There have been no heat-related deaths in Ahmedabad so far this year, which is remarkable given its population of 8.5 million, its regular heat spikes in May and June to over 45C and its history of lethal heatwaves including one in 2010 which killed more than 1,300 people and overwhelmed its hospitals. Policy and planning have made the difference. A heat action plan introduced in 2013 has provided funds for low-income families to paint their tin roofs with heat-reflective paint and improve domestic ventilation. Hospitals are better equipped to deal with dehydration and, crucially, the city’s poorest have access to “parametric” insurance schemes which pay out cash sums when the average heat over any three-day period exceeds a safe threshold – meaning they don’t have to be outside trying to sell things when the heat could kill them. Bloomberg has this glimpse of life in a warming world. It’s not comfortable, but it could be survivable.
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