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This week's headlines show where the world is headed.

"Warmest month ever? It could be this one. And hotter ones appear to be in store," read one New York Times story, joining other data-driven dispatches like "Researchers tie July heat wave to climate change" and "Atlantic nears tipping-point, scientists say."

Knowing no boundaries, the heat's havoc was global — and local — as seen in these reports: "As drought intensifies, Iran bakes"; "34 die as wildfires and soaring heat rock Algeria"; "Greek tourism's future is clouded by the heat: 'Even the animals are moving away'"; and "Blistering heat and wildfire smoke spread misery across the Midwest."

Climate models "predicted we would get these extreme-heat events," explained Jessica Hellmann, executive director of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment. Such events, added Hellmann, "are much scarier, because they have much bigger consequences for humans."

Including, tragically, death.

That's among the themes of "The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet," an eerily well-timed book by journalist Jeff Goodell, who has long chronicled climate change. Just like the heat itself, the book — and the reaction to it — has seized attention.

Including Goodell's. Heat "is something I've been writing about for a very long time, and something that scientists have been predicting for a very long time," Goodell said from sweltering Texas. "So, on one level, it's no surprise whatsoever. On another level, for me it feels a little bit like living in a Stephen King novel, having spent four years thinking about, writing about, heat — and then my book was published and there's this global heat wave that is basically a kind of awful real-time demonstration of exactly the stuff I'm writing about."

What Goodell is writing about, he said, has two themes. "One is the planetary large-scale theme of heat as the driving force behind the climate crisis, with all of the impacts that we're familiar with, talk about, and hear about, like wildfires, droughts, and extreme rainfall and of course heat waves, sea-level rise — all that stuff is driven by heat." The other, Goodell continued, is a "very personal scale I really wanted to describe," including chilling examples of how heat attacks the human body, and not just among the most vulnerable.

The personal scale may make a difference about how people believe in or perceive climate change, said Hellmann. "Even for those who think about these things all the time, it's different to feel it and read about it in the newspaper. And there's even a kind of emotional and intellectual disconnect between a model prediction and then walking outside.

"It's not hypothetical," Hellmann said, "It's very real."

So too is this reinforcing dynamic: "The hotter it is, demands more and more and more energy for cooling buildings to fight against that heat," Hellmann said, which in itself "actually makes the climate change more, so there's sort of a twisted feedback loop."

There's a twisted geo-climatic and geopolitical feedback loop, too.

"Because of our continued burning of fossil fuels we are moving into a kind of new climate era; no matter what we do now, we're not going back to the climate we grew up in," said Goodell. "We're moving into a world of more and more extreme events of all sorts, with heat being the most obvious example, but also more intense wildfires, bigger, more intense storms, rainfall events, because of the changes in the atmospheric dynamics of this warming — all rules are off."

For some people, said Goodell, that will mean the "ruggedization" of their lives. But for many others, it will "mean moving, and migration and immigration is already a huge driver of politics, not just in America but basically throughout the world. We're basically seeing that in Europe right now."

In Europe, yes, but also beyond, where an anti-migrant backlash backed by populist movements may accelerate the "Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule" detailed in Freedom House's annual "Freedom in the World" report.

The Mediterranean migration crisis crescendo in 2015 was driven by conflict, but it was also "climate-aggravated conflict," Hellmann said. "And it nearly crippled Europe; imagine 10-times of that — it's hard to imagine how our political system could manage that degree of migration."

Some of "the most unstable places in the world," said Goodell, "are places that are most vulnerable" to extreme heat. "So thinking about how to deal with refugees and migrants is going to be more and more of the central kind of political tasks in the next decades. And that's a scary scenario, because we've already seen what the politics of migration and refugees looks like, and it's not pretty."

Such a scenario would result in a range of European responses, Mikko Hautala, Finland's ambassador to the United States, said in Minneapolis on Thursday before he headed to this weekend's FinnFest in "Climate-Proof" Duluth (as the Times touted the city in a recent story).

First in "trying to help these countries," Hautala said. But also, with "measures to make sure that illegal movement is controlled and even prevented because it's clear cut that if there is an uncontrolled movement that nobody can prepare for" that "the risk of really hard, tough political debates, really dividing debates, will increase.

"We've seen this already for a couple of decades in Europe," Hautala said, adding, "and the image of an uncontrolled migratory movement is perhaps one of the most active kind of catalysts for this kind of debate, because if people feel that the old control of their own territories is being lost or eroded, this is a really profound instinct."

Another kind of profound instinct — learning from lived experience — offers a ray of hope to Hellmann.

"I see now much more willingness to engage with the science, and much more willingness to acknowledge that it is a real thing, and it needs to be addressed." she said, not because "the science has gotten more compelling" but because of "people's lived experience — it's become closer to them personally."

We "have to find ways of breaking out of our political differences, and there is something about the human experience, or the way that humans process information."

"We have these big brains and yes, we can take in scientific evidence, and we can make logical conclusions, but we still rely on our own personal experiences." More "climate events [increases] our ability to connect them to climate change — people know what that means now."

Indeed, haze may accompany the heat, at least meteorologically. But geo-climatically and geopolitically the potential impacts should be clear.