Many people consider Taylor Swift the most famous person in the world. She has become even more well known during this first year of her now global concerts. Taylor has broken all records for music sales, and she logs hundreds of thousands of miles a year to entertain at concerts in venues that hold tens of thousands of people. She is in Brazil now.
Brazil’s combined temperature and humidity hit 138 degrees F late last week. The level was a record for November 18th. One person died at a Taylor Swift concert in Rio de Janeiro, thought to be overcome by the heat. Swift canceled her next concert in Rio. She said the decision was based on “extreme temperatures.” The most famous person in the world was introduced face-to-face to the climate crisis after dozens of other uneventful concerts this year.
The temperature map for Eastern Brazil is a bright red now. The daytime temperatures are over 100 degrees across the region. The extreme humidity makes the temperature seem even worse. According to the AP, the heat in Brazil, where it is not even summer yet, will just get worse.
Danielle Ferreira, a climatologist at Inmet pointed out: “Temperatures across South America are affected by the climate phenomenon El Niño, a periodic naturally occurring event that warms surface waters in the Equatorial Pacific region. But this year, ocean temperature rose extremely quickly – in a couple of months.” This matches the trend of rapidly developing climate disasters all over the world.
The Brazil incident is a reminder that growing parts of the planet are near the point where people can no longer live, at least for some portion of the year. And there is no way to relocate tens of millions temporarily. Residents of some parts of South America have joined those in parts of the Middle East, West Africa, India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia. Areas of the US have been added to that list recently.
The Taylor Swift tragedy may have a silver lining because she is the world’s most famous person. Maybe a death during a joyful, much looked-for concert for her fans and a cancellation of a concert will bring home a message people across the world currently continue to ignore.