Overheard on CNN.com: 'It's not the heat, it's the stupidity'
Residents crowd onto the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, in the powerful heat on Saturday.
July 3rd, 2012
07:40 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'It's not the heat, it's the stupidity'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Surging mercury and power outages because of storms have combined forces to make many readers miserable.

With temperatures around 107 degrees in Nashville, iReporter Holly Coons tried to bake cookies in the car.

"I actually burned my hand when I grabbed the cookie sheet out of the car," she says, adding that she considers the hourlong experiment a success. "I would have made a bigger batch if I knew they were going to turn out so good."

In South Charleston, West Virginia, Eddie Harmon has been without power for days. He's unemployed and trying to stay cool as much as he can;  his wife and the couple's younger daughter slept in the car last night. Another daughter is staying with her grandmother, who has a generator. At 6 feet 5 inches, Harmon has to try to sleep in the house.

"It is very hard to sleep," he says. "I’m doing the best I can with it. I’m probably getting anywhere from five to three hours of sleep and not until 5 in the morning when the house finally cools off."

He recorded a video the day after losing power, in which he shares his tips for coping with the heat.

Several CNN.com readers also joined the conversation about temperatures and energy stability.

More than 1.3 million customers lack power amid unrelenting heat

For some, a short time without power was enough to have them concerned. The following reader said they had made several calls to their electrical service provider in the hopes of getting information, but it was very difficult. They also said Santa might be bringing them a generator this year.

RabbitMan196: "I live in Virginia and was without power for three days. I have an electric well (no manual capability yet - will be rectified VERY soon) so no power means no water. I drove 50 miles on Saturday looking for ice. I think I now know what the end of the world (at least in America) will look like: thousands of folks driving in their air-conditioned cars, clogging gas stations and looking for ice."

But others said we need to be more resilient without power.

Lovemypitbulls: "We are so reliant on computers and electricity that we freak out when we lose them. That gas station in Silver Spring could still sell ice and food. People shouldn't go without because electric cash registers aren't working. Pen and paper will get the job done; it'll just mean a little more work for the owner when the power finally comes back."

Some people are very miserable.

batman8318: "Having these 105 temps in North Carolina wouldn't be so bad if the humidity wasnt at 70. The humidity is what makes these temps so bad! Someone from Arizona was boasting about people not being able to handle the heat. Well I will trade you your heat for Southern humidity any day my friend ... see if you can handle this humidity."

JeremyH6: "But, it's a dry heat ..."

It's the Arizonan's lament.

KConor: "107 is nothing. We already hit 114 this year in Arizona. The water of my pool reached 92F."

HeyDummy1: "And that's the reason nobody lives in Arizona, so clearly 107 is 'something.' "

Those traditional summer sayings keep coming back.

SfromTX: "Easy to make snide comments when you've got power. Once again posters here prove 'it's not the heat, it's the stupidity.' "

GoRemoteKCI: "It's not so much the heat, but the heredity ..."

Time to buy a generator?

Barackismyhero: "How much did you spend on Starbucks last year? How much do you spend on dining out? Here's an idea. Most banks will allow you to skip a car payment, push it back to the end of your loan. Take that money and buy a genny ... a reliable one will cost you $400-$600. Also, maybe grandma and grandpa can't afford to send all the kids birthday money, maybe they need to keep it to buy themselves something so readily available and easy to use. Yes, of course you need the $1,500 [model] to run A/C but at least you would have SOMETHING now wouldn't you?

Johnny Mustard: "Here in Louisiana , many people have learned the convenience of owning a generator and small window units that it can run. 5,500 watt generators sell for around $550-600 and it is enough I found out to run two 8.5btu A/C units, the refrigerator, a freezer, TV, PCs and about three or four lights."

Or maybe we just need to toughen up.

KenKrieger: "I was raised in Florida in the 1950s with very high humidity and no air conditioning. I remember going places that had air conditioning and thinking it was too cold. I stayed outside all day and never had a reaction to the heat. Now everyone has air conditioning including people on welfare. Now we even provide cell phones for the poor. We now live in a wimpy, 'woe is me society' with double-priced government-controlled heath care that means fewer jobs and more on welfare and more 'woe is me Democrat voters' who blame the people who work for all their problems. I set my thermostat on 79 and I use air conditioning mostly to keep the moisture out of the house, not so much for cooling. You over-taxed socialist liberals in the North need some heat. Ken Krieger, Cape Coral, Florida"

Are power fix-it folks heroes?

jillian Frias: "Thank you to my wonderful husband and his crew down is MD. Journeyman lineman put their lives on the line every day for us. Thanks guys!!! xoxoxox"

place57: "Not to take away from their job (I think it would suck to do that), but I think the 'putting their lives on the line' every day is a little much. I appreciate the hard work, but heroes they are not. ..."

This reader is tired of the heat.

Linda Brown: "God I feel for these folks because even though I have power and have had the AC going nonstop it is extremely humid and the high temp for us in my neck of the woods in MI is going to be 96 at about 5 p.m. and I am so tired of it already. I had to go out to do errands and buy groceries and it was all I could do to walk out the door, so I can't imagine what these poor folks are going through with no AC or fans, I would go to one of the cooling stations but most of these places would not allow pets and I have three cats who as of now are lying on the floor near the AC. We had some strong storms come through this a.m. and all that did was heat it up even more! It is like walking into a sauna! Now it is summer in MI, but this is getting old these relentless 90s! So I do hope these folks get their power on soon or more people are gonna drop like flies."

