Excessive Heat: Have We Passed a Threshold?

Threshold book coverAll across southern California and the Colorado River Lower Basin in Arizona as far south as northern Mexico, an excessive heat warning has been declared by the National Weather Service for the next 4-5 days.

Phoenix is expected to reach temps as high as 120 degrees — well above the norm for this time of year.

In my soon-to-be-released novel, Threshold, heat and evaporating water supply are two threatening conditions that impinge on characters. While the book is set in the “very near future”, the plot is contemporary and presupposes what might happen in a metropolitan city like Tucson, Arizona.

The impacts of climate change will be felt differently across a city or region depending on a person’s personal resources, both financial and social. I wrote the story in Threshold to explore what might happen, and allowed characters to tell me what they would do.

Enrique dabbed his grandmother’s face with cold water, but her breathing grew shallow. He ran to fill the tub with water. But when he turned on the faucet, no water came out. In a panic now, he returned to his grandmother. . . It took him a few seconds to comprehend what had happened.


The Citizen’s Guide for Resilience to Climate Extremes is a planning guide for neighborhoods to increase their resiliency and to institute climate solutions such as planting trees for shade and making walk-able, bike-able neighborhoods. It is a community-based model any city will find useful to mobilize citizen’s for climate change.

Check back to read Guest Bloggers from Tucson and the Southwestern region. 


Author: Susan Feathers

Family, friends, nature, books, writing, a good pen and journal, freedom of thought, culture, and peaceful co-relations - these are the things that occupy my mind, my heart, my time...

7 thoughts on “Excessive Heat: Have We Passed a Threshold?”

  1. Congratulations, Susan, on finishing and publishing your book! Thanks for the major shout-out to our Citizens’ Guide! Now to encourage every neighborhood to host the 3 hour workshop to plan for preparedness and resilience!!
    Barbara H. Warren, MD, MPH
    Physicians for Social Responsibility, AZ Chapter


  2. Thanks, Barbara. I think the guide is visionary. You’ll be pleased with how I incorporated information about it in Threshold, and how the characters respond in ways that are compatible with the neighborhood organizing we discussed last year.

    Would love for you to be a guest blogger anytime you wish to bring us your reflections on the needs of Tucson communities in regards to climate change. Let me know!


  3. I have read the Citizen’s Guide, it is spot on letting neighborhoods know how to plan and what to do. This must happen to be prepared. I look forward to reading your book and assisting Tucson to prepare for the ever increasing heat & loss of water availability, especially to our vulnerable older community & those with extreme limited income.


    1. Barbara Warren, Physicians for Social Responsibility, has led the effort to produce the Guide and is now working to train as many neighborhoods as possible. She commented on this blog post. You might want to talk with her. Thanks very much for this post and for reading the Guide. Susan


  4. We can use help getting out to neighborhoods who want to offer the free 3 hour workshop with their neighbors. We will provide facilitators and materials.

    Send us your request, when you are ready and committed with 12-15 people or more: bwarre01@gmail.com

    Is you book available now, Susan? How do we order copies? (I want mine signed!


  5. It will be released in early November, and you shall surely have a signed copy as a gift for spending time with me when I was researching community action. Thanks for your interest, your work in Tucson’s communities, and leadership in Physicians for Social Responsibility. Look for an opportunity to preorder copies on Fireshippress.com toward end of August.


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