It is common for dogs to become lethargic in the afternoon on very hot days. They lay around and languish in the summer heat. Some people also become lethargic on hot and sunny afternoons. If you feel lethargic, it means to feel tired, lazy, and have no energy. The word “languish” has many meanings but used this way it means to become weak and tired. There is an interesting expression to describe dogs and even people who feel lethargic and languish during hot afternoons. The expression is dog day afternoon. It refers to hot, sleepy afternoons when dogs prefer to languish in the summer heat.
Dog day afternoons are part of the summer when afternoons are hottest, usually from July to August. Climate change has made dog day afternoons even hotter. Scientists say July, which has just ended, was the hottest on record globally. August could be even hotter. If world leaders don’t get their act together right away to slow global warming, there could be dog day afternoons even in the spring and autumn. To get your act together means to start organizing so that you can do things more effectively. I have written before about climate change deniers. These are people who don’t believe climate change is changing weather patterns, causing extreme heat, floods, and drought.
They have eyes but refuse to see the extreme changes in global weather patterns. Climate change may not seriously affect them but will surely affect their children and grandchildren. Slowing global warming is everyone’s responsibility. Climate change deniers should get their act together.
在酷熱天氣的下午，狗隻變得倦怠（lethargic）是很常見的。在夏天的炎熱下，牠們會懶散而毫無生氣（languish）。在炎熱而陽光普照的下午，有些人也會變得沒精打彩的（lethargic）。若你感到lethargic，意即你感到倦怠、懶洋洋、沒有精神的。而 languish一字有許多意思，在這裏則解作變得衰弱和乏力。有一個有趣的習語，是用來形容狗甚至人在炎熱的下午感到倦怠（lethargic）而變得毫無生氣的（languish），那就是 dog day afternoon。它是指炎熱、令人昏昏欲睡的下午，在夏日酷暑下，就是狗隻也變得倦怠乏力（languish）。
「狗日下午」（dog day afternoons）是夏季最熱的下午時分，通常在7至8月期間。氣候變化導致狗日下午（dog day afternoons）變得更為酷熱。科學家說，剛剛完結的7月，是全球有紀錄以來最熱的一個月。8月可能會更熱。若世界領袖不立即集中火力，仔細籌劃（get their act together），延緩全球暖化，狗日下午（dog day afternoons）恐怕會在春天和秋天出現。To get your act together是指開始組織安排，好能有條理及有效率地辦事。我之前也曾寫過氣候變化的否定者。這些人並不相信氣候變化正在改變天氣模式，帶來極端炎熱天氣、洪水氾濫和乾旱。
他們有眼卻拒絕看見全球天氣模式的極端改變。氣候變化或許不會嚴重影響到他們，未來卻一定會影響到他們的子女和子孫。延緩全球暖化是每一個人的責任。否定氣候變化的人好應認真行動起來（get their act together）。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