With highs averaging 114°F (or so) and the lows closer to 90.4°F, Phoenix, Arizona is setting records. Beyond you and me, those high temperatures affect what we spend on our animals,
Heat Wave Spending
At the Phoenix Zoo, the demand for food and water has changed. For their carnivores, they’ve needed extra frozen blood treats called “bloodsicles.”
At the Smithsonian National Zoo, this tiger is enjoying a “bloodsicle”:
In addition, the animals’ water preferences vary. Tortoises and elephants like water showers while the cats prefer a gentle misting. Others, like the howler monkeys at the Dallas Zoo got new air conditioning facilities. Meanwhile, the Houston Zoo reports that one of its gorillas loves to sit in a shower pool–sort of like a person in a hot tub.
Meanwhile, sidewalks are heating up. According to a study from one dogwalker, 95 degree temperatures can be devastating. Citing black pavement temperatures of 140 degrees during peak sun periods and 120 until six in the evening, sidewalks are beyond dogs’ pain thresholds. As a result, she suggests walking dogs when surfaces are cooler. Correspondingly, Amazon reports that demand for cooling gel patches and cooling pads for pets was up as much as 365% during the past 30 days.
At the same time, one University of Miami scientist said, “It’s bonkers. I don’t know how else to put it,..Normally when you break records, you break records by a tenth of a degree, maybe a quarter of a degree. … Here, we’re breaking it by five degrees.” The elevated temperatures could suck oxygen from the waters near South Florida, threaten spawning activity, and devastate the coral populations.
Our Bottom Line: Heat Wave Costs
As economists we know that cost is defined as sacrifice. As a result, the cost of heat waves is far more than money. So yes, the Phoenix Zoo said it had allocated $20,000 for electrolytes and water bottles. The U.S. Department of Defense could spend up to $28 million on a coral reef resilience project.
But also we can list countless example of the cost of heat.
A recent NY Times article describes lost crops, diminished productivity, and heat-related deaths. They also allude to the European tourist attractions that have had to close. Located far from each other, Amazon delivery men in Southern California and staff at the Greek Acropolis are on strike. Heat relief is among their demands.
My sources and more: Always a handy source of facts, Axios alerted me to Phoenix temperatures and a Washington Post link. Then, CNN and NBC News had more about heat wave spending specifics as did NPR, here and here. And finally, this dog walker told about her temperature tests.