so I’m not really cut out to make a very informative post about important issues…but unfortunately I feel the need to, because what’s happening in Alaska really needs to be talked about at length.
You may have heard or seen reports and news articles mentioning how hot it is this summer in Alaska–how temperatures are reaching upwards of 90 to 100 degrees F, and how very very unusual that is.
You might also have read in these articles, things like… this isn’t the first time Alaska has seen such a heat wave…or how every passing day is breaking new record highs dating back decades.
What isn’t being talked about is the people of Alaska, and how much we are suffering. How hospitals are being pushed to capacity due to heat related illnesses every day. How department stores across all cities are completely sold out of fans, personal AC units and other cooling devices. Bottled water, sports drinks and ice are perpetually sold out, and wildfires surrounding us are lowering the air quality, on top of adding to the already sweltering heat.
Alaska is not adequately prepared to deal with temperatures like this. Our buildings are designed to keep heat in. Stores, offices, government buildings, our own homes—none of these buildings are equipped with any means of air conditioning. Which means internal building temperatures are reaching upwards of 80-85 degrees F. That’s indoors.
In addition to these temperatures being as bad as they are, there is yet another problem that complicates these things even further for Alaska.
Due to its position on the globe, Alaskan summers rarely see the sun set. There’s maybe a few hours in the night of twilight at the peak of summer, but otherwise, the sun is always in the sky. Which means these temperatures never let up for more than a few hours. It is a constant and steady burning we endure all day, every day.
To complicate matters further, Alaska receives much more radiation from the sun than any other place in the globe during these peak summer months, which means while temperatures may only be 80 or 85 degrees F, we as a people are being exposed to much higher doses of the suns radiation, and on bare skin we feel much hotter than it truly is. This is because the suns radiation is spread out over a much wider area.
Consider the normal rise and setting of the sun. It begins from one end to the other, reaching directly overhead at peak daylight temperatures, and then setting once more.
Alaska experiences no such thing. The sun is ever at an angle, never fully setting and never fully reaching the height it normally would in the sky. You might think that the sun being ‘lower’ in the sky means temperatures are lower, but this is not so.
With the sun being at a constant angle, it means sunlight penetrates through building structures at a near constant.
Imagine a person wearing a wide brimmed hat. In a normal day of the sun rising and setting, the hat works as a shield when the sun is directly overhead, casting a shade for the person wearing it, and limiting their exposure to sunlight and radiation.
Now imagine if the sun never directly went overhead…it was constantly orbiting you, striking you from all angles of all hours of the day, never ceasing, never setting. A wide brimmed hat would never have the chance to block the sun, because the sun is much lower in the sky than a hat could provide protection for.
This is how buildings reach uninhabitable temperatures. Sunlight and solar radiation are constantly streaming through windows. Without trees for shade or protection from the sun, internal temperatures rise dramatically, and with Alaskan buildings created with the intention of keeping heat -in-, and without any air conditioning to mitigate the heat, it’s not unusual for a building temperature to be hotter indoors than it is outdoors.
…And to top all of this off…. If it wasn’t troubling enough… Alaska’s trees and pines have been slowly dying through the past year or two. The forests surrounding my neighborhood are seeing a blight of pine trees. Almost all of them in my area are dead, or dying. Which leaves the trees dry and prone to catching fire…
..Which is where the wildfires raging across the state come into play… And the smoke and heat that they bring blanketing the already incredibly heated environment.
I’m not sure what can be done to slow or stop this change. But Alaska is suffering, we are suffering, and it needs to be talked about. It needs to be addressed. Our state will never fully admit to being in a state of emergency from climate change, because it is predominately Republican–and more than that, this state’s economy relies deeply on the profits of oil companies that drill and mine off the coasts of Alaska… And to admit there is a problem would mean to admit you are part of it. And I don’t see our current administration doing that right now.
I don’t really have a goal here, I don’t have a charity or anything or any positive message here at the end. I just want people to be aware of the reality of Alaska’s current struggle–beyond just.. “wow it’s hot”. It’s so much more complex than extreme temperatures.
Hiii, is your Batmom stuff in order like where do I start, like I read some here and there and they're amazing so I was wondering if there's a chronological order?