California heat wave killing elderly and livestock

Here in the Chicagoland area it’s been getting very hot and humid. Temperatures have been rising like crazy and the minute you step outside, you start to sweat just from standing. But here in Chicago, we don’t know the half of it. I turned on the news the other day and, apparently, there have been many elderly people that have been dying from the California heat wave. California’s got it even worse than us. For weeks, they’ve been in the triple-digit temperatures that have been baking the elderly and livestock.

The elderly victims were found dead in their homes. In many cases, they died because they didn’t have any air conditioning. Although, in some of the parts of California, the temperatures rarely climbed past 80 degrees, so many of these people never had any need for air conditioners. The heat wave has been plaguing much of the state since July 14th. But, the elderly aren’t the only victims of the heat.

The California Dairy Campaign has reported that 25,000 cattle and 700,000 fowl have died due to extreme temperatures. Because of all this, the price of milk is down 30 percent while we continue to see gas and electricity prices shoot up. In order to better demonstrate the losses at hand, it’s important to understand that for every cow lost, $1,500 to $2,500 is also lost.

Not only does the heat wave kill the animals, but there are other side effects as well. Milk production is down and the heat also affects the breeding success. Cows simply find it harder to get pregnant in the heat. Disposing of the cattle creates yet another problem. The numbers of carcasses begin to grow and farmers need a way to dispose of them quickly and cheaply; which normally isn’t a possibility.

Source: PhysOrg

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