Shady divide: Lack of shade shines light on inequality in a warming America

Lee Goldberg Image
Friday, July 30, 2021
New York's Shady Divide: NatGeo teams up with ABC7
In partnership with National Geographic- we explore how heat - exacerbated by a lack of shade - disproportionately impacts certain neighborhoods.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Extreme heat is exposing a hot issue in our neighborhoods.

On a warming planet, the divide between rich and poor leaves many at risk. We're talking, simply, about shade.

Shade, from the heat of the sun.

In partnership with National Geographic, Weather or Not with Lee Goldberg (watch the full video above) explores how heat disproportionately impacts certain neighborhoods, and how a lack of shade shines a light on inequality in our communities.

A simple fix? Plant trees. But it turns out, it's not that simple. Relief and comfort often come at a cost.

On a hot day, you feel much hotter in the direct sun than in the shade, even if the air temperature is the same.

During a heat wave, it can be especially tough to stay cool on the job, or even just as you walk down the street.

Alejandra Borunda, the author of National Geographic's new report onshade,took to the streets of Los Angeles and discovered a lack of tree cover in low-income areas left many residents especially vulnerable to the elements.

It turns out, the problems of the West can be seen nearly 3,000 miles away in New York City.

Redlininghas exacerbated racial residential segregation.

Researchers at Columbia University found historically redlined neighborhoods in New York City had a lack of greenspace.

It's of particular concern as hot summer days are getting hotter and becoming more frequent.

Teniope Adewumi-Gunn of the Natural Resources Defense Council studies climate change and its impact on communities and explains how something called the "heat island effect" is exacerbating the problem.

Meteorologist Lee Goldberg explores the changing climates in this episode of Weather or Not.