You expect heat in Texas, but Forrest Wilder remembers a far more forgiving climate growing up than the one he is experiencing now. A personal microcosm of climate change that really brings reality home.

Despite growing up in rural South Texas without air-conditioning, I don’t remember being uncomfortable in the summers, at least not in the house. The old thing was uninsulated and drafty, inviting in the sea breezes that bring thunderstorms from the Gulf to the coastal plains. After school and in the summer, I spent hours at the town library, devouring books in the delicious AC. Plus, summers just weren’t as hot in the eighties and early nineties—I know; I looked up the data. The seven hottest summers on record for DeWitt County, where I grew up, have all occurred since 1998