Maybe you don’t live in an area that experiences hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes and so you’re probably not too concerned with climate change. But you should be.
You see all these natural disasters continue to affect your health. You may not have thought about it much but every time there is a heat wave or a flood, global health is being impacted.
The relationship between climate change and health
The latest report was published in The Lancet and was compiled by the University College London’s Institute for Global Health. Climate specialists, social, environmental and energy scientists along with geographers and other health experts all came together to examine the relationship between climate change and health.
The researchers noted that changes in climate directly and indirectly affect global health so combating climate change could have many benefits.
Extreme weather conditions, in particular, have a direct affect on health. In situations like floods or heat waves the spread of bacteria is much higher. Likewise the ability to obtain food and clean water is greatly compromised. These factors can directly impact the health of those in the affected areas.
Air pollution, on the other hand, may not have an immediate impact on health but over time being exposed to air pollution can cause such illnesses like asthma and even lung cancer.
As you can then see our environment and changes in the environment can either keep us healthy or make us quite ill. So what are we to do?
How to improve health and combat climate change
The researchers recommend a few ways in order to promote a healthier population. For one reducing the burning of fossil fuels can minimize respiratory infections. An easy means of doing so is by promoting walking and cycling. Not only will the environment benefit but rates of obesity and heart disease, too, can go on the decline.
Governments, too, must work to not only improve environmental conditions but health as well. Many countries separate environmental policies and health ones. If government can realize that both work hand-in-hand we can have greater steps towards improving both.
The World Health organization (WHO) has environment and health policies combined. Their goal is to raise awareness of the relationship between the environment and health, create strong partnerships, uncover more scientific research to support their claims and strengthen world health systems. If they are successful you will start to hear more about the environment and how it relates to health, instead of separating the two.
You, too, can start to improve your own health while helping the environment. Using safe cleaning products, for starters, is an easy way to ensure that neither you nor the earth becomes poisoned by their toxic effects. Likewise, cycle or carpool more as to reduce the amount of burning fossil fuels.
Just remember, as we are the ones responsible for the destruction of the world, it should be of no surprise that in return it can make us ill. Let’s all do our part to take care of the environment, and in turn benefit from it.