Miami’s Heat Officer Gets To Work On Climate Justice Or Something

I briefly mentioned Miami’s Heat Officer, let’s check in, shall we?

City Heat is Worse if You’re Not Rich or White. The World’s First Heat Officer Wants to Change That

Jane Gilbert knows she doesn’t get the worst of the sticky heat and humidity that stifles Miami each summer. She lives in Morningside, a coastal suburb of historically preserved art deco and Mediterranean-style single-family homes. Abundant trees shade the streets and a bay breeze cools residents when they leave their air conditioned cars and homes. “I live in a place of privilege and it’s a beautiful area,” says Gilbert, 58, over Zoom in early June, shortly after beginning her job as the world’s first chief heat officer, in Miami Dade county. “But you don’t have to go far to see the disparity.”

A mile or two inland, in lower income, mostly Black and Latino neighborhoods like Little Haiti, Little Havana and Liberty City, tree cover can be as little as 10%, compared to around 40% in upscale coastal areas, according to Gilbert. Residents wait for buses on unshaded benches. Many can’t afford to buy or run an AC unit. “You can’t be outside for more than five minutes without feeling faint because there’s no shade. Then inside a lot of homes, the buildings haven’t been fixed up in a very long time, so you get holes in the wall and mold,” says Stibalys Gomez, a 24-year-old community organizer and amateur boxer. “We have a lot of older people here, older Hispanics with respiratory problems, including my grandmother. I’m really worried about them this summer.”

Wait, wait, back up, she lives in a swanky area near the coast? Why isn’t she moving inland in order to avoid sea rise? It couldn’t be because it is a bunch of mule fritters?

Gilbert’s job is to redress those imbalances in Miami and get all areas of the local government working towards a cooler county. Working under Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, she’ll plant new trees, create better infrastructure for heat emergencies, and inform people about their needs and rights during the heat.

So, spend a lot of money, involve the city in people’s lives whether they want it or not, and just be a general nag.

When Gilbert relocated to Miami from the northeast in 1995, the tropical heat was “a big part of the draw,” she says. She grew up in Connecticut and studied environmental science at Barnard College in New York. But after graduating in 1987, she quickly realized her “system just does better” in warmer climes, and spent several years doing work around Central and South America, first as an assistant producer on a documentary series about solutions to deforestation, and later as a consultant assessing environmental health risks. She made her home in Miami, and spent two decades working in human rights and community development, before becoming Miami Dade’s first chief resilience officer in 2016, overseeing efforts to adapt the county to climate change..

So, she’s not worried about sea rise and doom from heat?

Yet heat has failed to compete for media and government attention with Miami’s other major climate challenge: sea level rise…

And she lives right on the coast? Huh. Anyhow, the article goes on to demonize air conditioning. Will it be removed from all the public buildings for Miami?

In Miami, Gilbert will co-chair a Climate and Heat Health Task Force made up of local health experts, business figures and academics, among others, that will study the health impacts of heat across the county. Based on their work, the city will come up with campaigns to inform residents about the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. They will also reach out to outdoor workers and businesses to make sure they understand both the legal right to a safe workplace and solutions to heat: keeping drinking water available, taking shade breaks, or changing work schedules. Across the city, Gilbert will create “resilience centers” where residents can go to cool off and hydrate during heat waves, particularly when there are power blackouts at the same time.

Campaigns? In Miami? Like people don’t already know this? How much is she getting paid to do this silly stuff?

Climate experts have long warned that the impacts of climate change—driven by the high-emitting activities of wealthier people and countries—would fall most heavily on poorer people and countries that don’t have the resources to deal with them. In Miami, activists like Gomez and Cruz have fought to convince local authorities to pony up resources to adapt to the climate issues that most affect vulnerable groups. Their efforts finally appear to be paying off. “I think we’re starting to see that shift. I think Jane’s appointment probably starts to mark the change in the tides,” Cruz says. “Pun intended, I guess.”

Show us the money.

Anyone getting the idea that the people who push this don’t really believe it, and are just using it to push for free money and all sorts of left wing policies?

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2 Responses to “Miami’s Heat Officer Gets To Work On Climate Justice Or Something”

  1. Professor hale says:

    Obviously, we need to forceably send poor people to the Southern hemisphere, where it’s cooler right now. I’m sure they qualify as “climate asylum seekers” and every nation would be happy to Take them. Especially South Africa.

  2. Kangarew says:

    I make a motion to send all these climate quacks to Siberia. They won’t get too hot there. And since when were black and brown people too stupid to buy their own trees if they really wanted them? WTF is a “resilience officer”. Made up horseshit, that’s what.

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