Physicians for Social Responsibilityand Global Warming
The need for mandatory controls on emissions of the heat-trapping gases that drive global warming is urgent. Drawing on the expertise of medicine and public health, Physicians for Social Responsibility is dedicated to fighting for laws and regulations that protect human health from the dangers of global warming by reversing the current trends of increasing emissions and rising temperatures.
Physicians for Social Responsibility is the medical and public health voice working to prevent the use or spread of nuclear weapons and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment. They have a climate change threat to health project.
Heat waves, intense drought, disease outbreaks, and flooding — this is the forecast given by the world's most renown climate experts who now warn that unless action to curb global warming is taken within the next ten years, we will pass a "tipping point" beyond which devastating consequences will become unavoidable.
— PSR, Curbing Global Warming...
The Global Warming and Health webpage at the Physicians for Social Responsibility website includes several climate change resources for medical professionals, including papers and a slide show you can adapt and use in presentations.
For example, The Medical and Public Health Impacts of Global Warming, in pdf format, explains several adverse effects of climate change on human health:
- heat-related illness
"Though heat waves normally affect broad geographic regions and resident populations, certain groups are particularly vulnerable. The very old and the very young tend to have reduced heat-regulating mechanisms and are at increased risk. the poor, the socially isolated, and those already suffering from chronic illness also are likely to be disproportionately affected by an increase in heat wave frequency and severity."
- heat cramps
- heat syncope (fainting)
- heat exhaustion
- air pollution-related health impacts exacerbated by global warming
- earlier and more abundant airborne allergens like pollen
- higher occurrence and severity of asthma
- aggravated chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease
- damaged lung tissue
- premature death
- emergence of new diseases (30 previously unknown diseases since 1976)
- resurgence and/or redistribution of older diseases such as malaria, cholera and West Nile virus
- vectors and the disease-causing pathogens they transmit impacted by higher temperatures (increased rate of reproduction, number of blood meals they take, prolonged breeding season, shortened maturation period of pathogens)
- extreme weather events such as floods and hurricanes
- death and injury
- environmental hazards, such as molds, left behind
- water-related health impacts (common after heavy rainfalls)
- threats to water quality (pollution from increased runoff of wastes, pesticides, fertilizers and other pollutants)
- outbreaks of water-borne diseases
- increased algal blooms producing biotoxins
- problems associated with stagnant waters that concentrate pollutants
- malnutrition due to a breakdown of agriculture
Though the task before us is formidable, we already possess the scientific, technical, and industrial know-how to greatly reduce global warming pollution. Scientists warn, however, that the window of opportunity is closing quickly.... The time for action to stop global warming is NOW!
— Physicians for Social Responsibility
Visit the Physicians for Social Responsibility Website on Global Warming
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