States take charge to protect people from extreme heat

July 29, 2022 12:15 pm

[Source: abc News]

With communities around the country suffering from extreme temperatures, just months after some of those same locations saw unbearable cold snaps.

Some state leaders are taking the initiative with proposals to help people navigate the consequences of climate change.

In California, state leaders have been pushing a legislative package that they say plans around the new normal of consistent 100-degree weather. Proposals like an extreme heat ranking system, similar to ones used in hurricanes, mandate cooling during high heat days and the creation of a chief heat officer are crucial for the wellbeing of residents, according to the bills’ supporters.

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“We cannot wait for the federal government to do something,” state Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, who co-introduced the bills, told ABC News. “People are dying of extreme heat every day.”

Environmental experts agreed and said that more states and localities need to focus on extreme weather policies that are tailor made for their regions and do so soon.

“We don’t have any national adaption plan and as far as I know there is no talk about it,” Sarah Pralle, an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University who specializes in environmental policy, told ABC News. “That’s going to hurt us as more and more states experience these climate induced disasters.”