most ordinary mdidle-upper class folks might never “really” know.

  • jim

    Here is part of the solution. Plant trees and don’t stop. I have planted three trees this summer. have you?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kraig.richard Kraig Richard

      six pines in the ground and trying to start pines in buckets with a big rock inside. Managing those forest increases their health and carbon sink quality.

      • Harry in Madison, WI

        A good idea, trees help with shade, etc, but it’s a weak solution for climate change – warmer temps mean greater fire risk, faster decay of leaf litter, loss of soil carbon.  The order of business should be conserve, conserve, conserve (drive less, fly much less, buy efficient appliances, etc.); invest in the development and implementation of solar and wind; invest heavily in research on energy storage (essential for a green energy economy).  If we invested a fraction of what we spend on war, we’d have this licked!

        • Mill

          Conservation would be a logical solution if the rate of adding CO(2) and other gases – and not the amounts – to the atmosphere were the problem. If you conserve, you’re simply slowing down the “doomsday date,” not preventing it.

          • Mill


            …slowing down the arrival of the “doomsday date”…

  • Coastal Girl

    Um, It’s Summer.  It was hotter and more humid last summer.  Short memories…

    • JP

      Yeah, it was hotter last summer… THAT’S WHY WE’VE HAD 30 RECORD HIGHS SET IN AUSTIN, TEXAS IN THE LAST 2 MONTHS.

      Brain power, baby, brain power!

      • Patient Alien Overlord

        Over 800 record highs nation wide so far this year!

      • Freeman

        Oh they tell me Texas likes EVERYTHING “big”.   You got it baby !!
        Your heat wave and drought is bigger than mine. Hmmm

      • Coastal Girl

        That doesn’t mean that there were not more hot and humid days last year.  My point was that last summer was hotter for a longer more sustained period (e.g. most of July and into August) not a 2 week period as it has been this year.  Most of this summer has been free of sweltering, humidity – baby.  

    • Mark Schaffer

      Care to show by virtue of actual data that your opinion is correct and when it comes to the worldwide trend significant?

    • Anonymous

      Warmer climate means that the overall trend is warmer over many years — but it does not mean that every year is hotter than the previous one.


  • Patient Alien Overlord

    Global Climate Change is already making these extreme heatwaves and drought the new norm, and soon everyone in the North of our country will need air conditioning that they never needed before… this reality is further going to exacerbate our country’s energy problem and costs, and is going to hasten the production of greenhouse gasses.

  • Andy in Westborough

    A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pubhed last year by Steven C. Sherwood and Matthew Huber (“An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress “). The fact that we are seeing weather now similar to summer conditions near the Dead Sea only means that their predictions were off by 90 years and 95%. Welcome to the future.

  • Julian Cole

    Hot?  Duh!   How come you weren’t listening, Flush Dumbaugh?

  • Kim Siebert

    Even though it is wrong to think that weather and climate are identical, it may take weather events like killer heat waves and storms to convince the general public that the climate is undergoing a cataclysmic change.  

  • Freeman

              Please speak to the climate-popluation issue. Can the Earth ego system sustain what is currently transpiring in Somolia and other parts of Africa. Will America become DESERT because we are TRYING to feed the World ?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If that was a typo, about ego systems, it still hit the nail on the head!!!!

  • BHA in Vermont

    Regarding architecture: Look at the missions in California. Really thick stone walls. Hot as Hades outside, a lot cooler inside. Mass levels out the big temperature swings.

    • nj

      There are lots of passive cooling (and heating) techniques that are cheap to build and require no fancy, untested technologies.

      eg: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/passive_cooling.htm

      Unfortunately, new developments continue to be built that are energy and resource stupid.

      Localities need to implement and enforce energy-efficient regs  for all new buildings.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Rocky Mtn. Institute researches this kind of thing.

  • BlueNewHampshire


    I worried about food supplies and cost increases.  I read that cattle ranchers have been forced to bring their cattle to market to prevent them from starving in the Texas drought.  Between floods and drought this year, I’m sure the country’s breadbasket will be stressed.  Will hotter summers reduce food availability?  How will we feed the planet’s 7 billion people?

    • Mill

      Who is this “we”? Are you currently responsible for feeding any humans in Somalia or other third-world countries where people are already starving?

  • Freeman

             Canary in the mind ?  Will ANYBODY  listen ?
    Desaltination is quite expensive. The Oceans ar ALREADY in “deep” trouble.

