"Silent and invisible killers of silenced and invisible people, the social conditions that make heat waves so deadly do not so much disappear from view as fail to register with newsmakers and their audiences—including social scientific experts on disasters."
"In North Lawndale, the dangerous ecology of abandoned buildings, open spaces, commercial depletion, violent crime, degraded infrastructure, low population density, and family dispersion undermines the viability of public life and the strength of local support systems, rendering older residents particularly vulnerable to isolation."
"The depleted physical infrastructure of North Lawndale has affected every aspect of neighborhood life. When I asked residents to describe the major streets that anchor their neighborhood, “bombed out” was the phrase that recurred most."
"Governments view public relations projects, which are crucial for defining or framing issues and generating public support, as essential for effective and legitimate political practice. But the relationship between good public relations and good government is not always apparent, since governing regimes can also use sophisticated image-making or promotional projects to advance their own interests and gloss over serious problems or dissenting positions."
"Twentieth-century history has made us well aware that governments accused of overseeing or committing atrocities often engage in a sophisticated politics of denial to refuse responsibility."
"All subcultural and professional groups develop their own biases and dispositions, but journalists are unique in their capacity to project their own ways of seeing and thinking into the public sphere, where their ideas often set the terms of broader debates. Despite the efforts of several medical and public health figures, during the heat wave most news consumers had little access to the dominant scientific perspective that the death attributions were legitimate and fair."
"But the health risks of future heat waves will continue to grow so long as there are no strong public policies to address the social, ecological, and physiological conditions that make everyday life so precarious, and extreme events so treacherous, for the rising population of vulnerable city dwellers."