Slowing Climate Change Needs to Be the Number One Global Health Priority

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Climate Change Threatens Health, Direct and Indirect Correlations | Posted on 24-06-2015

There have been massive strides in public health around the globe over the past few decades. Staff at the Amen Clinic can attest the incidence of infectious disease around the world has gone down sharply over this time thanks to international intervention in the form of vaccine programs and other public health measures. Malaria has been reduced to a shadow of the killer it used to be, and most parts of the world have been declared polio-free for a just a couple examples of the global reduction of death by disease. A new report has come out stating that climate change is now the single greatest threat to public health.

Climate change threatens health by direct and indirect means. Heatwaves and droughts can directly produce casualties and famine would be an example of an indirect result of this global problem. Extreme heat and famine would also weaken people and make them more susceptible to disease. At this stage in world health, reductions in carbon emissions are currently seen as the best preventive measure that can be taken from a health standpoint. Many suggested actions that help the climate will also directly improve our health. Walking or biking more instead of driving will help us and the environment, and the same is true about eating less meat. We can only hope that fossil fuels are phased out quickly enough over the next couple decades to prevent more serious damage to the climate than we can easily rebound from.