That would be millions of us Homo sapiens as much of the Middle East and Europe bake in unprecedented heat. Yes, Iraq is normally hot in the summer, but not it is close to uninhabitable:
As temperatures rose towards 51C on Thursday, Iraq’s government declared a mandatory holiday, allowing civic servants to shelter at home.For those of you who don't know, that's 124 degrees Fahrenheit. In Europe temperatures are hitting 104 Fahrenheit, as they have in the U.S. northwest. Healthy people will survive that, but it's pretty damn miserable. In Seattle, where the 90 degree heat is rare, the misery is compounded by suffocating smoke from wildfires in British Columbia. I could continue to go around the world, from methane seeping from the melting arctic permafrost to the possible collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and on and on. A major precipitant of the Syrian civil war was the collapse of Syrian agriculture due to extended drought and the flood of unemployed refugees into the cities.
So far this month in the Iraqi capital, every day but one has reached 48C or higher, and the forecast is for the high temperatures to continue for the next week. July was little different, in Iraq and in Syria, where the capital, Damascus, has also been several degrees hotter than usual nearly every day since late June.
In Kuwait, where birds have reportedly dropped from the skies, and Riyadh, where building work has ceased this week, locals have called for mercy from a hotter-than-normal air mass that has remained nearly stationary over central Arabia for more than three weeks, stretching the capacity of electricity networks beyond limits.
If your tribal identity depends on denying what is obviously true and right in front of your nose, I expect that nothing I can say will matter to you.
No, it's not the only thing that matters, but if we don't get very serious about this, very soon, nothing else will matter very much.