Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Al Jazeera reporting on a Lancet claim that climate change exposes children to a lifetime of harm.
Climate change exposes children to lifelong health harm: Doctors
Climate change is already harming people’s health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution, according to an annual study published on Thursday in The Lancet medical journal.
The study warned that if nothing is done to mitigate climate change, its impacts could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives.
“Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants,” said Nick Watts, who co-led The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study.
He warned that health damage in early childhood is “persistent and pervasive”, and carries lifelong consequences.
“Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation,” he told a London briefing.
…Read more: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/climate-change-exposes-children-lifelong-health-harm-doctors-191114065305748.html
The Lancet report is available here.
My question, if a few degrees warming is so harmful to human health, why don’t people living in warmer climates already suffer these harms?
Diseases, parasites and pests surely can’t tell the difference between warmer temperatures caused by global warming, and warmer temperatures caused by living closer to the equator.
Water and food security is a matter of investing in infrastructure. If all else fails, water security can be achieved with large scale desalination plants, like desalination systems used in the Middle East. All desalination requires is cheap energy and a society wealthy enough to build and maintain the required infrastructure.
I live on the edge of the tropics in a much warmer climate than anywhere in the USA. Yes my chances of encountering one of Australia’s nasty insect pests is slightly elevated by living in a warm climate. But there is this remarkable product called insect repellent which massively reduces this risk to my health.
The only thing holding back the life expectancy of people in poor countries is poverty, lack of resources to fix the problems which impact their life expectancy. Cheap fossil fuel energy infrastructure fixes poverty, as China and many other countries have demonstrated.
Doctors should be ashamed of themselves for putting their names to such wild claims.