These days, few people can reasonably deny that the planet is already experiencing many of the negative effects of climate change.
China, along with countries in Europe, the Americas and South Asia, has recently been hit by record high temperatures, including scorching days in Hong Kong. If the temperature exceeds 40°C, there is a danger of life-threatening heat stroke, drowning due to flood damage, and burning due to forest fires.
Such extreme changes in weather patterns cannot simply be ignored, and global climate change is likely to escalate further in the future, so we need to find better ways to deal with potential disasters. there is.
For over ten years I lived in several desert countries in the Gulf region. For thousands of years, local Arabs have developed approaches to deal with extreme heat. This approach can be replicated in other countries. Some of these are self-help approaches to getting through the heat wave. Others will need major lifestyle changes to bring about them.
Let’s start with what individuals can do to cope with living in an overheated place. We need to be aware that global warming is very likely to continue and even increase over time.
We all have to learn to walk in the shade of the street. Ideally, you should wear loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or linen. A business suit and tie are completely inappropriate where the temperature he exceeds 40 degrees. Full-length, long-sleeved, loose-fitting robes worn by many Arabs of both genders prevent the burning sun from causing sunburn. is wearing At the very least, you should wear a hat on sunny days.
At home, keep curtains, blinds, or shutters closed to prevent direct sunlight from heating the room. Of course, you also need to drink plenty of cold water during heat waves.
Greater societal change over longer spans would also help. In many hot countries such as southern Europe and the Middle East, many people start work very early in the morning, before the worst heat of the day sets in.
In many of these places, people avoid going out in the hot sun during the hours when the sun is at its brightest, between noon and 4pm. In fact, many people head home for an afternoon siesta, and offices and shops are closed during these extremely hot hours.
In many places, outdoor workers, such as builders, are legally required not to work outdoors when temperatures rise to dangerous levels. Some workplaces, such as stores, will reopen around 5pm when the weather is slightly cooler.
It takes social change to make it possible in southern China, but in the long run this could be a good way to deal with unusually high temperatures. May be introduced to cover hot months.
Heatstroke, severe sunburn, and dehydration are some of the causes of death in very hot weather. These fatal effects are often seen in people who try to act normally in abnormally high temperatures without considering how their stressed bodies react to very high temperatures.
There is a limit to how far the human body can be pushed to deal with exceptional heat. A change in lifestyle is essential.
In heatwaves, all forms of sun exposure should be avoided to prevent dangerous overheating and the risk of developing skin cancer from the intense rays of the sun on unprotected skin.
Tragically, in some parts of the world, the elderly, infirm and sickly people who would benefit from the use of cold water and air conditioning escape the effects of excessive heat.
Families need to ensure that people at particular risk are properly cared for. This includes contributing to paying electricity bills to encourage elderly relatives to use air conditioning in their homes.
We will not learn to cope with living in extremely hot temperatures until we recognize without delay that a lifestyle change is necessary.
The author is a seasoned social issue commentator who has lived across Asia.