How Youth Can Battle Extreme Heat in Their Communities
This article explores how young people can play a crucial role in addressing extreme heat and advancing climate justice in their communities. Extreme heat is a significant threat, with heatwaves becoming more frequent and severe due to human-caused climate change. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions, are particularly at risk. The article highlights the importance of heat equity and how heat impacts different communities unequally, often exacerbating existing health disparities. It emphasizes the need for young people to understand their community's vulnerability to extreme heat through tools like Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) maps and engage in actions such as increasing access to cool spaces, advocating for public education campaigns, improving warning systems, engaging in citizen science, and following funding sources for heat-related initiatives. By taking these steps, young people can contribute to protecting the most vulnerable and promoting climate justice.