The summer of 2023 began with never seen before extreme heat across the United States and Europe. In America, close to 110 million people are still under extreme heat warnings, according to the National Weather Service.
“El Niño conditions are present and are expected to gradually strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24,” the National Weather Service reported. Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest natural hazards with thousands of people dying from heat-related causes each year.
The weekend of July 15-16 was the hottest weekend recorded. Phoenix, Arizona, had its 16th consecutive day of temperatures reaching 110 degrees and higher on July 15. As reported on the NBC News website, Dr. Frank LoVecchio, an emergency medicine physician with Valleywise Health Hospital, said the heat is straining local hospitals.
“This is the worst summer in recent memory,” he said. “I’ve been working here since 1996, this same hospital, and this is one of the worst summers because we’ve had so many days in a row this super warm weather.”
“We’re overcrowded with patients,” Dr. LoVecchio said, adding that 20 percent of patients are there for something heat-related. “We’re using overflow.”
Ice pools are prepared on stretchers by medical staff members for the inevitable next patient who needs an immediate cooling-down. Dr. LoVecchio said that some patients have come in with internal temperatures of 107 and that they can sometimes be saved. The one who was rushed in with an internal temp of 110 could not.
The Phoenix Fire Department has been feeling the strain, too. No strangers to heat, Arizona firefighters take ice baths after particularly grueling calls. Taking IVs in coolers filled with ice, they’ve been responding to an uptick of the same heat-related calls that bring more patients to the hospital, including a man who had third-degree burns on his body from lying on the asphalt. The firefighters believe the man was among those in the city experiencing homelessness—the most vulnerable population in the heat wave.
Considered to be the hottest place on earth, Death Valley National Park, located along part of central California’s border with Nevada, reached 128 degrees on July 16.
While weather and climate scientists attribute what is happening to human-caused climate change due to the burning of coal, oil and natural gases which are heating the planet, the so-called experts of this world are ignoring one critical and divine fact.
For decades, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, warned the nations of the Earth, specifically America, that the wrath of Allah (God) is imminent due to her wickedness perpetrated against the Black and Indigenous man and woman of America.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that God would use the forces of nature to pummel and punish America. He also taught that by ignoring Divine Guidance that Whites, Blacks and others would not escape these forces of nature.
“The four (4) Great Judgments that Allah (God) promises to destroy America with are now coming upon her … hail, snow, drought, earthquake. Allah (God) has reserved His treasures of snow and ice to be used against the wicked country America in the day of battle and war. These are some of Allah’s (God’s) weapons, the storms that we see going on,” the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad warned in his book, “The Fall of America.”
His top student and National Representative, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, like his teacher, warns of God’s Divine Judgment and also provides much-needed guidance for spiritual, mental and physical survival in these times.
“We are witnessing terrifying disasters afflicting the people of the world and these disasters are now afflicting the United States of America. Believing that these prophesies will be fulfilled, we felt that it is our duty to learn as much as we can, so that we can return to the United States and prepare documents on disaster preparedness, and in conjunction with local, state and federal government, do all we can to prepare the American people, and our people in particular, for coming disasters,” the Minister explained in a 2006 message during a visit with a delegation to the island nation of Cuba. The delegation was there to study and learn about disaster preparedness.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, which is tracking national extreme weather data, has flagged that more than half of Americans have faced an extreme weather alert in the past several weeks alone. About 11 percent of heat alerts during that period had a climate signal linking the weather to global heating.
Local officials and the National Weather Service have asked people in Texas to take precautions against heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The record-breaking heatwave is expected to worsen and expand in the coming days, with heat indexes forecasted to surpass 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Oppressive and persistent heat will become increasingly dangerous and potentially deadly in south and south-central Texas, especially to people repeatedly exposed for long durations. Many locations in those parts of Texas have already experienced a yearly record number of hours of dangerously high heat index readings,” the National Weather Service said.
Victor Ramos, 67, was found in his home in southwest Houston, which did not have air conditioning. He died on June 24 in the hospital. Mr. Ramos’ sister Karla told local Houston news outlet KHOU that her brother could not afford to fix his broken air conditioning unit since he was let go from his job in March.
In nearby Pearland, Texas, Felipe Pascaul, 46, also died from the heat on June 16. Mr. Pascaul was pouring concrete on a construction job site when he went into cardiac arrest and collapsed. He was taken to a hospital but did not survive.
Amid a dangerous heatwave that has brought blistering temperatures across the state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a recent law eliminating local rules requiring water breaks for workers. The measure, which will take effect later this year, will nullify ordinances enacted by Austin and Dallas that mandate 10-minute breaks for construction workers every four hours. It also prevents any other local governments from passing similar worker protections.
Just days after the governor ratified the law, officials said a 35-year-old utility lineman working to restore power in Marshall, Texas, died after experiencing symptoms of heat illness. The heat index which takes into account both the temperature and humidity, was 100 degrees while he was working.
“In the midst of a record-setting heatwave, I could not think of a worse time for this governor or any elected official who has any, any kind of compassion, to do this,” said David Cruz, the communications director for League of United Latin American Citizens National (Lulac), a Latino civil rights group. “This administration is incrementally trying to move us backwards into a dark time in this nation. When plantation owners and agrarian mentalities prevailed,” he said, according to theguardian.com.
Six out of every 10 construction workers in Texas are Latino, and labor advocates say, that the law will hurt Latino and Black communities that are already disproportionately affected by extreme heat.
Local protections are crucial, advocates say, because the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have a national heat protection standard.