Life at 49C

This Guardian story sounds like one of the narratives in my cli-fi books Life Plus 2 Meters, which discuss how we will (not) adapt to climate change. Truth is stranger than fiction!

Michelle Coles, owner of the Cinema Augusta, Port Augusta, South Australia, (49C on Tuesday)

“I didn’t think it was that hot yesterday, if you want an honest answer. Yesterday at the cinema was very quiet. People tend to stay home. We’re quite used to it. Every summer is hot. A couple of degrees hotter doesn’t make that much difference.”

“Honestly I’d much rather be in 48C heat in Port Augusta than in the city – you’ve got so much concrete and it’s closed in, but here it’s quite open. You just don’t stand out in the sun though, that’d be stupid.”

“Most of us have got pretty good air-conditioning. Our local sporting centre is open with the aircon running for anyone who doesn’t have any. The one thing I do, is for the elderly people I know, I go and visit them.”

“We don’t take our dogs for a walk early in the morning, we take them out at night. Even then, the concrete can still be quite hot. I walk out and actually stand in my bare feet to check.”

“I think it’s different these days to what it was 20 or 30 years ago. You notice that people walk around with water bottles. Everyone has water bottles. I think people are sensible. We’ve got a couple of homeless people who pop into the cinema, and our girls are instructed to give them a drink. We have a really amazing community spirit here – everybody looks after everybody else.”

Author: David Zetland

I'm a political-economist from California who now lives in Amsterdam.

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