Climate Change Health Effects Many Are Aware Of The Dangers Of Climate Change, But Do They Know The End Results Of Our Health From It?

Glossary

Climate- general weather in a particular region for a long period of time

Weather- atmospheric conditions, including the temperature, wind, snow, rain, or anything else happening outside

Dengue Fever- an infectious disease of the tropics transmitted by mosquitoes and characterized by rash and aching head and joints

Zika- a virus transmitted by mosquitoes which typically causes asymptomatic or mild infection (fever and rash) in humans

Malaria- an infective disease caused by sporozoan parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito

Epidemiologist- a medical scientist who studies the transmission and control of epidemic diseases

EPA- United States Environmental Protection Agency, federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment

Does climate change affect the pattern for diseases?

As if infectious diseases weren’t already a hassle to deal with already, the pattern for infectious diseases has been “off” in recent times. It is not too farfetched to think that climate change has a correlation to the irregular spread of diseases. In fact, there has been reports of disease frequency acting strangely in recent times. Anthony J McMichael, an Australian epidemiologist, reports that studies have been documented by many investigators that the frequency of malaria has been increased in eastern Africa over the past decade and is believed to be associated by local warming. The climate of a region is not the only factor for the irregular patterns of infectious diseases; weather can also play just as big of a big role. Anthony Erico Guimaraes, researcher at Oswaldo Cruz Institute, which is reported to be Brazil’s number one department for the study of tropical diseases, states that “the rise of global temperature indirectly influences the spread of dengue [fever] by modifying rainfall frequency.” The idea of the strong connection between climate change and the spread of infectious diseases spread by mosquitos seems to be a statement that shows no wrong,but it is still a lingering question if it affects some of the biggest and most infamous diseases out there, like Zika and Cancer

Does climate change affect the spread of Cancer and the Zika virus?

Not only can climate change affect the pattern and spread of normal diseases like the aforementioned dengue fever, but also some of the biggest and most infamous diseases out there, such as the Zika virus. Dr. Richard Allen Williams and Dr. Elena Rios both stated that a study was conducted in 2014 by the National Medical Association and it reported that a lot of African American physicians found out that their patients were affected by longer and stronger allergies and diseases such as the Zika virus. Even cancer is not invulnerable to climate change. As notorious as cancer is to us, it is not an exception to what can be altered from this issue. As the Department of Health themselves state, “The Department of Health today published a comprehensive report into the possible health effects of climate change in the UK… Cases of skin cancer are likely to increase by up to 5,000 cases per year and cataracts by 2000 cases per year.” Now knowing that climate change is a serious threat to us, the damages it has caused to us and our health must be no joke.

What are some major health impacts that occur from extreme climate changes?

There appears to be no limit as to what climate change can do to our own physical health. The amount of deaths from recorded from just extreme climate conditions is nothing but a concern to the eye. In a study made by the World Health Organization in 2002, they reported that the annual number of deaths that occur just from climate change will be 150,000 casualties from just the heat, as stated by Simon Lewis, a reader in global change in the University of London and Leeds. With the great number of deaths that has been recorded from climate change, many great experts, such as doctors, throughout the U.S. are now positive that this is no excusable theory by the government. Cindy Parker, an assistant professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, states “While climate change is a politicized issue, it is ‘easier for a policy maker to pay attention to climate change when it is positioned as a health issue.’” Having complete awareness of this situation and how impactful it really is, it’s a no brainer that people are in great need of protection from this.

What is being done to protect populations from climate impacts?

Seeing how it is the government’s priority to ensure the protection the people of the US, it is obvious that they are taking action of this issue. Some procedures to lead to guaranteed protection is by securing a specific region and use it to provide help to its surrounding neighborhood. In late 2015, the Cleveland Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Plan, aka the Cleveland Project, was launched and it uses the deserted space in Cleveland to increase climate resistance to the neighborhoods in the city by using the empty space for rain and food gardens, wetland restoration and for community gatherings, as stated by Lynn Freehill-Maye, a freelance writer in New York. While there are programs happening to provide guidance to the citizens in its region, agencies from the federal government of the US are setting limits to emissions of CO2 to mitigate the effects of climate change on humans. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “[T]he EPA has finalized new rules, or standards, that will reduce carbon emissions from power plants...these historic standards represent the most significant opportunity in years to help curb the growing consequences of climate change.” The people themselves can only get so much help from the city and the government when it comes to their protection, so others may go take action for themselves.

Why might people be against countering climate change?

Even though the effects of what climate change to us and our health is clear as day, there are people who see no point of going against it for debatable reasons. A counter claim for fighting climate change is that in the long run, going against it will hurt the poorer community. Jeff Sessions, the head of the Department of Justice, stated that the US sends billions of dollars to places around the world to fund energy projects in poor nations and that it’s ridiculous to be sending tons of money to projects in those poor countries on something that may or may not be true instead of using the money of helping the poor residents by buying food for them. Not only is it believed that fighting against climate change will hurt the poor community, but that climate change itself improved human welfare. Matt Ridley, a British journalist and businessman, states that, “Prof [Richard] Tol, [professor of economics at Sussex University], finds that climate change in the past century improved human welfare… He calculates by 1.4 per cent of global economic output, rising to 1.5 per cent by 2025.”

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Created with images by CDC Global Health - "Aedes albopictus" • FotoEmotions - "heat fire hand" • James Cridland - "Crowd" • Tax Credits - "Money Hand"

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