‘Zoonotic spillovers’ expected to rise with at least 15,000 instances of viruses leaping between species over next 50 years.
‘Potentially devastating’: Climate crisis may fuel future pandemics
There will be at least 15,000 instances of viruses leaping between species over the next 50 years, with the climate crisis helping fuel a “potentially devastating” spread of disease that will imperil animals and people and risk further pandemics, researchers have warned.
As the planet heats up, many animal species will be forced to move into new areas to find suitable conditions. They will bring their parasites and pathogens with them, causing them to spread between species that haven’t interacted before. This will heighten the risk of what is called ‘zoonotic spillover’, where viruses transfer from animals to people, potentially triggering another pandemic of the magnitude of Covid-19.
“As the world changes, the face of disease will change too,” said Gregory Albery, an expert in disease ecology at Georgetown University and co-author of the paper, published in Nature. “This work provides more incontrovertible evidence that the coming decades will not only be hotter, but sicker.
“We have demonstrated a novel and potentially devastating mechanism for disease emergence that could threaten the health of animals in the future and will likely have ramifications for us, too.”
Albery said that climate change is “shaking ecosystems to their core” and causing interactions between species that are already likely to be spreading viruses. He said that even drastic action to address global heating now won’t be enough to halt the risk of spillover events.
“This is happing, it’s not preventable even in the best case climate change scenarios and we need to put measures in place to build health infrastructure to protect animal and human populations,” he said.
The research paper states that at least 10,000 types of virus capable of infecting humans are circulating “silently” in wild animal populations. Until relatively recently, such crossover infections were unusual but as more habitat has been destroyed for agriculture and urban expansion, more people have come into contact with infected animals.
Climate change is exacerbating this problem by helping circulate disease between species that previously did not encounter each other. The study forecast the geographic range shifts of 3,139 mammal species due to climatic and land use changes until 2070 and found that even under a relatively low level of global heating there will be at least 15,000 cross-species transmission events of one or more viruses during this time.
Bats will account for the majority of this disease spread because of their ability to travel large distances. An infected bat in Wuhan in China is a suspected cause of the start of the Covid pandemic and previous research has estimated there are about 3,200 strains of coronaviruses already moving among bat populations.
The risk of climate-driven disease is not a future one, the new research warns. “Surprisingly, we find that this ecological transition may already be under way, and holding warming under 2C within the century will not reduce future viral sharing,” the paper states.
Much of the disease risk is set to center upon high elevation areas in Africa and Asia, although a lack of monitoring is set make it difficult to track the progress of certain viruses. “There is this monumental and mostly unobserved change happening within ecosystems,” said Colin Carlson, another co-author of the research.
“We aren’t keeping an eye on them and it makes pandemic risk everyone’s problem. Climate change is creating innumerable hotspots for zoonotic risk right in our backyard. We have to build health systems that are ready for that.”
Experts not involved in the research said the study highlighted the urgent need to improve processes designed to prevent future pandemics, as well as to phase out the use of the fossil fuels that are causing the climate crisis.
“The findings underscore that we must, absolutely must, prevent pathogen spillover,” said Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the center for climate, health, and the global environment at Harvard University.
“Vaccines, drugs and tests are essential but without major investments in primary pandemic prevention, namely habitat conservation, strictly regulating wildlife trade, and improved livestock biosecurity, as examples, we will find ourselves in a world where only the rich are able to endure ever more likely infectious disease outbreaks.”
Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit that works on pandemic prevention, said that while human interference in landscapes has been understood as a disease risk for a while, the new research represents a “critical step forward” in the understanding of how climate change will fuel the spread of viruses.
“What’s even more concerning is that we may already be in this process – something I didn’t expect and a real wake-up call for public health,” he said. “In fact, if you think about the likely impacts of climate change, if pandemic diseases are one of them, we’re talking trillions of dollars of potential impact.
“This hidden cost of climate change is finally illuminated, and the vision this paper shows us is a very ugly future for wildlife and for people.”