  • Mark Schaffer

    Svante Arrhenius pointed out that rising CO2 levels would cause climate to change before the turn of the century and it is just tragic that we have squandered a whole century listening to corrupt politicians and fossil fuel companies rather than developing clean energy technologies that would have addressed the problem and left us all breathing much better.

    • Harry, Madison

      Just to elaborate: Arrhenius (1859-1927) first published his observations about the relationship between CO2 and global temperature in 1896.  In his 1907 book, Worlds in the Making, he stated that a doubling of CO2, with the influence of water feedback (increased atmospheric humidity caused by higher temperatures) would increase global temperature by 2.1 degrees C.  The current IPCC estimate for doubled CO2 puts this increase between 2 and 4.5 degrees C.  Pretty darn good!

  • Korg


    National Center for Atmospheric Research:::  super computer   simulation of drought conditions over the next century.

    Their simulations show severe drought conditions spreading through much of the continental main lands.  If the simulations prove accurate, then dust bowl conditions could be seen as early as 2030 in the US and Europe.  

    • Gregg

      Sounds crazy to me but I won’t argue because your name is so cool. I loved the Poly 61 way back in the day. Still got an M1.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        What an answer!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Solar, Wind, Tidal, and most other Green Energy sources DO NOT raise the temperature near as much as Black Energy (coal, oil, natural gas, etc…)  This would be a growing way to adapt!

    • nj

      No “green” energy is without some negative environmental consequence, and there’s no way renewables can supply the current, let alone future energy needs of our society as it’s now structured.

      We will need to drastically reorganize and de-energize much of our infrastructure or we’ll continue to face a future filled with inherently dangerous technologies like nuclear and coal.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Conservation, by insullating, etc…, is VERY important. 
             I did not say Green Energy had NO negatives, but they are FAR LESS than what we mostly use.  Raccoon Mtn., in Tenn., is an example of storage method.  Several others exist, and others WILL be developed. 
            When it is hottest, sunny, is when solar is most efficient.  Perfect match for air-conditioner use. 
            Attic fans, Coupolas, Thermal Chimneys, Trombe Walls, The list of solutions goes on and on, and on…..
            Like Americans with Disabilities modifications, designed-for-problem structures are FAR less expensive, than retrofits.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kraig.richard Kraig Richard

    I do what monkton does …80 inside 100 outside  Im happy with 80 in the summer and 60 in the winter,,,


    Have you seen the weather maps of the jet stream. Do you know where it is? Do you remember where it was?

  • Danielle G

    We haven’t talked about the EXTREMES of air conditioning. In my family we also do the “old tricks” of opening up the house at night when it’s cool and then closing windows and blinds during the day. We’re in the Boston area, so sometimes that isn’t enough, and we do turn on the AC, but we keep it at a moderate level. E.g., it’s on now set to 75 upstairs and 76 downstairs. The family is dressed in tanks and shorts. My nanny, however, keeps the AC to 69 at her house….which seems extreme and wasteful, In My Humble Opinion. SHe needs to wear a sweater in her house.

    And if you go to a shopping mall or other public place, it’s the same — I need to keep sweaters in my car in order to go into stores in the summer. Maybe there’s a way of keeping the AC at a minimal level, so it still can be effective. Also, AC is good/necessary for helping people with asthma and other respiratory issues deal with the humidity and bad air quality issues.

    • BHA in Vermont

      A better choice than a set temp is “no lower than 10 degrees below the outside temp”. The difference is plenty to make the inside feel cool.

      And I wholeheartedly agree with the stores comment. If you have to put on a sweater inside in the summer, the A/C it is WAY too cold. They should follow the 10 degree rule as well.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that your nanny also heats her house to 75 in the winter.

    • maltese

      I live in an apartment building, end unit, with trees all around. With all due respect, closing windows and shades during the day is baloney, there’s no difference in temp. It’s like an oven by the p.m. As temps reach more extreme levels, there needs to be a better solution. I see everyone in this conversation falling over themselves to sound ‘green,’ and I’m all for alternative sources of energy, because many buildings do need air conditioning.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Non-Green Engineering!  Try reflective film on shades, windows.

  • Charlie mc


    The view of our earth from space was a revelation to those who
    previously considered our resources unlimited. They are not. We have stretched our needs beyond the capability of this remarkable living sphere to adequately provide sufficient water, oxygen and all the critical elementary needs we have to keep life itself sustained.
          We must develop an attitudinal change to what we do and how we use these resources. Our drive to possess everything for our own security sounds a lot like Emily Dickinson’s fool:
           “A  little Madness in the Spring
           Is wholesome even for the King,
           But God be with the clown–
           Who ponders this tremendous scene-
           This whole Experiment of Green-
           As if it were his own!

