On June 14th, we hit the streets to talk to a few Ypsilanti residents.
Question: "What’s your favorite way to stay cool in the summer?"
Berda: Stay in the house.
Eusebius: Inside in the A/C, or if I’m outside, under a shady tree.
Tyler: I’ll just go for a walk down by the river. There’s a few piers that folks have taken me to go swimming, like lakes and stuff. But, usually I’ll just go to a coffee shop with A/C if I’m gonna be honest.
Ricardo: Hammocking is a great way to stay cool.
Rick: I like to sit on [the] tridge and read a book… It’s breezy on the tridge and you can choose the sun or choose the shade.
Joey: I've never been to summer school, but I’m going to summer school. My other way [to] stay cool is running around really fast in water.
Javair: I like to go swimming.
Jessica: Ice cream!
“The EMU rec center club pool is the best”
“i just feel the heat...i love being burnt by the sun”
Question: Do you think climate change is affecting Ypsilanti? If so, how?
Berda: I put that on God; I’m gonna leave that to him.
Eusebius: I think it is because of all the different fossil fuels that are going up into the ozone layer and somehow affecting how the weather is changing yearly. Every year the weather is never the same… like for example the winters sometimes they can be really bad where we get polar vortex like we had three times this winter, and then the summer can be really hot where it gets into the 90’s or even the triple digits.
Tyler: By all means... Two weeks ago when we had 90 degree weather (or maybe it was 70 and I just wasn't acclimated) then the next day it was purple lightning and hailstones then it was right back up to 60, 70 the next day. It’s just very unpredictable, very scary stuff. Especially working here [downtown coffee shop] most of the time I’m talking about the weather with folks… It’s getting hotter and hotter everyday which does freak me out.
Ricardo: Ypsilanti, yes. The world, yes. Is it noticeable? Slightly. Is it drastic? I wouldn’t say so. We just had rain 2 days ago and it was 64/65 degrees in June when it should be like 74. So definitely climate change with a little mix of the weather from our lake effect. But it’s definitely noticeable… Michigan is very, ‘Ope, we’re snowing. Ope, we’re raining.’ So it’s kind of interesting to see what the weather is going to do next, but I don't always want to be jumping to climate change if I don’t know the exact cause.
Rick: Of course, I mean it’s affecting everywhere, right? I mean it’s a fact… I have little bonfires and it seems like it’s way windier. It’s so windy everyday and I don't like to start the fire when it’s windy. I like it to be calm. This spring it's either been real rainy or real windy to where I havent had too many [fires]. The [fire]wood has been building up! I can’t say that I’ve noticed much of a change [since my childhood] but everybody who's not Donald Trump reads and the scientists all say it's true — the polar caps are melting and this and that. What to do about it is another question, and how to convince the people who want to let industry do whatever they want… how to convince them that we have to have rules. It seems like when the Republicans get in there they want to gut the EPA and let their buddies in industry do whatever they want.
Monica: I’m from the area. I moved away and I’ve been gone 19 years; I just got back. I’ve noticed how we’re about a month behind in our climate. We should be done with rain by now, we’re not done with the rain. Mosquitoes are taking over; we have different kind of bugs here [that I don’t remember seeing before]. You have all the flooding that's going on across the U.S. and it’s affecting all of our crops.
Jessica: The temperature this winter being so cold, it hasn't been that cold for like 10 or 20 years. And I feel like that's an effect of climate change, but that's not just Ypsi.
Javair: Climate change is affecting a lot of things… I feel like climate change is more of an encompassing thing that's pretty much a result of a bunch of different forms of pollution and human activity. As far as affecting Ypsilanti, people keep things pretty clean around here but I guess if you’re near a factory or something you might see more difference from climate change there. From the classes that I’ve taken, I feel like a better word for climate change is climate instability. For example, like Jessica said, with winter being colder than it normally is. A lot of people think, ‘well, it’s still cold out, so there's no climate change,’ but evidence of climate change is that winters are colder than normal and summers are getting a lot hotter and drier.
Photography by Aaron Apsey