Is Climate Change Making You Sick


During this year’s United Nations General Assembly, climate change was a central issue. Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey have caused damages in the tens, and possibly hundreds of millions.

“Climate change casts a long shadow over the development efforts of our country,” said Darren Henfield, the minister of foreign affairs of the Bahamas. “The implications of rising sea levels and atmospheric temperatures signal dire consequences.”

The impact of climate change on global health is also becoming increasingly clear. Hunger is on the rise. Climate change is also linked to increased respiratory problems, poor nutrition, and the spread of infectious diseases.

“These events have huge implications for water quality,” says Nuttall, citing the risk for things like sewage and other chemicals to get into floodwater and spread. The risk for mosquito-borne diseases can increase as floods recede, leaving breeding grounds for

Preventing deforestation limits flooding, which cuts back on the number of pests that can accumulate and spread diseases.

The issue also affects oceans. “If we lose our coral reefs, we lose revenue for countries, but also fish, which is an important source of protein,” says Nuttall.

Many leaders have publicly reaffirmed their commitment to tackling the problem. But the U.S.’s position on the issue has changed. In June, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Other U.S. leaders like California governor Jerry Brown and former VP Al Gore, took part in UNGA meetings and assured attendees that others are still addressing the issue.

“We are a country of diverse power centers, and mobilizing those power centers that are not controlled by the President is still a very worthwhile goal,” said Brown during a high-level stakeholder meeting on climate change on Monday. “Mayors, governors, presidents and CEOs of companies have real power.”

“It would be great if the President would join in the movement,” Brown said, but “he’s not there yet. He believes this whole thing we’re talking about, all the scientists publishing thousands of papers, is all a hoax.”