top of page

OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 171

The focus of the conversation will be on the impact the extreme heat has on our

local economy and workforce with our featured speakers :

Related Reading:

  1. Heat, Labor & Productivity

  2. Lives, Livelihood and the High Cost of Heat

  3. Rising prices: Louisiana’s heat wave could elevate costs for beef, soybean and sugar

  4. State cattle industry expects to lose up to $290M from heat and drought

  5. Watch how Capital Region workers are beating the heat

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Casey Phillips: Happy Friday, everyone. I know that people are just going to be starting to stream in, but we want to start off with we have a couple of our partners. I see Dr. Johnson's here as well. And Dr. Jones from BRCC. Dr. Pamela Jones, I've known you now for, is it four years or has it been five?

Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones: I'm not sure now.

Casey Phillips: It's been a while. It's been a while. It's been a while and and I said we're really I'm excited. We love working with the BRCC. They're incredible partners and and the people who we get to work with like yourself and everybody over at the at the institution and I know that y'all are excited about the 25th anniversary And I know you have an exciting event coming up that I feel like everybody should know about and to get acquainted with so the mic is yours my friend

Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones: Perfect.

So thank you again, Casey, and good morning to everyone on the call. I'm always happy to have the opportunity to be able to share and to inform the community. And you do such a great job of pulling together some of the best leaders. And so this is an excellent opportunity for me to be able to share what's up and coming at BRCC.

As you mentioned, we have our 25th anniversary, so we're really proud of our campus and the work that's been done here. We have an event that's coming up on next Thursday. That's September 7th. And the event is a community leadership summit. It's taking place from one to three o'clock in the afternoon here at our Magnolia Theater.

And we have an incredible guest speaker who is not only well known on the local level but also on the national level and many of you are familiar with Lieutenant General Russell Honoré. So General Honoré will be our guest speaker. He is a phenomenal speaker but he's also a great leader and he speaks truth.

And so I welcome you all to come out, not only to hear him speak. speak. But then afterwards, we have a panel that's being moderated by Clay Young and Clay is going to be speaking to our Chancellor Willie E. Smith from Baton Rouge Community College. We also have Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, who's on the panel.

We have Superintendent Narcisse. from EBR Parish School Systems, and then also we have Dr. Jan Laffinghaus, who will be speaking on the topic of health and wellness. Now, if I may, Casey, just really quickly add to that. We went out and conducted what we call Urban Discovery Sessions. These sessions were conducted within District 5, 6, and 7.

Many of you are familiar with Mayor Pro Tem Lamont Cole. His district actually resides here in the vicinity of our Mid City Campus. And so we spearheaded these discovery sessions to go and talk to the community to understand what's important to them, what are some of the challenges and the barriers, and things that need to be further addressed.

We're now 122, 122 days out effectively, I think today until the end of the year. And so last quarter of the year, we're trying to convene leaders, designing them to come and have a discussion about education, employment, health, and wellness. and social justice. And so we don't want to just talk about the challenges and things that are not going well, but we want to highlight the wins, the achievements, the great things that not only those leaders, but also those on the call and others, what's happening.

What needs to be further progressed as we get to the end of the year and challenge the leaders that attend to think about the next year 2024 and how they can help to transform the city of Baton Rouge. So with that being said the invite is there. I think you have the flyer Casey to showcase the general public is welcome.

We truly hope that we get as many people to fill this theater as possible. So thank you for the opportunity to share.

Casey Phillips: You bet. And thank you, Dr. Jones. And I just want to ask. Since working at BRCC, what is the thing that you have learned about what BRCC does that you didn't know before you got inside?

Does that make sense?

Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones: Yeah, no, that's a great question. Actually, I think one of the things that I probably didn't have as great an awareness of is how our Chancellor truly seeks to create opportunities for the students here to push them into high wage, high-demand jobs. It's not just about coming out of our institution with a degree or certificate.

The idea is that no one goes to school to get a piece of paper, put it on the wall and just reflect in, have that there. We want to make sure that our students are employable and we want to make sure that they can contribute to the economy, but more so that they're advancing, elevating in their own socioeconomic environment for themselves.

So that's, I think, great. The opportunities, the programs that we offer here.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, I'd agree. Every, ever since I first met, First Madam Chancellor's about the J.O.B. And helping people get where they want to get. So I would agree with that. Thank you so much for coming to share and everyone.

I put the flyer down in the chat and it's going to be included in the meeting notes and come out to the leadership summit and just in general, engage with the leadership of BRCC. As Manny said, with Bakery there, they're highly engaged with the leadership there. The BRCC will say yes as long as you have a solid plan and it's good for the students.

They're yes humans and so just always remember that. Thank you so much, Dr. Jones. I appreciate it. Thank you. Alright, everyone. We are going to dig on in. This is a new topic for us. Climate's not a new topic at all. However, the relation between heat and the economy is, this is the first one, and we have two really cool speakers who are coming from very different sides of the equation.

We have Jake Polansky, the manager of economic and policy research at BRAC, and then Mr. Adam Berry, the president and CEO of Bear Process Safety, and, just to level set it. If you read any of the pre read articles, it really was asking and I wrote down a couple of questions.

It says, how does he impact productivity pay and workman's comp? These are like really obvious things, right? The other obvious thing is obviously the extreme heat this summer. Anyone that's been working out in the heat. If you're a worker outside, obviously dangerous conditions, that's something that's almost like a given and you have to address that, but what's really interesting about this subject is the impact that it has for people who are actually working in offices and the effect that it has.

The New York Times put out some data that is staggering, that the U.S. is losing right now 2.5 billion hours of work per year, which is costing the country 100 billion. And by mid-century, that projection on a conservative level is that the heat and the climate-related issues that the workers of the U.S.

workforce are going to have to endure is going to cost the country $500 billion a year. That's big numbers, right? Even when you're looking at defense budget. And when you the other stat that says that when workers are exposed to over 100 degree heat with regularity, productive productivity goes down by 70%.

