|not lost in translation
|Europeans are Hot
Nothing irritates the American public more than being told what to do by a gang of lecturing European
schoolteachers who make frequent appearances behind global warming’s bully pulpit. They usually can’t get
beyond the sermon to hear what the ministers are trying to say or why they are saying it.
Before moving to Europe in the fall of ‘02, I too was the little girl folding her arms and swinging her legs beneath
the pew refusing to listen. During those first months of living in Italy, I maintained the same stubborn posture
preferring instead to ridicule Europeans for their cult like obsession with the environment.
It wasn’t until the great heat wave of 2003, when elderly French people were left to cook in their apartments did I
begin to understand why Europeans were warming fanatics. Climate change had gripped their psyche because it
was something they were forced to face.
That summer forced even me, the skeptic, to understand why the issue was so important. My American friends,
who came for my wedding, likely gained a greater appreciation as well with each bead of sweat that fell into their
plate at the reception.
Unlike Americans, even those living in poverty, Europeans don’t have air-conditioning. A small temperature hike
isn’t easily cured by lowering the thermostat like it is in the States.
While all of us stateside have witnessed the coldest April on record and as snow is falling somewhere in the U.S
as I write this article, Italian forecasters are predicting this summer to be a repeat of ’03. Perhaps even worse.
For years my husband used to ski on a glacier in the Italian Alps year round and now that glacier is disappearing.
This summer, prognosticators are predicting rolling blackouts and water shortages. The Po has never been drier
which can’t be good news for farmers who will be forced to reduce their water consumption. In addition, the
rolling blackouts will affect businesses and inconvenience the Italian people.
They are Global Warming fanatics because the issue has been forced upon them. Even if we don’t agree on
climate change or whether or not humans have caused it, we can at least understand why Europeans consider the
It isn’t easy to talk to someone about climate change and warming when it’s still snowing in April just as it wasn’t
easy to talk to citizens about terrorism until 3,000 people died. "Drought: State of Emergency"