Biden Addresses Extreme Heat, the Leading Weather-Related Cause of Death in the U.S.

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Sep. 21 2021, Published 4:29 p.m. ET

Biden Administration Heat
Source: Getty Images

The climate crisis is making planet Earth uninhabitable — in addition to causing water levels to rise, killing plants and animals, drying out major bodies of water, and igniting forest fires, it's heating up our world to unlivable temperatures. In fact, as of right now, global warming is the leading weather-related cause of death in the U.S. That's why President Joe Biden addressed the extreme heat in a recent powerful statement, in which he commits to combatting these life-threatening conditions.

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Biden on Extreme Heat
Source: Getty Images

Here's what the POTUS had to say about the extreme heat, which results from climate change:

On Monday, Sept. 20, Biden addressed the health risks associated with extreme heat, which are becoming increasingly more prevalent. The 46th president described his travels across the country in a written statement on the white house website, in which he witnessed how the heat affects communities.

"I have walked down streets in Louisiana, New Jersey, and New York, where deadly storms have blown apart the lives of working families, wiping homes and businesses off the map," he stated.

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"I’ve sat with firefighters in Boise, Idaho, and surveyed the damage of the Caldor Fire in northern California... Communities that over 100 million people – one in three Americans – call home have been struck by extreme weather events in the last few months alone. This is a blinking code red for our nation. And while we have all seen the graphic and heart-wrenching images of super-storms, wildfires, and floods in recent weeks, another climate disaster is lurking just below the radar: extreme heat," he said.

Biden continued, announcing that the NWS has labeled extreme heat as the "leading weather-related killer" in the U.S.

"... the National Weather Service has confirmed that extreme heat is now the leading weather-related killer in America. Rising temperatures pose an imminent threat to millions of American workers exposed to the elements... and particularly to disadvantaged communities. My administration will not leave Americans to face this threat alone."

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Biden announced that he is mobilizing his administration to combat the extreme heat.

In his announcement, the President said he would be taking action to protect communities from the heat.

"Today, I am mobilizing an all-of-government effort to protect workers, children, seniors, and at-risk communities from extreme heat," he said.

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"The Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies will work together to help ensure that the American people have safe and healthy working conditions, provide cooling assistance to homes and neighborhoods, and coordinate with state and local officials to bolster their resilience and address the impacts of this threat."

Biden then addressed the costs associated with extreme heat, and how it will be addressed.

"Extreme weather cost America $99 billion in damage last year – and we will break that record in 2021," he explained. "We need to rebuild with resilience in mind; we have to act, and act fast, to save lives, homes, jobs, and industries, and build the clean energy economy of the future. I urge Congress to deliver both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and my Build Back Better Agenda to my desk, so that we can make the urgent investments the American people want and our nation needs."

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How can we combat extreme heat, until it's addressed on a government level?

Climate change-induced heat is a huge problem, so it's imperative we do everything we can to address it on a local level, until the federal government does something about it. First, it's important to raise awareness on the matter — stay safe, and protect your friends and family, by informing them of what to do, and what not to do during a heat wave. We've also made a list of ways to protect both wild and domesticated animals during a heat wave.

Trees also naturally keep things cooler (hence the reason why cities are so much hotter!). So if you're able to join a tree-planting committee or "green committee," consider doing so — just make sure you're planting native trees.

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