So this is a real thing. And so Jake, I'm going to turn it over to you for the first five minutes to talk about it from your perspective, and then Adam will come over to you.

Jake Polansky: Sure. Thanks Casey. Thanks for having me on and it's a pleasure to be with you all this morning. Like Casey mentioned, my name is Jake Polansky and I'm with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. I'm on the research team here and I think Casey really hit the important kind of top line numbers. I've seen estimates that range up to the billions like Casey mentioned.

I've seen estimates that also mentioned that the economic impact of human caused heat related economic impacts from the 90s through the mid 2010s was around $16 trillion. These are real things and while it's not looking like it's gonna necessarily get way better way quickly anytime soon.

This is something that we've been dealing with for a while. It's something that's been impacting our economy for a while. I've seen another researcher who said something talking about Houston specifically. He said that for every... Increase in the average, every one degree increase in the average summer temperature, economic output reduces by 2%. So that doesn't sound like a lot, but that does add up, pretty quickly as you start to get these hotter summers.

And Casey mentioned a couple of the industries that are particularly affected by this. He mentioned construction, anything else that's working outdoors are going to be particularly affected by this.

But it does not just stop there. I've read news articles about Houston's my hometown. So I read about Houston a lot, but I read articles talking to brewery owners and bar owners in Houston talking about how. Many fewer people they've had coming through their doors and spending time at their facilities during the day because no one wants to sit outside and drink a beer and 100 degree weather.

Even in the shade, it could be pretty unbearable. And so a couple other things that kind of when I was thinking about this and researching it that I thought were interesting. So Casey mentioned that this affects everybody in the economy. It's not just people working outdoors, although they are primarily impacted by this, but it's even office workers too.

It reduces our motivation generally when we're less motivated to go out and spend money on things that generates less sales tax revenue. And that's what the economy depends on. The economy depends on us. buying things and spending money. Then over the past 20 years, we have become increasingly reliant on sales tax revenue as opposed to property tax revenue.

Now, property tax revenue still is the dominant form of our revenue. But as we continue to rely on sales tax revenues, that's gonna make these heat related many economic recessions that we may experience in the summer or something like that increasingly impactful. So I'm sure we're going to talk, have plenty of time to talk about solutions as well.

But is Casey, is it okay if I share my screen right quick?

Casey Phillips: Actually, there's a no share screen thing. If you could verbally paint it with your words, that would be great.

Jake Polansky: Okay, great. I'm glad you let me know. Okay, great. There is a resource provided by the EPA. So there's really no need to reinvent the wheel on this, but they provide, it's an article titled, What You Can Do to Reduce Urban Heat Islands.

And I'm happy to talk more about that in a second because I'm sure some of us, but maybe not all of us are familiar with the urban heat island effect. But it's things like increasing shade around our home, planting trees and other vegetation if you can, that's one big thing. Another big thing is how we think about our urban design generally, specifically as it comes to our homes.

I've seen strategies implemented in other communities around, implementing what they call green roofs. So that's instead of you have just shingles on your roof, you restructure it so that you can have gardens or bioswales or something like that up there because when you remove those shingles with plants and trees and things like that's gonna reduce the amount of heat that's absorbed by these structures.

It's gonna help cool the entire area. Thank you Morgan. Yup. That's it. So things related to how we design our urban infrastructure and then the last thing I'll talk about right now is housing generally. I think across the nation here too, we are living in houses that are aging and we're not building enough housing to keep up.

So as our houses age, they're gonna become a little bit more susceptible to heat and cooling. Leaping out of these houses unintentionally. I used to live in a beautiful home in mid city. It was a beautiful, massive home and it was very old and our electricity bills in the summer were just astronomical.

And it was ridiculous because it was an old home and there were a lot of holes in it. Thinking about. Weatherizing our homes and shoring up some of those holes in some of these older homes and building more homes that are energy efficient. Those are all strategies that can help too.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, I said three different three different wormholes.

I'll be traveling with you through throughout this next hour, Jake. So coming back to you, thank you for that level set. Adam Beary, joyful human being, where are you joining us from today? I'm from my

Adam Beary: home but just after this call, I'll be heading to Houston. So I am from my office with no art on the wall.

The rest of my house has all the art where it's delayed. Yeah. To get something cool like that from you. But I'm joining us obviously here for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As Casey mentioned, I am the CEO president of Bear Process Safety. For those of you that don't know what process safety is: It is an analysis of our industrial facilities based on our federal guidance from OSHA and EPA to analyze our systems and help protect employees, community our environment and reduce the chances of having releases and impacts. So what my company does is comes in, looks at that federal standard and tries to help mitigate gaps and liability potential that we have of our clients and basically trying to change the narrative of our community that we don't care about our employees, that we don't care about our environment and make us in essence, a safer place to live.

In doing that, we also implement processes talking about workplace safety. General Duty Clause is another federal guideline that came out by OSHA, and it mandates that employers are responsible for the safety and health of their workers for all dangerous impacts, including heat impacts.

And so one of the things I just wanted to set the table for was that 50 to 70 percent of heat fatalities. And workforce is due to intolerance of so we talked about loss of production of actual employees working and how that impacts the economy taking it even a step further there are some best practices that we can put out there that are just very simple to help us in our workplace and our homes basically, I don't want to say increase that production but it decreased the impacts from this record heat wave.

Okay. And I did want to talk and set the conversation a little bit because I believe that our word and narrative is a good weapon for us to combat this problem. And so I did want to talk a little bit about a real short scientific lesson on why is the heat going up? It's a scientific fact.