    We need spirituality.



    • Terry Tree Tree

      Green Energy is more spiritual, than Dirty Energy.!!!

  • Mack Slayden

    I have created a micro-climate around my house by planting deciduous trees to the south-west to shade the house in the afternoon.

  • Rick Hunter

    Two ways I have thought about for a long time to mitigate the heat island effect:
    1. Growing plants, from grass to crops or gardens, to trees, on top of city buildings will help avoid heating the interiors, convert CO2 to O2 and plant materials, in other words have several good effects…
    2. Solar clooectors mounted just off the south walls and sloped roofs ov buildings will also reduce the interior heating of the buildings at the same time providing energy to assist with air conditioning at the very time it’s needed the most — reducing global warming at least 3 ways.

  • BHA in Vermont

    More on architecture:
    One word: Cupolas.
    If you design the structure properly, a cupola on top will be able to naturally pull the hotter air out at night (and without using any electricity) as well as let in light. Goes along with the caller from Monkton’s strategy (which we also use, no A/C in our house). Get the cool in at night, keep the heat out during the day.

    Is this only useful in ‘cooler’ places like Vermont as Tom suggested? No, Burlington Vermont today H 93 L 70 (It was 97/84 yesterday)
    Birmingham Alabama today H 92 L 74
    Not a lot of difference is there?

    • Anonymous

      Whole house fans also work very well.  Insulation helps both in the hot and cold seasons.  In addition to opening the windows at night, we leave windows open in the basement during the day, and as the fans in the attic exhaust the hottest air out, this pulls the cool basement air up through the house.

      We have typically kept the house 10-15 degrees cooler than outside, this way.

      Ceiling fans are another efficient way to stay cool.


  • Nicholas Bodley

    Fallback way to stay alive: Wet a hand towel, wring it out, put it over your shoulders, and aim a fan it the towel. Basic physics: Evaporation cools. Do replace the more-humid air at night.

    I’m very lucky to live in a well-insulated apartment, and have (so far) had good luck by drawing in cool night air and shutting down during the day.

    • Nicholas Bodley

      Sorry, typo: “aim it at the towel”.

      • Nick B.

        oh; heck — I’m too hot to think! aim the fan at the towel.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Put a wet towel on, Quick!

    • Mill

      Awesome!! You do that – and convince your friends to do the same resulting in less use of energy for you – and leave more energy for me to use for my air conditioner. :D

  • Peter

    30 trillion watts???? Watts are a unit of power, the rate of energy use. Energy is measured in Watt-hours, as on your electric bill.

    • Anonymous


      Maybe they meant Watt/hours?  You’re right that this is an error, albeit an easy and common one to make…


  • Anonymous

    One of the more mealy mouthed discussions on Climate Change I’ve heard on NPR in a while. IF one reads any of the current research on non-linear icesheet dynamics the costal population displacement over the next 100 years may well lay to waste much of these “adaptation” scenarios. 
    I’ll also throw out Sec. Steve Chu’s recommendation to paint the roofs in the south and southwest white. I’ve installed an aluminum roof and the heat reflection is outstanding – plus it’s recyclable.

    • BHA in Vermont

      There is a reason all the buildings in the Greek islands are painted white :)  They also all have stainless steel hot water tanks and solar panels on their roofs.

      • Anonymous

        Indeed. I really can’t say enough about the Al roof; it’s especially nice on those clear days when air temp is say 80-90F. Usually, with asphalt shingles I’d get the standard 5-6 pm latent heating and have to turn on AC. Now ceiling fans keep house temp easily in the 70s, with trivial latent heating. 

  • Susan Altman

    A much more immediately relevant issue than population (which cannot be changed in the short term absent a huge disaster), is the need to move Americans away from the intense consumerism that drive such enormous energy use. We will need to use much much less energy as a culture, and we need to start NOW. You might consider having a conversation with some environmental economists and social marketers on this topic.

  • BlueNewHampshire

    Question for Dr. Cullen: Why are the Mainstream TV Meteorologists not ‘connecting the dots” between the extreme wild weather and climate change?     Are all TV weather people ignorant of climate science?

  • Donna

    Re reduced productivity – I work from home. I do not have air conditioning and generally in the heat, find shade in my back yard and use my laptop. However, the past few days it’s been difficult to think, even there with my clothes soaked in cool water. Today, there’s no respite even in the shade. No work – just listening to OnPoint.