Research paper @ Nature:
Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk
From The Lever (email)
The GOP’s New War On Divestment
BY DONALD SHAW – 28 APR 2022
Republican state and federal lawmakers, their campaign coffers filled with fossil fuel donations, are quietly building a nationwide effort to pass anti-divestment bills that would punish financial institutions that consider the climate crisis in their business deals or try to do something about it by not working with fossil fuel companies.
The effort began last December, when a model bill written by former Texas state Rep. Jason Isaac (R), now director at the Charles Koch-funded think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, was unveiled at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s major gathering of conservative lawmakers. The model legislation, titled the “Energy Discrimination Elimination Act,” calls for states to identify and divest from financial institutions that boycott or otherwise penalize energy companies for falling short of environmental standards.
Since then, several states have introduced bills based on the model language, with two versions already becoming law. The push has also made its way to the national level. A federal bill proposed last month by the U.S. House’s top recipient of coal industry money would prohibit financial advisers from considering ESG — environmental, social, and corporate governance — factors when making investment decisions.
Now the fight against ESG considerations is spilling out of the halls of Congress and state legislatures. Last week, Utah’s Republican governor and its entire congressional delegation sent a letter to the credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings opposing the company’s plans to add ESG scores to its global credit ratings for state and local governments.
“S&P’s ESG credit indicators politicize what should be a purely financial decision,” the politicians argued in their letter, according to Bloomberg. The letter was celebrated on Twitter by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and by the State Financial Officers Foundation, a conservative nonprofit whose board of directors and advisory committee include ALEC executives.
The timeline illustrates the shadowy, concerted way the fossil fuel industry and its political lackeys are responding to the growing threat of the divestment movement. In recent years, climate activist organizations have been pushing financial institutions to stop financing fossil fuel companies, given fossil fuels’ role as the leading source of carbon dioxide emissions.
While the effort has been slow going, banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have pledged to reduce their fossil fuel financing to align with the emission reduction goals of the Paris Agreement. Now, in response, the oil and gas industry is trying to do everything in its power to actively punish financial institutions and advisors for trying to take reasonable steps to address the climate crisis.
“I Eat Coal For Breakfast”
Isaac’s model legislation was likely inspired by an anti-energy company boycott adopted by his home state last June. According to the new Texas law, which took effect last September, the state’s comptroller must create a list of financial companies that have limited their commercial relationships with energy companies over emissions concerns, and state investment funds would divest from those companies. Last month, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar sent letters to 19 finance companies he believes may be boycotting the fossil fuel industry.
The law had six authors, several of whom have received significant fossil fuel funding. State Sen. Drew Springer (R), for example, has raked in more than $220,000 from the oil and gas industry, making it his top career donor industry. The primary sponsor of the bill in the House, Rep. Ken King (R), has received $378,000 from the oil and gas industry. King’s side jobs include being president of oil well parts supplier Black Gold Pump and Supply and vice president of a family oilfield services business, King Well Service.
In the months after the Texas bill became law, its authors received additional donations from energy companies. State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R) received $1,000 from ExxonMobil PAC and $2,500 from Koch Industries PAC in the second half of 2021. During that same period, state Sen. Bob Hall (R) received $2,500 from Centerpoint Energy PAC and $10,000 from Farris Wilks, an oil and gas industry billionaire whose recent investments in the industry include stakes in hydraulic fracking company U.S. Well Services and pressure pumping firm ProFrac.
Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for other fossil fuel-funded lawmakers in other parts of the country to follow in Texas’ footsteps.
That included Democrat-turned-Republican Rupie Phillips, a West Virginia state senator, who is not shy about his support for the coal industry. His Twitter handle is @4WVCoal and his bio says: “I eat coal for breakfast.” Phillips abandoned the Democratic party in 2017, citing President Barack Obama’s advancing of regulations to reduce coal emissions as one of his reasons for his decision.
On January 13, 2022, Phillips introduced SB 262, which closely mirrors sections of the model bill Isaac proposed to ALEC the month before. The bill calls on the West Virginia state treasurer to compile a list of financial companies that limit their commercial relationships with energy companies because they “[engage] in the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacturing of fossil fuel-based energy and [do] not commit or pledge to meet environmental standards beyond applicable federal and state law,” or because they do business with such companies. Companies included on the list would be disqualified from entering into banking contracts with the state.
