After spending an hour trying to find a parking space, I walked into class with a drenched T-shirt, almost like I had just participated in a half-marathon. Cheers erupted across the classroom: “He did it, he found parking!” “He’s finally on time!” One cry rang out the loudest: “My brother,” sobbed my project partner, “you made it through the heat!” Applause continued for minutes, completely disrupting class, for I had completed a daily pilgrimage from the commuter red parking zone.
Seriously — it’s hot. You don’t need me or a poorly constructed anecdote to tell you that.
2023 is, by many metrics, well on its way to becoming the hottest year ever recorded. And you can feel it, too. The excessive heat index warning on the weather app was seemingly permanent. For months, it has felt trivial to check the app, anyway.
To compound the issue, Mississippi’s naturally sticky, humid air has made 100-degree weather feel beyond scorching. It’s unbearable to be outside for extended periods of time. In this sort of weather, cotton tops and denim bottoms are like tin foil. Zero out of 10, do not recommend.
As of recently, the outdoors has felt less hellish thanks to a particular tropical storm. Though Hurricane Idalia is expected to bring millions of dollars in damage along coastlines, it has already brought a cold front reminding everybody of the mild fall air soon to come.
Nobody wants to march through the heat to get to class or work. It’s a reality we live in, though. What’s worse is that it will likely only intensify in the coming years. The average global temperature is expected to increase by up to three degrees Fahrenheit by 2030, the same year experts have predicted to be the “deadline” to reverse climate change.
Despite all the indicators of where Earth may be headed, American politicians still seem to be doing the bare minimum to address a global issue. This summer, I sat in Washington, D.C., and watched as aliens and kitchen stoves dominated the House floor, rather than legitimate discourse over a global heating issue that’s been well-known for decades now. Inaction is a prerequisite skill to hold public office in many states, I suppose.
Special attention should be paid to underserved communities that may not have access to consistent HVAC during heat surges like this. Residents of the Mississippi Delta, in particular, are at risk of developing heat-related health issues. Inattention to this region will likely persist, though; our state legislature is too busy picking on Jackson and keeping a microscope between women’s legs. and
If you picked this paper up en route to class, by the time you return to your vehicle parked 20 minutes away, it’ll be equivalent to a toaster oven on the interior. Safe travels and stay cool.
Justice Rose is the opinion editor and a sophomore journalism major from Madison, Miss.