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Extreme Heat Is Killing People!

Why transitioning to solar could save your life? In Texas one worker in the construction industry dies every three days!

Of all extreme weather conditions, heat is the most deadly. It kills more people in the U.S. in an average year than hurricanes, tornadoes and floods combined. The human body has a built-in cooling mechanism – sweat. But that system can only do so much, especially in soaring temperatures with high humidity. Multiple organ failure, heart attack and kidney failure are the primary ways people die in extreme heat.

As vast swaths of three continents bake under blistering temperatures and the oceans heat to unprecedented levels, scientists from two global climate authorities are reporting before July has even ended that this month will be the planet’s hottest on record by far. The heat in July has already been so extreme that it is “virtually certain” this month will break records “by a significant margin,” the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service and the World Meteorological Organization said in a report published Thursday.

We have just lived through the hottest three-week-period on record – and almost certainly in more than a hundred thousand years. The human toll of the heat is stark. As temperatures have risen above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) in parts of the US, heat-related deaths have mounted and people are suffering life-threatening burns from falling onto scorching hot ground. According to CNN In the Mediterranean, more than 40 people have died as wildfires rage across the region, fueled by high temperatures. In Asia, prolonged, intense heat waves are claiming lives and threatening food security. "Climate change is here. It is terrifying. And it is just the beginning, the era of global boiling has arrived" .U.N. Secretary-general António Guterres said on Thursday after scientists said it was on track to be the world's hottest month on record.

The effects of July's heat have been seen across the world. Thousands of tourists fled wildfires on the Greek island of Rhodes, and many more suffered baking heat across the U.S. Southwest. Temperatures in a northwest China township soared as high as 52.2C (126F), breaking the national record. With extreme temps and balmy humidity, you're probably running to lower your thermostat. But that means higher cooling costs for the majority of the US as electricity and energy prices are still elevated this summer. According to the US Department of Energy if you don't have solar panels and accompanying battery storage, the best technique for staying cool yet minimizing utility costs in summer is to keep your home warmer than usual when no one is home and then setting the temperature as high as comfortably possible when home. Energy Star, a program of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy, suggested that homes be kept at 78 degrees Fahrenheit when home during the day.

It also suggests that the thermostat be set to 82 degrees Fahrenheit when sleeping and 85 degrees Fahrenheit when out of the house for maximum savings -- recommendations that were met with scorn and disbelief on social media.

If setting your thermostat to somewhere in the 80s sounds too warm, then a good rule of thumb to follow is to turn your thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees from your normal setting for eight hours a day, so you can save up to 10% a year. The punishing heat dome that has settled over Texas is putting unprecedented strain on the state’s electricity system, leaving officials scrambling to keep the lights on and the air conditioners cranking. Tens of millions of people in Texas and nearby states have been under extreme heat advisories since June 14. But Texas is uniquely vulnerable to power failures because it cannot draw electricity from neighbors in a crisis. It is the only state in the contiguous United States disconnected from the national grid, a deliberate move by greedy corporations to avoid federal regulation so they can overcharge for power from carbon based fuel.

State officials are increasingly turning to an unexpected technology: giant batteries. The same batteries a majority of lawmakers in Texas have been trying to stop the spread of. These Mack truck-size systems, which can quickly spew stored electrons onto the grid when power plants sputter, played a crucial role in avoiding outages over the past week, as scorching temperatures shattered records across Texas. And they are renewing debate about the role of clean energy in stabilizing the Texas grid, as the batteries are ideal for harnessing wind and solar energy.

Power system operators across the country are watching closely to see how Texas manages this crisis. While the perilous combination of prolonged triple-digit temperatures and overstressed power plants and transmission lines is plaguing Texas at the moment, it could hit most regions at any time. Changes in the weather and the deteriorating condition of regional power grids make the entire nation increasingly vulnerable to outages for longer stretches of the year. Without AC the death rates are certain to be in the double or triple digits!

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