  • Jaydekim83

    Americans are so spoiled with abundant resources. I grew up in the country where the electrical bill was so expensive. I had to stand the heat with several fans w/o any a/c. When I moved to the U.S, i was so surprised that i should bring my cardican wherever i went because it was so cold with a/c  in summer.. you guys are soooo spoiled with abundant resources it’s time for you to learn as to how to save more energy and cope with the situation…

    • arealist

      we’re starting to wise up and try to conserve energy, but the most rapidly growing populations in the world (china and india) are poised to consume like nothing before, right?  we americans will have no say in it.  so your comments should probably really be equally directed to any rapidly modernizing nation…

      • Terry Tree Tree

        China is investing in Solar Collectors, far faster than the U.S.!

        • Mill

          True, but China is also investing in coal, and securing oil. Any good energy policy would not put all its eggs in one basket (non-renewable or renewable), but would be ready to transition from coal and oil when those sources run dry. But as long as coal and oil exist on the planet, those will be used. Unless there’s a global moratorium on using such non-renewable sources – which, while it is enjoyable to fantasize about, I don’t see happening in the real world.

          From wikipedia (emphasis mine):
          “China currently generates around two thirds of its electricity from coal-fired power stations.[18] It is progressing with the construction of 562 new coal-fired plants over the next few years.[24] In June 2007, it was reported that an average of two new plants were being opened every week.”

          • Terry Tree Tree


      • Mill

        Are you suggesting that nations like China and India should put a stop to their modernization while you and I continue to enjoy our current levels of modernized lives? How would you even go around making your grand plan (more like building sand-castles in the air) feasible?

  • Markus

    What a depressing two hours.
    World is heating up. Water shortages. Somalia is an unimaginable tragedy. Debt ceiling impasse with both parties driven by supporters unable to see the other side. And not said, but in the background is that the developing world is rapidly matching our consumptive lifestyle and population is heading to additional billions.  I’d try praying, but NPR killed off God long ago.
    I understand why people go to Limbaugh’s view that it’s a scam as it all seems so hopeless. Not my view, but I understand it.

    • Kim Siebert

      On the subject of climate change response, there’s a more positive movement called “Transition Towns” that I’ve just started to look into. Basically, it’s trying to help people envision collaborate, community-building opportunities within the framework of the societal and behavioral changes that will be necessary. Maybe a little Pollyanna-ish for some but at least it’s not relentless gloom and doom.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Engineering ahead of time, for Energy Efficiency, and Savings, is NOT Pollyanna-ish!!!  It is SENSIBLE!!!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      There have always been problems!  Rush, as an answer, is SOOOO ridiculous!  Actually, Rush is ridiculous! 
           Wallowing in hopelessness, is defeatest, and self-fulfilling.  That is what the GREEDY want! 
          NPR did NOT kill God off, just made people start questioning the actions of those who purport to follow God, or get the WORD from God, and use that for evil,    HYPOCRACY!!!

      • Mill

        Sure, Rush is ridiculous, but if you read numerous comments here with the sky-is-falling attitude and pies-in-the-sky schemes, they seem to be in the same (secular) category of ridiculousness. Is there something called Mass Neurosis? On Point community seems to be afflicted by it.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Read ‘Natural Capitalism’, or is it ‘Green Capitalism’?  by Hunter and Amory Louvin, and ______ Hawken.   I forgot, because it’s been a while, and I have heard a lot, and read a lot since then.   People do get down, because the Ridiculous One we both mentioned, helps spread the the gloom and doom.   We have the technology, we need the will, and the subsidies that have gone to Dirty Energy, to make it happen!  Plus, keep Dirty Energy from interfering!

          • Mill

            You’re assuming that I’m unfamiliar with Paul Hawken’s book and what he proposed almost a decade ago, or that I disagree with that thesis. Or that I’m unfamiliar with Amory Lovins and his work.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Wanted to make you, and anyone else that wasn’t, aware of Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins work.  Glad you are aware.  Why the pessimistic attitude, then?  The solutions are here, the money is still in Dirty Energy.

          • Mill

            Me and pessimistic? Are you confusing me with the other Chicken Little comments here talking of disaster and doomsday scenarios? I’m a realist, not a fantasist.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Good to read!  Part of your comments seemed pessimistic.  We CAN get through this.  It won’t be easy.  So many problems with Dirty Energy, that most  will be helped with Green Energy.

