Western Europe is bracing themselves for a scorcher. Not since 2003 has Europe ever experienced heat like the one, they are about to have soon. Not since the 2003 heat wave that claimed the lives of 15,000 people has there ever been a heat wave to parallel this one heading there way today Wednesday, July 26, 2019.
The Western European countries in peril to a heat wave include:
- France 39 degrees Celsius or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit
- Germany 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Spain 38 degrees Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Switzerland 37 degrees Celsius or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit
- Portugal 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperatures are expected to rise as high as 45 degrees Celsius or for us Americans, the equivalent of a scorching 113 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the rest of the week.
The forecast is so intense that one Spanish meteorologist tweeted, “El Infierno (Hell) is coming.” 15,000 people died in August of 2003 in France when temperatures soared as high as 44.1 degrees Celsius or 111.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Officials in Paris have taken some precaution and have put their citizens on high alert. Scientist attribute this heat wave to Global Warming and the effects of greenhouse-emissions. Further heat waves such as these are expected in Europe scientist warn unless a plan of action to lower these emissions are put in to place quickly.
The sudden spike in temperature could be dangerous for Western Europe because unlike Miami the region is not accustomed to such high temperatures. Having lived in Barcelona and then in Madrid in 2013 I can attest to the fact that no one is prepared to receive this intense heatwave. Practically no one has air conditioning at home. So, to escape this heat is virtually impossible.
President Trump’s thoughts about global warming
During his campaign, Trump made promises to roll back some of the Obama-era regulations enacted with the purpose of combating climate change He has questioned if climate change is real and has indicated that he will focus his efforts on other causes as president. Trump has also expressed that efforts to curb fossil fuel industries hurt the United States’ global competitiveness. He pledged to roll back regulations placed on the oil and gas industry by the EPA under the Obama Administration in order to boost the productivity of both industries.
President Trump appointed the Attorney General of Oklahoma, Scott Pruit, as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While serving as Attorney General, Pruitt removed Oklahoma’s environmental protection unit and sued the EPA a total of fourteen times, thirteen of which involved “industry players” as co-parties. His nomination to head the EPA was confirmed on February 17, 2017 with a 52-46 vote. In addition, President Trump appointed Rex Wilkerson, the former chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobile, as Secretary of State. His nomination was confirmed on February 1, 2017 with a 56-43 vote.
An executive order was issued by President Trump on January 24, 2017 that removed barriers from the Keystone XL and The Dakota Pipelines, making it easier for the companies sponsoring them to continue with production. On March 29, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order aimed towards boosting the coal industry. The executive order rolls back on Obama-era climate regulations on the coal industry in order to grow the coal sector and create new American jobs. The White House has indicated that any climate change policies that they deem hinder the growth of American jobs will not be pursued. In addition, the executive order rolls back on six Obama-made orders aimed at reducing climate change and carbon dioxide emissions and calls for a review of the Clean Water Plan.
In his early 2017 budget proposal, President Trump presented cutting about 31% of the EPA as a result of budget decreases. President Trump cut one-third of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current funding- about $2.6 billion from its current $8.2 billion budget. If passed, this would be the lowest budget the EPA has had in 40 years.
The shift in direction of environmental policy in the United States under the Trump administration has led to a change in the environmental justice sector. On March 9, 2017, Mustafa Ali, a leader of the environmental justice sector in the EPA, resigned over proposed cuts to the environmental justice sector of the EPA. The preliminary budget proposals would cut the environmental justice office’s budget by 1/4, causing a 20% reduction in its workforce. The environmental justice program is one of a dozen vulnerable to losing all governmental funding.