The closure of schools on a hot day is increasing because the climate crisis is already here

As a clear reminder that climate change is present as well as future, the number of days schools are forced to close due to the heat has increased dramatically, and Washington Post findings from the analysis. “Philadelphia had an average of four such days in the 1970s; now the number is eight. In Baltimore it increased from six to 10; in Denver, from six to 11; and in Cleveland from one to four. Portland, Oregon, now has an average of three days over 90, up from one in 1970.

These are many school days.

However, this is not just a climate problem. This is also a problem of inequality, because guess which schools do not have air conditioning to protect classrooms from overheating. Often these are those with very weak students. In the southern areas, where it has always been hot, most schools have air conditioners, but in areas where excessive heat during the school year is becoming more common, air conditioning is less common and older school buildings are much less probably have it.

As PostLaura Meckler and Anna Phillips write: “The suffering is especially acute in cities, which are often significantly warmer than the suburbs how the built environment amplifies the heat– And because the racist policy has forced developers to concentrate highways and industry in neighborhoods where people of color live. Poor and minority neighborhoods that lack trees but have plenty of pavement, parking lots, large buildings and other heat-absorbing surfaces bear the brunt. ”

According to a Survey of the Government Accountability OfficeApproximately 41% of districts need to upgrade or replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in at least half of their schools, representing about 36,000 schools across the country that need HVAC upgrades.

On May 31, Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gim linked the points to several issues she faced, forcing her schools to close earlier:





Gym when you need to call for a green new deal for schools in Philadelphia. But it’s not just Philadelphia that is facing these problems, and it needs more than a city-by-city response. It needs a broader understanding that the climate emergency is already here, and an answer to all of the above, which treats this as a climate problem, an education problem, an infrastructure problem and an inequality problem.

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