Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), has tweeted that “extreme heat is a justice issue… Studies have shown that heat risk is disproportionately distributed to communities of color in patterns associated with segregation and redlining.” The Guardian followed a similar line of reporting, claiming that poor neighborhoods experience a “shade disparity” and a distinct lack of “canopy.” Counting trees has revealed that leafier neighborhoods are usually wealthier ones.
The correlation between greenery in a community, especially trees, and increased well-being for the people living there is well-documented. While insanity in our politics is almost par for the course, it would be nice if our leaders would just speak plainly, rather than propose that heatwaves are racist. If Senator Markey would just say “Let’s plant some more trees,” that’s something we could all see the sense in.
Data blogger, Erin Davis, has aggregated the average greenery of the US by state and also globally by country. She lays out her methods in the article.