The Crucial Connection: Climate Change and Health | Kaiser Permanente
We know climate-related changes on our planet cause extreme weather. And extreme weather has life-changing effects. We see this in the rise of weather-related disasters around the globe. But there’s one aspect of this topic we don’t hear much about: How does climate change affect our health? Well, as temperatures rise, record-setting heat waves become more frequent. They can lead to heat-related illnesses and dangerous cardiovascular issues. Rising sea levels and unpredictable weather mean … More super storms and flooding. Wildfires and droughts. Injuries, property damage – even homelessness and loss of loved ones. Super storms also expand habitats where insects thrive and multiply. Mosquitos and other bugs can spread diseases – like malaria and West Nile virus. As the earth’s carbon dioxide levels increase … Air quality declines, causing respiratory issues, like asthma and lung cancer. Bouts of Salmonella rise. Bacteria in water contaminates seafood and shellfish. And we see a surge in gastrointestinal illnesses and bloodstream infections. With all of this, we’re looking at serious grief and emotional trauma. But … there’s hope. The good news is — we can make a difference, but we must act now! What can you do? Take action! Unplug devices and chargers when not in use to reduce your energy consumption. Walk, bike or use other means of active transportation. Get your food locally. Buy only the food you require – and give edible leftovers to those in need. At the city, state and national levels: Stay informed. Let your elected representatives know what you think. At Kaiser Permanente, we are developing real-world strategies that address climate change to support your health and the health of our communities. Because when it comes to climate change … It’s about health.