    • Mill

      It’s “Mother Nature” (the secular version of the White-Robed Bearded Grand Daddy in the Sky) punishing us for our excesses and past mis-deeds (racism, slavery, treatment of Native Americans, foo). ;)

  • Benita M. Johnson

    I believe Native Plant Gardens help to create bio-diversity and sustainable communities in Urban settings. Native Plant gardens require less water and maintenance and help to bring brids, bees and butterflies back to their native habitat. 

  • Andy Westborough

    If it is humid enough, sweat cannot evaporate and the body cannot cool itself.  In that situation, an unprotected person will overheat and die.  Period, end of story. There are (or were) a few areas of the world where this situation occurs – not anymore.  As I mentioned before, read this paper out of PNAS to get an idea of what we may be dealing with:

    Steven C. Sherwood and Matthew Huber, “An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress “. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Heat is produced by Black Energy (somebody got a better term for polluting forms of producing energy?  I realize my reference to the soot, coal-dust, and dirty by-products of combustion sounds potentially racial, and I don’t like that)  Dirty Energy!
         Heat is produced by Dirty Energy, to power air conditioners, along with lighting, and other energy uses.  To fight that heat, we use more electricity for air conditioning, requiring MORE dirty power, raising temperatures!  More? 
         Rocky Mountain Institute , Hunter and Amory Louvin, have many answers, and are working on more.
         It is NOT an unsurmountable problem, just one that requires work, and sense, to overcome.  Life-style may indeed improve, too!

    • Anonymous


      You can call it carbon-based power.

      Oil and coal and gas are finite.
      Renewable energy is virtually infinite.

      Oil and coal and gas pollute.
      Renewable energy is clean.

      Oil and coal and gas will get more and more expensive as they run out.
      Renewable energy will get less expensive as time goes on.

      Oil and coal and gas need a military to defend them.
      Renewable energy is everywhere, and no place lacks them.

      Enough of the sun’s energy reaches the Earth in )NE HOUR to power all human needs for one year.
      We could collect enough solar energy in one week to power everything for one year.
      There is enough wind power in one month for the whole year.
      There is enough wave power available in one month for the entire year.
      There is tidal power, there is biofuels, there is geothermal, there is small scale hydro power, and there are energy storage systems that will work.

      There is an abundance of clean, renewable power.


      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks, for listing a few or the solutions I was referring to.  We have the technology, we can build it better, faster, stronger.  Dirty Energy plays dirty to continue Dirty Energy.

      • Mill

        1. What’s the conversion rate in terms of efficiency of renewable energy when compared to oil and gas?

        “Renewable energy will get less expensive as time goes on.”

        2. It would depend on scientific breakthroughs – I doubt that you can make an assertion like that (“will”) without facts.

        3. How many airplanes use renewable energy? Or are you suggesting that people stop traveling by air?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          U.S. Navy experimenting with biofuel jets, to counter OPEC oil-dependence, among others.  Global Challenger circled Earth on one tank of fuel. 
               Solar-powered planes, have already proven to work! 
              Wind-Turbines can be mass-produced, and erected in a matter of days, or hours,  Gas-Turbines take months or years to build, then months to erect, before producing a watt.  Coal power plants take years to build, and require extensive and expensive maintenance, plus a LOT of other costs.
              BIGGEST  break-through would be to REQUIRE true cost comparision, Engineering, Land used, Construction Cost, Maintenance Cost, Health-care Costs, Fuel Cost, Damage to Environment Cost, Damage to Environment (Human, and Nature), and ALL the other costs of each!

        • Anonymous

          The efficiency of conversion of sunlight to electricity or wind to electricity or waves to electricity doesn’t really matter.  Because there is no fuel, if some of the sunlight or wind or waves, etc. are not converted, then they are are not wasted.  What matters is that they produce enough electricity for what the load is.

          You see, since there is no fuel, and renewable energy is virtually unlimited, we will make each generation of energy systems with renewable energy from the previous generation, and so the cost of energy will come down.  If you need more, you just build more gathering systems.

          Airplanes are able to use biodiesel (this is being done right now) and small airplanes can be electric, and if solar panels get more efficient, then electricity can be made in flight to supplement the batteries.  We already have pilot-less solar airplanes that can fly for months at a time; so with some incremental improvements, long distance electric airplanes may be possible.

          For now, we should use much more trains when ever land travel is possible; and reserve airplanes for transoceanic flights.


