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. banasy©

    It's freaking hot here.
    The end.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @banasy, I feel for you in those temps. Hope you weren't affected by power outages. My bud and I are camping at his place in Sedona and we are getting rain and the temps are mild. He just got called back to the ER, one of his patients had some heat related issue, so I get to enjoy some more cooler temps and rain in this beautiful place.

      July 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hamsta

    Just imagine what hurricane Katrina was like- 37 days without power, 108 degrees in the shade, and on top of that statewide mass destruction. It's about time these pompous politicians in washington expererience the conditions an average citizen lives in on any given day of life. That's just a taste of what people in the south deal with. A few days without power and these wimps compare it to the apocolypse, at least their entire city wasn't destroyed.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Good analogy, Hamsta, and so, so true!
      Hope you're beating the heat!

      July 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • doug

      Sorry facts matter, in regards to your post it was not Washington DC, but Baton Rouge.

      Lib lib tell Bush they were fine, but they were not. Not his fault, unless you are partisan and dishonest.

      Shooting at choppers was a good way to pass the time for 'dem.

      July 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Wake up people, this is the 21st century. While your all out there entertaining the idea of getting a $500 generator, so your steaks and stuff you bought on sale, don't turn rancid. Try thinking outside the box. Everyone pitch in and build your own local power and light company and run it all undergeround. No poles, or utility pole trucks. No tree service (pay 4 guys 8 hours to cut up a couple branches).

    July 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kim

    The way some of these people act you think it waa the first time the temperature was this hot the sun just rose good grief its hot weather deal with it.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    You can run one small community off a 1-1/2 MegaWatt generator, where the boiler for the turbine generates heat from recycled naturally occuring methane from your local garbage dump. It's that easy.

    July 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • BaltoPaul

      My neighborhood is considering a small nuclear power plant. We have a few too many physicists in our area to be bothering with that methane nonsense.

      July 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary

    If I stay still the the sweet on my neck just settles in the folds of my skin.
    lol, One of the perks of my son leaving the nest is, on a hot night like this. I can lay on my bed in the raw with my window open directly across the way blowing gentle breezes over me, to which, I then, get the chills. Hence; playing with the blanket being on or off me all night long... Errrr
    Lololo ... Maybe I should get one of them tiny 'personal' hand held fans ... swish ... swish ...
    It's gonna be a HOT one folks
    Here in WKRP in Cincinnati ... ok, I'm getting delusional ... Nite all

    July 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mary

    Btw, the water in lake Ontario where I grew up back in the 70's didn't look brown like this photo portrays ...
    SMH ... all that pollution
    ok Nite

    July 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hamsta

    I wonder if these idiots screaming to bury the power lines ever have dealt with a flood or an earthquake. Just maybe there is good reason they aren't buried.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hamsta

    @ Banasy good day to you, I wish you happy fourth of July. Good luck dealing with the heat, one of my tricks is to put ice in a hat and grow my hair long. Its just another typical summer aske how I'm hanging in august when the real heat gets here.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ramona

    What a lot of contempt for the poor people suffering in the heat without electricity. I'm surprised - they're very uncomfortable, some are in danger because of health problems, lack of water, that sort of thing. Why show so much contempt for their situation? You wouldn't like it either, those of you who think the folks in the heat without electricity are whiners.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ma

    It is very hot in White Sulphur Springs WV. My mom's home still has no power, although there is power for the golf tournament at The Greenbrier. Ice is needed.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stanley cupeth runover

    Actually lake Ontario has always looked like the cnn photo..that's what happens when you eat French fries with mayo..and go swimming in a giant cesspool.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hamsta

    @Romona been there done that, just another day in my life. The government cared so much about us in louisiana that it took them almost three weeks to respond, but they can send emergency aid across the world in less than 24 hours. Besides everyone is always whining about equality, so I am just showing my equality by showing no pity.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hamsta

    That's okay Romona, keep pushing for government run health care. I hope it takes them three weeks to respond when you need emergency heart surgery. I have seen nothing but catastrophic failure out of the government many times in my life, let's not forget their response to the oil spill. Bureaucrats that do everything conterproductive and interfere with progress and that's who you want running healthcare? You may as well just put the grim reaper as head of the board. But I guess you won't learn until you meet the grim reaper.

    July 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    Yes, for a fact 25% of our healthcare expenses would end if we ate our fruits and vegetables and got plenty of sunlight. (and didn't spread STDs or AIDS)

    July 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
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