Is Climate Change a Health Issue?
by EzBillard on September 7, 2017 - 1:34pm
The article “Reframing Climate Change as a Health Issue”, written by Gary Humphreys, discusses how human activity, climate change and human health are all related. It begins by stating that WHO (World Health Organization) and the UN are researching how the decline in physical activity, climate change, and health are all connected. A couple of their major findings being that one in eight global deaths can be linked to air pollution, and how the change of climate alters the distribution of insects that spread deadly diseases, solidifying the link between the environment and health. He then goes on to argue that the connection goes both ways as human activity is responsible for the changes to the environment that causes poor air quality. Humphreys also explains that in cities, with every increase in the heat by one degree, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases increase dramatically, the largest being a jump from 12.5% to 31.9%.
Because climate change is closely linked with the greenhouse gas emissions, WHO and the UN encourage strategies that will reduce these emissions, such as greater use of public transit by supporting those who need it, cycling, car usage bans etc. They also suggest a lower consumption of red meat to reduce the amount of gases produced by fertilizers and manure by shrinking the sizes of herds. To tackle the temperature increases in cities, Humphreys recommends gardens on building rooftops which will not only absorb CO2 and will also help absorb excess sun exposure. By using some of these recommendations, the expected result is a decline in many health problems and a more healthy environment.