I'll stand on this hill that it is going up. And we will give a little bit of information as to why that is. And also encourage you as to what. Our community is doing about that and give you a couple of topics that you can help in conversation with your peers, with your family, with our community, because I believe that conversation then trickles to our politicians, to our leaders, a lot of you people on this call are leaders to help really introduce change in our community that can impact the climate.

And I think that's in the end of the day, a lot of these items that we talk about are great. But they are impacting the symptom. And if we rally around impacting the actual change of the problem, I think that's very valuable.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Thank you, Adam. I'm gonna come right back to you. Without any delay, Jake let's come back to you.

Maybe unpack one of the three variables that you kind of reference and go through those. And then we'll come back to add. Sure.

Jake Polansky: So I can talk a little bit more about the urban heat island effect. For those, I'm sure some of you are familiar with it, but for those who aren't, the urban heat island effect is the idea that our cities are so much hotter than the surrounding suburban communities because our cities are full of concrete and asphalt and big buildings.

And when our cities are full of those things, that means that they don't have much space for things like trees or, grasses or other things that don't absorb quite as much heat. I found a interesting, I think this was like a dissertation from a student who was looking at the geography of Baton Rouge.

I'm not exactly sure what it is, but when they were studying Baton Rouge, they said it could be up to 15 degrees hotter in the urban core than it can be in the surrounding suburban communities at the same time. On a single day at the same point in time. And that has a significant impact on people who live in the region.

That's the Urban Ingot Island effect, in essence.

Casey Phillips: Yep. And, I'm trying to keep this very in the middle of the road, because as, a lot of times when we have this conversation around climate I want everyone to note, in case you didn't get the subtle, this is, these are two human beings from the business sector.

This is from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, this is from a human being, Adam works inside the industrial sector around process, this is not a Greenpeace rally. Although, I love going to those two but as we're looking at this from a practical business and scientific standpoint, the heat island, one of the things, Jake, you brought up about not enough affordable housing.

So unfortunately, sometimes when we do clear large amounts of land to create more affordable housing, we're taking down 30 to 40 acres of trees, that is actually increasing the heat island. But we're trying to serve the need that we have desperately need good quality affordable housing communities, right?

So there has to be this constant counterbalance of that, approach and you know If you if for those of us who did grow up in Baton Rouge and you could even say the same thing about Houston if you think about the city in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, it was probably one of the most lush green canopies across the entire city.

And as time has gone on, that has decreased. And it's crazy to think that if you're living in Prairieville and it's 82 degrees outside, that it could be 97 degrees in Glen Oaks, right? Just think about that dichotomy. If that's what you're saying, Jake, that's what I just wanted to put a fine point on.

Jake Polansky:Yes, I do. I do want to just mention that. I don't, I personally don't think that density and housing density and population density and tree canopy. I don't think those two things are necessarily mutually exclusive. I just put something in the chat and it was a map that I found when I was doing research for this and it's a tree equity score map.

So if you click on that link, it should take you directly to the tree equity score for Baton Rouge. And what I think is interesting is that when you look at the score overall Baton Rouge. Overall is pretty good. This is a pretty lush place. But I think probably to the surprise of maybe nobody on this call.

When you zoom in on the map, it has the tree equity score by I think it's block group. Yeah, it's block group. And you see the differences specifically north of florida boulevard and south of florida boulevard. But there are places in Baton Rouge that are densely populated that have high tree equity scores that have Significant tree canopy that offer a lot of shade at the surrounding residence.

So I do think that those things when designed well, can go hand in hand.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, amen. And Jake this It's out the door so I can talk about it. But we wrote a grant with our partners at Baton Rouge Green to the USDA to plant a thousand trees at with EBRPHA amongst other, other agencies in the next five years.

And I think that with good planning, both of them are not mutually exclusive. So thanks for lifting that point up. Adam, coming back over to you because I know that you could go in a couple of different directions with this conversation as well. I'll kick it back over to you. And then I want to make sure that we.

In on agriculture, which is a big conversation in our state. Adam.

Adam Beary: Yeah, because I can share some of the guideline of safe work practices. I'll just briefly move into when we're talking about green space and kind of what is the climate transition of our economy here in the region, if that's okay.

So a little short, I won't explain the whole cycle to you, but basically why is the environment heating up? And that is because just, a nice thing that the sun does for us is it warms us up. As we get warmed up, that radiation comes and hits the ground. It bounces off of the ground into our stratosphere.

And the heating is continued when that heat is trapped by greenhouse gases. We've all heard that word before. That is naturally occurring. And then some of that leaves our atmosphere and it is not as we pull fossil fuels from the ground, we interrupt the carbon cycle, which adds to our stratosphere, more greenhouse gases, which traps that heat more readily.

So we are absorbing more and trapping, and that's how we are increasing. The way to combat that is I mentioned the carbon cycle earlier. That's a natural phenomenon that says. Naturally carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are released from the Earth. And then they are also absorbed by the Earth.

What we are doing is we are accelerating the cleaving off of those gases. And so we also have to find a way in trying to produce affordable energy. We have to provide a way to counterbalance that. And that's where you have heard the term of net neutrality, carbon neutral. That's what that means, right?

It doesn't mean we don't produce carbon. It means we take as much carbon out of the environment as we necessarily produce. And from a scientific term, we don't make carbon. So we say we produce it. What it only means is we have split that gas. From a combined substance in the beginning of our processing.

Okay. So where our transition is is we want alternative fuel sources that do not pack the carbon cycle as hot. Louisiana is in a bidding process and in a unique state and area where we can use hydrogen as a fuel source and has been a relatively there are some Negative effects to it of safety, but there are negative effects to safety and fossil fuels as well, but it impacts our environment less.

