First, climate change was blamed for coastal flooding and wildfires. The links seemed intuitive and the effects observable. But more recently, studies have probed its connection to farther afield things, like lower SAT scores and upticks in suicide rates. Now, a new report says warmer temperatures associated with the phenomenon could also be behind seasonal increases in fatal car crashes – and maybe even violent crime.
The reason for the impending social breakdown: Hotter weather makes people more sluggish, so police officers will be less willing to get out of their cars and make traffic stops as temperatures soar.
Building on this general – if oversimply stated – premise, a trio of professors from Harvard and MIT say in a paper released Monday that more frequent heat waves brought by climate change have a direct impact on law enforcement.