A number of the Human Level team members (myself, with Ana and Lucy) are based in, or close to, London where on Tuesday we experienced the hottest day on record ever (over 40C) in the UK. The Met Office’s chief meteorologist, Paul Davies said: “I’ve been a meteorologist for about 30 years and I’ve never seen the charts I’ve seen today.”
It is this future ahead, of a rapidly warming planet that threatens countless lives and livelihoods, that prompted us to start our weekly updates in January 2020.
During London Climate Week, we heard that heat stress is a silent killer: it will kill more and more people, in some countries more than others, with those more vulnerable being the hardest hit - the youngest, the eldest, the most fragile amongst us. Scientists have found, after this week’s extreme heat, that the climate crisis is likely even worse than feared.
The IPCC finds that the population exposed to deadly heat stress will increase from today’s 30% to 48-76% by the end of the century, depending on future warming levels and location. Heat stress not only kills people, but it also makes it harder to work outside and makes it harder to grow food, which in turn increases the price of food, increases malnutrition and entrenches inequalities further.
What can you do?
Become a climate and human rights activist, or if you already are one, take your activism to the next level.
We all have more power than we think to change this - through our work and through our day-to-day lives. Victims of heat stress are counting on us.