In a statement posted on Monday, the White House released a frightening new report cataloging the health risks posed by climate change. The report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, analyzes new information to better understand the effect global warming has on our physical wellbeing.
About 100 climate change and public health experts and agencies pitched in over the course of three years to develop the report, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others.
In the press release, the Obama Administration states,
As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges, and impacting more people in more places. From children to the elderly, every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, now and in the future.
As part of Public Health Week, Climate Nexus, a communications organization dedicated to promoting clean energy, posted an infographic organizing the key points of the White House report.
Some of the most startling finds in the report include the projected increase of water-borne illnesses due to the increase of global temperatures combined with intensifying tropical storms.
Allergy and asthma sufferers can also count on worsening conditions as air pollution levels continue to escalate. Ozone-related health impacts, along with extreme heat, are likely to cause thousands of premature deaths, with one model projecting an additional 11,000 deaths to occur in the summer of 2030.
Unsurprisingly, the most vulnerable populations are likely to receive the brunt of the negative effects. Communities of color, low-income populations, immigrants, pregnant women, children and the elderly all face an increased risk of negative health effects.
If we care at all about our own health, then this report should be a serious call to action for all of us to take better care of the planet, and in turn, ourselves.
Not sure where to start when it comes to saving the planet? Take a few pointers from this young activist.