  • William

    In our summer home in South Florida we survive without much of panic, end of the world type of hype being written about. You just open the windows, turn on the fans, drink some ice tea and enjoy the view. Life will go on….

    • Mill

      Exactly!! And humanity will continue to adapt to changes – good and bad – that happen, just like it has been doing for centuries, despite the Chicken Littles running around.

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  • Gregg

    People are dying because air conditioners are overloading the grid and causing power outages. We need more power and solar/wind won’t do.

    • nj

      Yeah, let’s start burning the furniture.

      • Gregg

        It’s not a joke, people are dying.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          So, are you heavily invested in nookylar, coal, oil, natural gas, or what?  Solar, wind, tidal, current, are some of the only ones, that do NOT add to the heat!  People died from pollution, until the country saw enough, and got the EPA formed, to defend them from the polluters.  The same type of polluters, produce heat pollution.  Name your poison!

          • Gregg

            “Name your poison”


          • Terry Tree Tree

            Do you live within two miles of a nuclear power plant, or the waste-storage?

          • Gregg

            No, is your air-conditioner running?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            No, no air conditioner!

          • Gregg


    • Anonymous

      Solar would be nearly perfect for running air conditioning systems.  Wind turbines distributed around the geography would provide an abundance of energy, too.  Wave power and tidal power and biomass all can contribute lots of power, as well.

      Renewable energy will be here as long as the Earth exists.  Oil and coal and gas are all going to run out quite soon.

      We simply have to transition to renewable energy as quickly as possible.


      • Gregg

        Interesting idea. Why not a solar powered cooling system? I’ve always thought solar and wind were better suited for smaller more localized jobs. Here at the horse farm we have solar powered fence chargers that work great. We have a covered riding arena that must be watered or the dust is unbearable. I have eleven 275 Gallon tanks, one for each available downspout, to collect rain water. I made a battery pumped sprinkler system and the batteries are charged with small solar panels. It’s very efficient. I remember as a kid in South Florida the wind powered wells. When the wind blew it filled up the troughs. Hydro-electric is also huge. In the early 20th century many dams were built on smaller tributaries. There is one in my area privately owned that has been refurbished to generate again. I own property on an impounded river and the dam (last used in 1936) could be bought from Duke Power for $10. I asked the real estate executive if he’d take $8. I think he would. It comes with no land, just the concrete and the water impounded… and all the liability. The point is there are thousands of these smaller dams everywhere that can be privately bought and brought back into service. Money could be made for someone willing to take the risk to serve a small community.

        I’m all for it and may actually do it but wind, hydro and solar cannot meet our needs. We have big time needs. It is a noble and righteous ambition to help impoverished and oppressed people in parts of the world that are not nearly as lucky as our spoiled-rotten selves. If the third world are to realize half the comforts of our take-it-for-granted selves, that’s going to take a whole lot more energy.

        • Anonymous

          Energy is all around, and it can certainly meet our needs; many times over.

          All the energy in the world comes either from the sun, or from the heat inside the Earth.


        • Terry Tree Tree

          INTRIGUING!  You give so many examples of practical solar , wind, and ‘alternate’ energy, then conclude that it will NOT suffice?  Your BP and Massey Energy stock ok? 
              The current estimate is, enough sun power falls on a Rhode Island-sized portion of land, to power the current electric needs of the U.S..  there is more roof surface than that, in the U.S.. 
              Combined with other ‘alternate’ energies, should take care of the problem, with a LOT less pollution, and damage to the earth, with less chance for CATASTROPHIC consequences of Deepwater Horizon, Massacre Energy coal mines, etc…

          • Gregg

            If it was that easy it would be done. It’s not. The technology is not there. Ask Boone Pickens about his wind farm. There are no solar powered passenger jets or semi-trailers. There’s no such thing as a wind powered train or NPR station. Even with all we have there are outages because of overloads. And then there’s half a world left to energize. We would have to turn back our standard of living 100 years to be able to get by on “alternatives”. I suspect that’s the idea.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            T. Boone Pickens built his wind farm in a remote location, BEFORE assuring connection to the grid!  Not the smartest move T. Boone ever made. 
                Brazil did it!  Germany is going to, quite a bit of the way there, already.  Netherlands is well on way. 
                Give the subsidies that Dirty Energy gets, and has gotten, to ‘alternate’ energy, and keep Dirty Energy out of the way, and it’ll happen! 
                That proves the U.S. is being reduced to a second-class country, by its ‘citizen’ corporations!

          • Gregg

            Are you kidding? The “green jobs” initiative in the “Stimulus” was a complete failure!

