Urban heat status
Was it hot enough for you in July, the hottest July since humans have been keeping records? And that’s here in New Mexico, not in far-off places like Bangladesh or Saudi Arabia.
Remember how good it felt when the temperatures dropped from the low hundreds to the low nineties? That six-to-ten degree drop is about the same difference you feel when you go from an “urban heat island” to a rural setting. So here’s an idea: let’s slow down Valencia County’s descent into urban heat island status.
The media has only recently begun talking about urban heat islands, but most of us have felt their effect in our bones for decades. For instance, we’d feel it coming south from Albuquerque’s endless parking lots and junk car yards when we drove down the steep slope at Isleta into green fields and big trees with their cooler, damper, fresher air.
According to the EPA definition, “Urban heat islands occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This effect increases energy costs (e.g., for air conditioning), air pollution levels, and heat-related illness and mortality.”
National Geographic’s Heat Island Mapmaker already shows the Valencia County main corridor as a significantly hotter patch south of the giant red splat of Albuquerque, with the cool streak of the Rio Grande running through it all. Unfortunately, every month more irrigated fields disappear under “development,” and more demands are made on a limited water supply.
While more development leads to more heat build-up, building experts recommend several ways to slow the warming.
Planting trees and other vegetation not only cools and humidifies outdoor air, trees can greatly reduce the waste heat your house absorbs by shading it, particularly from the south and west. You can also use awnings, porches, and other shading structures to reduce overheating. And it’s really smart to build shading structures covered with solar panels in parking lots — they keep your car cool and also slash energy bills. On the other hand, cutting down trees and “clearing” lower growth can make your cooling bills soar.
Light-colored roofing — metal, shingles or membranes — reflect far more sunlight away from your house than dark-colored roofing. Even better, put solar panels on your roof; instead of heating up your house, the energy they absorb turns into free power. (Renewable power costs are dropping at an astonishing speed.)
In December 2021, Biden executed an order which said it was America’s duty “to lead the world by setting a goal that 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles,” adopting the types of vehicles favored by climate zealots. In other words, forcing people to buy electric vehicles.
So, in keeping with the Democrat narrative, the Fourth of July headline in the Albuquerque Journal read, “Governor proposes clean car standards.” Her proposal would require 43 percent of the 2027 model cars and trucks sent to car dealerships to meet clean car standards; in other words electric vehicles (EVs).
The percentage would climb to 82 percent for 2032 vehicles (only nine years from now). Translation: our governor and Biden are forcing electric vehicles down everybody’s throats, whether or not you want one or can afford one.
Then, also in New Mexico, Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich is decreeing an “electrification” agenda to get rid of gas stoves, furnaces, water heaters and anything gas in our homes and businesses. The Democrats are hell-bent on “killing fossil fuels no matter what the cost” to ratepayers/taxpayers.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg of what government laws, rules and regulations have done to crush our freedoms. Government is interfering with every little phase of our lives.
What do the dictates above have in common? Fascism/totalitarianism/socialism; government taking charge of our businesses and private lives; dictating to the people what they can and cannot do. Sound familiar? Government is out of control.
The United States of America was founded on the principles of free market, private enterprise, capitalism and individual freedom. We need to ask ourselves the question: Do we really want to turn our country into an unsuccessful socialist/fascist regime (we’re almost there) or keep our constitutional republic with all the desired freedoms it allows?
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