LA Times: Phoenix is a bad place to live

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Los Angeles Times op-ed in Thursday's paper basically said Phoenix is a bad place to live and it's going to get worse.  

It paints a picture of a city devoid of natural resources, doomed to increasingly unbearable temperatures, violent dust storms, and water shortages.

"I think jealousy is sort of an ugly thing," said Phoenician Joe Zemaitis when asked about the op-ed piece.

William deBuys, who wrote the article, explains the long-term issue with the Valley saying, "In Phoenix the convergence of heat, drought and violent winds is creating an ever-more-worrisome situation."

"I mean you look at where people are coming and people are leaving and people are leaving California coming to Arizona," said Zemaitis.

The column talks about the risk of our heat saying, "If the power goes out, people fry."

Raymond Graybeal begs to differ.

"No one is going to melt. People have been living here a long time and they didn't show up here with air conditioning and it's always been 115 down here," said Graybeal.

True. But also true is the fact that Phoenix is warming up.  

According to the National Weather Service, 100 degree days come sooner now and last longer. In fact in 2011 we had a record 33 days of temperatures above 110 degrees.  And six of the hottest years on record came in the last 12.

"Temperatures have been warming with time and it's very closely tied to growth of the metropolitan area," said Meteorologist Austin Jamison.  "A big factor for temperature trends is something known as the urban heat island."

All the concrete and asphalt makes the desert heat even steamier. Jamison says the LA Times might actually have a point.

"Heat is the number one weather related killer not just in Arizona but across the country. It's not lightning, not tornadoes, it's the heat," said Jamison.

And the LA Times is also attacking us for our drought and dust storms, which are also linked.

"With a drought on a large scale, which can contribute to having more bare ground to provide dust for wind to pick up," said Jamison.  "I don't know where things will go in the future but water resources are a huge issue."

Still, desert dweller Jon Ford doesn't worry.

"I think we have a hearty stock of people who are going to be creative with solar energy and figure out how to do better with our water and we'll be just fine thank you very much Los Angeles."