Global warming is making New Haven residents sick, especially the poor and the medically fragile. That is the conclusion of Janet Ho, M.D., HS ’15, chief resident in the Yale Primary Care program. Her research tapped local, national, and international sources, including the World Health Organization, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and DataHaven, a nonprofit that compiles data about the New Haven region. For Ho, global warming is a social justice as well as a health issue.
“I started out wanting to highlight global warming and climate change as another determinant of health,” Ho said. “But as I researched more, I was surprised by how much was already out there in major medical journals, scientific literature, and popular media, in terms of the impact both globally and locally. In fact, in 2009, The Lancet described climate change as ‘the biggest health threat of the 21st century.’ It wasn’t obesity, heart disease, AIDS, or cancer, but climate change.”
“We hear about polar bears and loss of glaciers. We think it’s not a problem for me, not a problem for my family, not a problem for a couple of generations.”
“…we can all find a way to modify a bit of our behavior and lifestyle to mitigate our contribution to the problem. It’s both urgent and important because climate change is happening, and it’s affecting health now, here in New Haven, and for all of us.”
Read the full story:
More Resources & Tools!
Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing the nation, but few people are aware of how it can affect them. Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable. View an interactive map with more information on climate-health threats, actions being taken to prepare communities, and what you can do.
Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including impacts from increased extreme weather events, wildfire, decreased air quality, and illnesses transmitted by food, water, and diseases carriers such as mosquitoes and ticks. Explore how climate change affects you and your family.
From California to Chile, and places in between, pollution-attributable asthma continues to impact the lives of children and families. Drawing ties between urbanization, socioeconomics, and asthma prevalence, UMass Amherst resource economist Sylvia Brandt turns to urban communities to investigate rising asthma rates among youth.
Global Climate Change and Children’s Health (American Academy of Pediatrics)
This policy statement is supported by a technical report that examines in some depth the nature of the problem of climate change, likely effects on children’s health as a result of climate change, and the critical importance of responding promptly and aggressively to reduce activities that are contributing to this change.
Climate Change and the Health of Children (Harvard School of Public Health)
Recent research has deepened our understanding of how climate change has influenced and will continue to influence the health of children.
Original Source(s): Published on Yale Medicine News, Spring 2015; written by Christopher Hoffman
Additional Resources copyright Yale Climate Connections 2015.