Heat Island Effect
by: Anthony D. Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM | Updated 09/16/2022 by Adrian Guzman
The Heat Island Effect: how it effects our lives, and what we can do about it.
This morning, on the day we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership in the Civil Rights movement my wife woke me up to the song Glory by Common and John Legend. Hearing this song fills me with a sense of pride of being an African American. I also feel a bit of sadness that there still seems so much further to go. That the impact of the Jim Crow era on African Americans which produced laws and policies such as redlining districts is still being felt today.
The heat island effect is when an area is considerably hotter than the actual temperature. The heat island effect is a phenomenon that comes from a concentration of dark material e.g., asphalt and roofs, combined with a lack of trees for covering. The asphalt absorbs the heat of the day and permeates throughout the night. So, other areas cool down once the sun goes down, heat islands do not. To maintain a comfortable temperature the air conditioner stays on, which also pushes more heat into the surrounding area. A direct impact of hotter neighborhoods is higher energy usage and thus higher energy costs. This is compounded with the fact that buildings in America typically do not have enough insulation. Insulation is what minimizes the impact of ambient temperature on the temperature inside a building.
Reducing heat islands would reduce our carbon emissions as well as reduce the financial burden on those living in areas designated as heat islands. There are three ways to prevent the heat island effect in your neighborhood.
About the author: Anthony D. Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM - Our Company's Founder & CEO
Dr. Anthony Kinslow: Husband, Father, Son, Friend, Advisor and Mentor.
Anthony Kinslow II, Ph.D., CEM, is the Founder and CEO of Gemini Energy Solutions. Gemini democratizes the small commercial energy audit sector, creating affordable investment-grade energy audits and supporting efforts to increase workforce diversity in the energy efficiency sector drastically. Dr. Kinslow is also a Commercialization and Equity consultant for Clean Energy Works. This nonprofit organization seeks to accelerate private capital utility investments in inclusive clean energy solutions at the grid edge.
Anthony also lectures at Stanford University, where he co-teaches two courses Racial Equity in Energy and Quest for an Inclusive Clean Energy Economy.
His efforts center around accelerating the U.S. transition to a clean energy economy. And he argues that without prioritizing inclusive and affordable solutions for marginalized communities, the transition will be slow, expensive, and inequitable. Dr. Kinslow II's work to drive equity and inclusion extends past his professional responsibilities. For example, the City of San Jose recognized his active involvement in understanding wage theft in the construction industry. Moreover, Dr. Kinslow II's role in designing and implementing Stanford's workforce program has introduced the concept of environmental justice to hundreds of high school students.
In addition to being a Historic Black Church and University (HBCU) alum (North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University (AT&T), Dr. Anthony Kinslow earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he incorporated Bayesian statistics in building science analysis to improve the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. His M.S. (Sustainable Design & Construction) was also from Stanford University. In his free time, Dr. Kinslow II enjoys walking trails with his wife, Maria, and his beautiful sons, Marcus and Samuel.
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