            “A 2008 report by the Energy Department’s Energy Information
            Administration reported that in 2007, while the average subsidy per
            megawatt hour for all energy sources was $1.65, the subsidy for wind and
            solar was about $24 per megawatt hour.”


          • Gregg

            BTW, keep in mind that was the Bush administration, It’s even more skewed now.

  • http://www.thought.org/ Kline

    I have been arguing for 18″ of _correctly_ insulated walls and attics, and trees/shading for 20 years….   But nooooooo ….  it’s paast time

  • Kendonnelly1

    I remember reading a few months ago about towers that generate electricity by heating water but was contraversial because it used some much water. My question is why can’t this technology be combined with a desalination process to create fresh water and power at the same time?

  • df

    It was 100 degrees F or whatever (Cambridge, MA) and I was on the porch in the shade and I was quite comfortable.

    I went to the movies yesterday. It was air conditioned. I brought a jacket. I’ve caught cold in the summer when I didn’t bring an extra layer for a mall or movie theatre.

    When I leave an air conditioned building I just feel hotter. If I avoid air conditioning I find the evening cool very comfortable.

    Why do people like indoor temperatures at 68 degrees F in the winter and 58 degrees F in summer? If it is 90 degree F outside in the summer isn’t 10 – 20 degrees F cooler indoor temp enough?

    Why use a dryer when clothes can dry in two hours outside during the summer?

    Why do we heat homes and then put refrigerators in them? Why do we cool homes and still cook inside? Stoves and refrigerators should have indoor/outdoor access so that they can work with the environment.

    • Gregg

      So simple. We’ve been grilling out every night lately in this heat. No steamed squash from the garden, grill it. mmm. In the winter put on a pot of beans and simmer it all day… preferably on the wood stove that’s already burning.

    • Emily

      I agree with you. Hope more people can think and do with this simple idea. Americans have been wasting too much electricity and energy.

    • Adks12020

      Really? You don’t mind sleeping in 80-85 degrees and 70-80% humidity? I certainly do.  I don’t have air conditioning mostly because of the energy costs but I definitely wish I did, at least while I sleep at night.  The rest of the day it’s manageable but very uncomfortable. 

      You also live relatively close to the coast (I know not right next to it but much closer than a lot of americans and certainly closer that I do in Albany, NY) which means the air moves more often.  We had virtually no breese at all any day last week. Still, hot, humid is very uncomfortable. 

      I was on Long Island last weekend and it was 90+ and no clouds but I was fine…why? there was a contant 20+ mph wind.  That doesn’t happen in Albany.

      Another note.  The cooking and relaxing outside isn’t possible for a lot of people.  What about low income people in large cities? What do they do? If someone lives in an aparment in the middle of the city with no yard neither of those things are possible.  And they can’t hang their clothes outside.

      Also, catching colds due to temperature changes is a myth. Colds are caused by a virus.

  • Michael

    Hooray for Summer. I love the heat.

    Will be taking advantage of this heat by going to the beach all weekend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brennan-Moriarty/100000655771831 Brennan Moriarty

    Another chilly day on the West Coast [the "USA" actually, -underStandably]
    The caller who said “open the windows at night and close em in the morning”{o en la manana, INN Calif} is sociologically in tune and at peace. However technology that opens and closes such [pre]vents and DOORS =automatically= without “seeing everything” [good grief], need to be technologically off the grid, fore whence ‘someone’ knows there’s a weakness/need… it’s just for kicks, to see-it fumble -”without” elec power.

    The thing is the change maker policy/technology visionaries may be “quiet” PASSIVE and hidden, diss-spired by con…$, who act “the live wire”, wink wink nod nod, but are actually improperly-medicated and/or under-qualified and Over-positionED [geo history "circuit"].: Self Esteem is the water left running -down the drain “with confidence”; the lights are on and nobodies home, and     {,} the         Fragile-society            dodges [,,,] responsAbility so unpredictably, the Jet-Stream could get tied in knots of atmospheric health care and dragon-breath [fenwick{fukushima} the fire and ice of ecotopia vs NY bliss]    then cultural mandates first come first solve [self esteem dictates but listeneing is encumbered] ….conspiring                can work FOR us and the world, just as politics can “sell” comfort-ineffective.

    incidentally in my California-bed, when or if the Sun comes out, the “chemically tainted air” in my [free] airstream-trailer [makes] MY HEAD GETS HOT [chemical x? formaldahyde? FRP walls? RV toilet chems?!!!] this is where my computer,bed&snacks are,peaceful? hmm.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Reads like you have had WAAAAY too much heat.   Get cool soon!!