And so just three quick things for you to know about that when people say you may have heard colors of hydrogen. So if you hear someone say gray hydrogen, that is our traditional form. that today, burn fuel, fossil fuels from natural gas. We sent CO2 into the environment, which is the phenomena I just talked about.

And we cleave off that hydrogen and use it as energy. There's actually in the chemical engineering department here at LSU, Dr. John Flake is doing some great work in hydrogen fuel cells. Which I think will be instrumental in how we use hydrogen fuel cells for our cars, for trains, for buses with transportation, for homes in the future.

If you hear someone mention blue, what that means is we are using natural gas, we are burning it with fossil fuels to cleave off that hydrogen, but we are capturing the CO2 and we are sequestering it. So if you hear the term carbon capture, What that means is you're trying to capture that carbon, we put it back into the earth in storage, and a geological formation takes place over a number of years where that carbon then forms what we think of as solid carbon back into the earth.

Okay, so that's what that technology is. The most effective, but obviously we are trying to find financial benefits to make this cheaper is what we would call green hydrogen. That is where we use renewable sources of energy, so we don't burn fossil fuels like solar and wind, and we electrolyze water to split hydrogen and oxygen.

Oxygen is not a greenhouse gas, so it can be sent into our environment, and now we have hydrogen as a clean energy source. Why I'm telling you these topics and these tools is I have been approached by... friends of mine, colleagues of mine, conversations I've had with you guys on the phone to say, what does all this mean?

How does it really help us? What's scary about it? And really, I think the positivity of the people in this call can be to say, Hey, if I hear blue hydrogen, I can do some research on it, know what it is and know that this is a safe alternative that we should push. To help our environment and thus reduce our heat.

It is, one thing I will mention, it is a transition as Jake mentioned. The danger is we turn the boat a little too fast. A lot of people lose a vital source of energy that they need. And so we want to make sure that we don't roll out an energy platform that makes heating your home impossible.

We know that is a multilayered impact to our economy. The transition can happen quicker. I'm not here to tell you that it can't, but I'm trying to encourage us to look for signs where that movement is taking place. Mhm.

Casey Phillips: Thanks, Adam. Appreciate that, Jake.

Jake Polansky: Yeah, you mentioned agriculture. I think it should be fairly obvious that extreme heat is going to have significant impacts on the agricultural sector. Some of the articles that you sent that that for the pre reads included Louisiana impacts for beef and cattle, soybeans and sugar.

These are big crops for us. Another one is I saw one last week talking about reduced crawfish yields this year because of extreme heat. I read something last week about Beaumont talking about rice farmers. And how the extreme heat not only impacts the yield for rice, but it also impacts the quality of the rice that are there able to harvest.

So not only the quantity, but also the quality as well. So these are significant impacts and while these are very big impacts I think sometimes we may not fully realize. The full impact of it because of the way that we report certain measures and what I'm getting out specifically is there's a figure that's reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It's one of our North Star figures that we looked at. It's the non farm jobs number that comes out each month for the Baton Rouge Metro. And it's in the name non farm jobs. So sometimes these impacts may be hiding underneath the surface and we may not be able to see fully what's going on with some of these kind of top line economic indicators that we typically look to.

Casey Phillips: Yep. And I know that there's a couple of people on the line. S.K. Obviously with Baton Roots. Kelli would Geaux Get Healthy if anybody would like to raise their hand and kind of talk about the impact that it's having on farmers and in the urban ag and in the rural sections. By all means, please raise your hand.

I, I know personally from, I grew up most half of my family were all dairy farmers, worked on dairy on dairies. And I can tell you that there's not one person left in my family that still works in that area. And there are a lot of family friends that have lost 76, seventh generation farmers and they don't have any more cattle right now.

If you're a vegan, I'm And that is, that you're just like, this is the direction we need to be moving in. I get it. I'm just saying that when we don't talk, there are family farms that are no longer existing. Because of the heat, like there, it's no other, there's a drought, there's heat and they can't afford to stay in business.

SK Groll: Yeah. I'm just really appreciating the conversation that we're having today. I think we, we think a lot about producing new farmers, right? And training up new farmers, the average age of farmers across the board is increasing. And I think the average age of farmers in Louisiana is somewhere in their 60s, right?

And so when we think about what that means for the future of a local food supply chain, like we really need to be adding new farmers to that equation and then smaller. emerging farm operations. But when we think about these impacts of climate change, really impacting the quantity and quality of crops as well as the experience of doing that physical manual labor outside, we want to make sure that there's a livable, survivable.

and thrivable job for people who are entering into this market. And so yeah, figuring out what does that look like for a younger farmer, for somebody who's taking over the family business for somebody who really wants to contribute to the local food economy in that way. It feels really important for us to think about.

And I think a lot of folks talk about indoor growing as a way to maybe mitigate some of those impacts of climate change. I think that's interesting and I want to make sure that growing outside is still a viable option because We're never going to be able to grow indoors at scale to feed everybody in the country, right?

Casey Phillips: So yeah, I just, I'm really appreciating everything that folks are bringing to the conversation today. Thank you, SK. Going back to manufacturing And Adam, if you want to lean swerve at after this discussion into the ground water supply by all means do, but on the manufacturing level when you look at BRAC reports that come out, they're like pillar industries technology in the capital region healthcare in the health industry, and then of course, manufacturing is a huge one.

Jake talked and Adam talked to us about, What the ripple effect of the heat is in that sector from a human level scale, of course, of the worker, but more importantly, what's the ripple effect of the economy for the average human that is on this callhere?

Jake Polansky: So I think I'll take, I'll talk about two things associated with this.

So one is that as extreme heat becomes more common. We're not going to start shutting off our air conditioners. We're going to do the opposite. We're going to start running them more and more to maintain comfortable temperatures and then industrial facilities where it can get really hot.

