Contrary to the Heartland Institute’s callous claim, warm weather is not “good for people.” The Chicago Tribune reported earlier today that a Natural Resources Defense Council study suggests climate change will cause 150,000 deaths due to excessive heat this century.
Scientists expect temperatures to rise 4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, with increased heat-related deaths in 37 of 40 cities studied. Louisville, Detroit and Cleveland will be the hardest hit, though cities in the Midwest and Northeast will also feel severe effects.
“As temperatures continue to rise and climate variability continues to increase, we’re going to have some real problems,” said Larry Kalkstein, one of the paper’s authors, describing these heat deaths as a “silent killer.”
Currently, an average of 1,300 heat-related deaths occur per year – and that estimate doesn’t account for the impact of record-setting heat that the country has seen recently. Last week, NOAA reported that the twelve months ending on April were the warmest in the US since 1895. NRDC’s analysis expects annual heat-related deaths to reach 4,608 by the end of the century.
Today, the EPA is fighting to prevent the worst effects of climate change by issuing life-saving standards on industrial carbon pollution from power plants. The proposal is a key step in cutting carbon pollution and alleviating the impact of global warming on public and environmental health.