On the same day, Phillips also introduced SB 255, which requires state government entities to divest from any publicly traded securities issued by such financial companies, and requires the state to get written confirmation from its contractors that they will not boycott energy companies during the duration of their state contracts.
While SB 255 has yet to move forward in the legislative process, SB 262 became law last month after it passed overwhelmingly. The law will take effect in June.
The mining industry has been Phillips’ top donor industry over the course of his career. Mining company political action committees (PACs) and employees have given Phillips more than $116,000, with his top industry donor being the PAC of Murray Energy, a coal mining company that is now known as American Consolidated Natural Resources.
According to an email obtained through a public records request by the nonprofit research group InfluenceMap and reported by The New Republic, representatives from American Consolidated Natural Resources co-signed a document that was sent to West Virginia lawmakers in February last year, asking them to pass legislation that would punish finance companies for limiting their fossil fuel industry involvement. Murray Energy’s PAC is also a top donor to the West Virginia Republican Senate Committee, according to the West Virginia Secretary of State.
Last November, West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore (R) led a coalition of financial officers from 15 states that warned in an open letter to the banking industry that they would take collective action against banks that boycott fossil fuels, which they called “woke capitalism.”
After Phillips’ bill passed last month, Moore put out a statement praising the legislation. “This bill is essential to help us push back against the Biden Administration and its extremist allies who are trying to unfairly pressure banks and financial institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industries,” Moore said.
Moore’s top donor sector has been energy and natural resources, according to the National Institute for Money in Politics. His donors have included PACs affiliated with Arch Coal, Murray Energy/American Consolidated Natural Resources, and power company American Electric Power.
Jim Kotcon, conservation chair of the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club, said that the backers of the law are ignoring financial shifts that are naturally unfavorable to the coal industry.
“Treasurer Riley and the sponsors of Senate Bill 262 are ignoring the on-going trends of bankruptcies in the fossil fuel industry,” said Kotcon. “They need to refocus on their fiduciary responsibility. Wishing that the coal industry is coming back will not overturn the obvious market forces telling us that few if any coal companies will have a profitable future, and investing state dollars in those is bad business.”
More States Follow Suit
Since Philips introduced his anti-divestment bill, several other conservative lawmakers have followed suit.
In late January, the Indiana House passed a version of the anti-energy company boycott bill authored by state Rep. Ethan Manning (R). According to the National Institute for Money in Politics, the energy and natural resource industry has been Manning’s top donor sector throughout his career, with the PAC of natural gas and electricity provider NiSource topping the list with $6,500.
In February, Oklahoma state Sen. Michael Bergstrom (R) introduced SB 1572, requiring the state to divest from financial institutions that boycott energy companies and prohibiting contracts with such companies. Bergstrom’s largest corporate donor has been fossil fuel-powered utility company NextEra Energy, according to the National Institute for Money in Politics. The pending principal House author of the bill is state Rep. Mark McBride (R), who has received more than $78,000 from oil and gas, his largest donor industry.
A version of the bill has also been introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives, which would prohibit the state’s retirement systems from investing in companies that have policies against doing business with energy companies.
The bill was proposed by state Rep. Danny McCormick (R), who has similarly taken more money from oil and gas industry interests than from any other industry.
Taking The Fight To Congress
Attempts to codify anti-divestment rules recently reached the halls of Congress. Last month, Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Rick Allen (R-Ga.) proposed a bill that would codify part of a Trump Labor Department rule that required investment advisors to avoid considering environmental factors when advising clients.
“Our bill protects average Americans saving and building wealth through retirement plans,” wrote Barr in a press release. “It also preserves access to capital for energy producers to ensure costs won’t skyrocket further for Americans at the pump during a time when gas prices are at a historic high.”
In a 2020 regulatory comment, the lobbying group Western Energy Alliance wrote, “We have observed how ESG advocacy has negatively affected the industry’s access to capital over the last few years, and greatly appreciate that DOL is addressing the larger issue through this rule. The rule will help ensure that activism regarding pension plans does not morph into a halt to investment in the sector that provides nearly 70% of American energy, a nonsensical outcome given the impact throughout the entire economy.”
