Las Vegas Sun | Jasmine Vazin
Nevada is on the front lines of the climate crisis with two of the fastest warming cities, Las Vegas and Reno, in the nation.
Each year, extreme heat events — a series of unusually hot days — happen more frequently and for longer in our state. Heat is the single deadliest climate-related disaster in our nation, and the heat waves we’re experiencing here at home are a direct threat to the safety and security of Nevadans — now and for decades to come.
The impacts of climate change are being felt right now, especially by our most vulnerable. Our neighborhoods are getting hotter and more unbearable, and a history of oppressive redlining, loan blocking, and lack of resources from local governments has left communities of color — with more pavement and less trees than white neighborhoods — hit by the urban island heat effect the hardest. If we don’t act, intertwining social and environmental crises will continue to exacerbate existing inequities and hurt Nevadans.
As an organizer working around transportation and climate change in Nevada, I have been able to see the impacts of climate change on the ground. I work with parents whose children are suffering from severe asthma made worse by our current air quality crisis, public transit users who have to stand at unshaded bus stops in 115-degree heat just to get to work or buy groceries, and families who have lived through this summer’s record-breaking heat wave in Las Vegas. The impacts of climate change are happening here now, and how we rise to this occasion will dictate the future of life in Nevada.