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A new report reveals that climate change is the worst public health crisis – Mother Jones



Pollution from recent forest fires forced the San Francisco people to wear face masks out. Eric Risberg / AP

The Lancet Countdown report, released on Wednesday, points out that climate change is "the greatest global health threat of the 21st century," and warns that if this is not tackled, illness, poor air quality and food insecurity will endanger millions of people.

A report by a team of international researchers focuses on a number of climate-related effects, including extreme heat and its impact on productivity and disease prevalence. In the year 2017, due to heat, 153 billion hours of work have been lost since 2000, which has risen by over 62 billion since 2000. This is due to increased heat waves and extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes and forest fires, which are already thousands of climate refugees and are expected to generate more millions.

Many of these refugees, according to one author, are Americans. In a press release Tuesday, Renee Salas, Massachusetts General Hospital Medical Doctor and Lancet Countdown US Brief, described the recent experience of being close to home. "I was a patient who came from Puerto Rico, came with a bag of luggage, a medicine bag that she did not take on days. She was indeed a refugee of the climate that was in my emergency department," said Salas. "I can not imagine that the population has a more compromised health impact than a displaced person."

The report states that even slight changes in temperature and precipitation can lead to major changes in the transmission of portable and water-borne diseases. In 2016, the capacity of insect-borne bacteria and viruses, in particular those causing stroke fever, cholera and malaria, increased significantly. (This conclusion was reiterated last week by the federal climate assessment, which found that climate change in the United States would "change the geographic distribution and spread of vector-borne insects and pests").

At the same time, it seems that the world's ability to grow food is also at stake. An examination of agricultural output shows a decrease in each region; In recent years, 30 countries produced less food.

The Lancet Countdown report is also a reason for hope. In 2017 there were more electric vehicles on the road than ever before, and investments in the renewable energy sector have increased significantly, while coal consumption continues to decline. China is responsible for many of these changes. It claims that more than 40 percent of all sold electric cars are the leading provider of renewable energy sources.

However, the cost of adapting to climate change is still significantly lower than the figure set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement, and President Donald Trump has stated that the United States will not comply. And only 3.8 percent of these expenditures are for human health. Former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, currently director of the Climate, Health and Environmental Center at Harvard University, stresses the importance of recognizing the health impacts of climate change. She describes her visit to California in the midst of a recent fire that spreads smoke throughout the country. "It was so obvious to see people with masks, literally walking to the streets of San Francisco and Palo Alto," says McCarthy. "It does not look like the United States."

According to the report, it was reported that fine particles – the way Masc McCarthy saw California California clothing was designed for the filter in 2015 – has reached nearly 3 million premature deaths. Pollution has actually worsened almost three quarters of the world's cities since 2010. The use of road fuels increased by 2 percent between 2013 and 2015, and bicycles, the main driving alternative in cities, accounted for less than 10 percent of the daily ride distance.

The report, aimed at healthcare professionals, says they need to do more to educate the public on climate change. Incorrect results, written by author's articles, can not be overestimated. As McCarthy notes, "I do not think people question their doctors' diagnosis simply because the president decides that he may not believe in something. It's not about a system of faith. It's about science and facts."


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