Phoenix on top 10 climate change threatened cities list; Tucson left off

2013-06-05T10:23:00Z 2013-06-05T10:36:10Z Phoenix on top 10 climate change threatened cities list; Tucson left offTony Davis Arizona Daily Star
June 05, 2013 10:23 am  • 

Once again, Tucson is left off a national top 10 list, but maybe we shouldn't be upset about this one.

This article in the online environmental publication Grist listed Phoenix among "Ten cities that will be hardest hit by climate change."

The article was written by Jim Meyer, who is described as a Baltimore-based stand-up comedian, actor, retired roller derby announcer, freelance writer, and web editor for the Baltimore City Forestry Board.

First, here's what he wrote about Phoenix:

!

Phoenix, Ariz.

phoenix-sun-heat

The founders of Phoenix spotted a particularly dry stretch of desert and thought, “You know what this place could use? Golf courses.” Unfortunately, this town of 4.5 million has been getting hotter by almost a degree a decade since 1961;  in 2011 Phoenix had 33 days over 110. In heat like that, air conditioning is a life-and-death issue, and that A/C runs on America’s electric grid. That’s scary enough, but the power on that grid comes from dams on the Colorado River — the same shrinking river that wets Phoenix’s enormous whistle. Then again, Phoenicians named their town after a bird that periodically bursts into flames, so they must have seen this coming.

 

Today, I emailed Meyer to ask him where Tucson -- left off his list -- stands, since we're in the same heat belt although at a higher elevation and possessing slightly lower average summer temperatures.

Here's his response, which he accompanied with a statement that his article was "far from scientific" and intended to both "raise awareness and hopefully entertain."

"Phoenix is larger, which helped. It is lower, and it has the benefit of having a name that implies it will some day burst into flame."

 

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About this blog

Star reporter Tony Davis covers topics in this blog that you have read under his byline for more than 30 years in the Southwest: water, growth, sprawl, pollution, climate change, endangered species, mining, grazing and traffic.

To reach Tony call 806-7746 (office) or 349-0350 (cell) or write him at tdavis@tucson.com.

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