The Western Energy Alliance represents companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production in the West. It does not disclose its members, but information maintained by DeSmog suggests the members include companies like BP, Chevron, and Koch Exploration.
Barr has received $628,000 from the coal mining industry during his congressional career, more money than any other current House member, according to OpenSecrets. His top career donor is Alliance Resource Partners, which has provided him with $312,600 in donations from its PAC and employees. Alliance Resource Partners, an energy company that primarily produces coal, was a co-signer of the February 2021 letter calling for new laws to protect the industry against ESG initiatives.
Barr’s colleague Allen, meanwhile, has received more than $90,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, according to OpenSecrets.
Growing military tensions in the Pacific between China, the US and Australia do not address the most significant security threat to the region – climate change – former leaders of Pacific nations have warned.
In a statement on Friday, the Pacific Elders Voice group, which includes former leaders of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu, as well as Dame Meg Taylor, the former secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, said that “the primary security threat to the Pacific is climate change”, rather than geo-strategic tensions.
Climate crisis – not China – is biggest threat to Pacific, say former leaders
It was 116 degrees in Portland on June 28 last year. That is not good for signs unless a war is underway.
European agriculture produces millions of tons of CO2 every year. Could encouraging farmers to capture carbon on their land to sell credits to businesses help reduce emissions?
Carbon farming: Climate change solution or greenwashing?
"Now society expects much more from farmers," reflects Belgian dairy farmer Kris Heirbaut. "Not only that we produce food, but that we also help reduce climate change."
Heirbaut owns a farm in the Flemish town of Temse, 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the port city of Antwerp. Outside the farm he has a small store selling dairy products, including ice cream, made from milk from his own cows.
Two years ago, concerned with agriculture's damage to the environment, Heirbaut signed up to a "carbon farming" pilot project funded by the European Union that aims to improve agricultural soil health while tackling climate change.
The project, concluded in summer 2021, enabled farmers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway to sell carbon credits for carbon sequestered on their land. The EU gave the farmers scientific advice and administrative support to issue their first credits to local companies.
In December 2021, the EU presented its carbon farming initiative, with the intention to replicate the project across Europe. The EU initiative encourages farmers to make changes such as applying fertilizers rich in carbon, reducing tillage that disturbs the soil and planting trees and crops that can absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Changing farm practices
Soils are vital carbon stores, but industrial farming, rather than absorbing CO2, often releases it into the atmosphere — for example through plowing which, if done repeatedly, can result in the degradation of the soil.
Since signing up to the initiative, Heirbaut has planted a field of narrowleaf plantain — a perennial type of weed with high carbon sequestration potential — as well as crops that can rotate throughout the year. In total, he has about 14 hectares (34 acres) of land covered with grasses, clover, alfalfa, ribwort plantain and chicory, which can sequester CO2 all year long.
"Because we mow four times a year, but do not need tillage machinery to work in the soil, all the carbon that the roots of the plants will bring into the soil will stay there," he explains.
Heirbaut also has a field dedicated to agroforestry, in which trees or shrubs are grown around crops and pasture. These trees sequester carbon, and the shade of the trees allows cows to graze on grass in the summer, another practice that can help farmers absorb CO2.
Improving soil health
The EU hopes that giving farmers a financial incentive will help them increasingly shift more agricultural land from emitting carbon to capturing it. The carbon farming initiative is part of the European Green Deal, the EU's road map to become climate neutral by 2050. An estimated more than 385 million tons of CO2 come from European farming, according to European Environmental Agency data — just over 10% of the bloc's total emissions.
"Carbon content of soil is a good proxy for soil health," says Celia Nyssens of the European Environmental Bureau, a network of environmental NGOs. Europe's intensive farming practices have damaged soils over recent decades. A 2020 European Commission study found that around 60-70% of EU soil is currently degraded, largely due to intensive farming, the use of pesticides or excessive irrigation.
