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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

IL residents urged to prepare now for coming heat waves

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Friday, May 31, 2024   

A new report supports data on the effects of global climate change, finding that, within a one-year span starting in May 2023, the cause of frequent and intense heat waves was manmade.

Additional data showed nearly 7 million people, or about 78% of the world's population in more than 90 countries, had at least 31 days of extreme heat within that period.

Bernadette Woods, vice president for engagement at Climate Central, said the impact is "overwhelming" and the world needs to take notice.

"We found that temperatures were so high that that would have been impossible without human-induced climate change," she said, "because. to a large degree, of the burning of fossil fuels, we are in the era of loss and damage. That climate change is not something happening somewhere else, or sometime in the future, but that is here and now."

The webinar was held leading up to Heat Action Day on Sunday, which aims to raise global awareness of heat risks. The panelists also noted that the weather extremes are especially hard on elderly people or those living in poor housing. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, almost 452,000 Illinois renters are extremely low income, putting them at greater risk of the effects of extreme heat.

The report outlines solutions to stay healthy during weather extremes. Another panelist, Roop Singh, climate risk adviser for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said making external changes such as improving the insulation of your home or painting rooftops white are helpful, but Illinoisans can take further action to prepare for the hot days ahead - or what she called "the silent killer."

"We also need to make sure that there's collective action at these higher levels," she said. "Cities can take action by creating a heat action plan that organizes the municipality to take action if there is an imminent heat wave, but also do long-term urban planning."

Singh also encouraged people to be ready to call emergency health services for heat-related illnesses, make sure the home's water and electrical services are able to handle the high demand, and know where there are community cooling stations.

A study by the Illinois Department of Public Health warned that as the climate continues to increase, so will the lethal threats to people with heart conditions.

Disclosure: Joyce Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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