Previously just the worry of climate scientists, environmentalists,doomsday prognosticators, and gas-price watchers, climate change isstarting to worry some others— public health specialists, whosay that global warming could affect large swaths of thepopulation. In a paper published in the journal PLoS Medicine Tuesday, a group of European public health experts write thatclimate change could alter “patterns of physical activity andfood availability, and in some cases [bring] direct physicalharm.” Slight temperature increases could also change diseasedistribution in colder regions and make hotter regions lesshospitable to humans. [Study: Carbon Dioxide Increase Caused End of Ice Age ] “Certain subgroups are at more risk—mainly the young,the old, and the poor,” says Peter Byass, director of the UmeaCentre for Global Health Research in Sweden. “The middle ageand wealthy will be better off. It’s a crude way of looking at it,but it’s not so far off the mark.” That means more prevalence of diseases that affect the poor, suchas malaria and dengue fever, and heat stroke in drought-afflictedareas. Deck Roll Forming Machine
For years, scientists have warned about more extreme hurricanes andweather patterns, but until recently, not much emphasis was put onless noticeable changes. “I don’t think there’s a big gang of global health expertssaying [climate change] is unimportant,” he says. “But Idon’t think people have been making the connections that need to bemade between public health and climate change.” Byass’ paper isn’t the first time health officials have pondered the human toll of climate change . In March, a group of doctors suggested that the incidence ofasthma and other lung respiratory illnesses could increase, due tolonger pollen seasons and increasing ranges of disease-causingmolds and mosquitoes. “At this point, we might not be able to stop climate change,but we can be a bit prepared as to what the consequences mightbe,” he says. Guardrail Roll Forming Machine Manufacturer
[ Sea Level Bill Would Allow North Carolina to Stick Its Head in theSand ] It’s something people in his field are increasingly worried about.At last year’s “Durban Climate Meeting,” a United Nationsconvention to discuss climate change, people focused on healthissues had their say. The unpredictability of climatechange—there are many models of what might happen over thenext century—makes Byass’ and his colleagues’ jobs muchharder, he says. “I think it’s pretty clear that things won’t stay the same, sowe can talk about the what-ifs of different climate change[theories], but it’s hard to say for sure what will happen,”he says. The United Nations has been placing more of an emphasis on climatechange, with many of its member countries asking the world’slargest carbon producers—China, India, and the UnitedStates—to enter legally-binding agreements to reduceemissions. This year, government officials will meet in Doha tocontinue negotiating. Steel Tile Forming Machine Manufacturer
[ Poll: Republicans Coming Around on Global Warming ] Late last year, officials from around the world met in Durban,South Africa at what is now known as the “Durban ClimateMeeting,” in which officials from India, the United States,and China agreed to continue negotiating legally-binding carbonemission rules. “It’s about behaving in a way that’s responsible for theplanet. One would hope the United Nations could help get everyonetogether,” Byass says. Countries must be willing to take aneconomic hit in becoming more energy efficient.
“Protectingthe future of the planet has a price tag, there’s no doubt aboutthat.”.