Last month, Earth’s Future published a study on the impact of extreme heat in the United States. The study found that people who are low income and people of color live in significantly hotter neighborhoods than those with higher incomes, as well as those who are non-Hispanic, white. The disparities occurred across more than 70% of the counties studied in both subcategories, and in some cases, the difference in temperature was as great as 7 degrees Fahrenheit. When those 7 degrees are spread across ever new and increasing temperature records, that can be a life-ending difference.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us again and again that a global experience, even a community event, is felt differently depending on individual circumstances. The same is true for climate change and more. The disparities that exist in our county, our country and throughout the world will only continue to grow without action.
It is up to all of us, particularly those of us with more resources at our disposal, to find a path toward equity. When the heat is bogging you down this month, remember that.