No-till farming, such as that used by Heirbaut, is one way to improve soil health. Other techniques to help soils retain carbon include crop rotation, planting cover crops on fallow land to maintain the nitrogen in the soil and using compost instead of chemical fertilizers. These practices also protect other essential nutrients in the soil that plants need to grow, which in turns reduces the need for agrochemicals.
Carbon scheme criticisms
But carbon-offsetting schemes have long been criticized for allowing companies, individuals and states to simply buy their way to net-zero goals. In a letter to the US Congress last year, over 200 NGOs asked lawmakers to oppose a bill, currently under debate in the House of Representatives, that could see a carbon farming initiative set up in the US.
"Power plants, refineries and other polluters could purchase these carbon credits to offset their emissions, or even increase them, instead of actually reducing and eliminating them," the signatories argued.
Carbon farming has attracted several multinational corporations. Microsoft, for instance, has bought over $4 million (€3.6 million) in carbon credits generated from US farmers piloting carbon farming projects since 2021, to offset the tech giant's emissions.
But the companies using Heirbaut's greener farming practices to offset their pollution aren't multinationals. Earlier this year he sold his first carbon credits to Milcobel, a local dairy processor for roughly €50 per ton of CO2 saved.
He hopes to collaborate with other small businesses in the Flanders region. "The advantages of buying carbon credits locally is that you can visit the farmers — people can sit and have a drink with us, visit the fields," he says. Although the pilot project has finished, Heirbaut intends to continue with carbon farming.
Farmers can physically sequester up to around 3.6 metric tons of carbon per hectare each year, according to a study commissioned by Dutch bank Rabo Bank. But to do this, they must make significant investments in changing their farming practices — as well as hiring independent experts to undertake expensive soil analyses to evaluate its health.
Getting creative on the farm
Heirbaut says it's a cumbersome process that could put some farmers off the scheme. Some critics fear it could make the benefits of carbon farming inaccessible to smaller operations, and in fact favor larger industrial agriculture operations.
Carbon offsets generated from biofuel or reforestation projects have contributed to land grabbing — massive acquisitions of land usually from major corporations — across the world. Nyssens of the European Environmental Bureau believes that a poorly designed EU carbon farming system risks falling into the same trap. "If we create a system where there is even more value from having land, because you can also sell credits from carbon sequestration, you will worsen those problems," she says.
But on his small dairy farm, Heirbaut says carbon farming gives him the opportunity to improve the health of his land, while making a little extra income. And it isn't his only eco-friendly venture. In addition to carbon farming, he's also building a lab to create new food products based on microalgae — protein-rich cells increasingly used as a substitute to meat.
"In the past decades farmers have specialized in one thing, and now we know if this one thing goes wrong it can be a big problem," Heirbaut says, as he welcomes guests to his store and treats them to its latest release: an ice cream made of hazelnut and his homegrown microalgae.
Arizona state water authorities are expecting a further decline in the amount of water received from the Colorado River in August.
The growing shoreline of Lake Powell is visible with low water levels not seen since the lake was filled in the 1960s.
Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters
Arizona braces for additional water cuts amid megadrought
Arizona water authorities are bracing for additional cuts to the quantity of water supplied by the Colorado River, prompting calls for more aggressive conservation measures to prevent further reductions. Officials in Arizona state predict that these cuts could come as soon as August, the Phoenix NBC Affiliate 12 News reported Friday.
These expected cuts stem from the effects of a decades-long megadrought, which has been greatly exacerbated by the climate crisis. Moreover, the Colorado River, which provides water to almost 40 million people, has been imperiled due to decades of overuse. The river’s reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have seen worsening declines in their water levels.
Arizona is typically granted 2.8m acre-feet of water from the Colorado River. The US Bureau of Reclamation, which manages water and hydropower in the south-west, declared its first water shortage in 2021; federal mandates and state-based efforts resulted in Arizona leaving 500,000 acre-feet “behind Hoover Dam” this year, according to AZCentral.com.
The Bureau of Reclamation makes mandates based on water levels in Lake Mead, which are determined by upstream disbursements from Lake Powell. The water level in Lake Powell has approached the minimum required to produce hydropower that provides electricity for several million residents, AZCentral.com said.