  • Ken

    I was pleased that this program focused mostly on ways to deal with weather extremes, rather than on large-scale schemes for abatement of CO2, which have failed spectacularly around the world in the past few years and show no signs of reviving any time soon. 

    I was less pleased that the program failed to mention that the projected increased in weather extremes (whether of heat, cold, or violent storms) will necessitate more robust and reliable energy delivery systems if cities are to be adequately warmed in winter and cooled in summer in the future.  The “green” vision at present seems to rely on wind turbines and solar installations, both of which have some limited utility but simply cannot produce the quantity or steadiness of electricity that will be needed if the weather scenarios assumed in this discussion become the norm.

    Another pillar of “green” innovation, the electric car, only adds to the challenge.  How practical will electric cars be during heat waves, when automobiles become small ovens in need of air conditioning?  And where will the electricity come from to charge them during times when grids are vastly overstressed due to cooling demands? 

    Ken in North Dakota

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Each of the standard methods of generating electricity, coal, oil, nookylyar (‘W’), and natural gas, create heat, which adds to the problem.
           If the U.S. invested as much, as we have invested into just nuclear electric generation, into ‘alternate’ energy sources, we would have MORE power, I’m sure, and it would be a lot quicker, as it takes ten years, or more to build a nuclear plant, from the word GO. 
          The electric grid is already failing, and needed to be upgraded, and replaced years ago.  If we build a ‘smart grid’, and build in extra capacity, it will save money, and time.

      • Kelandsmith

        Thank your for the reply, Terry.  I’m still concerned about the quantity and steadiness issue, though.  Wind works well under certain conditions (when you have a breeze but not a windstorm), and solar works well when you don’t have clouds.  Solar could help during hot days, but would be useless during hot nights. 

        As for the addition of raw heat via power generation plants, this might be a concern in local microclimates, but I don’t believe any climatologist would say it is an issue on a macro or global scale.

        Thanks again,


        • Terrybrewster

          It is PART of it!  Power Plants, Nuclear, Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas, are shut down, at times that they are over-heating the rivers and lakes they use for cooling, or releasing heated cooling water into!  That heated water, not only heats the water of the river and lake, but heats the air.    We’re talking about a LOT of HOT water!

  • Gregg

    I hear Boston came within 1 degree of breaking the 1926 heat record. Better luck next time!

    • Terrybrewster

      VERY HEARTLESS thing to say about heat that is killing the less-affluent, and most vulnerable!
          Another effect of the GREEDY Rich’s hoarding and worship of the financial resources to provide JOBS, and abilities of individuals to survive!

  • Lynn

    Interesting comments about thinking clearly in the heat.  Reminds me of my students during the early fall and the late spring.  As is the case at most elementary schools in MA, our school doesn’t have AC  (well . . . the office does, where the principal and secretary are).  Sweaty teachers turn off all or most lights, lower the blinds, and use their own funds to purchase a fan to blow around the hot air.  It’s especially depressing when we have several days of hazy, hot, and humid weather and the nights don’t cool off the building that much; when we get to school in the morning, our classrooms on the top floor are already like ovens.  Meanwhile, students sit unmotivated and drowsy all afternoon, no matter how engaging the lessons.  What are they learning?  Whoever thinks we should extend the school year better come up with the $$$ to AC the schools, or it’ll just be another hour of sweating and watching the clock so kids can go home and jump in the sprinkler and teachers can go home and take a cold shower!!!     

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  • Anonymous

    Pool Mister  also called Pool Cooler  is an inexpensive  the coolest thing you ever find to cool your Swimming Pools water
    during red boiling hot hot Summer, when your pool water temp reaches to 90+ degree.  Least expensive
    compared with expensive Pool Chiller cost $ 1800 +  Vs $ 34 a PVC Pool Cooling Mister!. 
    Can be directly attached to your pool return jet, Misty environment will drop the temperature up to 20 degrees instantly! 
    Kids enjoy it!  Made in Houston, Texas from Mist Cooling Inc – MISTCOOLING.com/ GREAT Idea ! Save your money,
    Will make your swim comfortable and enjoyable in your pool!

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Sep 1, 2014
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) recovers a fumble by Carolina Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson (3) in the second quarter of the NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP)

One outspoken fan’s reluctant manifesto against football, and the big push to reform the game.

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Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
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Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

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Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

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Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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