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The study says that the tropics will suffer the worst impacts — countries such as Ghana, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sudan will see an additional 200 or more deaths per 100,000 people. At the same time, wealthy northern countries such as Norway and Canada will experience a decrease in fatalities as fewer and fewer people perish due to extreme cold. As we now know all too well from the pandemic, there is an economic cost to illness and death. The study’s authors estimate that “The economic cost of these deaths is set to be severe, costing the world 3.2% of global economic output by the end of the century if emissions are not tamed. Each ton of planet-warming carbon dioxide emitted will cost $36.60 in damage in this high-emissions world.”
The TV media is helpful in warning the public about upcoming heatwaves, but they fail to connect these events to climate change. For many weeks this summer, tens of millions of Americans were exposed to a prolonged and oppressive heat wave complicating the response to and increasing the spread of COVID-19, and as well as increasing the risks to communities of color and frontline communities that are disproportionately impacted by both. According to Media Matters, which analyzed “one week of broadcast TV news coverage from July 12 to July 19 and found that ABC, CBS, and NBC aired a combined 40 segments that discussed the heatwave on their nightly and morning news programs. The vast majority of mentions appeared during the networks’ weather forecasts, but none of these segments connected extreme heat to climate change. Additionally, only three segments mentioned the heat in relation to COVID-19, and none explored the fact that extreme heat is disproportionately impacting minority communities.”
This year has seen many bad records broken when it comes to climate-driven severe weather. We are now several letters into the Greek alphabet for storm names having reached this point (23 so far) for only the second time since storm names began.
Why This Matters: The number of storms is not just a fun fact — it is devastating for tens of thousands of people.
Hurricane Sally, now a category 2 storm (winds at 110 mph) has slowed and intensified in the last 24 hours, with landfall now shifting to the east (fortunately away from New Orleans), but crawling toward the Eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coastline with its high winds whipping the shore, the storm surge and huge rainfall amounts are expected to last for the next 36 hours.
Why This Matters: As President Trump denies the science, which he literally did today in California, the Gulf Coast gets ready for rainfall totals measured in feet not inches.
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