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Sun Jun 30, 2019, 08:21 AM

Canicule, or, sweating through the hottest day in Paris history

Yesterday the mercury at the Louvre main entrance reached 45 degrees, or 113 in Fahrenheit. As the weather warnings playing everywhere kept saying, it was the hottest day on record in Paris's history.

A heat wave like this is called a canicule. There used to be one a decade, the lady who runs the bakery below my flat told me. Now it's one (or two or three) a year. She was scribbling a sign to the effect that she wasnt going to run the ovens in the afternoon because of the extreme heat, so you would need to get your evening baguette in the morning. If you know Paris, this is something close to unthinkable.

Paris isn't built for that. Nothing has central air, anywhere. All the stores are out of portable AC's. The Costco outside of town is out of portable AC's. I didn't know Costco could run out of things. All the cafes are tiny and crowded with an open kitchen blasting heat towards the tables; fortunately we had cold cuts and cheese at home, but nobody had much of an appetite.

The city's response has been good. There aren't public cooling stations like DC and NYC have, but they opened all the public swimming pools for free, as well as all the air conditioned museums.

I took my dog and I on the metro to Esplanade La Defense so he could play in the fountain, then walked a soaking wet dog across the river and home and dropped him in front of our fan where he just lay there occasionally accepting ice cubes. I put the ice tray in front of the fan (this is really all an air conditioner does) and we both stuck our faces in the breeze and sat there.

At about 3 am, my dog started barking frantically. My wife won the "nudge each other out of bed" war and I went to see what was up. The canicule had finally broken, and a breeze was coming in through the window; he was leaning his face out of it like we were on a road trip and trying to tell us to come get some cool air too.

This is the future we're making, and it's not a pleasant one.


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Reply Canicule, or, sweating through the hottest day in Paris history (Original post)
Recursion Jun 2019 OP
erronis Jun 2019 #1
MLAA Jun 2019 #2
Recursion Jun 2019 #8
calimary Jun 2019 #3
PatrickforO Jun 2019 #7
Recursion Jun 2019 #9
PatrickforO Jun 2019 #10
calimary Jun 2019 #17
mountain grammy Jun 2019 #13
panader0 Jun 2019 #4
mountain grammy Jun 2019 #5
PatrickforO Jun 2019 #6
octoberlib Jun 2019 #11
defacto7 Jun 2019 #12
Recursion Jun 2019 #14
House of Roberts Jun 2019 #15
Codeine Jul 2019 #20
shanti Jun 2019 #16
IcyPeas Jun 2019 #18
Recursion Jul 2019 #19

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:04 AM

1. Thank you for that story from Paris - coping with the heat and fearing the future.

Your imagery was perfect. The lack of a baguette in the evening must bring home the reality of these changes in climate.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:23 AM

2. Thank you for the story. A very sobering view of things to come.

I think you are a very good writer. Maybe you could write more stories about Paris for us? Including your doggo, of course!

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Response to MLAA (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:57 AM

8. Thanks!

The lad himself



He's much happier that it's in the 70s now rather than the 100s.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:30 AM

3. Oh but no! You guys don't get it! Remember what James Watt said!!!

Remember when that disgraceful human blight was Reagan’s idea of a good Interior Secretary? I was watching him for n TV, making a public statement that : when the last tree is felled, Jesus will come back!!!”

Truth. I still remember feeling my jaw drop right down toward the floor.

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Response to calimary (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:57 AM

7. Really? He actually SAID that?

The tragic thing is people like Watt are still around spewing these lies. Carefully creating doubt so the oil companies can eke out another few years of great profits. Knowing what they are doing but not caring because hey, they'll be dead by the time it gets really bad.
This is the DU member formerly known as PatrickforO.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:59 AM

9. "My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land...

... until Jesus returns. When the land can no longer be occupied, we will know that return is near."

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Response to Recursion (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:00 AM

10. The horrors inflicted on us by conservative Christianity.

Sigh.
This is the DU member formerly known as PatrickforO.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 03:11 PM

17. Yes. Wide-eyed and straight-faced. I think he was testifying before Congress.

I was horrified even back then.

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Response to calimary (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:13 AM

13. wow, that's a reminder I'd rather not remember.

He said he never said it, but those crazy assholes lie for a living. What a creep, in a long line of Republican creeps, still alive and well in WY with his crazy, creepy pals.
When you look back honestly at the last 70 years (my lifetime)or even to the beginning, trump is really the logical choice for the end of America.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:42 AM

4. 113---even hotter than the 110 in Phoenix yesterday.

Only 94 here in So Az at 4600 ft.
Maybe it's because I'm getting old, or maybe because I worked in the sun
all my life, but it seems like the sun burns me fast anymore.
I envy you being in Paris. I got to visit in '57 when I was seven.
My mom took us to the Montmarte where she commissioned one of the
many painters and I still have the painting of her at an outdoor café.
I learned a new word--canicule.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:54 AM

5. Thank you for this.

as I whine about how it won't warm up here at 8500 ft..

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 10:54 AM

6. People die in this kind of heat.

And the greed of the few is pushing the many towards extinction or at least a much less habitable planet.

Greed.

The root cause is the primacy of the shareholder doctrine. CEOs don't have to consider the environment. Or workers. Or consumers. All they care about is shareholder earnings.

THAT, folks, is what brought us to the situation we're in.

I mean, Trump is the perfect president for the likes of Grover Norquist, who said we need a dumb president who signs laws the Republican Congress sends him. The ONLY downside Trump has for these people is he's a really stupid bully-blowhard who is, in effect, a loose cannon.
This is the DU member formerly known as PatrickforO.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:01 AM

11. Wonderful writing. Thanks , Recursion!

This is the DU member formerly known as octoberlib.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:09 AM

12. I've spent a lot of time in Paris at different times of the year.

I cannot imagine 45 in Paris.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:14 AM

14. I went to Pigalle Friday and it was just miserable

I think maybe out in the 19th or 20th it might be a little airier, but in the inner arrondissements it's just absolutely wretched.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:16 AM

15. It was 95 in Spielberg, Austria at the F1 race earlier.

Track temps were over 120. At least the humidity was only 18, which mitigates the high temps, as long as you stay hydrated, and don't get too much sun.

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Response to House of Roberts (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 07:31 AM

20. And all those Dutch fans sitting in direct sunlight

 

for hours to cheer on Max. I’ll stick to watching it on television.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 11:23 AM

16. Sweet relief!

Great story! Our summers in Sacramento regularly get to 100 and above. 113 is unbearable and I stay inside during most of the summer. Our canicule is called the "delta breeze". After several scorching days, it will come in from the west and cool everything down. It's wonderful to wake in the morning with it nice and cool. Today is one of those days. Summer this year has been pretty moderate so far, but I know the worst is yet to come.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Jun 30, 2019, 05:31 PM

18. how is the electric grid in Paris?

I am in SoCal and every year our power inevitably goes out (last year it went out for 36 hours in my neighborhood when the temperatures were in the triple digits - and this is SoCal where you would think the power company could handle this!).

with people buying portable air conditioners, running fans, etc. how does the power grid do it?

also, I never knew Paris had Costco.

and I agree with others -- your writing paints a picture. thanks!




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Response to IcyPeas (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 07:26 AM

19. Solid; they mandate weaker fuses in apartments

So, individuals lose power (briefly) more often, but the grid is kept intact.

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