If you have an interest in how communities like Harlem can best prepare for extreme heat, especially for more vulnerable populations, there was a good listen last week with a White House webinar on the topic (above). The 90-minute program ran May 26 as part of its national Beat the Heat Campaign.
White House science advisor John Holdren provided a brief, sobering introduction to the science behind the risks of extreme heat, including a discussion of what climate change will mean going forward. You can hear his remarks on the webinar from 03:30-13:30.
Various other experts provided short talks with good insights, with much relevance to our new Harlem Heat project. Among them was Chicago public health official, Kathleen Votava, who talked about preparing the elderly for heat waves. See her slides here or listen from 31:00-43:00. Dr. Bob England shared the experience of one of the hottest urban areas in the United States, Maricopa County in Arizona (which includes Phoenix), where he is director of the Department of Public Health. See his slides here, or listen from 55:20-1:08:30.
To bring home the realities of heat waves and the risk to human health, the program ended with compelling case study by sociologist Eric Klinenberg of New York University, who shared insights from his detailed research into the societal breakdowns that lead to some 700 deaths during the infamous Chicago heat wave of 1995. Listen from 1:15:20-1:30.
For more White House information on the topic, check out the website of the interagency project, the National Integrated Heat Health Information System, or NIHHIS. There are also many general heat safey resources and Harlem-related heat resources on the pages of our Harlem Heat project.