June 22, 2022
From higher electricity bills to worsened health, more than half of Americans have felt the impacts of extreme heat, according to a new survey released by NPR, Harvard University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That percentage is even higher in California, where heat was the top climate impact, reported by 71% of those surveyed.
“California does have low rates of air conditioning in homes, maybe because it’s blessed with cool breezes in a lot of parts of the state, but when an extreme heat event comes and there’s no cool air available, you’re in trouble,” says David Eisenman, a doctor who directs the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters. “That’s why you’re seeing this higher number.”