That is a place where that applies particularly. So that means that utility costs, they're going to go out for the individual consumer for us as well, because we have to cool our homes more. But that's especially applicable for large scale industrial facilities. Have a lot of space that they need to cool.

So everything from larger. petrochemical firms that line the Mississippi River. Even to things like bakers or people who work in a kitchen. These are all places that are going to be impacted by extreme heat because their buildings are going to be hotter. They're going to have to run their acs more and that's going to take money out of those businesses pockets.

And not allow them to do other things with that money, with that disposable income at the individual level and things like that. And I think that's something that a lot of us, this is the kind of the second piece of this there's a lot of fears about automation some I think justified, some unjustified but I think one of the, one of the realities of automation is that you take a human out of the equation, you take someone who's susceptible to heat related illness out of the equation and you put in a robot that doesn't need to take a water break or doesn't need to be cooled to a specific temperature for their body.

So I think one of the impacts that we may see as our, Extreme heat becomes more common is that manufacturing facilities, automation is already a thing replacing people with robots is already a thing, but I think they might try to scale that up as employees. Maybe need more water breaks.

Employees can't operate in the heat as much. Things like that.

Adam Beary:So I think automation is going to play an increasingly big role in this extreme heat thing to echo off of what Jake is saying. Another item for people who aren't in that manufacturing space impact with the energy you mentioned.

And the utility that you mentioned is that utility is not only used for traditional things that we think about with, air conditioners or refrigerators, right? That utility is also used for processing, meaning that today, and this is something that Casey mentioned. And if we want to get a longer discussion about it, I can.

But today, our water utility that is used by our citizens. Pull from our aquifer is the same aquifer that is used by our facilities for water that they pull into the plant for cooling purposes. So they have a chilling and cooling process for the water, but obviously we need more cooling. We got to pull more water into the system.

So not only does that impact economically what the facility is doing and some of the things that Jake mentioned about employee health. We need to take more breaks. We got to have guys not working as much in a day that's impacting that economic footprint. It also is impacting our resources.

That we are pulling ourselves. So totally this question. Yes. The reason that we currently pull from the aquifer. The question is, do we prefer the aquifer water because of its purity? The answer is yes. There's a process of when that water comes into our equipment it introduces a process called fouling or scaling on the equipment, which reduces its efficiency.

Now, that water could be processed from the river to meet that quality, but that is an economic impact on the business. What Casey had mentioned is I'm trying to champion a plan. Where we could mitigate that economic impact, but get those facilities not using the water from the aquifer as the aquifer has been introduced with over pumping and that is causing its own issues that aren't heating the environment but is causing other issues.

So I just wanted to mention based off of what Jake said that's true, even more magnified at those manufacturing facilities and how it's impacting the resources that we use to keep ourselves cool and keep items cool that we need.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, we going into detail, even the ripple effect of our mural organization we were doing, we've been doing a project and the industrial site.

And a project that would have normally taken 21 to 27, maybe 28 days is. Now, taking well over 60 because of the heat having to take what, 15 minute hydration breaks and getting out of the heat and all the safety gear and all that. And I was thinking to myself, I'm like, this must really hurt people's bottom line or the individual customers are actually absorbing that cost, right? Because companies aren't in business to have their bottom line hurt. And so that cost is probably being passed on to the customers, right?

Yeah, it's just a logical capitalism. There you go, Morgan. See, I don't always, it's not always pro capitalism, Morgan. There you go. Okay wow. There's a couple of questions in the chat that maybe we can speak to the obligation that the private sector has. I think that's a little bit of a ribbon in the theme of some of the stuff in the chat.

And let's shift off of manufacturing for a second. Let's think about developers, right? Developers, housing, and whatnot. Jake, from your standpoint, if this isn't your area of expertise, I know Andrew's always quick not to step into something that, he doesn't have data driven, but, with your understanding of the building codes in, in the Capital Region, how much of a obligation, not a moral, but a legal obligation do the developers have to be able to create to reduce the heat island?

And in, or is there, is it the wild west and there's no obligation and it's up to them whether they want to do it. Sure.

Jake Polansky: I think generally speaking developers are going to build whatever is most feasible for them to build given the regulations and given the prospect of financial gain for them and the way our system is currently set up.

Developers can build homes the quickest. The easiest without as much red tape to cross through when they're building these large single family home subdivisions. And that is, it's not like they don't see that's 90% of what's being built and that there's other market demand out there for other types of housing.

They're just going with what the market has incentivized them to do. So I think when you look at how we can maybe adjust that, I think I saw someone earlier mentioned. Parking and parking requirements and parking regulations. I think that's something that I've thought a lot about.

And we've done a little bit of work and research on, but that's about minimum parking requirements that it's basically like when you build a new home or a new apartment building or a new business, there's a certain number of parking spots that you have to provide for a home. It may be like.

I don't know three parking spots for an apartment. It may be two per unit or one per unit. Something like that. But when you're providing spots for parking that is providing less space for trees maybe for other businesses, things like that. But I think as we think about how to incentivize developers to build housing that, that maybe makes us less susceptible to this extreme heat, I think we need to start with those housing regulations with the things that we make developers comply with.

Because they know that a lot of people want to live in a walkable community. They know that a lot of people do not want a four bed, two and a half bath home with a big driveway leading up to it 40 minutes from their job. They know that, but that's all they can really build and make a profit on because they do want to make a profit at the end of the day.

But that's all that they're really incentivized to do right now.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, it's yeah, it's an option. Thinking about the parking stuff, Manny and Morgan, I see you both in the chat talking about more green friendly parking, maybe for National Parking Day, there can be a little bit of a collab between Walls Project and Coast City and anybody else that wants to be involved in maybe doing a demonstration on Some of the green parking solution that could be out there could be an interesting topic.

