Thursday, July 27, 2006

Weather Reporting Devoid of Analysis

Where oh where has all this heat come from? You won't find out from this article, just posted on the NYTimes website. Go ahead, look for the phrases 'global warming' or 'climate change'. They're not there. The inconvenient truth that must not be mentioned by the bought and paid for corporate media. When will the corporate media tell us why we are breaking weather records all over the world? When the temps rise to 120? (No, not then, the chart above shows Palm Springs recorded 121 this week.) 125? 130? When thousands die, rather than hundreds?

NYTimes: In California, Heat Is Blamed for 100 Deaths

FRESNO, Calif., July 27 — A searing heat wave nearly two weeks old is responsible for more than 100 deaths across California, the authorities said Thursday. So overwhelmed is the local coroner’s office here that it has been forced to double-stack bodies.

Most of the deaths have occurred in the landlocked Central Valley, the state’s agricultural spine, where triple-digit temperatures have lately been the norm. The heat has been linked to at least 22 deaths here in Fresno County, whose funeral homes have offered to help with the coroner’s backlog.

“We’re just trying to catch up,” said Joseph Tiger, a deputy coroner in Fresno. “I have been here 10 years, and I have never seen it this bad. Our boss has been here over 20, and he hasn’t seen it this bad either. For the last two weeks it has just been unbearable hot.”

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said the heat wave had been confirmed as the cause of death among at least 53 people around the state. Pending autopsies, heat-related causes are presumed in the death of scores of others, said Roni Java, a spokeswoman for the emergency services office.

Many of these suspected heat deaths have been among the elderly, who often live as shut-ins and will not open windows, said Loralee Cervantes, the Fresno County coroner.

The toll of such casualties has no recent precedent in California. According to data provided by the California Department of Health Services, the greatest number of heat-related deaths in the state since 1989 had been 40, in 2000. A department spokeswoman, Patti Roberts, said data prior to 1989 were unavailable.

Among the dead here were a 38-year-old worker found in a field, an unidentified man around 40 who made it to a hospital emergency room where his body temperature was recorded at 109.9 degrees and a 58-year-old man who was found drunk. Statewide, Ms. Java said, the youngest person killed by the heat has been a 20-year-old man from San Diego, and the oldest a 95-year-old man in Imperial County, on the Mexican border.


The record temperatures have also hit farmers hard, with roughly 16,500 cows, 1 percent of the state’s dairy herd, dying of the heat
, according to California Dairies, the state’s largest milk cooperative.


“It is just a bad, bad situation,” said Larry Collar, the quality assurance manager for California Dairies. “In 25 years in Southern California, this is the most extreme temperatures we have ever seen and the most extreme length of time we have seen.”

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