Life at 50° C Documentary Review

ON 07/19/2022 AT 04:10 AM

If you want to know what the future holds watch "Life at 50°C".

A short review of the BBC documentary Life at 50°C.

The number of days where the temperature rises above 50 °C have doubled since 1950 in Kuwait. The last seven years have been the hottest recorded on the entire globe. Climate change will have a higher impact on poor people as compared to the richer ones.

The temperature in Australia is very much likely to cross 40 ˚C in the coming years, making conditions worst over the fire grounds. The episodes of the bush fires are rapidly increasing filling the sky with dark black smoke. Several Australians haven’t experienced such a sight in their lifetime. Authorities are advising the natives to evacuate the areas near the bush fires. Australia is experiencing over 6 times more days over 39 °C as compared to the last 60 years, thereby increasing the risk of bush fires. The bush fire completely consumes the areas in the vicinity and can even spread to far-off lands. The fire gets aggressive and putting off the fire in the local residential areas becomes almost impossible leading to the loss of life and property worth millions. In Sydney, to accommodate more of the population, the open green lands are converted into residential areas with houses extremely near to each other leaving a very small green space.

Australia is the highest CO2 emission per capita in the world. Poor communities will certainly be impacted more by climate change as the higher- class of the society at least have the facilities of air conditioners and can move away from the bush fires. However, the irony is, that the richer class of society is responsible for much of the pollution caused.

Likewise, in Nigeria, climate change has converted the fertile land into deserts. Central Nigeria is getting hotter and drier. This makes the task of well digging more important and is the regular practice followed by the Nigerians. Even after digging for 25 ft, the chances of getting fresh water are quite meager. Due to the changing weather conditions, even the crops are failing to grow. The Nigerians plant the crops as per their routine, but the plants fail to grow. However, this wasn’t the condition a generation earlier. The region was covered with fertile plains and green forests. However, owing to consistent climate change and hot climate the land has become barren and people are now sorting out different means to earn a livelihood from the land. The Nigerians are forced to cut down the few left-out trees to get wood and earn their livelihood, as they fail to get money from any other source.

The middle east is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. In southern Iraq, the farmers are forced to leave their farms (which have turned barren due to high temperatures and historical droughts) and migrate to the cities in the search of livelihood. The farmers still clinging to farming faces the loss of crops consequently for many years. Farming in southern Iraq has become a gamble. The farmers must pay for seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. They win once and fail ten times. Iraq's summer in 2021, has faced over 26 days above 50°C, which has not only decreased the production of crops but has also impacted the quality of the crops grown.

Kuwait has officially recorded 12 days of 50 ˚C or more in the year 2021. The year 2021, had record high levels of the temperature of 56°C with a real feel of 60 ˚C. The cars are equipped with ice packs and a tube to spread the cool air-conditioned air to the rear side of the car. Likewise, most parents ON their car’s AC 30 minutes before their travel to make the car suitable for their kids to travel in. The kids mostly spend their time inside the homes as the outer climate is extremely hot and dry. The kids are robbed of their playful childhood.

If the middle east doesn’t reduce its emission they are certain to face ultra-heat waves over 56˚C, in the second half of the century. They use the majority of the electricity in the air-conditioners. The unknown fact by most people is, that the AC cools the little section (house) but warms the environment still further. So, mankind is in a vicious circle of cooling themselves by further heating the environment. 

Across the world, the dangerous urban heat is on the rise. Several incidents of people getting struck by heat waves are rising worldwide. In Mexico, in the year 2021, a heat wave was experienced for 40 days with a temperature above 46 °C. The paramedics are majorly involved in saving the lives of the heat-struck people on the road. If unattended, these people would certainly die.

Extreme heat and water shortages affect the whole region of Mexico. Vado Carranza use to be the fertile delta of the Colorado River. The region was considered the land of Cucapah (the river people). The Cucapah have been fishing in the same region since ancient times. However, due to climate change, the rivers have dried up and the temperature has reached 42 °C. The Colorado rivers run from the U.S. to Mexico. Dams and canals in the U.S. make only 10% of themselves to the border. Climate change has lowered the levels of water in both countries, however, in Mexico, the river dries up completely. The shortage of water and food has forced the people of Mexico to migrate causing the loss of culture.

In, Zouérat - Mauritania, a remote mining town at the edge of the Sahara, is known for salt mining. However, salt mining is getting tougher each day with the increasing heat due to climate change. The miners could work only up to dawn to protect themselves from the scorching heat. Owing to the difficulty in mining, the miners are now shifting to other livelihoods.  Other local livelihoods are likewise, threaten. Recurring drought results in lower plants for animals to graze upon. The goats and sheep are fed onto the cardboard due to the lack of plant fodder.

In 2021, the northwest of the US and Canada experienced an unprecedented heat wave. Scientists indicated that this massive and deadly heat wave would have not been possible without climate change. The hottest place recorded was Lytton in British Columbia. Lytton was engulfed in the wildfire, after experiencing the hottest day. Within 24 hours, 90% of buildings in Lytton were destroyed. The Lytton communities were shifted to temporary accommodation, losing their homes, and loved ones.

By looking in the future, it is quite difficult to tell, how many years more the earth will be inhabitable. Our next generation would see the lakes and rivers only in the photos. The only thing which will be known to them will be the scorching heat, droughts, and other extreme weather events. It is high time when not only a small portion of the world’s population but each and every human on the planet earth take climate change for real. It is extremely upsetting to know, that a very small group of the world population is actually working to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The only left alternative is to build and reside in the climate resilient habitat, which not only conserves the environment but also tends to keep it healthy for the coming generation.