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Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:04 PM

"Heat: the next big inequality issue"

Long, but important article examining the unequal impact of heat on people from a global perspective at a time of global warming.

Thorough, but there are still clearly even more issues that need to be examined in connection to this, such as increased smoke from fires and attendant respiratory distress, especially for those who don’t have as much access to enclosed, cooled spaces.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/13/heat-next-big-inequality-issue-heatwaves-world


Urban areas are reaching these killer temperatures faster than those that are less populated. Cities absorb, create and radiate heat. Asphalt, brick, concrete and dark roofs act like sponges for heat during the day and emit warmth at night. Air conditioning is a lifesaver for those who can afford it, but it makes the streets even hotter for those who can’t.

“Urban heat islands, combined with an ageing population and increased urbanisation, are projected to increase the vulnerability of urban populations, especially the poor, to heat-related health impacts in the future,” a US government assessment warned.

The World Health Organisation says that 60% of people will live in cities by 2030, and the more densely populated they become, the hotter they’ll get. Considering that recent predictions warn temperatures in South Asia will exceed the limits of human survival by the end of the century, every degree counts. Even this year, 65 people have perished from nearly 44C (111F) heat in Karachi, Pakistan – a city used to extreme heat.

But the impact is not evenly distributed. For example, there is a strong correlation between an area’s green spaces and its wealth; when shade from tree canopies can lower surfaces’ peak temperature by 11–25°C, “landscape is a predictor for morbidity in heatwaves”, says Tarik Benmarhnia, public health researcher at University of California San Diego. A review paper he recently co-authored found that people living in less vegetated areas had a 5% higher risk of death from heat-related causes.

In 2017, researchers at University of California, Berkeley were able to map racial divides in the US by proximity to trees. Black people were 52% more likely than white people to live in areas of unnatural “heat risk-related land cover”, while Asians were 32% more likely and Hispanics 21%.

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Response to suffragette (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:35 PM

1. Just produce lots of cheap electricity and we can all be cool in summer and warm in winter.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:38 PM

2. I think it's going to take a lot more than that. Did you read the article?

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Response to suffragette (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:45 PM

5. Air conditioning and heaters can save countless lives of all races and could even before global

 

warming, there is nothing wrong with saving lives today while working on climate change.

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Response to braddy (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 06:35 PM

6. Of course. But by preceding your sentence with "just" you seemed to minimize the full impact of

global warming and the need to address it through many factors.

Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, though?

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Response to braddy (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:38 PM

3. Not sure what you mean. If you mean to burn more coal and fire up the nuclear sites

and keep using that natural gas and the other fossil fuels..... There is no more expensive electricity than that because of the catastrophe which such thoughtless action will cause. If you are pointing to wind, solar, thermal, etc. then....I agree.

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Response to braddy (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 06:45 PM

7. We need surplus solar and wind capacity for carbon capture

And that's after we retire all the coal and gas plants, AND convert most of the global automobile fleet to electric. Anything less and civilization is pretty much toast. We're so far into the danger zone already that even all that may not be enough to save a large chunk of the planet from destruction.

It will be many decades before we could realistically spare renewable capacity to expand AC systems.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 06:47 PM

8. We can save the lives of the people mentioned or let them die.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #8)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 01:25 AM

9. More will die if we don't reduce carbon emissions immediately

As in billions by the end of the century.

We've really painted ourselves into a corner here; there are no good scenarios anymore.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #9)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 06:57 AM

10. I don't want to kill them, I want them to have the cooling and heating that they need to survive,

 

climate predictions or not, you know, like you and everyone that you know has. People who aren't white shouldn't freeze in winter and die in summer, cheap electricity prevents that, not to mention water that is clean and healthful and available.

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Response to braddy (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 10:44 AM

11. That's a wonderful sentiment

But totally detached from reality. We're entering the triage phase of climate change, where you can't save everyone anymore.

I'm sorry, but you don't seem to understand either the severity or the imminent threat that climate change poses to the entire globe, and I simply don't have the energy to explain it to you at this time.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 15, 2018, 12:05 PM

12. Wow.

 

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Response to suffragette (Original post)

Tue Aug 14, 2018, 05:41 PM

4. All around the world the poor will suffer first. In fact, I

wonder if the rich are not planning to get rid of a lot of the "riffraff" by bringing this about and then popping a few nukes to shade the sun and then undo the damage. They just need enough slaves and security forces. They don't care about other life unless it is good to eat. I am not saying their plan will work because many of them are self-centered idiots. They still might try it. At the very least Mr. Putin will not tolerate the arctic waters being clogged up with that inconvenient ice. We'll see. I think much of humanity is pretty dumb.

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