Arizona’s department of water resources, and Central Arizona Project (CAP), have insisted that the state must take further measures to save water. Tom Buschatzke, the water department’s director, said that if the reclamation bureau predicts further cuts in 2023, “there should be serious consideration by water providers to start going down that path”.
“Most of the water use is outside the home,” Ted Cooke, CAP Deputy director, reportedly said to 12 News. “It’s in the yard, it’s pools, it’s plants, it’s lawns.” While Arizona water providers have never required residential water reductions, some city governments did curtail their own usage amid a severe dry period in 2004.
Buschatzke said that if water from the Rocky Mountain snowpack does not boost the reservoirs in 2023, a more serious shortage could impact Arizona cities’ water supplies. “Look at all of those factors and it’s probably time to start doing something at the homeowner level or the business level,” Buschatzke told AZCentral. “I can’t dictate that, but I might urge those folks to consider doing that.”
Officials said that Arizona homeowners are not likely to see “dry taps” anytime soon, as there have been initiatives to store unused Colorado River water in underground aquifers. However, it’s possible that cities will consider tapping these reserves for outdoor purposes, which could start depleting them – without any clear path to replenishing the water, AZCentral.com reported.
In addition to Arizona, potential water cuts next year could also impact Nevada and Mexico and, eventually, California. “The gravity of the immediate situation is serious,” Buschatzke, told The Los Angeles Times. “We expect further significant actions to reduce water use will be required.”
Weather experts expect a new record heat year by 2026 and a further increase in the average temperature in the period up to then. The probability of this is 93 per cent in each case, according to a report published on Tuesday by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva.
The risk of global warming reaching the critical 1.5 degree mark in at least one of the next five years has also increased and is put by scientists at almost 50 per cent. Globally, the hottest year so far was 2016, when the average global temperature was about 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels (1850-1900). The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 sets a target of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era, if possible.
WMO Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update
Sea sponges off New Zealand’s southern coastline have been found bleached bone-white for the first time, following extreme ocean temperatures.
The high temperatures due to climate change are blamed for turning sea sponges white in more than a dozen sites on southern coastline
Bleached sea sponges found in New Zealand waters for first time
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, emissions in the EU dropped sharply as lockdowns brought industries to a standstill and as people worked from home. Those environmental gains have now been erased, new data shows.
Climate change: EU emissions surpass pre-pandemic levels
For two months, people in India and Pakistan have been suffering from an unprecedented heat wave with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees. More than one billion people are affected. In dozens of places, the temperature climbed to more than 45 degrees Celsius; in New Delhi, the record temperature of 49 degrees was reached last Sunday. Such high temperatures have never been recorded at this time of year since weather records began 122 years ago.
From the perspective of climate researchers, the increasing heat waves in South Asia are a catastrophe in the making.
Climate change making heatwaves more intense
The heatwave in North India and Pakistan in April-May 2022.
Poor seed harvests have led to empty shelves at supermarkets in France and global shortages: French mustard producers said seed production in 2021 was down 50% after poor harvests, which they said had been brought on by the changing climate in France’s Burgundy region and Canada – the second largest mustard seed producer in the world. The Guardian
Data shows people finding it harder to sleep, especially women and older people, with serious health impacts
Global heating is cutting sleep across the world, study finds
Rising temperatures driven by the climate crisis are cutting the sleep of people across the world, the largest study to date has found.
Good sleep is critical to health and wellbeing. But global heating is increasing night-time temperatures, even faster than in the day, making it harder to sleep. The analysis revealed that the average global citizen is already losing 44 hours of sleep a year, leading to 11 nights with less than seven hours’ sleep, a standard benchmark of sufficient sleep.
Lost sleep will increase further as the planet continues to heat but it affects some groups much more than others. The sleep loss per degree of warming is about a quarter higher for women than men, twice as high for those over 65 years old and three times higher for those in less affluent nations. The researchers used data from sleep-tracking wristbands used by 47,000 people over 7 million nights and across 68 countries.
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They need to get a fan. I use mine most of the year. Can't stand feeling hot unless there's a pool I can chill out in.