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📰 "Why Heat Waves Become Deadly"

The Carbon Copy

Photo by Alexander Grey | Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Stephen Lacey & Alexandria Herr
Guests: Dr. Eric Klinenberg | Professor | NYU,
Sonal Jessel | Director of Policy | WEACT,
Danielle Renwick | Editor | Nexus Media News
Category: 📰 News | Heat Waves

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[5:13] SJ: "Extreme heat is an environmental justice issue, because it impacts people of color and low income first and worst. [...] A lot of that comes down to neighborhoods that were formerly redlined. Those are neighborhoods that during redlining and even after didn't receive funding for all sorts of structural services and built environment upgrades. So these are neighborhoods that didn't receive trees and parks, that we're not invested in when it comes to housing quality, did not receive investments in social services and community services. And so what we see is a place like East Harlem doesn't have as many old trees and green spaces that helps cool the neighborhood down. And there's really old housing that's poorly maintained, that tends to trap heat in people's buildings, and have poor air quality."

[6:44] AH: "A study that came out a few years ago [...] found that neighborhoods that were formerly redlined today [...] are about 5 degrees hotter than neighborhoods that were not. And that number is almost 13 degrees in Portland and 10 degrees in Minneapolis. [...] On a hot day, that difference can be the difference between life and death."

[10:56] EK: "The heat dome in Portland and on the West Coast, the Northwest in 2020 was a really terrifying event because [...] you had a region that doesn't really have infrastructure that's set up for dealing with extreme heat. But 2020 was especially scary because when the heat dome settled over the Northwest, people were still being told to kind of hunker down, to avoid social contact, to isolate to protect themselves. And so there the dilemma was that isolation was both a way to protect yourself from the pandemic and a way to imperil yourself in the face of extreme heat."

[16:53] DR: "[Portland] is partnering with the organization Meals on Wheels, because they realized that there's a lot of overlap in a population that is vulnerable to heat, which is an isolated, elderly, low income population and the population that Meals on Wheels serves."

[22:03] EK: "When we're thinking about designing social infrastructure, we should always be attentive to what kind of designs, what kinds of programming make people feel like they're at home, and which ones don't. Cooling centers are doomed to failure if they're bland high school gyms and places that people would never spend time on a typical day. You only go there if you're forced to go there basically if you're forced to evacuate your home, because it's uncomfortable, it's unpleasant, unfamiliar. But if people use a library in their neighborhood on a regular basis, and the library is the place for them to go to get safe, I guarantee you they'll go. [...] Every climate plan needs to have a social infrastructure plan."

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡

🎙️ Apple | Spotify | Google
🗓️ 09/07/2022
✅ Time saved: 25 min

Additional Links:
Article: "How U.S. Cities Are Preparing for More Life-Threatening Heatwaves" (Nexus Media News, 2022)

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