| The Explainer |

Blowing Hot and Cold

The debate over climate change is heating up, and the hot weather is sure to fan the flames

As reports of blistering summer temperatures increase, the debate over climate change is heating up. Some say economic activity is the culprit, and the end of the world is nigh unless governments take strong action. Others argue that we can innovate our way out of it, and still others argue that climate change isn’t real. Whatever the case, the hot weather is sure to fan the flames.

Around the World

Other parts of the globe are also suffering summer’s assault.


Italy, Spain, and Greece have been particularly battered by heat waves. Over the last week, Rome, Madrid, and Athens all saw highs of over 107°F (42°C).


With the entire country wilting under extreme temps, the remote northwestern village of Sanbao soared above 126°F (52°C), breaking the previous record of April 2015. Meanwhile, Beijing and Shanghai experienced flooding.


It was hoped monsoon season would bring relief with cooler temperatures, but rains were stronger than expected and have already claimed at least 100 lives.

Southern Hemisphere

Meanwhile, Down Under, it’s been a warm winter. Sydney has had its longest stretch of days with winter temps above 68°F (20°C) in decades. South Africa and Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have experienced a significant cooling off. In Argentina, 17 provinces are on alert due to harsh winter conditions.


All these severe weather events have had undeniable economic ramifications.

Billion-Dollar Losses

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, or tornadoes have impacted the US economy to the tune of $55 billion a year.

Migration Patterns

35 percent of Americans consider “climate change” a motivating factor for relocation.

Labor Claims

Garbage collectors in Italy and workers at archaeological sites in Greece have demanded not to work during the hottest daytime hours.

Vacation Changes

Europe’s Mediterranean coast has seen a 10 percent drop in tourist visits this year compared to 2022. Travelers now prefer cooler destinations: Denmark, Ireland, or the Czech Republic are some new favorites.

Sweating It Out

Despite health warnings from authorities, numerous tourist groups have traveled to the Death Valley National Park to experience the “historic heat.”

The great debate

Three positions have dominated the climate change debate:

  1. Humanity is responsible for climate change, and we must take action to stop it.
  2. Climate change is real, but any measures taken could disproportionately harm the most vulnerable sectors of society.
  3. Climate change is a cyclical phenomenon that has occurred throughout history.

“The climate crisis is a matter of life and death for countless people. We are still moving in the wrong direction, where those in power are allowed to sacrifice marginalized and affected people and the planet in the name of greed, profit and economic growth.”

—Greta Thunberg, environmental activist

“Three-quarters of all state temperature records were broken before the 1950s, and these records still stand. When you heard CNN or the New York Times saying this is the ‘hottest’ in Earth’s history, those claims were based on climate models that even the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration backed away from. They are weaponizing hot summers… to turn it into some kind of call for climate action.”

—Marc Morano, executive editor of Climate Depot website

“Climate alarm leads to anxious lives and bad policies. It also takes our attention off the world’s many other problems, like preparing for global pandemics. We can do so much better.”

—Bjorn Lomborg, former director of Denmark’s Environmental Assessment Institute

Sources:; United Nations; ABC; CBS; FOX News; World Economic Forum; CNBC; CEI; Climate Depot; AccuWeather; Gothamist; Euronews; Forbes; The Week


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 971)

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