Essay by Eric Worrall
Because tropical hairless apes like we humans are so maladapted to warm weather our hearts can’t cope. /sarc
Infertility, heart failure and kidney disease: How does climate change impact the human body?
By Lauren Crosby Medlicott • Updated: 18/06/2022 – 09:43
Here are just 10 ways we’re already seeing climate change impacting the human body – some you may expect, while some are more discreet.
10. Heat stress on the heart
Record-breaking temperatures are going to become more frequent as the global temperature either reaches or exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming over the next 20 years. More and more, we are hearing of deadly heatwaves and wildfires sweeping across hot, dry expanses of land. Extreme temperatures have been found to kill 5 million people each year.
Those who manage to live will be forced to deal with the consequences of excessively high temperatures in their everyday lives.
When temperatures are higher, so is cardiac demand. The heart must pump harder and faster to redistribute and increase blood flow to the skin to cool the body. People with heart diseases, whose hearts are weakened, are particularly at risk of heart failure and heat stroke in hot weather as their organs struggle to function properly with the added stress.
9. Sleep disruption
A 2022 study led by Kelton Minor, of the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Social Data Science, finds that rising temperatures driven by climate change are significantly decreasing the amount of sleep people all around the world are having.
8. Respiratory Issues
Ozone is a gas naturally found in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, providing a shield from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Ground level ozone, which is dangerous for our health, is produced when pollutants emitted by manmade sources like cars or chemical plants react in the presence of sunlight.
7. Kidney damage
Dehydration from heat exposure can damage the kidneys, which depend on water to help remove waste from our blood in the form of urine.
6. Aggravated allergies
With rising CO2 levels, which have increased by 9 per cent since 2005 and by 31 per cent since 1950, the amount of pollen increases as a consequence of higher rates of photosynthesis.
5. Damage to heart circulation
When air pollutants travel into your bloodstream through your lungs and into your heart, the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases increases as blood vessels narrow and harden.
One of the lesser known effects of air pollution is being studied by Dr Gareth Nye, Lecturer of anatomy and physiology at the University of Chester, UK, who researches air pollution’s impact on fertility.
“A paper looking at 18,000 couples in China found that those living with moderately higher levels of small-particle pollution had a 20 per cent greater risk of infertility,” Nye tells Euronews Green.
As temperatures increase, so do food shortages. This is seen most clearly in communities whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and fishing, such as in the Global South.
2. Mental health
Physical health isn’t the only way we’re impacted by climate change though. Following global disasters like wildfires, floods, or hurricanes, mental health problems are only getting worse.
1. Microplastics found in our bodies
It isn’t just climate change that harms our health, it’s the disregard for the wellness of our planet, seen clearly in our overuse of (and reliance on) plastics.
…Read more: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/06/18/infertility-heart-failure-and-kidney-disease-how-does-climate-change-impact-the-human-body
What I find most entertaining about this absurd list, is the author couldn’t put 10 points together of problems caused by climate change. Point 8 (pollution), point 7 (not drinking enough water), 5 (pollution), 4 (pollution), and 1 (microplastics / pollution) have nothing to do with climate change.
Point 6 (pollen allergies), contradicts point 3 (malnutrition). You can’t have it both ways. Either plants are killed off by climate change, leading to malnutrition but less pollen, or plants grow more vigorously, causing more allergies but less malnutrition. OK, they tried to have it both ways – but the claim that climate driven greater food abundance was causing malnutrition was too silly even for a climate claim.
Point 2, there is no evidence more people are being harmed by global disasters. Global death rate from natural disasters has plummeted over the last century.
Points 10 & 9 – the body does work harder in a heatwave, that much is true. But cold is a far deadlier killer than heat, even in warm countries like India. Humans are hairless tropical apes, we evolved in the hottest climate zones on the planet. Outside the extreme tropics where we evolved, even in warm countries like India, we need clothes to stay warm.
One day historians will look back on our age, and marvel that so many people convinced themselves they were living in a time of disaster and catastrophe, when by every reasonable metric our world is healthier and wealthier than any previous age in human history.