2020 is on course to be the hottest year since temperature records were first kept. It's been widely predicted by the science types that we're in for a steady succession of record heat years.
Heat kills. In already hot regions bordering already hot oceans and seas the heat and humidity combination is expected to become a lethal, one-two combination.
Even parts of the United States are now succumbing to the "new heat" of the Anthropocene.
Yearly heat-related deaths have more than doubled in Arizona in the last decade to 283. Across the country, heat caused at least 10,000 deaths between 1999 and 2016 – more than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods in most years.
Scientists link the warming planet to a rise in dangerous heat in the US, as well as the spread of infectious diseases and other health conditions. Federal research predicts heatstroke and similar illnesses will claim tens of thousands of American lives each year by the end of the century. Already, higher temperatures pose lethal risks: the five warmest years nationwide have all occurred since 2006. In the last six decades, the number of annual heatwaves in 50 US cities has, on average, tripled. In contrast to a viral pandemic, this is a quiet, insidious threat with no end point.There are measures governments can take to save the vulnerable - wellness checks, cooling centres, free cold water and ice - but they all take money that's increasingly hard to find in this era of "everyday low taxes." That's particularly true in a land where Social Darwinism has been elevated to the stature of a religion.