100M Americans Set to Face Potentially Historic Heat Wave

100M Americans Set to Face Potentially Historic Heat Wave
Image copyright: Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • According to the US National Weather Service (NWS), over 100M Americans across the Midwest, Great Lakes, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic will face "record-breaking" heat this week.

  • States including Vermont, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania, will face temperatures 20-25°F above normal for June. Extreme heat warnings for temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C)— with heat indexes extending over 100°F (37.7°C)—have been issued across a region spanning the Great Lakes to New York City and Boston.

The Spin

Narrative A

Burning fossil fuels has led to annual record-breaking heat for several years, and what's most troubling is that heat-related deaths are rising as well. Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to avoid these lethal heat waves. Searing heat is a hazard that scientists most definitively tie to human-caused climate change. This climate emergency can only be stopped if human behavior changes.

Narrative B

The media keeps sensationalizing natural disaster stories so people think the world is on fire. What they don't include is that natural disaster deaths have actually dropped by 92% since their peak in the 1920s. Thanks to human ingenuity, carbon emissions are also predicted to decline in both rich and poor countries in the coming decade, protecting people from severe weather. This is vital missing context from the climate debate.

Metaculus Prediction

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