Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
The Center for Public Integrity explained in their recent investigation that yearly heat-related deaths have more than doubled in Arizona in the last decade to 283.
Across the country, heat caused at least 10,000 deaths between 1999 and 2016 — more than hurricanes, tornadoes or floods in most years.
What’s more is that scientists link the warming planet to a rise in dangerous heat in the United States, as well as the spread of infectious diseases and other health conditions.
Federal research predicts heat stroke and similar illnesses will claim tens of thousands of American lives each year by the end of the century.
Why This Matters: Federal funding to address the rising urgency of extreme heat is severely lacking. Cities are often overwhelmed with the task of protecting residents on very hot days and there are few systems in place to ensure vulnerable populations–like the elderly–stay safe. New York City provides cooling assistance to low-income individuals and has prioritized extreme heat as part of its resiliency planning. Other cities need the resources and guidance to do the same–many are struggling to keep up.
Go Deeper: Jainey Bavishi, Director of the New York City (NYC) Mayor’s Office of Resiliency talked about the city’s plans to address the growing threat of heat in the recent panel discussion put on by us, Third Way, and the University of Michigan. It’s very much worth a listen.
In The Time of COVID: A global pandemic multiplies the deadly effects of heatwaves. The challenges posed to great Los Angeles County are similar to what many other cities around the nation could face this summer.
The Danger: As CNN reported, studies in American cities like Detroit, Phoenix, and New York suggest that most heat-related deaths occur among children and the elderly. In addition, people highly susceptible to heat-related complications include those with chronic health problems, especially respiratory problems.
Poorer people are at higher risk than the more affluent because they are more likely to live in housing that is less resistant to extreme heat, insufficiently ventilated and often lacking air conditioning.
The poorest neighborhoods also tend to have a relative lack of green space and generally more asphalt, factors that contribute to urban “heat islands,” where cities can be 2-10 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than surrounding suburbs or rural areas.
CDC Response: CPI explained that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is charged with helping cities and states adapt to threats like extreme heat.
Its climate program, created more than 10 years ago, is the federal government’s only sustained effort to bolster state and local health departments’ fight against global warming.
But the program has been hampered by a decade of underfunding, limited expertise and political resistance.
Though the Obama administration missed opportunities to expand the program and the Trump administration have worked to eliminate it.
The first major wildfire of the season has struck Southern California forcing thousands of residents to evacuate during a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has made evacuation shelters a dangerous place where the virus can spread. As AP reported, the Apple Fire in Riverside County, among several wildfires across California, had consumed more than 41 […]
The month of July was a scorcher along the Eastern Seaboard. Throughout the month, heat advisories and excessive heat warnings were in effect along the I-95 corridor, and in Washington D.C., July saw the most 90-degree days of any month on record and was the first month to never fall below 71 degrees since record-keeping […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.