With climate change causing much of the world's hot extremes, heat waves are likely to become more common. Well, now new research shows that, at least in the United States, exposure to extreme heat could increase four- to six-fold by 2050, due to both a warming climate and a population that's growing especially fast in the hottest regions of the country.
Surprisingly, extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other weather-related event. And with blazing heat becoming the new norm, the number of deadly heat waves, and therefore fatalities, are expected to increase as the climate warms.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up