Just throwing it out there in real time. Manny, you've been blowing up the chat. And Marcella, I would love to also give you space to give voice to what you were which you put into the chat. Manny, you want to come up? You didn't say anything? No, it's I'm enjoying the conversation.

And for those of you who are not familiar, I do teach on both of these topics. So we'll, Moon Energy, Water Nexus, and... Environmental infrastructure for a sustainable city. These are things that are part of all these conversations. And, one of the things I preach to all my students, and some of you have already heard me say this, is just because you can doesn't mean you should, right?

Manny Patole: So there's a lot of things that we put out there that we're like, Oh, we're gonna solve one problem by creating three more. And a lot of the things that we're talking about are a lot about supply management, not demand management, right? Where we're trying to create more energy because we have more.

How are we trying to reduce it on the other side so we can continue producing the same,

But being more efficient about it? And one of the things that as much of an environmentalist as I am, I think one of the things that is not talked about more in these conversations when we talk about energy is like the just energy transition, right?

How it impacts folks to make that transition and build world networks. For me. I love my gas stove. I'm in New York City, and folks there, you're going to have to really fight me to take my gas stove out of my apartment. Electric stoves may or may not be better, but it's the equitable impact that it has on certain communities when you're trying to make some of these changes as well.

So just keep those things in mind. It's great to have all these ideas and their long term thinking, but think about both the demand and the supply, and think about who's impacted more when you're making these changes and how much it costs them.

Casey Phillips: Unfortunately, Thank you, Manny and Kendra. If you feel like bringing your voice to this conversation, I would love to get your perspective from a planning standpoint and the work that build is doing along Point Road. If it touches any of this today, give you a little bit of heads up. And if you don't want to, that's okay, too.

It's just awesome having you here, Marcella. I feel like when you put in the chat is powerful. Would you like to maybe give voice to that? And if any of our speakers would like to speak on it?

Marcella Hernandez: I was not expecting, But sure, I can just say that so basically my comment was about making an awareness of construction workers, agricultural workers that are out there. We are all, in an office with AC, but there's a lot of different people that are out there. really receiving the extreme of the heat.

So what are we doing to promote their safety as well? What are our business owners that work with in construction or agricultural, what are they doing to also protect those employers? And especially knowing that everybody has to be included into this conversation because weather is impacting all of us.

That is one thing. And then the second thing is also to bring a solidarity awareness when we see someone working on our backyard. When we see someone working on the streets. We've got the planning construction projects right now going on. When we see people working out there, let's just It's standing solidarity as well because those are the people that are truly being impacted by this horrible weather.

So this is just, it was just a comment of solidarity and awareness for businesses.

Thank you.

Casey Phillips: Yeah, you bet Marcella. Sorry for putting you on the spot. Always appreciate seeing you. Greetings. Adam and Jake we're starting to hit our wind down time before community announcements. Anything that comes up for either of you, Adam?

Adam Beary: Doesn't flow as much in the conversation, but I did want to mention this because of the high heat and I'm, I have safety attached to our business. And this is important to me because I actually had a close family member pass away from a heat stroke. So I did just want to give anybody on this call some tips.

If you are going to be working in a multiple day environment in this heat. We would recommend using a 20% rule, which means if you're going to be in direct heat that first day, take no more than 20% of the time you're working in direct heat and only increase that by a maximum of 20% per day. What this does is it helps your body tolerance to that heat.

So I know if you're out, I did a couple weeks ago, laid some sod. You're doing some yard work. Part of your job is this work. Really be mindful that we know time, we think, Oh man, time is of the essence to get out of the heat. But we want to do that safely. Drink water every 20 minutes, even if you are not thirsty, our body expels that quicker than we think.

How many times at the end of the day have we thought, man, I am way more dehydrated. I thought I was going to be that's because of that constant hydration with our body. Something as simple as how we dress for the day. If the sun is an impact to your skin, obviously, you might have to wear long clothes or those sort of things, but make sure it is like clothes, be smart about it.

And then lastly, look for signs. If you're working with somebody or working for yourself. Of heat illness. Okay? So you get a headache. It's not just a headache. If you're outside, you're getting nauseous, you're feeling fatigue, right? If it's yourself, stop work, if it's somebody else, tell somebody if you think it's serious enough to call for help while that help is occurring, you want to give that person hydration.

You wanna put them in a cool spot, if that's shame. even if that's ice, if that's something any way to cool their body temperature down. So I know that's more of a public service announcement, but I think it's important and I wanted to bring it up for everybody on the call. Because it's simple.

And it's things that we don't think about, but I think it can really help us out.

Casey Phillips: No, thank you for sharing it. That's awesome. Marcella, you came back up.

Marcella Hernandez: Yes. And I just want to say not only us, but let's just remember children. Let's think about our pets. Let's think about elderly. So for one second that we think that we can leave our kids unattended in the car or elderly or our pets, that is absolutely unacceptable and we should never do it.

An accident can happen at any second. You might be thinking you're going in and out. Anything can happen at that moment. So let's just be mindful of that. And let's just never leave our pets, our Children or elderly unattended in cars. There you go. Thank you, Marcella. Appreciate you, Jake.

Jake Polansky: Great. And I'm gonna just echo what Marcella was saying earlier.

And what I've seen a lot of people saying in the chat, which is just that this issue does not affect everybody equally. And that There should be a lot of attention given to that. I live downtown and it can be very hot downtown, but I also recognize that financially I'm able to live downtown and I understand that there are a lot of other parts of our community where they are struggling with the same type of heat that I struggle with downtown but they do not have access to a nice 70 degree cool department to walk into in the evening.

So as much as I would love to see tree canopy expanded downtown, I understand that efforts sometimes need to be focused on the parts of our community that absolutely need it more than I do, or it's more critical for solving it more quickly for them. So this issue does not affect everybody equally and I just think that's a great reminder.

