An article in Forbes summarises findings from recent reports on the impacts of climate change on our health. A new report from The Lancet Countdown, an interdisciplinary collaboration of 120 experts and 35 institutions, links our well-being with that of our planet.
The other report is from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies that shows that the spread of infections diseases is “inextricably bound up to climate and ecological dynamics.”
The article says that extreme natural events that have happened recently, such as the forest fires that ravaged California – considered the worst so far, and also in Australia and Siberia. These events not only reminds us of the changing climate, but they also pose serious threats to life and our health.
In 2018, heatwaves claimed almost 300 thousand lives and are linked to civil unrest, political instability, and even suicide, the article says.
Another consequence of climate change is it could jeopardize humanity’s “hard-won” progress in extending its lifespan. The Red Cross report says that climate change is closely connected to the spread of infectious diseases. Climate change causes unstable environmental conditions and weather variations, which could help facilitate the proliferation of diseases and allow new ones to thrive. Our recent experience with the COVID-19 will contextualise how we will deal with future incidents of pandemics and infectious diseases.
However, a European study estimated that half of the world’s population is still unaware of the link between climate change and disease – this is a critical gap that health professional and scientists need to fill.
Thankfully, the media coverage on the interaction between health and climate change has increased significantly between 2018 to 2019, which has helped fill the information gap.
The reports are also a call to action for policymakers and health professionals around the world to recognize and prevent further damages to our environment if we want to preserve our culture, progress made, and way of life, the article says.
To view the reports, click the links below: