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Idea of the Day: How to Adapt to a Hotter United States

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The National Climate Assessment concluded that the United States will experience a significant increase in hot summer days due to climate change compared to recent years. Scorching temperatures threaten the most vulnerable members of our communities—young children, the elderly, ill people, and low-income households—with dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. We must address the public threat posed by this hotter weather due to climate change.

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution to help protect these vulnerable people from the sweatier days and steamier nights linked to climate change. Congress must significantly increase appropriations for two existing programs: the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP—which makes low-income households more energy efficient—and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP—which helps low-income families pay their electricity bills. The Center for American Progress recommends that Congress fund these programs for fiscal year 2015 at the fiscal year 2009 level, which was the highest in the past decade. Restoring funds for these programs would reduce the health and economic threats to low-income families that are posed by heat waves and other effects of climate change.

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Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
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Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
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Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
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Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here