Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Violence increases in hot weather. ‘Cease-fire’ days could help. » Yale Climate Connections

When temperatures rise, people’s tempers often do, too.

An analysis of crime rates in LA shows that violence increases on hot days — especially in poor neighborhoods, where people are less likely to have air conditioning.

So as the climate warms, the researchers urge cities to extend cooling center hours. And they suggest organizing cease-fire days during expected heat waves.

“Ceasefire” is an approach used in Baltimore. During quarterly Ceasefire weekends, community members call for a halt to violence and host a rally, block parties, and other events.

“There’s a commitment to peace and a commitment to celebrating life,” says Erricka Bridgeford, who co-founded Baltimore Ceasefire 365 to help heal violence in her city.

It’s making a difference. On average, gun violence falls by more than half on Ceasefire weekends.

But Bridgeford says the goal is not only to halt crime, but to encourage people to cultivate love and joy.

“So many people doing that together, what automatically happens … is that it raises the emotions, raises the mood, raises the vibration of so many people in the city, that it automatically just makes the city a more peaceful place to be,” she says.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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