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How Hot Is It, Johnny?
By Ernest Stewart

"It's so hot, I poured McDonalds coffee on my lap to cool off!" ~~~ Johnny Carson

Did you know that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking chicken at over 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to make sure that it's safe to eat? It's also how hot it felt last Friday in Bandar Mahshahr, Iran.

A massive heat wave is currently stalling out across the Middle East and countries across the region are reporting record-breaking temperatures, leaving people struggling to stay alive. An actual temperature of 115 degrees combined with 90 percent humidity pushed Bandar Mahshahr's heat index to a scorching 165 degrees last week; and there's no sign it'll let up anytime soon.

To be fair, I once crossed Death Valley, in California, in July of 1976, about noon, and the temperature was 126 degrees, but with no humidity. I had to run with my hood unlocked, even while running pure summer coolant just to get out of Death Valley; but that's Death Valley in the summertime. Did I mention that Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level? Still, 115 degrees is far from a normal summertime temp in Iran!

Accu-Weather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani said in a statement. "That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen; and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world."

Iran's not the only country feeling the heat. Last Thursday, the Iraqi capital of Baghdad experienced a record-breaking heat index of 125 degrees, which the National Weather Service says makes "heat stroke highly likely," reports James Rothwell of the Telegraph. "City officials declared a four-day holiday to try and keep people off the streets; but with temperatures and humidity this high and ailing infrastructure and air conditioners causing power outages, it's hard for people to cool down," Rothwell continued.

"The heat wave has already lasted almost a week with no sign of letting up soon thanks to what officials are calling a 'high-pressure ridge' that has hovered over the Middle East since July," Kareem Shaheen and Saeed Kamali Dehghan reported for The Guardian. According to the Washington Post, "the highest heat index ever recorded was at 178 degrees Fahrenheit in Dahrhan, Saudi Arabia in 2008." If the 'heat dome' doesn't move along soon, that record could be left in the dust. Crops don't do well in that climate as the folks in California are finding out. With 7 billion people on the planet, and half of them hungry, things don't look good for Mankind, especially since food producers like California are producing just a small percentage of their normal output due to lack of water.

You may recall that India went through a similar nightmare in June, with several thousand people dying from heat stroke and related illnesses. As things sit now, we are well on the way to setting yet another record year of high temperatures, as we have for 13 out of 14 years since the new millennium began! Can you imagine 165 degree temps in Chicago or New York for weeks at a time, or worse yet, across America's bread baskets? Yet most Americans aren't worried about global warming; and half of them don't even believe in it -- not yet! I fear the horses are already out of the barn and running free and we've passed the point of no return. We'll have to wait and see; but to misquote Bette Davis, "Fasten your seatbelts, America; it's going to be a bumpy ride!"


06-20-1934 ~ 08-07-2015
Thanks for the film!

12-17-1926 ~ 08-12-2015
Thanks for the laughs


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(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 15 # 33 (c) 08/14/2015