HOW CLIMATE CHANGE INFLUENCES HUMAN HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
IS CLIMATE CHANGE REAL?
A new scientific review released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), confirmed – again – that Climate Change not only endangers human lives, but also health and well-being on the long term. Exhaustive and breathtaking, reviewing 275 scientific studies published in the past nine years, the report shows that greenhouse gases – especially CO2 – pose great threats to all of Earth’s inhabitants.
The review is grouped into categories: Public Health, National Security, Economic Well-being, Infrastructure, Violence, Air Quality, Wildlife, Sea Level Rise, Water Resources, Ocean Acidification, Forests and Agriculture.
THE FIGHT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE ASSESMENT
“There’s absolutely no scientific basis for questioning the Endangerment Finding,” said Phillip Duffy, the review’s lead researcher. As the President and executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, he gave the details regarding the Endangerment Finding made by EPA, to Live Science.
The original Endangerment Finding, issued in December 2009 by EPA, stated that greenhouse gases really endanger human health. It started in 2007, with Massachusetts and several other states, bringing the EPA to Court and asking it to regulate greenhouse gases. While trial resulted with the Supreme Court’s verdict that EPA cannot refuse to regulate greenhouse gases, under the Clean Air Act. Then, the Agency began the scientific assessment and the making of the Endangerment Finding.
Duffy said that the report “highlights this contrast between the science and the policies. Scientific evidence is going in one direction, and the policies are going in exactly the opposite direction.”
HUMAN LIFE ON EARTH IS AT STAKE
According to the extensive review, people have an increased risk of death, due to Global Warming. Violence and suicide are some of the effects, while extreme heat can cause sleep loss and kidney stones. Disease outbreaks and the inappropriate delivery of health care are even worse. Allergic people will be affected by the increased length of the pollen season, due to the increase of CO2 levels and temperatures.
Also, extreme heat is likely to cause low birth weight. Crops will produce fewer nutrients, while smoke and forest fires will severely damage human health. More over population displacement and armed conflict amplifies risks to human well-being.
Violence and instability can occur due to increased rainfall, causing phenomena like assault and various crimes. Aside of that, self-harm is likely to become preponderant.
CLIMATE CHANGE CAN CRUMBLE WORLD ECONOMY
The rise of sea levels is another matter, increasing risk to coastal communities and infrastructure. Economy is threatened by flooding and erosion. Commerce between major port cities are to be affected, too. With an increase of 1 degree Celsius over 75 years, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is expected to be reduced by 3 percent. The military will likely be disrupted, facing tremendous challenges. And less developed countries may suffer an economic downfall, due to Climate Change.
The West and Southwest of the U.S. are likely to get more droughts, because of reduced snowpack in the mountains. Water quality is expected to be diminished, due to nutrient loading and the endangered species – such as the salmon – can face extinction.
“The Endangerment Finding in 2009 was very well-reasoned, and it’s only gotten stronger since that time. It’s basically a tsunami of evidence in support of the fact.”, stated Jason Smerdon – climate scientist at Columbia University, NYC.