Linking Climate Change to Public Health

 There have been several debates on how climate change has been impacting public health issues. There are some people that believe that mankind’s activities are changing the planet’s climate and there are people who don’t believe so.

This was one of the subjects discussed at a meeting this past Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine where President Barack Obama joined U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as part of National Public Health Week.

When asked about his views on the link between climate change and public health, Thomas Hsiao, President of SuperGreen Solutions Charlotte Region, said, “I am very happy to see this correlation getting the spotlight it deserves. For many of our customers, the ability to save on energy costs is incentive enough to go green and reduced their carbon footprint and energy use; bringing the health risks of climate change to the forefront may bring more people to the growing green movement.”

Why should we be concerned?

According to the EPA, the Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the past century and it is projected to increase by an additional 2 degrees over the next one.

Also, The World Health Organization estimates climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050. "Most will likely perish from malaria, diarrhea, heat exposure and under-nutrition." The article says.

We should take action.

"I think we've always known -- or at least in the 20th century we've understood -- that environment has an impact on public health," the President told Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a recent interview for CNN.

President Obama also talks about how terrible air quality was when he first went to college in Los Angeles and how action was taken to improve it. "When the Clean Air Act was passed, not only was there a terrible smog in Los Angeles, it was true in most metropolitan areas across the country," Obama said. "The fact is that air quality has dramatically improved and it's been much cheaper than anybody expected, because technology advanced and people figured out how to do it. As a consequence, the American people are a lot healthier, in addition to being able to, you know, see the mountains in the background because it's not covered in smog."

"We know how to do this," Obama said. "We just have to be bold and recognize and trust the kind of innovative spirit that the American people have always displayed."

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