Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Business Insider’s Harrison Jacobs, visiting Dubai is the equivalent to experiencing what our world will be like after it has been ravaged by global warming.
If you ever wondered what life will be like when climate change makes outside unlivable, Dubai can give you a good idea
DEC 17, 2018, 10:30 AM
As I hung out in Dubai last month, it struck me that the city’s severe climate and its adaptation to that climate was a good approximation of what I imagine living with the severe effects of climate change to be.
During Dubai’s long summer, stretching from mid-April through October, temperatures make it unbearable to be outside for more than a few minutes. Temperatures are regularly around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) and have gone as high as 119 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius), with plenty of humidity.
The city’s adaptation to that climate? A proliferation of interconnected climate-controlled spaces, including more than 65 malls, residential and office buildings with entire indoor cities attached, metros, and indoor parking lots.
Meanwhile, for the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Dubai who aren’t lucky enough to live in air-conditioned megacomplexes, Dubai can be a hellscape during the summer – just as the climate might be for the developing countries that will be hardest hit by the effects of climate change.
If I was going to take a guess at where our hyper-consumerist world is heading in the event the world can’t get its act together on climate change, I’d say it’s going to look a lot like Dubai.
I’m not sure how the people of Dubai feel about a green journalist describing their beautiful and popular city as an unsurvivable hellscape. Last time I visited Dubai it seemed quite pleasant, amazing shops, nice beaches, polite and friendly people.
Some of the taxi drivers were a bit useless, but I wouldn’t describe my Dubai taxi experience as “unsurvivable hell” – they all tried their best. Some of the drivers had interesting stories, like the driver who used to be a Mujahideen during the Soviet occupation. But I never felt unsafe – I got the strong impression that most people relocate to Dubai to leave their old problems behind.
Dubai certainly has a warm climate – but this is not a big deal if you are used to warm climates.