Casey Phillips: Yeah. Jake, you also strike me as a person, I bet you use crosswalks as well, right? I do.

Jake Polansky: I check both ways. If there's no cars coming, I will cross.

Casey Phillips: I always joke, it's like I'm a rule breaker, but when it comes to it, I use crosswalks. I'm only one person of the billions that are in here.

It's not about me. We have to function and we have to think about everybody at the same time. And it's not just about you, right? Thank you for sharing that tree, how the tree equity link and everybody else for all the great resources that you shared into the chat. Open microphone.

We'll do it old school before we go to community in anybody have anything they would like to pontificate on this subject matter. I'll start put AC in our kids school buses. This is crazy. That's crazy that our kids in our bus drivers are being asked to drive around.

And we're not, and there's not money for it, but there's money to build football stadiums. Put AC in the buses. There's one for me.

Adam Beary: What you got, Adam? This goes to what I talked about earlier of just treating the symptom. I think your solution is obvious, but I did want to mention if anybody wants to be involved, I'm a member of Leadership Rouge, my classmates and I on Fridays.

It's actually a contingent today. I've been going to elementary and middle schools where these buses are in donating water and ice. And so if you want to get involved in that, let me know if you want to help, pass that out. Let me know. Last week we were able to, I think, impact four schools.

As I mentioned it's not the solution. What Casey is saying is definitely the solution. But if you have, some free time on a Friday and you want to help these bus drivers out, there, there's a space for them.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thank you, Adam. Anybody else? Anything you want to get off your proverbial chest, what you got?

We have someone on the phone, you want to hop in?

Pat LeDuff: Yeah, this is Pat LeDuff. Good morning. How is everybody? Oh, look, I am just so happy to know that we have people that realize that we can't really always fix the solution, but sometimes band aids do help. And the water with the ice, I hadn't thought of that.

That should have been my idea. We are on it. We want to do that. And also, with the developers, Building what they can't afford to build where they can still make money, but they are cutting corners. I am hearing parents talking about their children attending brand new schools that are just ragged. They're cutting corners and they're sitting in new schools with no air in the classroom.

And so I don't know how we address that, but I want to put that on the table. That the new construction, they're cutting costs with it.

Casey Phillips: Thank you, Pat. Yes, I love your voice and love your voice here today. Thank you. Anybody else? Yeah,

Helena Williams: I can't raise my hand, but one thing that I always think about is, and a couple of my questions related to that.

So we have a lot of regulations, like when you're building in terms of having enough parking spots. But what are the regulations that need to be in place or were in place and have changed. I know OSHA has some heat regulations about how hot things can be for how long, and I've been in workplaces that I've had to raise that up before when the AC went out and they wanted us to continue working anyway, I said “OSHA says, it's 80 degrees or something for more than two hours.”

I don't know it by heart anymore, but I looked it up because I said, “This isn't right. I'm sweating and getting very hot and uncomfortable.” And then the other side of it too, when we're talking about buses and schools with air conditioning, like why is that not a regulation? We pass all these rules and laws around certain things, but it seems like we never pass it with the people in mind.

Adam Beary: I will speak very shortly to the OSHA compliance item. There is what I mentioned earlier in general duty, there is clauses of saying what an employer is required to do, and they have to prove that they are meeting that requirement. And OSHA has now given out guidance. Some of the guidance I gave you guys on heat advisories is some of the OSHA guidance.

But as far as an official heat mandate standard to my knowledge, there is not one. It's a burden on the employer. Now, what I will say is OSHA takes these matters very seriously. I'm not saying everybody, whatever you need to do on reporting or those sort of things. But that mandate is not treated liberally in action even meaning even though there's something written, if there is a heat impact to employees that shouldn't be that's not treated lightly.

So unfortunately there is no broad industry requirement. There are some best practices and recognize standards that. private entities have put out that OSHA may enforce. And if necessary, I can try to take a look this week and see Casey some information on that for the group.

Casey Phillips: Awesome. Thank you. Thank you, Jake. Thank you, Adam. Thanks to our friends from BRCC for the announcement. As a reminder, if you scroll all the way up in the chat, you can click on that flyer and register for the Leadership Summit. If you would like to, I would encourage everybody to get on Jake's mailing list through BRAC.

He puts out, I don't know if it's weekly, but it feels like it's at least monthly Jake, that you put out opinions?

Jake Polansky: Yeah, we try to do every two to three weeks but it's we've been a little busy so it's been more like monthly but I'm gonna put the link in the chat right now.

Casey Phillips: Awesome.

And if you are interested also in blight remediation in creative solutions, talk to Adam. He has a couple of like pretty radical, good ideas. And if you would like to engage with him and I'll just shamelessly plug this young entrepreneur who's actually trying to do good in the world. If you need someone for safety practices, it's in the name bear process safety.

And and I said, and and, and Adam isn't going to talk about it, but. One of the things that's interesting is Adam is a five year entrepreneur in the engineering sector is he has purposely been stacking his company with women engineers and I said in doing divert diverse hiring and it's a it's something that he speaks on privately if you ask him about it But as if you're looking for what the new generation of entrepreneurs in the city look like in creating equity and economics Adam’s one of those humans and he comes in with a humble humble head into all routes and listens deeply and is a great community partner.

And Jake, it's been really good to get to know you and work with you in this work, so I appreciate both of y'all's time. Thank you all for your comments in the chat, and we'll open it up to community announcements or just more pontifications. I have a few from the... The COVID quarantine room that I'm in, so I'll be more than happy to to stick around and talk to y'all a little bit more, but if anybody has community announcements, please raise your hand and come off mute.

