Nearly Half A Million US Doctors Could Not Be Wrong: Climate Change Harms Health
Nearly half a million of the nation's doctors have warned that climate change is behind the increase of deadly diseases putting at risks the health of most Americans.
Climate change, according to the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, is the driver behind the spread of diseases.
In a report released on March 15, the new group, which is comprised of more than 400,000 doctors, pointed out that extreme weather and rising temperatures have adverse impacts on the health of Americans.
"Doctors in every part of our country see that climate change is making Americans sicker," consortium director Mona Sarfaty, who is also a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, said.
Three Ways The Climate Change Causes Harm
The consortium said there are three ways that the climate change harms public health.
1. Weather conditions such as violent storms, flooding, and extreme heat have caused injuries and deaths. It brings asthma, heatstroke, and longer seasons of allergy.
2. The increase of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika. It also helps spread the disease caused by infected insects such as Lyme disease.
3. Some cases of depression and anxiety are traced to climate change.
Being on the frontlines, the doctors see the impacts of climate change on public health, Sarfaty said.
Sarfaty added that the most vulnerable are the children, the elderly, people with recurring illnesses, and colored people.
The effects of climate change in human health are not new at all.
"Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways," the 2014 National Climate Assessment warned.
The assessment had identified the impacts of extreme weather conditions such as wildfire, air pollution, illnesses caused by food and water, and mosquito-borne diseases.
The Obama administration echoed the warning of rising temperatures to cause more death due to heat. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had launched a program on climate and health.
There is a growing concern, however, that the Trump White House is not keen on programs that will address climate change. This concern was heightened after the CDC canceled the conference on climate change and health.
"The reality of human-caused climate change is no longer a matter of debate," the consortium in their report said.
The new group aims to inform the public and policymakers on the "harmful health effects of climate change on Americans, as well as about the immediate and long-term health benefits associated with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions."
The message from nearly half a million American doctors is clear.
"It's not only happening in the Arctic Circle, it's happening here. It's not only a problem for us in 2100, it's a problem now. And it's not only hurting polar bears, it's hurting us," Sarfaty said.