Making Heat Waves Deadly Again
by Dennis T. Avery
CHURCHVILLE,VA—This last heat wave has been sweltering, but that happens. It was even hotter in 1934, 1911 and other “hot” summers in the past. That’s not extreme weather, it’s “normally abnormal”.
The benchmark to remember is that 12,000 people died in the heat wave of 1926! Newspapers as far flung as Australia reported U.S. babies “died like flies” in the Chicago ghetto in 1911. With no power for air conditioning, today’s far-larger urban population and hotter urban heat islands might have suffered 50,000 deaths last week!
Ironically, last week Mayor Bloomberg of New York gave $50 million from his vast personal fortune to the Sierra Club’s get-rid-of-coal campaign. Mayor Bloomberg says he hopes the campaign will shut down one-third ofAmerica’s coal-fired power plants by 2020. Get this straight: the Mayor didn’t donate $50 million to helping poor people pay their electric bills during a hot summer. Instead, he donated that money to get rid of the coal that cost-effectively provides half the nation’s air conditioning!
Mayor Bloomberg has made his anti-coal donation at the same moment cities and towns are suspending assistance to poor people to pay their electric bills. Laying off public employees is also increasing fuel poverty for their families. (SPPI)