Park on the Visceral Impacts of Climate Change

Assistant Professor of Public Policy R. Jisung Park was featured in a Sustainable LA Grand Challenges Spotlight article discussing his research on the links between heat and student performance. Park analyzed New York City standardized test scores over 20 years and found that students taking an exam on a 90-degree day do a “10-15% of a standard deviation worse than they would have otherwise.” He explained that the impacts of heat are disproportionately high for underrepresented minorities, who are significantly less likely to have air conditioning at school and home. “I would hope that this kind of research can at least help us make more visceral the impacts of climate change and make it less of a ‘other people over there 100 years from now’ problem and more of an ‘all of us today’ problem,” Park said. He stressed the importance of developing a short-term policy portfolio in addition to a long-term carbon mitigation plan.

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