Are You Feeling The Heat ?
Mercury Is Rising !
Yes, we just past the summer season in India, but the phenomena of rising mercury all over the globe is somewhat getting common.
Most shocking about the heatwave affecting the Pacific Northwest is not merely that it has hit a usually temperate area, nor that so many long standing
temperature records are being broken. But it is that those records are being broken by such large margins. Heatwaves are also raging in central Europe and even in Siberia.
You may read headlines about heatwaves, but unfortunately they do not get much attention (probably because they do not entertain us, I guess). In 2018 roughly 300,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of extreme heat, mainly in India and China, a 54% increase since 2000, according to a report in the Lancet.
Unlike storms and floods , heat does not lead to dramatic before and after
pictures or widespread damage to property. It is a silent killer, its victims often apparent only in retrospect.
Climate change will make heatwaves more common and more extreme. Even if greenhouse gas emissions are cut to net zero by the middle of this century, temperatures will take northward direction for decades. So other measures are needed to protect people against extreme heat.
What’s The Solution ?
Governments can set up early warning systems to alert health workers, shut down schools and suspend outdoor activities. They can provide the public with forecasts of imminent heatwaves, explanations of the dangers and detailed advice on what to do.
Digital channels, including social media, can help disseminate such information widely, and not just in tech hotspots.
Improved infrastructure can also help. This includes providing shaded areas, water parks to help people cool down, and access to air conditioned “cooling centers” where they can find shelter and sleep if necessary.
Although such amenities depend, in turn, on a more fundamental form of infrastructure: reliable access to water and electricity, supplies of which may need to be carefully managed.
Last but not the least, all comes down to planning. Building architecture should ensure that new homes and offices can cope with extreme heat. Existing buildings can be adapted by painting walls and roofs white, or
adding sheets of white material, to deflect the heat affect.
As mentioned above heatwaves are silent killer, pose an entirely foreseeable threat in the decades to come. The timing and severity of the coronavirus
pandemic could not have been foreseen. These other far more predictable and preventable crises are different. There is no excuse for failing to take them more seriously.
Let’s Strive to Create A “Heatless” Earth for Coming Generation !