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Obama links climate change to health risks



US president Barack Obama has linked climate change and human health risks, arguing that human health is “deeply tied” to the health of the environment.

In a proclamation, Obama states, “America’s public health is deeply tied to the health of our environment. As our planet becomes more interconnected and our climate continues to warm, we face new threats to our safety and well-being.

“In the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting these individuals and many other vulnerable populations at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and in increases incidence of extreme weather related injuries and illnesses.”

Obama is the first to link climate change and health risks, a study published last year highlighted the numerous health benefits of mitigating and adapting to human driven climate change. The research, from the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin Madison, looked at a range of issues, from air pollution and diseases to food shortages and drought.

Obama continues that his administration plans to create a more resilient health care system to handle the challenges and effects of a changing planet.

“Climate change is no longer a distant threat. Its effects are felt today, and its costs can be measures in human lives. Every person, every community and every nation has a duty to protect the health of all our children and grandchildren, and my administration is committed to leading this effort,” he added.

Photo: Steve Jurvestson via Flickr

Further reading:

Climate change could bring exotic diseases to UK

Climate change leading to emergence of infectious disease

Study highlights health risks of climate change

Health professional call for immediate ban on fracking due to health risks

Report calls for next government to prioritise climate change and environment


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