The calamitous summer of 2023 was an oasis of tranquility, compared to what’s coming
This year we saw the hottest July ever recorded, and the same was true again in August. In fact, 2023 is on track to be the hottest year so far recorded, breaking the record set by 2020 and 2016. Over the past few months, more than 6,500 daily heat records have been broken in the U.S. alone, and in some places the roads became so hot that people suffered serious burns from falling on them. Terrible floods have ripped through China, Spain, Greece and elsewhere. Wildfires raged in Canada, the Canary Islands, Maui and parts of Europe. A tropical storm hit Los Angeles, the first in living memory. Wind speeds of Hurricane Lee, in the Atlantic Ocean, increased from 80 mph to 165 mph in roughly 24 hours.
The climate catastrophe is already here. We’ve been watching it unfold in real time on the news and over social media. Some have witnessed it first-hand, losing their homes, being forced to evacuate under emergency conditions and even losing their lives or the lives of friends and family. For those sensitive to human suffering and the grave injustices driving the climate crisis, this summer has been difficult to deal with. It’s been one extreme weather event, one shattered record, one shocking tragedy after another — and though the summer is now officially over, there’s more to come.