Around 1,000 doctors, nurses, other health professionals and researchers from 49 states, from District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have urged for bolder action on climate in a letter sent to President Obama, earlier this week. They wrote, “The risks climate change poses to public health have been well-documented.”
Americans nowadays are experiencing the negative health consequences of climate change. From high temperatures and increased in smog which triggers asthma attacks, to rise in sea levels which threaten coastal communities, to increasingly intense rainfall and snowstorms which cause flooding and multi-million damages to life and property.
These changes were documented through the perspective of five different generations of Americans, according to a recent report, “Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing to America’s Young.”
For instance, in every state, today’s young adults experienced warmer average temperatures compared to yuppies in the Baby Boom generation, with temperatures pegged at 1.6 degrees higher across the United States. Highly extreme storms and floods are also more common as Millennials entered adulthood. The largest rain and snowstorms have produced 10 percent more precipitation in 2011 compared in 1948.
The Obama administration have been at the podium all week to illustrate how hotter and more extreme weather conditions like this affect public health, warning that worse climate changes may be in store. But as the president has also stressed, much needs to be done in preventing more devastating consequences in the future.
In the U.S. alone, a 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature could arise by century’s end, without tough action to curb pollution, Scientists predict. That means unthinkable disturbances to society, rendering some parts of the country uninhabitable.
To avert this weather crisis, the United States, in cooperation with the rest of the world, needs to make deep cuts in carbon pollution and make a drastic switch to 100 percent clean renewable energy.
When it comes to global warming, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. As National Public Health Week draws to a close, let’s keep the focus on how we can prevent the climate crisis and the catastrophic health consequences that could come with it.