Several people mentioned buried power lines, which were the subject of a recent opinion article by columnist David Frum.

Michael White Frejac: "Well. How smart are we really? Tons of people and still sending electricity in above-ground lines, via a system that cannot take hard weather? Goes to show how governments tend to forget voters, in a bad way. Note, not too many are wealthy in those zones. Seems like they like your money more than they (the gov) likes you."

But other countries live without air conditioning!

Slumdog77: "My friend went to visit her family in Europe, she forgot that those guys have no AC, not only in their homes, train stations, stores, libraries. Russia, Ukraine are NO AC country's, and they live to tell the story, no problem there."

Bill Rogers: "Amazing people can't live without air conditioning. I spent a year in Vietnam and we had none there and survived. Back 60 years ago, not many people had air and all survived. Geez. What a lazy pitiful world of people these days."

Some people feel like it's getting worse.

bkungl: "We are experiencing the same kind of heat wave here in Ontario. The only difference is that we never experienced those terrible storms on Friday night so we still have our electricity. I used to look forward to summers, however, it seems that every year the heat is getting worse and for longer periods at a time. I'm so sorry for all those who are suffering in this extreme heat ... hopefully, the electricity will be up and running soon."

Of course, air conditioning is a modern thing.

SofaKings: "My ancestors survived without a/c, electricity, laptops, cell phones and refrigeration. This is NOT a travesty in the NE folks ... learn how to survive without comfort conveniences and stop your whining."

Tsimbi: "My God! Over a million Americans without air conditioning!! Call Al Gore!"

Are we over thinking this?

maipenoor: "Fun fact: Temperature gets higher in the summertime and lower in the wintertime."

And ... not everybody's hot.

snowtrails: "It was a blistering 72 degrees here in the Northeast kingdom of Vermont yesterday, woke up to 53 this morning and a chill in the air. Nature's AC is working just fine here in New England, and my solar banks are fully charged. I hope we can escape any heat up here this summer. If ya want to cool off, come on up and go camping in our mountains, you won't regret it!!"

Vlahos: "Come to Washington state. It's a blistering 57 here and its raining."

Are you hot, or just getting a good laugh? Share your opinion in the comments area below or share your story via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Heat • Overheard on CNN.com • U.S. • Weather
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Philip

    My butthole hurts still.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Looks like coney island

    so thread isn't about heat or stupidity.?

    July 4, 2012 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. casual observer

    And to think, of all the people who ventured here, only you mentioned him. Well, you and your'n. he-he

    July 4, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Wait. Wait. I'm still sketching the picure in my mind of the woman pushing her way through the crowd...with her sidekicks at hand. What kind she be?
    Neanderthal.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilith

      What? Put the pipe or bottle down and start making some sense.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    And anyone can post hundreds of posts and not make a bit of sense! You are only a legend in your own mind. To the rest of us you are demented!

    July 4, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Why, when it says there are 63 comments, I see only 3?

    July 4, 2012 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    So be it. I bow to the great Ubibrow.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Man Overboard!

    lmao

    July 4, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    W t h? Oh, well, as TLB would say, ta ta for now.
    The fireworks were fun.
    It is still hot outside, lol.

    @Philip:
    Neantheral? You know somen lol?

    July 4, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. Judge Blogg

    Well, I see here ya'll got plenty to say about a nothing man from Colorady...but nary a peep about your beleoved Obama refusing to lift Bush's gag order on FBIs Sibel D. Edmonds so she could show US who financed 9/11. Freaking hags? Hayell nah! Succubus!

    July 4, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. sherry

    west virginia is in a state of emergancy!!!!! still no power for thousands!!!!!! its been 5 days now and not much help!!!alot of people have went without electricity,water,and food. stores are constantly running out of gas,bottled water,and ice. but the PGA Tour must go on!!!! bring in tourist at a time like this,so we can be even shorter on ice,gas,and bottled water!!!!!

    July 4, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      That's not quite an emergency, at least that's what Louisiana was told for nearly 3 weeks after Katrina destroyed our entire state. As a matter of fact I wouldn't consider your plight a state of emergency until a 30 foot tsunami sweeps across your town and a couple of million barrels of oil are depositted in your back yard. And I would wait a month to declare a state of emergency. Power outages happen all the time, that's no emergency.

      July 4, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Chirp...chirp...good night, all.
    Today's festivities have ended...tommorow's await!

    July 4, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Judge Blogg

    1/4th of the world live without "power", and fully half of the worlds families live on less than 4 dollars per day.
    When you @sherry can top that, your case will be heard before mankind. (all Jenny Craigs aside)

    July 4, 2012 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilith

      It has come back in the reincarnation of Judge Blogg, an aot name for a person who is THE most JUDGEMENTAL person on the face of the earth.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. De Evolution

    The photograph of a crowded Coney Island beach strikes fear in my heart. That is the image of retrogressive evolution and harbinger of a bleak future, with increasingly incapable throngs clamoring for scarcer resources. A society is only as strong as the sum of its parts. No wonder America is failing.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    @ hamsta, or fake hamsta, you dont have much compassion for people do you?

    July 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
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