Manny Patole: So yeah, so I'll do something real quick because I do have an interview in a couple of minutes. Bakery is hiring please let me know if you have any folks in your networks that are looking for work. We're looking at lead installers right now, like field techs that You would see that go around like Cox or Verizon but there's multiple opportunities that we have available and also Adam, I'm sure Casey can share our emails put us in contact as well cause we have a lot of things going on as you all know I'd love to get some local people hired and working with us.

We, we have a start aggressive start date of September 13th, so we'll see how fast our interview process goes. Yeah. You got to start somewhere and you got to push for it. Yeah Helena's been great about forwarding folks to us. I know some of you else, some others have been as well.

We did a lot of interviews this week. So I just want to say thank you to the community for making some of this stuff happen. Awesome. Let the magic happen, Emmy. Good luck on those interviews.

Rev. Alexis Anderson: Good morning.I wanted to say two things.

One is a big ol thank you to Manny for helping us with the I Need Housing Community Town Hall, and for Dr. Bell and all the folks who were wonderful on that. And also a huge thank you to everybody that came out for the the How Are the Children? doing a community town hall on youth justice.

As you can imagine, this week has been a somewhat challenging week with yet another horrible ongoing story about terrorism and corruption. But I did want to remind people and I put it in the chat over and over again. Voting matters. We have an election coming up and voting matters.

If we don't like kids burning up in buses, we got to vote for different people on school boards. These are policies that are implemented by people we elect either by voting or by not voting. And so I just wanted to make that announcement. I know there's a lot of candidate forms that are going on that people sometimes feel inundated and overwhelmed.

But I like to put it this way. There's no part of our lives that is not impacted by the people we choose. And I want to just quickly tie it back to our discussion today. Davante Lewis matters. That's an election decision. You don't get a Davante Lewis unless people vote. And every part of our lives, the number of people that we talk about with the nine drivers of poverty who cannot afford to pay the energy bills who cannot take their kids out of those schools.

Elections matter. And I just wanted to re emphasize that. And I wanted to say it in this space because everybody on this call has influence to ask the people in their networks. to check their registration, get registered. If they think they can't vote, check with groups like voice of the experience to see what they need to do.

But voting matters. And thank you so much. You bet. And I don't know what's up with the trend. These scaredy cat politicians not wanting to show up for a debate. Yup, I said it. I said, you're running for public office. Show up, man. What's going on? I said, how can you know who to vote for if you won't even show up and say what you have to say?

Come on. Any other community announcements? This is Pat again. I have enough for you, Mike. I agree with you.

Pat LeDuff: This is Pat again. I have an announcement from the community for North Baton Rouge. Umatra Conception is working with Sister Judith to bring about a safe care program for pregnant moms to age two, getting them ready for pre K.

And Catholic Charity is looking for social workers. They are unable to locate social workers that they pay to work with this program for North Baton Rouge. If you know any social workers, send them directly to Catholic Charities, they are ready to hire us yesterday. Thank you. Awesome, Pat.

And if you, nobody, if you're not familiar with Sister Judith's work in Scotlandville, I highly recommend that you reach out to her. She's a force of nature. Yeah, wonderful human being. Any other announcements?

Helena Williams: Yeah I can't raise my hand because I am the host, but it's Helena again, and I just want to make sure in the chat earlier when we were talking all about this climate change associated topic JOLTcon is directly looking at this with the teen lens.

So if you know any teens or teen clubs that are interested in coming up with creative solutions towards these like carbon capture or microplastics, things like that. September 23rd is our first event. And then October 21st is the second event, which is a competition with a $500 cash prize for the best and most creative solution.

And and also if you are interested in creating solutions with the Environmental Design, Safe, Hopeful, Healthy. I am in a group, a working group around environmental design, so tree space, lighting, things like that. Just contact me or anybody from the Safe, Hopeful, Healthy and you can come participate in our working group.

Casey Phillips: Right on. Thanks, Helena. And also I see Dean Andrews. But that they're the HBCU Small Business Expo in collaboration will be held on Friday, September 8th, also at the College of Business which they are kind enough at Southern University to loose joke on. So that is there. And there's also, it looks like a tailgate on Saturday, September 9th.

So that's always pretty darn festive. Thank you, Dean, for adding that in there. Yeah, it's gonna be a great, gonna be a great program. So invite everybody to come out. Yeah. Hey, are you inviting me to your suite at, at the stadium for the game too? Is that what's shaking? I'll have to check with the chancellor to work on that, okay?

Oh, I know you got the juice, Dean. I know you got the juice. Hey everybody, what's Dean Andrews and I share like a fun experience together of trying to conduct. Youth program. On a college campus during a football game. And that is absolutely that is a miracle right there to make it happen.

You are a magic maker. Anybody else? Any other? Any other announcements?

Pat LeDuff: This is this announcement day. I forgot to tell you guys to look for Posh Pop in the Tiger Stadium. They called and invited the girls to set up in concession. So if you will be attending the LSU game please look and visit their concession stand for three flavors of posh pop.

Casey Phillips: Yes. Our favorite entrepreneurs in the city. Posh Pop. Thank you so much, Pat. Appreciate you. All right, good people. I am officially out of energy. That's it. I gave y'all everything that I got. It is it is time to rest and get over the second bout of COVID. Look, folks, it is real. It is surging. I don't know if we're going to carve out time next week to talk about it, but it feels if you're paying attention to the data in the capital region and across the southeast right now, it might be time to be rethinking what our September and October and November events are going to look like.

If anybody would like to collaborate and share best practices on your on your your plans for that, I think that everybody would maybe benefit from that. Yeah, I just couldn't, I couldn't make it. I couldn't make it to the next booster. So I said, stay safe out there. And I said, and hopefully everybody's in good health this weekend and we'll see you next Friday.

See you good friends.


Community Announcements

13 views0 comments


bottom of page