UN, Red Cross Report: Better Preparation Needed for Future Heat Waves

On Monday, the UN and the Red Cross released their first ever joint report urging people and governments to better prepare for heat waves, such as those most recently seen in Sacramento, CA, Somalia, and Sichuan, China.

UN, Red Cross Report: Better Preparation Needed for Future Heat Waves
Image credit: Ian Hutchinson / Unsplash

Facts

  • On Monday, the UN and the Red Cross released their first ever joint report urging people and governments to better prepare for heat waves, such as those most recently seen in Sacramento, CA, Somalia, and Sichuan, China.
  • The report, released ahead of next month's UN COP27 climate change summit in Egypt, said heat waves are forecast to "exceed human physiological and social limits" in areas including the horn of Africa and south and southwest Asia. These extreme events will, the publication concludes, trigger "large-scale suffering and loss of life."
  • The report said 38 individual extreme heat events were the direct cause of death for more than 700k people worldwide between 2010-2019. The data is likely an underestimate, and it excludes other kinds of fallout on lives and livelihoods caused by the phenomenon.
  • Jagan Chapagain, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said, "the data shows that it does lead toward a very bleak future." The UN-Red Cross report claimed that aggressive steps are needed to prevent recurring extreme heat events, and provided a list of steps that could help mitigate the most severe impacts.
  • Mitigation suggestions include the testing and rollout of emergency housing, green roofs, and cooling centers, as well as the changing of school calendars. Governments have also been encouraged to enact early warning systems, and provide more funding for training first responders.
  • Martin Giffiths, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters in Geneva: "it's grossly unjust that fragile countries must bear deadly loss and damage from extreme heat when they are unambiguously and clearly and evidently the least responsible for climate change."

Sources: Washington Post, france24, US News, channel, New Indian Express, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by National Geographic.Deaths resulting from heat waves are just one of the many ways human-caused climate change is threatening human life. Climate change and extreme weather are no longer things we need to plan for, they are already affecting human health in dramatic ways. Individuals and governments must act now to stop deaths rising exponentially as extreme heat becomes more frequent across the globe.
  • Narrative B, as provided by CCD. The Earth has undoubtedly warmed moderately in recent years, but that has not led to a dangerous spike in heat waves. The frequency of heat waves has not increased as rapidly as many climate alarmists would have you think, and the US government's own data shows that neither drought, nor abnormally high temperatures, are any different today than over the past century.

Predictions