Evidence of the health risks of climate change is stronger than ever, according to US federal researchers. In a new report, the US Global Climate Change Research Program shows the strong correlations between global warming and the prevalence of health problems in the country, like asthma, allergies and the West Nile virus. While this isn’t the first time that scientists have drawn such conclusions, this latest public health warning offers “the strongest evidence to date that links climate change to health risks,” according to the US surgeon general. With Americans already reaping benefits to their health and the economy by shifting to renewables, this new study acts as yet another stark reminder for US leaders requiring further affirmation that a 100 per cent renewable future is inevitable, and needs to be accelerated.
— Climate Nexus (@ClimateNexus) April 5, 2016
- Fossil fuels put people’s health and safety at risk. In the US alone, extreme temperatures could be linked to “hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, hospital admissions, and cases of acute respiratory illnesses” over the next 15 years, while emissions from faulty pipelines can also exacerbate symptoms like nausea as seen in California during the methane leak crisis and possibly again with the recent TransCanada crude pipeline leak in South Dakota. As climate change worsens, health impacts will remain rampant and the most vulnerable communities will be the first to suffer.
- Embracing renewables is beneficial to people’s health and the economy. In 2015, AWEA reported that US wind farms contributed to a reduction of 132 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in the electric power sector, slashing respiratory issues and saving billions of dollars in healthcare costs. By adopting smart and steady energy policies, communities that are ahead of the curve are healthier, safer and more prosperous than ever.
- A renewables-only future is the only way to keep people safe from a warming planet. Around the world, hospitals have divested from fossil fuels, while an alliance of 13 million doctors, nurses and health workers issued a strong declaration urging leaders to put health at the forefront of climate action. Health professionals have and will continue to stand behind strong legislation that protects people from the impacts linked to rising temperatures and polluting fossil fuels.
- Fever: Federal report says global warming making US sick (AP)
- Global Warming Linked to Public Health Risks, White House Says (New York Times)
Climate change threat to public health worse than polio, White House warns (Guardian)
Deaths, Floods and Pestilence Cited in White House Climate Study (Bloomberg)
Tools & Resources
- Report: The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment (USGCRP)
- Statement: Health and Climate in 2015 and Beyond (Global Climate and Health Alliance)
- PR: Hospitals Worldwide Join Together in the Fight Against Climate Change (Global Green and Healthy Hospitals)
- Blog: The unexpected ways climate change harms your health (Grist)
- Blog: AWEA: Wind Energy Reduces Health Costs By $7.3 Billion In 2015 (NAW)
- “This report adds considerably to the impetus on the Clean Power Plan and the agreement reached in Paris.” – John P. Holdren, President Obama‘s top scientific adviser
- “This isn’t just about glaciers and polar bears, it’s about the health of our families and kids.” – Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator
- “By the end of the century we are looking at increase of tens of thousands of illnesses and death episodes because of climate change.” – Vivek Murthy, US surgeon general
Related Tree Alerts
- Health benefits surge as US clean tech soars
- UK doctors: Climate change ‘gravest threat’ to human health
- Californians seek “new normal” and accountability following methane crisis
- World’s health hinges on fossil free future, medics tell COP21
- Climate action a major health opportunity, inaction may negate 50 years of gains
- RT @WhiteHouse It’s time to #ActOnClimate. Here’s what climate change means for your health & family: http://go.wh.gov/pkfBzB
- RT @ClimateGroup Climate change a growing threat to human health: new @USGCRP report http://ow.ly/10iHP4