Charlie Hodge

Hodge: Is it hot enough for you yet?

Kelowna columnist takes on the heat, both in Kelowna and rising up from the USA

By Charlie Hodge

This is certainly an opportune time to be a commissioned fan or portable air conditioner sales person.

It’s times like now I wish I had my brother’s inventive and electronic genius as I am sure there is an easy way to convert my portable oxygen tank into a portable fan.

Somehow I am sure I may be able to replace the two little narrow nose tubes with a larger single air blaster. Then, if I turn the air volume dial wide open to four and hold the tube back six inches from my face I would have a lovely cooling breeze following me about.

The concerns being, of course, that with my thin, scraggly, hair billowing about as I trundle down the street I may be mistaken as a burned out former fashion model. Or, worse yet. I forget about the mechanical conversion and place the tube back in my nostrils thereby filling my head like a balloon.

Like many others, I’m probably best to stay indoors and hope the hamsters running my air conditioner system do not quit. Certainly anyone with compromised respiratory or pulmonary health issues should be heeding the warnings and remain inside avoiding both the intense heat, and smoke from forest fires.

Like it or not Mother Nature is not finished with us or the remainder of the province. In fact, our weather nightmares may well have just begun. We are only now entering forest fire season and as I write there are more than 110 significant forest fires burning in B.C., several of which are on a rampage and not controlled.

We are setting records. It has never been so hot during the month of July in the Central Okanagan since such technical records started being collected back in 1969. According to Environment Canada the average daily temperature for the month was 23.3 Celsius way ahead of the average of 19.5 C.

Meanwhile there was not a drop of water from the sky in July marking a 14-year stretch since the last rain free July back in…yikes, 2003.

For locals, that was the terrifying summer when the Valley was on fire everywhere including the devastating Okanagan Mountain blaze. That nightmare destroyed some 250 homes in the area and blackened skies for days.

Many Kelowna residents are still recovering from the floods of this June and July.

While the fires are great concern and the heat debilitating the smoky air is plain deadly. Thursday’s air quality index was set to hit seven or eight out of 10 in Kelowna – dangerous levels.

Do not be foolish folks and take chances. If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort seek out medical aid.

Tragically some of our weather discomfort may well be self inflicted. More and more experts are suggesting the current bashing by Mother Nature is probably the new ‘normal’ for future weather patterns and that indeed ‘global warming’ has arrived.

There are, of course, morons like the Donald who suggest that global warming is fake news. Pathetically many of those in ostrich-like denial are also key players in the economics and decision making of this continent.

Trump’s latest decision regarding air quality and carbon reductions efforts are almost as scary and dangerous as his asinine reaction and responses to North Korea’s weapons testing.

Clearly Trump is not only out of control running the White House, but also out of his mind.

Like many others I am staggered that the madman has been allowed to remain in charge of one of the world’s greatest economic and militarily powerful nations in the world, while chaos falls around him.

Why has this man not been impeached yet?

What will it take?

Suffice to say, there is enough hot air blowing in the Okanagan recently, we do not need more from south of the border.

We may not be able to control Trump but we can reduce the potential damage of the local hot air conditions. Stay inside!

•••

Ironically, speaking of sparks and fire, one of the highlights of the weekend ahead is the highly anticipated fireworks display – cancelled from Canada Day celebrations.

The festive fun display will light up our skies Saturday night starting at 9:30.

The event was delayed largely due to the safety of both people and equipment used to deal with our recent massive flood conditions. Like others, I was greatly disappointed in the pyrotechnic procrastination during our nation’s official birthday party, however it will certainly add to this long weekend’s summer celebration. The display will be held off a barge on Okanagan Lake so enjoy.